For a place where men wear cats on their heads and carry rats in their mouths, the laws against pig ownership seem pretty stringent.

These snout-twitching creatures are deemed livestock by city officials, and residents are not allowed to keep them as domesticated pets.

But local pigs now have a new defender in their corner—State Senator Tony Avella. Avella has actively spoken out in support of pig ownership, fighting for the animals and seeking to alter the existing health codes.

"He's come across a few constituents who own a pig and weren't aware it was illegal," says Anna Aulova, Communications Director for the senator. "They all testify that the benefits outweigh the cons, so he doesn't agree with the city's classification that pigs are farm animals. Pigs are domesticated and clean, hypoallergenic, and they aren't all that big, they are not bigger than your average midsized dog."

Avella's bill would still place limits on the size of legal domestic pigs, keeping them under a certain weight and height. The pigs would also be registered just like any other pet, and the pig per household ratio would top out at two.

"The bill hasn't gone too far because the city is against it," says Aulova. "They don't want to alter the health code. They argue that there are no known rabies vaccinations for the pet pigs but since they are not livestock there are no known cases of rabies in pet pigs."

Actually, pigs can contract rabies, but it is very rare.

Avella is not the only New Yorker pushing for the move to allow domestic pigs in the city. A (now closed) petition was signed by nearly two-thousand pig supporters, and local owners are pushing to change the law for medical reasons, as pigs are often purchased as therapeutic animals.