Published: Jul 27, 2010 4:59 AM EDT
Updated: Jul 27, 2010 1:59 AM EDT

CAPE CORAL, Fla. - Pet pigs can stay put in some Cape Coral households.  

Monday night, the city council listened to pleas from people worried about losing an animal they considered to be a member of the family.

James and Susan Toboll own Petunia the pig, and were relieved to hear she can stay in their home.

"Told 'em the truth.  You couldn't argue with it.  She's domestic, she's not a farm animal, and she's not livestock," said pet pig owner James Toboll.  "She is a household pet.  Couldn't say no."

A change to city law in 2008 reclassified pot bellied pigs like Petunia as livestock, outlawing them within the city limits.

But Petunia had been with the Tobolls long before that change.  They wanted Petunia and others like her protected.

"She's in the house, she's a loving girl, there's never been any problem with her," said Susan Toboll.

Fellow pet pig owner Wayne Wilson joined the petition, saying these animals, like his pet Baby, aren't being raised as food.

"This is a very loving part of my family," Wilson said.

The council ultimately agreed to allow families to keep pet pigs, but only if they can prove the animals were already in Cape Coral before the law change.  The council's decision does not allow new pet pigs to be brought into the city.