Wednesday, December 9, 2009

‘Ham & Bacon’ get taken

Pig rustlers strike in Carey


By TERRY SMITH
Express Staff Writer

The Blaine County Sheriff's Office is investigating the theft of two pigs sometime Friday from a residence in southern Carey.

"It's such a bizarre story," said owner Rebecca Ruhter. "Really, who steals pigs? It's almost unbelievable that something would happen like that in this community."

Ruhter and her husband Bryan were raising the hogs for meat for themselves and some acquaintances. The group had spent about $600 on purchasing, feeding and housing the animals before the pigs turned up missing.

According to a sheriff's office report, Bryan Ruhter told investigators that the pigs were inside their enclosure when he went to work at 6:30 a.m. When he returned home at 5:30 p.m., the enclosure had been disassembled and the pigs were gone.

"They were missing and there wasn't any tracks or footprints in the area," said sheriff's Capt. Ed Fuller. "It's a theft and we're still looking at it."

Fuller said livestock thefts, particularly involving pigs, don't happen very often in Blaine County.

Rebecca Ruhter explained that the thieves left no tracks or footprints because the ground was frozen hard.

Fuller described the hogs as a red one weighing about 170 pounds and a black and white one weighing about 140 pounds.

Ruhter said the pigs were "officially" named "Red and Charlotte," but she didn't want to get "too attached to them" so she chose to call them "Ham and Bacon."

Bacon, the red one, was scheduled for slaughter toward the end of December.

Ruhter speculated that the thieves knew she and her husband had the pigs because the animals weren't kept in a location visible from roads. None of her close neighbors were home, so no one apparently observed the theft.

"This was our first adventure in pigs, and will probably be our last, if we have to worry about someone stealing them again," she said.

Terry Smith: tsmith@mtexpress.com




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