Police in Northern California were shocked to discover the fate of a runaway pet pig after they asked a neighbor to watch her while they tracked down her owner.
“It’s a very strange, strange case,” Lt. Todd Dokweiler of the Arcata Police Department told HuffPost. “Really a strange occurrence.”
Princess, a nearly 400-pound pig, went missing from her Humboldt County home on March 23. She was later spotted in a neighbor’s yard, as shown in a post published on a Facebook page for lost-and-found animals in the area.
After the wandering pig was found, the Arcata Police Department arrived on the scene to help Princess home, noting to SFGate that calls of this kind aren’t out of the ordinary in this community, where residents typically have a few acres of land and own livestock.
Police asked a nearby neighbor if he could keep Princess in his gated yard while they located her owner, according to Dokweiler. He added that this is also a practice that is common in the area.
The neighbor agreed and the police quickly found the owner. But when police returned to pick up Princess, they were horrified to find that she was in the process of being butchered for meat in the resident’s driveway.
“We were totally shocked and surprised to learn that the pig had been slaughtered,” Arcata Police Chief Brian Ahearn told the Lost Coast Outpost, a local news source.
Dokweiler told HuffPost that the homeowner who had agreed to watch Princess wasn’t the man responsible for killing her. Another man, who was at the homeowner’s residence at the time, took it upon himself to kill the pet in the homeowner’s yard without the homeowner’s knowledge. The man then moved Princess to the driveway to butcher her. Dokweiler says the entire incident occurred in the span of about two hours.
“Given the stage of the butchering process he was in, he must have slaughtered the pig very shortly after the officer left,” Dokweiler told SFGate.
Carrie Hogan, Princess’ owner, reportedly did not witness the gruesome scene, but was devastated by the news of what happened to her beloved pet. Hogan told the Outpost that she had Princess, who turned one in January, since she was a piglet and occasionally bottle-fed her in her living room. Hogan’s daughter even showed Princess at a state fair.
“She’s very sweet,” Hogan told the Outpost. “She’s not aggressive. She likes to be around people.”
Dokweiler told HuffPost that the police investigation is still ongoing, but the man who slaughtered Princess is being charged with a felony for grand theft.
As for Hogan, she seems to want nothing more than justice for the killing of a cherished member of her family.
“I think that the hardest part of this is knowing that there’s somebody out there that’s this kind of a savage,” she told the Outpost.