Family's service pig dies after rental car gets stolen in Jersey Village

This is so sad! The mom says Honey, only 1 year old, became a part of her family as a "healthy distraction" for her kids who suffer with anxiety.

Video Transcript

- Tell me what happened. You're from out of town. Tell me y'all coming into town and then what happened.

- Yeah. My kids' dad moved here for work in July. And they really hadn't gotten a chance to spend a lot of quality time with him, just the major holidays. So we thought it would be nice to bring the kids out here and let them spend some time with their dad.

So we planned a trip, drove out here from around Bakersfield area in California, got here at like 12:30. So it was like really late in the evening slash early morning hours. And the kids were tired and groggy. So we just left the car on.

We unloaded our stuff and then unloaded the kids and got the kids upstairs and tucked into their room. And then my son, one of my sons came down with me. We fed Piggy, and gave her her water, and gave her a blanket, and all that. And I was going to go tuck my boys in, make sure that they were settled in for the night, and then go down and try to get Piggy upstairs.

So we turned the air on in the car. And I rolled the windows up where there was just a crack out of the driver's side window so I could stick my arm in there and hit the Unlock button. And I hit Lock. And so I locked her in. And we went upstairs to tuck the boys in. And once I got everyone settled, I went down to get her out. And the car was gone, with her in it. So--

- And Mandy, was this y'all's family's car? Was this a rental?

- It's a rental car, yeah.

- OK. And what-- you said Piggy-- is her name Honey too, or--

- Her name is Honey, yeah. We just-- she has a lot of nicknames.

- OK. So how old was Honey.

- She was born on May 11 of last year. So she was almost one.

- OK. And can you tell me why you all had Honey?

- Yeah. We got her right after the pandemic started as like a healthier distraction for the kids, you know? Everybody was stuck inside. And there was a lot of anxiety about it. And so that's why we got her.

And then we all became just really attached. And she's such a loving animal. And she's very smart. I didn't know how smart pigs are. And we were able to train her how to alert for anxiety attacks. And she was just a really amazing, remarkable animal.

So we got her registered as a service pig through the emotional support registry or whatever. So she was allowed to go everywhere with us. And she did. She went everywhere with us. So yeah, it was really just unfortunate.

- And so tell me when-- I guess the cops found the car. And then did you see Piggy when they found the car?

- No, they asked me if I wanted to go down there. And I declined. Yeah.

- OK. When you got that news about Piggy just not being with us anymore, how did you feel, and how did your kids feel?

- Oh, we're devastated. I mean, it was really, really traumatic for everybody.

- And, you know, what are your kids telling? Like, who would do this? Or who do you think would just do this? What kind of person would you describe that as, Mandy?

- I don't-- I mean, I imagine it's somebody who's probably suffered a lot themselves, you know? I can't imagine a happy person wanting to do that. And the car thing-- I mean, really, I don't care about the car. Even if it was my own personal vehicle, I would not have cared. It's not the material stuff. It was just about Honey, you know? Just getting Honey back, because she means so much. So yeah, I just imagine-- you know.

- And when we reached out to Jersey Village Police Department, they said there was-- like, they found her-- they found Honey at 3:55. But then the Animal Livestock Unit was contacted later on that day. Did you know anything about this, about that time frame of--

- No.

- --when they-- OK. Let me see. I'll read you this paragraph that they sent us. On Thursday, May 6, 2021, an officer was patrolling the Quality Inn parking lot and found the pig still alive in the vehicle. The officer advised Jersey Village dispatch to contact Precinct Five and their livestock units.

Livestock units arrived at approximately 5:20 PM to find the animal alive. Unfortunately, the animal later died. Harris County Precinct Five Special Crimes Division will be investigating the case. Jersey Village Police Department will be conducting an administrative inquiry into the response by their officers.

So there was a time-- a big time difference on when they found Honey and when the livestock units showed up. What do you think about that?

- I mean, that-- that time was critical for her survival, no doubt. I mean, I don't know what their lives are like. I don't know what it's like to be in the livestock unit. I don't know what kind of stuff they have to deal with every day. I really don't know why-- I'm sure they have a good reason for taking as long as they did, or at least I hope so, you know?

I mean, I'm not here to criticize anybody's way that they do their job. I just-- you know, it's just unfortunate that it potentially cost Honey her life, you know?

- Thank you for that. What's your favorite memory with you, and your kids, and Piggy?

- Well, Honey-- she would trade kisses for gummy bears. That was her favorite thing. So we have a lot of funny memories of her just pressing her snout up on us, like just trying to get a gummy bear. That's all she wanted was a gummy bear.

- So Mandy, how much longer are you going to be in Houston, or until when you can go back home?

- Well, just because of the circumstances, we had like prepaid for our rental car. So that was a big chunk of money. And then we ended up having to extend our stay here in hopes that we would have time to find Honey. And so that was unexpected cost as well.

So we're-- we want to get out of here like as soon as possible and just try to put this nightmare behind us. And I think-- I know I get paid on Wednesday. My next payday is Wednesday. So we're probably stuck here until Wednesday. But we will be getting out of here as quickly as possible.

- And don't feel like you have to answer this. But sometimes, when people lose pets, they get ashes or anything. Do you have plans on, like-- were you going to get Piggy's ashes-- or Honey's ashes, or burial?

- We spoke with the animal cruelty department this afternoon. And they let us know that there was an individual who was interested in helping us with a cremation for Honey. And I believe we will be pursuing that for sure.

- OK. Is there anything else you wanted to add, Mandy? Any message for the individual who stole the car?

- You know, I don't know. I just-- I hope they know they took something irreplaceable, you know? So I guess that's it. And I'll pray for them.