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Lakes country hog wild about potbelly pigs

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The City of Ottertail will next week hear from a homeowner there who is one "upset potbelly pig" owner.

That's because the city told her she is in violation of a city ordinance that restricts the number and kinds of animals a homeowner has in town.

"See what momma's got," Robyn Hagel said, feeding her potbelly pig, Pepper.

There is no question she is passionate about her potbelly pigs.

"Give momma a kiss," she said.

Pepper is like one of the family.

"They are all I have, I rescued them," Robyn said.

But in addition to Pepper, Robyn is fostering two other pigs: Nugget and Baby.

"They are like kids, a little kid," Robyn said.

They all live with her inside the home here in Ottertail.

"Penelope Rose, she is the big one that sleeps with me," Robyn said.

According to the city, Robyn is in violation of rules in town. They say she has too many pigs, on too small a piece of land, and now she says she is being fined.

"Up to $1,000 a day and $75 per pig," she said.

But Robyn says she has a letter from her doctor, It says these potbelly pigs are good for Robyn's mental health.

"They are my life, like I said, they are what gets me up in the morning. They will come and wake me up," she said.

But the city of Ottertail is having none of it. They are sticking by its 2006 ordinance which restricts things like potbelly pigs here in town, based on the amount of land the pigs are on.

"You have to look at it, if you allow it for one, everyone will want it and at this point, this is not what we are looking for," Myron Lueders, Ottertail mayor, said.

"Leave me alone, they are not doing any harm to anyone," Robyn replied back.

Robyn promises to fight city hall, with an upcoming meeting next week, where she will ask for an exemption.

"She used to play the piano, she doesn't do that anymore," Robyn said, pointing to Pepper the pig.

All because she can't imagine parting with any of them.

"It is just like a kid, can you choose, they have been there for me when I was down and out," Robyn said.

Robyn hopes to present a new letter from her doctor when she argues for an exemption next Thursday night at the Ottertail Council Meeting.

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