Man claims ownership of ‘stolen’ pigs – News – recordnet.com – California News

Man claims ownership of ‘stolen’ pigs – News – recordnet.com – California News

A retired general contractor from Arnold stepped forward on Wednesday to say that he is the rightful owner of six pigs seized from a small Delta island by East Coast animal welfare advocates earlier this week.

And he wants his hogs back.   

“Those pigs were happy and healthy on that island, and I think that’s where they belong,” 60-year-old Roger Stevenson said. “They’re my pets. It’s no different than me going into your backyard and taking your dogs.”

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He said he reported the pigs as stolen to the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office late Tuesday. A spokesman for the Sheriff’s Office confirmed that a report was taken but said it wasn’t yet finished.

New York-based farm animal advocacy group Farm Sanctuary insisted Wednesday that its complex “rescue” operation earlier this week was legal. In a prepared statement, the group said staff met on Sunday with the owner of the island where the pigs lived, and obtained his permission to take them.

“This was not done in secret,” Farm Sanctuary officials said. “We obtained the pigs lawfully from the rightful owner, as he was concerned about the well-being of the pigs.”

The pigs have been a popular attraction for Delta boaters for several years. Some boaters said they were angry after Farm Sanctuary hauled them away without any warning,…

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