ELYRIA — A case against a man who was accused of killing his neighbor’s pet pig in January was dismissed Tuesday in Elyria Municipal Court.
The city’s prosecutor dismissed killing an animal and cruelty to animals charges against Gary Cunningham, who was ordered to pay court costs as a condition of the suspended sentence, according to court records.
In March, the owner of the pig, Larry Plas, told The Chronicle-Telegram that Cunningham’s friend shot his pet potbellied pig, Snork, after the pig got loose and wandered into Cunningham’s yard.
Cunningham said he mistook the 120-pound pig for a wild boar because of its large size, and he called his friend to kill the pig after receiving permission from a wildlife officer. The wildlife officer, who works in another county, reportedly told Cunningham that it was OK to shoot a wild boar.
Cunningham said the pig was hostile and charged at him, breaking his air conditioning unit outside of his Grafton Township home.
Plas said the pig was friendly, however, and he said he was upset when Cunningham returned Snork to him after the animal was butchered.
According to court records, Cunningham wrote a letter of apology for the pig’s death, and he voluntarily donated $250 to the Animal Protection League.
Elyria city Prosecutor Scott Strait said the case was dismissed as an agreement between the defendant and the family of the pig. The family didn’t want restitution for the animal and suggested the donation to the APL.
Strait said he is looking into who exactly shot the pig, although he said Cunningham and the person who shot the pig did not appear to have malicious intentions.
“They thought it was a wild pig. They never meant to shoot anybody’s pet pig,” he said.
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