-- More than two dozen pigs living in an Essex home will have to move out.
The town’s zoning board ordered Florence Gruber and Alan Tsefrekas to remove all of the 30 to 40 mini-pigs, which live indoors, from Tsefrekas’ Pinewood Manor home by Jan. 22.
It was the second time in less than a year that Gruber has been forced to remove the pet pigs she breeds from a residential neighborhood. She was ordered to remove them from a home in Paulsboro, N.J., last spring.
A week before Thursday night’s meeting, Gruber made her case for keeping at least some of the animals as pets.
Standing between the TV and the feeding trough at the home she shares with Alan Tsefrekas on Valleyview Drive, Gruber pointed around the living room at her pigs, some lounging on blankets against the bare, white walls, others scuttling across the floor, hooves sliding on wood.
An adult mini-pig typically weighs 50 to 100 pounds. Gruber said the pigs are litter-box-trained, but accidents can happen if the animals are disturbed. After mopping up the puddle that a startled Nadia left beside Free Press photographer Glenn Russell, Alan Tsefrekas gave a tour of the upstairs to some visitors. Jason Seidl and his two kids drove up from Leominster, Mass., after reading an online ad stating that Gruber and Tsefrekas were giving away pet pigs.
Gruber says the pigs are up for adoption.