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How Facebook saved a pet pig

Once upon a time there was a potbellied pig named Steve. Steve was a happy little pig who lived with his owners Brian Maguire and Bernadette Broadhurst in Ridley Township, Pennsylvania — until some police officers stole him away. Don't worry though! Steve found his way home eventually — thanks to Facebook.

Gather reports that Steve, a ten-week-old Vietnamese micro potbellied pig who weighs in at about six pounds, was recently returned to his worried owners after a dramatic — and legal — pig-napping.

You see, the silly pig was a naughty fellow and escaped from his owners' yard only to be busted by officers of the law who refused to take him back home:

[Steve's owner, Brian Maguire] states the pig doesn't have a neck, so he could never put a collar with a tag on him. Brian and his girlfriend, Bernadette Broadhurst, searched frantically for their beloved pet, and contacted the Delaware County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals who informed them that local police had picked Steve up.

When the couple went to the police station, they were told the potbellied porker was given to a local farm, citing a local ordinance that prevents homeowners from keeping farm animals. Maguire pressed police for information on his pig's location, stating he would give the pig to a friend. Police would only tell the owner that the pig had been given to a farm near Reading.

That's when things heated up. Maguire explained that Steve should be considered a pet − and not a farm animal − due to how he was acquired:

Maguire bought Steve for $424 in a pet shop, and paid taxes on him. Pennsylvania only charges tax on pets, not on farm animals, which proves that Steve is a pet. The ordinance preventing keeping pigs in a home only covers farm animals. Maguire has proof that the state considered the potbellied pig a pet when he bought him.

Unfortunately that explanation didn't sway the local officers one bit and they continued to conceal Steve's location.

So what did Maguire and Broadhurst do? They started a Facebook page entitled "Where's Steve? Give him back, Ridley!"

On that page, they pair posted worried messages, pleas for help, and links to t-shirts being sold to raise funds for a lawyer. The page quickly "garnered them over 2,000 friends, many of whom said they emailed and called the Ridley Township police asking for the potbellied pig's swift return."

Then something wonderful happened:

Steve was back! There were no details as to exactly how he returned home, but Gather believes that it appears that the pressure created by the Facebook campaign "was too much for the town to bear, and they did the right thing by bringing the little potbellied pig home."

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Rosa Golijan writes about tech here and there. She's a bit obsessed with Twitter and loves to be liked on Facebook.