07/14/2015 05:28 EDT | Updated 07/14/2016 05:59 EDT

Vernon woman wins fight to keep pet pig Felix at home

Brenda Quint McNeil's little piggy gets to stay home, thanks to a bylaw exemption granted today in a 4-3 vote by Vernon city council.

"I can't even tell you what a relief it is. My stress level just went down 100 per cent," said McNeil in an interview on Radio West. 

McNeil received her pet pig Felix as a present from her husband and daughter back in December and was unaware that the city's animal bylaw prohibits residents from keeping swine on land that isn't zoned for farming.

In mid-May, the city sent a letter to McNeil saying she had one month to remove Felix from the property. 

But McNeil, determined to keep this newest member of her family, started a petition and submitted a written letter to council, pleading her case.

Making it personal

"I made it personal. People pretty much had to know us and Felix."

Felix, who is one and a half years old, helps McNeil with her nerve disorder by keeping her active and in good spirits, she said.  

The 18-kilogram pet is about the size of a Corgi and can perform tricks, such as sitting, waving his hoof and giving kisses, McNeil said.

"He's awesome. He's my best little buddy."

McNeil is glad to put this behind her and plans to celebrate tonight.

"I'm going to thank all our neighbours and the people that came to back us up, and that come by daily to ask how he is.

"I'm going to put a big sign up in my yard to say thank you to everyone."

To hear the full interview with Brenda Quint McNeil, listen to the audio labelled: Felix the pig.