Crime

‘They did not deserve this.’ Woman says family’s ‘therapy pigs’ were beaten to death

Sunnie Howell said she came home Thursday night to find two of her potbelly pigs, Pygrawk, left, and Honey, beaten to death.
Sunnie Howell said she came home Thursday night to find two of her potbelly pigs, Pygrawk, left, and Honey, beaten to death. Facebook

A Shepherdsville woman says two of her family’s pet pigs were beaten to death while she and her husband were out to dinner Thursday.

Sunnie Howell said she found the pot-bellied pigs, Honey and Pygrawk, both of whom were about 2 years old, dead inside their shed. Gypsy, the pigs’ 8-month-old daughter, was also in the shed but was not hurt.

She said it looked like someone had beaten Pygrawk, the male, with a sledge hammer.

She said the Bullitt County sheriff’s office is investigating, and a reward is being offered for information leading to the arrest of the person responsible.

Howell said she and her husband left home at about 2:30 p.m. Thursday to go celebrate their anniversary. Her son came home at about 5 p.m., but the pigs’ death was not discovered until Howell got home at about 7 p.m.

She said she lets the pigs out in the yard when someone is at home, and they also spend time in the house with the family, but when the family leaves, she puts them in their shed, which she said has fans, food and water.

“We secure them so they can’t do damage to my neighbors when we’re not home,” she said.

She said there had been complaints from neighbors about the pigs before.

Howell said she originally got Honey and Pygrawk as “therapy pigs” for her daughter, but when the family saw how much other kids enjoyed them, they formed an organization called Pygkids and began sharing them with the community.

Howell said the pigs have been to hospitals, nursing homes and other public places.

“Everybody falls in love with them,” she said.

She said in a Facebook video that Pygrawk was more “rough and tumble” and could run and play tag with bigger kids.

Both, Howell said, were gentle animals, and “they did not deserve this.”

“I’m pretty much cried out,” she said in the video. “Anger has set in.”

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