Falcon family fight to keep their pet pig

Matilda is an active, loving one-year-old with a strong sense of humour, and the star of Falcon’s Pepper Street.

She loves running along the beach, cuddling, falling asleep on the couch and rolling around with Betsy, the family dog.

Matilda – or ‘Tilly’ for family and friends – is also an 80-kilo hairy mini pig, and a beloved member of Falcon’s Sears family. 

On any given day it is not unusual to see the family of five walking along the street with dog Betsy and pig Matilda on a leash on their way to their evening beach run, getting stopped by curious passersby who want to get a picture of Tilly. 

However, the long evening walks might become a thing of the past, after the family was told by the City of Mandurah they had six weeks to find a new home for Tilly. 

The family was enjoying a holiday in Dunsborough over Easter when Tilly, who was staying at a property in town, found her way out onto the street and wandered around Falcon in search for the Sears. 

A passerby called the Mandurah rangers, who took Tilly to the pound.

The family managed to get their beloved pet back, but were told by the council that pigs weren’t allowed as family pets and they had to rehome Matilda.

“She is just one of the family,” mother Sarah Sears said.

“It’s very upsetting, you don’t want them to go and all of a sudden it’s like see you later.

“Everybody takes photos, she is a movie star.

“[She] gets all the family out and we have a laugh because she becomes the explorer and off she goes.”

The family purchased Matilda from a New South Wales mini pig breeder when she was only seven weeks old, and she grew up to be a healthy 80-kilo pig in the family home.

“From watching Babe, my favourite movie, I ended up loving pigs and then when I started researching them I realised how intelligent and how clean and how gorgeous they were,” Ms Sears said.

“So I was looking through my phone one day and saw mini pigs for sale and saw her it was love at first sight.

“She is funny, she is so hilarious.”

Ms Sears said Matilda has been toilet trained since she was two months old, she has been de-sexed, and she gets wormed every three months.

“I just can’t see what’s the difference between a big dog and a small pig,” She said.

“I’ll be sad when she goes because I can’t just imagine her being chucked down in a paddock because she’s always been so close to us.

“She is a role model for everyone, makes us happy, educates people and keeps us fit.”

Ms Sears said other WA councils have already changed their local laws to allow families to have pigs as pets as long as their house is properly equipped, and she would like the City of Mandurah to follow suit.

“If we have to put a microchip in and pay for her like a dog we’d be quite happy to do any of it and for them to come out and see that she can’t escape and everything is good,” she said.

However, she has put a call out to other pig owners who would like to give Matilda a home.

“The perfect scenario would be if I could find someone else who’s got a pig and I can put her out there and still be our pig and look after her,” she said.

She said the they would pay for all her expenses as long as the family can still come and visit Matilda on a regular basis.