Pig home safe after running loose

It took four people—and a fishing net—to bring one tired little piggy home last weekend after a night of scampering around town lost and confused.
“Clementine,” a three-month-old Vietnamese pot belly pig, had the adventure of her life when she trotted away from her owner, Beth Paleczny, on Friday afternoon.
“I took the pig out to go to the washroom because [her] kennel was dry,” said Paleczny, who is the new owner of Oceans Pet Store on Scott Street, now renamed “Lil Clems Pet Emporium.”
Since she had just got the piglet last Tuesday and Clementine wasn’t used to her leash yet, Paleczny let the precious pig roam free in her backyard.
“This was her first time peeing outside and I had [it] cornered so she couldn’t get away. She [went] a bit out of arm’s length.
“I followed her behind the yard and she was in the lilac bushes. [But] something scared her and she took off down the street,” Paleczny explained.
Paleczny spent several hours chasing the tiny black piglet the size of a small dog around neighbours’ yards, across the street, and down several blocks from her Third Street East home.
At one point, the pet pig went under a porch. Paleczny barricaded all but one side and got something to try and entice Clementine to come out.
“I went and got her favourite—pablum and milk— but she still wouldn’t come,” she explained.
By now, the piglet wasn’t the only one panicking.
Paleczny called the OPP to make them aware of the runaway pig. She also called the vet and the town’s bylaw enforcement officer to ask if they had a noose at the end of a pole she could use.
Between herself and the bylaw officer, the two of them still couldn’t corral the pesky piglet. “She jumped over a piece of wood three feet high,” Paleczny noted.
The duo chased the pig all over the block—fearing she would get run over or attacked by other animals.
After several hours, Paleczny lost sight of the animal she had only received earlier that week. Knowing it was alone and defenseless, she feared the worst—that something or someone would get a hold of it and hurt it.
“At least if it was hit by a car, then it would be dead instantly. I just couldn’t stand to think it was suffering,” she remarked.
Paleczny’s six-year-old daughter, Libby, was equally unnerved that their new pet was wandering the streets of town.
“My daughter was very upset about it. She said, ‘Poor pig, she’s just out there all alone by herself,’” Paleczny recalled.
Tanya Ness heard about the escaped piglet from someone at Friend’s of Animals and went to a neighbour’s yard to see if it was all right.
“I went there because I used to have a pig and I knew it would be petrified. I couldn’t sleep knowing it was out there,” she remarked.
That night, she set up a live trap to corral the animal but when she checked Saturday, Clementine wasn’t in it. Ness then spent much of the day chasing the elusive animal down towards the alley behind Safeway between Scott Street and Church Avenue.
“Three other people came to help and with the four of us and a fishing net, we got her,” Ness said.
Clementine didn’t seem to worse for the wear once she was caught. “She was in pretty good shape but completely exhausted,” Ness noted.
“She ate, drank, and slept for 12 hours straight,” added Paleczny.
Through a series of phone calls, Ness found Clementine’s owner and Paleczny picked up her pet pig Sunday morning.
“Having a pig is a huge responsibility,” Ness warned. “I’d hate for people to know they’re available and go get them and not realize they are a huge responsibility.”
In the meantime, Paleczny was just pleased that Clementine, the runaway pig, was safe and sound.
“I’m just so happy to have her back,” she said.

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