Florida Officials to Kill All 400 of Paralyzed Woman's Pet Pigs

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Assisted only by a motorized wheelchair, meager income and kind souls, Lory Yazurlo runs Pig Tales Sanctuary in a remote area of Flagler County. Since opening the sanctuary 15 years ago, Yazurlo has collected around 400 pigs. However, state and county officials believe the pig sanctuary is less of a swine paradise and more a breading ground for viruses that could harm humans. They also believe that the pigs are not being cared for properly. So, they've decided to euthanize all 400.

Yazurlo's story was told in the 2007 documentary When Pigs Fly. A truck accident in 1991 left her paralyzed from the waist down. A devout vegetarian who refuses to see any animal hurt, Yazurlo then set out to turn a 20 acre strip of land into a pig paradise even if it meant living the rest of her life in financial destitution.

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Flagler County have long been aware of Yazurlo's mission. In 2008, the Flagler County Sherrif's office ordered that nine pigs be shot after a Veterenarian suggested that their malnourished condition caused too much suffering. The pigs have also been under quarantine since 2005 for psuedorabies, a disease that is not actually related to rabies nor threatening to humans.

Officials have given up hope that the sanctuary will ever be brought up to code and fear that there's a risk for an outbreak of brucellosis, a disease that can be transferred to humans.
Yazurlo tells The Daytona Beach News-Journal that none of her pigs have ever tested positive for the disease.

Reports The News-Journal:

A court order sought by the State Attorney's Office transferred the ownership of the animals kept at the Pig Tales Sanctuary to Flagler County late Tuesday, said county spokesman Carl Laundrie.


Within the week, all of the pigs will be rounded up, removed from the property and euthanized, said Mark Fagan with the Florida Department of Agriculture.

The court also convicted Yazurlo of "cruelty to animals and unlawful abandonment or confinement of animals" and forbid her from "having custody, supervision, possession or responsibility for the care of the pigs" or from owning any pigs during her twelve-month probation.

Yazurlo is hoping to appeal the decision, but officials are already moving forward on their plans. They first must try to make the animals more human friendly before rounding them all up to be humanely killed.

As for Yazurlo, a relative in the documentary states that "if they took the land, I think it would kill her."

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