The 15-inch-tall and 30-pound pet pig had been mostly an indoor pet, until the family chose to move to a more rural area in the state’s Upper Peninsula with spacious land for their two dogs and Caesar to roam freely and safely. They now intend to move back to their old house.
The family became concerned on April 2, when the pig did not return home even after they shook a cereal box which usually sends him running back. The ground was soft, so they followed the small animal’s hoof prints down their driveway and onto the dirt road where they discovered a puddle of blood and drag marks just feet off of their property line.
Concerned that the animal may have been accidentally struck by a car and taken to a local vet, they took to Facebook to see if anyone had any information.
The following day, an officer arrived at the family’s house. Excited that he may be bringing them information on Caesar’s whereabouts, the couple ran over to the door.
Sadly, the officer brought troubling news.
"Actually, I am responsible for the missing pig…" the officer began. They asked him what he meant and the officer stated, "he came out of the woods at me running at a trotting pace and I felt threatened so I shot and killed him.”
Tony Gervasi and Brandy Savelle, the owners of tiny black pig, were in disbelief.
“When I asked him how he could shoot something so small, he said that there is such a problem with wild pigs in the area, so he was doing his job. If Caesar did in fact go up to him, it was because he associated humans with food. Just picturing Caesar seeing this guy and like ‘oh a new person’ like, ‘I’m on my way home, but you might have food, so I’m gonna-’ so him just walking up and getting a bullet instead… it just makes me very upset,” Savelle told ABC 10.
“The man then began to change his story to ‘I was following orders’ rather than the lie he first told about Caesar running out of the deep snow woods and charging him. (Caesar was about 15" tall with legs that are about 6" long, 30lbs. Not much bigger than a Boston Terrier.. can you see an animal of that geometry charging through the snow or being a threat at all?.. not to mention the man was in his TRUCK!) So I knew he had no true remorse for what he did,” Gervasi wrote on their GoFundMe page.
The family then requested Caesar’s body so that they could give him a proper burial, and their request was refused. The officer stated that the body of their pet was to be sent to the USDA for testing.
The family has now set up a GoFundMe for legal fees and a Facebook page as they fight not only for justice for their beloved pet, but also to change the laws so that no other animals suffer the same fate.