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ADOT delays house demolition to save potbelly pig

The Arizona Department of Transportation announced Friday that they’ve successfully rescued a potbelly pig from state land in the West Valley with the help of several animal rights groups. 

ADOT purchased a stretch of land in Avondale for the construction of planned State Route 30, but one parcel had a resident that needed evicting: a potbelly pig now known as Pixie. 

ADOT delayed demolition of a house on the property until Pixie could safely be rescued with help from the nonprofit Humane Animal Rescue and Trapping Team. 

Pixie is now living at the Better Piggies Rescue in Cave Creek.

“I can tell you she wasn't quite happy at first but she is very happy now at the rescue and has some piggie friends,” HARTT volunteer Carrianne Frary said. 

Pixie, named by Frary after Disney’s Tinkerbell for her feisty personality, has bonded with three pigs called Chili, Piglet and Vivian. 

Better Piggies Rescue founder Dannielle Betterman said she believes Pixie was abandoned by her owners.

ADOT had initially appealed to the Arizona Game and Fish Department for help, but due to the species of the pig they were referred to local rescues.

The situation turned into a three-week long adventure for ADOT, Better Piggies Rescue and HARTT. 

“She’s very elusive, and by most standards I've heard, a very pretty little pig,” ADOT Haz-Mat coordinator Ed Green said.

Pixie ate what the food volunteers laid out for her readily enough but wouldn’t fall into the traps they’d laid. The food also attracted cats, raccoons, javelinas and a skunk.

She’s featured in this video enjoying a Halloween pumpkin while evading capture. Frary notes that her favorite food is Cheerios.

Green agreed to pause demolition on the property’s house until Pixie could be safely contained, which she was at the end of December.

ADOT confirmed that the road project is moving forward without delay, and the house on the property has been demolished. 

Betterman said Pixie is available to be sponsored or adopted and is adapting well to the sanctuary.

Camryn Sanchez is a field correspondent at KJZZ covering everything to do with state politics.