Her yard and others on Hickory Street look like excavation sites because of the rooting pigs, she said. Her lawn is criss-crossed by shallow trenches.
“The pigs come down here and root with their noses,” explained Whitwam. “They look for grubs and whatever else they can find when they are hungry.”
The stray pigs are owned by Harold Bartz, a neighbor down the road. “I have a boar, a sow and three little ones,” he said, counting on his fingers.
Bartz pens the pigs in a junkyard next to his house. He said someone let them out of their sty.
“We had a party across the road,” he said. “Somebody let them out. I’ve been chasing pigs for over a week.”
But neighbors say the trespassing pigs are a continuous, long-term problem.
“I ran over one last winter,” said Whitwam. “I feel it’s been an ongoing issue.”
Although the pigs are surprisingly quick and agile, neighbors say they aren’t really frightened by the animals. But, they say even friendly pigs could be dangerous for small children.
“They could knock one over and step on them,” said Whitwam. “Being a couple hundred pounds, it’s not going to be a good thing.”
Neighbors said deputies have tried to shoot the pigs, but missed. After talks with the Michigan Department Of Natural Resource, Hickory Street residents said they believe they can legally kill the stray pigs. Most say they would prefer it if the animals were confiscated.
“I think the best thing wold be for them to come and just take them,” said Whitwam.