WATCH: Residents Chase, Catch Runaway Pig on Washington Avenue

With a little help from the neighborhood, Philly’s Animal Care and Control Team was able to apprehend a loose pig yesterday.

An animal control officer and a pig in South Philly

A member of animal control attempts to corral a pig that was loose in South Philadelphia on Labor Day | Photo via Dave Lembeck

It was an ordinary Labor Day for Colin Weir — to begin with, at least. He was browsing a Facebook group for his neighborhood, Southwest Center City Philadelphia, when he saw a fascinating post: There was a pig in an empty lot at the corner of 24th and Washington. As he went to investigate, his wife, Lisa, handed him a slip-lead collar and leash. The hunt was on.

Dave Lembeck was already out there. He and his wife live in the area (which is also known as Graduate Hospital, G-Ho, South of South, and maybe 15 other names). They were walking back from their house when a neighbor stopped them. “Hey, did you see the pig?” They were intrigued, and soon spotted the pig in the vacant lot. Lembeck asked the neighbor if she had called anyone. She said no, so he called animal control.

Someone from Philadelphia’s Animal Care and Control Team showed up, but had trouble. He chased the pig across Washington Avenue and back. It missed being hit by a car “by six inches,” according to Lembeck. This pig was so slippery that the ACCT employee decided he needed a team to help catch it.

Lembeck had to leave – it was his wife’s birthday, and he’d already spent too much time trying to catch a pig. That’s when Lisa Weir came in, armed with a can of food. She started talking to the pig, “trying to make friends,” as Colin puts it. After about an hour and a half, she had it eating cat food. ACCT arrived again and, with the help of some bystanders, were able to corner the pig and capture it.

“We work with multiple farm based rescues who care for pigs, and are reaching out to them to transfer them to their facility,” ACCT Lifesaving Director Carolyn Fitzgerald told Philadelphia magazine. “Nothing has been solidified yet.”

“He had a whole little burrow set up in the back of the lot, so he was definitely living there for a few days,” Colin Weir says. “At one point a passerby said, ‘Oh yeah, I saw him in there last night.’”

But where did it come from? The best guess, again, comes from Colin Weir: “My guess is that someone had him as a pet and didn’t realize what pigs require, so they turned him loose.”