Mililani family reflects on pet pig's legacy

Charlayne Holliday
Charlayne Holliday

By Leland Kim - bio | email

MILILANI MAUKA (KHNL) -  It's the closing of a very long chapter for a Mililani family, whose pet pig named Porky was killed almost two years ago.  This is a story KHNL News 8 first broke.

Wednesday, a jury found his accused killer guilty. Thursday, Porky's family reflects on what's happened since his death.

They're happy justice was served.  They're also grateful that his death as well as the death of other pet pigs in Hawaii, had a major impact on our legal system.

"We're really happy," said Charlayne Holliday, one of Porky's owners.  "We feel justice has finally happened for Porky."

Relief and gratitude a day after a jury found Porky the Pig's accused killer guilty.  Witnesses say, Joseph Calarruda trespassed onto a Mililani Mauka lychee farm in October of 2007, and killed their beloved pet.

This is where Porky used to sleep. His attacker chased him to this location with hunting dogs and knives, where he was cornered and killed.

"It's been horrible," said Holliday. "We feel really sad. We were really traumatized that Porky died the way he did and that we had to be there."

Besides Porky, two other pet pigs were killed in Hawaii shortly after: Kipu in Kilauea, Kauai, and Gonzo in Tantalus, Oahu.

The publicity surrounding these cases helped lawmakers pass a felony level animal cruelty bill in 2007, a first for Hawaii.  Gov. Linda Lingle (R-Hawaii) signed it into law that June.

"I'm really grateful for the very first news people that came out," said Holliday.  "It was Beth Hillyer and Leland Kim.  They were the first people to put the story and I'm very grateful to them."

Porky was raised on the lychee farm.  The owner who brought him home shortly after he was born says he was special.

"Just his personality. When you came home, it was exciting to see him," said the owner, who wishes to remain anonymous. "It wasn't just, 'Ah, it's just a pig.'  You looked forward to seeing him when you got home."

He has a message for pig hunters out there.

"Just stick with legal hunting grounds," he said. "Obviously pets are a different shaped pig.  Don't go after the pet pigs and now it's not just going to be a slap on the wrist anymore."

The world looks a bit brighter now for the family.

"I don't think he would've thought any of this would happen," said Holliday.  "Like I said, I guess that everybody that came out to support us, who believed in us, I thank them all and I think he would thank them, too."

Because of her experience with two court proceedings, Holliday has become interested in a career in law.  She is now studying for the LSAT.  She hopes to start law school in fall of 2009.

As far as Don Pogtis, Jr., the man who claimed under oath that he killed Porky, the question is, will he face perjury charges?  Prosecutors say they are "looking into the matter."

Sentencing for Calarruda is set for October 29.