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Sow On Loose Ends Escapade In Pen Of Retired Pig Farmer

July 17, 1987

ROCHESTER, Mass. (AP) _ She’s a 300-pound itinerant sow on the lam, a pig with a past, but she may have found a home with a retired pig farmer.

The fawn-colored pig was a fugitive for a while, a suspect in two cases of breaking and entering and larceny of dog food.

″I don’t think this is a bad pig,″ said Elmer Lawrence, police dispatcher in this rural community of 4,300 people. ″She was just hamming it up is all.″

She came to authorities’ attention on July 6, when she used her snout as a battering ram to tear the door of Barnes Tree Service off its hinges and had her way with a 50-pound barrel of dog food.

Even after police and building owner Daniel Mullens arrived, the pig refused to budge before she ate her fill, about 25 pounds’ worth.

The voracious sow returned to the scene of her crime Monday afternoon but was unable to get in. She came back again just before sun-up Tuesday and set off the burglar alarm before stealing off into the dark.

The pig’s whereabouts were unknown until the next morning, when retired pig farmer Joseph Florendo walked across his yard and found his gas grill overturned and the barn door ajar.

Shrugging, he got into his pick-up truck. That’s when he spied two outsized ears poking up above the far side of the barn’s interior pen. Florendo lured her into a pen and police are looking for the pig’s owner.

Florendo’s heart has gone out to his prisoner. ″This pig has not been looked after,″ he said, promising to keep her if she isn’t claimed.

In the meantime, the notoriety of Rochester’s renegade pig drew inquiries from reporters and radio talk show hosts around the country including Vermont and Kentucky. Two reporters called from Sydney, Australia, Lawrence said.

The townspeople aren’t squealing.

″We told them that you media people are living high on the hog,″ Lawrence said. The story is ″nothing big but it’s sure growing.″

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