A pot-bellied pig vanished after a break-in at an animal shelter — and then a fire helped to unravel the mystery, South Carolina news outlets reported.
The 30-pound swine was found roaming near a Home Depot in mid-November before the Charleston Animal Society gave her a home. But less than two weeks later, a man reportedly ripped the bolts from the shelter’s fence and stole the pig.
Charleston Animal Society shared a Facebook post announcing a reward for information about the animal — named Piggie Stardust. She was missing for days before vigilant firefighters helped her return to the shelter, WCSC reported.
The North Charleston Fire Department told WCIV crews responded to a trailer fire on Dec. 1 and saw two pigs. After realizing one of the animals could be Piggie Stardust, firefighters contacted police, according to the TV station.
It turns out, the animal was the stolen pig, news outlets reported. She was returned to the shelter, and her health is being monitored.
“We are thankful that Piggie Stardust is back in our safety and are appalled that someone would violate the sanctity of this safe haven for animals by breaking into our facilities and stealing her,” Joe Elmore, animal society president and CEO, said in a news release. “We also applaud the City of North Charleston emergency responders who discovered her while responding in the line of duty.”
The North Charleston Police Department said a 30-year-old man “confessed to the burglary and stealing of the pig.” He was taken to the Charleston County jail and charged with second-degree burglary.
The North Charleston Fire Department didn’t immediately share additional information with McClatchy News on Dec. 2.