"They want to sleep with you, eat with you, they will follow you around," Gruber said.
But the four dozen miniature pigs living inside a home on Valleyview Drive in Essex have some people going hog wild.
"It's not fair you can't have a pet that is safer, quieter and the same size of many dogs," Gruber said.
After receiving a complaint from a neighbor, the town of Essex told Gruber she had to get rid of the pigs immediately or face fines.
"It's very straightforward," said Dana Hanley, the Essex Town community development director. "It can be argued these pigs can be considered livestock in nature, our zoning regulations specifically use the word hogs and we feel pretty confident these are perceived as hogs."
"They have no livestock value, in the United States they are not used as livestock," Gruber said.
Some communities in Vermont do allow people to have miniature pigs as pets. Essex Town does allow miniature pigs as pets in certain parts of town, but the Pinewood neighborhood is not one of them.
"We are not coming at this from a public health angle because the pigs are located inside the house. So, it is not a public health issue. We are coming strictly at this from a zoning regulation standpoint," Hanley said.
Gruber admits she has more pigs than she can handle because the former breeder had to move to the house on Valleyview Drive abruptly, but she wants to keep a couple.
"We would like the laws brought up to date so we can have our pets," she said.
Thursday afternoon, Gruber agreed to surrender all of the pigs to a woman in New Hampshire for now. But she plans on fighting the town to allow her to bring some of them back home.
"We hope the community would back us," she said. "There is no harm in having two or three like a dog."
A woman fighting to show her pigsty was not a mess as perceived by some.
People can bring petitions to change zoning regulations to potentially allow miniature pigs as pets. They must be submitted to the town planning commission.
Saturday, December 7 2013 9:24 AM EST2013-12-07 14:24:20 GMT
"St. Johnsbury has enough to offer that you don't get too bored," says resident Riley Barter. She has a new appreciation for the place she calls home. "I guess I never realized how unique St. JohnsburyMore >>
Hundreds of St. Johnsbury Academy seniors take risks with their Capstone projects.More >>
Saturday, December 7 2013 9:12 AM EST2013-12-07 14:12:35 GMT
In Burlington's Old North End there are still hints of what used to be -- a bustling Little Jerusalem years go. But one symbol of the area's past is not so obvious."It's priceless, it literally is oneMore >>
In Burlington's Old North End there are still hints of what used to be -- a bustling Little Jerusalem years go. But one symbol of the area's past is not so obvious.More >>
Saturday, December 7 2013 8:32 AM EST2013-12-07 13:32:27 GMT
If you're lucky, you may have seen a snowy owl in Vermont. Researchers say the birds are traveling even farther south than usual -- some even as far south as North Carolina. We spotted one Friday afternoonMore >>
Researchers say snowy owls are traveling even farther south than usual, and that means more sightings here in Vermont.More >>
Saturday, December 7 2013 7:51 AM EST2013-12-07 12:51:22 GMT
South Burlington police say a shoplifter tried to hide her drugs by swallowing them at the police station. Police arrested Diana Matt Friday night at the University Mall Kohl's for allegedly stealingMore >>
South Burlington police say a shoplifter tried to hide her drugs by swallowing them at the police station.More >>
Saturday, December 7 2013 7:49 AM EST2013-12-07 12:49:56 GMT
Police in Brattleboro are looking for the driver of a car that hit and killed a pedestrian Friday night. Police say, just after 7 p.m., the car struck the man at Western Avenue and Union Street and thenMore >>
Police in Brattleboro are looking for the driver of a car that hit and killed a pedestrian Friday night.More >>
Friday, December 6 2013 11:16 PM EST2013-12-07 04:16:55 GMT
A Connecticut man is charged with DUI after police say he admitted to overdosing on prescribed Ritalin when he was pulled over. The incident happened on Route 105 in Berkshire late Friday afternoon. AuthoritiesMore >>
A Connecticut man is charged with DUI after police say he admitted to overdosing on prescribed Ritalin when he was pulled over.More >>
Friday, December 6 2013 10:03 PM EST2013-12-07 03:03:22 GMT
In Dorset, a car crashed into a bank and there was no drive-through lane.The car jumped the curb in front of the Berkshire Bank Friday morning, taking out a railing and getting hung up on the front steps.More >>
In Dorset, a car crashed into a bank -- and there was no drive-through lane. More >>
Friday, December 6 2013 10:01 PM EST2013-12-07 03:01:17 GMT
The longtime bookkeeper at Cold Hollow Cider Mill is expected to plead guilty to embezzling from the business and a local youth hockey program.Cold Hollow in Waterbury is one of Vermont's top tourist attractions.More >>
The longtime bookkeeper at Cold Hollow Cider Mill is expected to plead guilty to embezzling from the business and a local youth hockey program.More >>