Daughter: Seabee’s pig barred from Mobile city is staying put

Published 4:07 pm Wednesday, September 12, 2007

The pet Vietnamese potbellied pig recently barred from the city limits as her owner serves in Iraq won’t be returning to her west Mobile home, despite an offer to intervene by the city’s animal control director.

The pig, Alexis, was visibly under stress recently while being moved from the home of Navy Master Chief Petty Officer Barry Fletcher, 54, to a residence outside the city.

Fletcher’s daughter, Jacqueline Fletcher, said Alexis, who weighs about 150 pounds or more, was traumatized in the difficult move. Even though Mobile’s director of animal control, Bill Fassbender, offered to plead her case to city officials, she said it would be best for Alexis to stay put.

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Fassbender said he got in touch with Jacqueline Fletcher after a story about his banishing Alexis appeared in the Press-Register.

He said he had to respond to a complaint about Alexis because there’s a city ordinance banning any swine from being kept within the city limits. But Fassbender told Jacqueline Fletcher he would seek a variance or exemption in her case.

Jacqueline Fletcher said she discussed the matter with her dad in Iraq via e-mail over the weekend, and they decided it would be too hard on Alexis to make her move again.

She said it also wouldn’t be fair to her new owner, Thomas Schellinger, who adopted Alexis after learning she had been ordered out of the city.

Schellinger said he also has goats, chickens and “a vicious attack duck,” calling Alexis “a good addition to the team.”

He said the pig was fitting in well in her new environment.

Fletcher, 24, said Alexis was a gift to her father from his Naval Construction Battalion unit based in Gulfport, Miss., when he was promoted five years ago.