Couple on disability in fight with city to keep potbelly pigs

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Jeffrey and Stephanie Rowland said this little piggy really makes a big difference in their quality of life. (KTRK)

Four pigs credited with keeping a couple healthy might be forced to find a new home, if a Michigan city has its way.

The man and wife who own the potbelly pigs are arguing in court that the animals are more than just pets, but part of the family.

Jeffrey Rowland said he and his wife Stephanie are on disability, and found the pigs help ease their symptoms of anxiety and bipolar disorder, WXYZ-TV reports.

Stephanie also benefits from the help of a pig, who she says alerts her when her blood sugar is low by putting his head between her legs.

"What you have to have are doctors' notes. I have between me and Jeff, eleven doctors who say, 'They need this,'" Stephanie Rowland said.

The city of Ypsilanti told the couple the 150-pound animals are not allowed in city limits. The city's attorney also said the pigs do not qualify as service animals under the law.

Jeffrey admits he's worried what might happen to his wife if the city forces them to get rid of the pigs.

A judge has heard arguments from both the couple and city, but a decision isn't expected until at least March.

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pets-animalsdisabilityservice animalu.s. & worldcourt casehealthmental healthMichigan