By Leland Kim
TANTALUS (KHNL) - A Tantalus family grieves over the loss of its pot-bellied pig. It's the latest case of a pet pig being killed on private property. It happened less than a week after a senate committee passed tougher animal cruelty legislation.
Gonzo was a three and a half year old pot bellied pig, and a beloved pet.
"He was the sunshine of my life, and we all loved him very much," said Janet Broder, one of Gonzo's owners.
Gonzo's owners built an enclosed home for him in the backyard. They've been nervous ever since pig hunters have been legally hunting in the Tantalus area for a couple of months.
"The dogs are supposed to be kept very close by the hunters, but they have come up to our yard on several occasions," said Jon Van Dyke, who also owned Gonzo.
It happened again Sunday.
Early Sunday morning, hunting dogs came up on a dirt path, trespassing onto private property. They then apparently raced over to Gonzo's shack where they attacked him.
Soon after, Broder found Gonzo's body.
"I walked into the cage, into his house, his enclosure, and I just started screaming," said Broder. "His head was ripped open and he had bite marks all over his body."
Broder can't believe her beloved pet is gone.
"My little boy. My little boy. My little boy," said Broder as she caressed Gonzo.
Property owner Jon Van Dyke said hunters need to better control their dogs.
"So these dogs were far from their hunters and more or less, were roaming wild packs of dogs," said Van Dyke.
Despite an eight-foot fence and conspicuous signs, Gonzo wasn't safe.
"It's horrible," said Broder. "It's so unfair. They're hurting a lot of people by hurting their animals."