Potbellied pig delays ADOT’s efforts to clear land meant for State Route 30 in Avondale

Jan 26, 2024, 2:00 PM

PHOENIX — A potbellied pig took workers and volunteers with the Arizona Department of Transportation on a weekslong adventure last year, officials announced Friday.

In November, Pixie the pig was found wandering along a corridor of land ADOT bought in 2023. The department plans to turn the area into a future highway: State Route 30 in Avondale.

Officials needed to clear the buildings on the property to make way for SR 30, which meant Pixie needed to leave. Nonprofit volunteers with the Humane Animal Rescue & Trapping Team (HARTT) took on the task of moving her to a new home.

However, it took weeks for volunteers and ADOT workers to humanely move her out, according to HARTT team leader Carrianne Frary.

“We were able to get her close to a humane trap but never in it,” Frary said in an ADOT blog post.

Efforts to lure Pixie into a trap with food took so long an ADOT administrator had to arrange for structure removal to be postponed.

“I spent more on her food than my own,” Frary said. “Her favorite was Cheerios. We added donuts, strawberries and other snacks to her diet.”

Potbellied pig takes her sweet time leaving ADOT property

Pixie wasn’t the only animal helping herself to the food volunteers were putting out. An around-the-clock video camera meant to track her caught other critters enjoying the free lunches, like:

– Half a dozen javelinas.
– A skunk.
– Several raccoons.
– One “incredibly large” cat.

It was time for another plan. HARTT volunteers and an ADOT engineer-in-training named Jakob Rassi repurposed a pen for chickens by adding a special door triggered by a laser beam. They snatched Pixie just before Christmas.

After that, the team brought Pixie to a Cave Creek ranch operated by Better Piggies Rescue.

Rescue founder Danielle Betterman said Pixie is doing very well in her new home.

“She has several other friends on our property, including some of our older pigs,” Betterman said. “She has a lot of life left in her.”

Officials cleared the property Pixie previously roamed around, making way for SR 30.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

Traffic was restricted on 7th Avenue in Phoenix on Feb. 27, 2024, due to a fatal crash. (Pexels Pho...

Traffic restricted after fatal crash on 7th Avenue in Phoenix

Traffic was restricted on 7th Avenue due to a fatal three-vehicle crash in Phoenix on Tuesday, authorities said.

28 minutes ago

Promotional image of rapper 21 Savage...

Kevin Stone

Rapper 21 Savage coming to Phoenix this spring on his ‘American Dream Tour’

Grammy Award-winning rap star 21 Savage is bringing his distinctive flow to Talking Stick Resort Amphitheatre in Phoenix this spring.

2 hours ago

Mugshot of Raad Almansoori, who was indicted by an Arizona grand jury on eight felony charges...

Kevin Stone

Violent crime suspect wanted for NYC murder indicted on 8 felony charges in Arizona

Violent crime suspect Raad Noah Almansoori was officially charged with eight felony offenses in Maricopa County, officials announced Tuesday.

3 hours ago

Group picture of ABOR members....

SuElen Rivera

Amidst UArizona’s financial challenges, Hobbs chastises university public governing board

Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs on Monday chastised the state's public university governing board for attacking UArizona's faculty instead of addressing its failures and a $177 million deficit.

4 hours ago

A gloved hand holds a Planatome surgical blade...

Kevin Stone

Planatome, a Phoenix-based surgical blade maker, plans to double size of workforce

Planatome, a Phoenix-based medical device company that makes advanced surgical blades, announced plans to double its workforce.

6 hours ago

Jose “ET” Rivera, owner of Tres Leches Cafe, speaks during a rally against an Arizona immigrati...

Martin Dreyfuss/Cronkite News

Arizona business owners rally against bill requiring E-Verify checks for jobs, benefits

Arizona business owners rallied Monday against an immigration bill they say will drive businesses and workers out of the state.

8 hours ago

Sponsored Articles


Fiesta Bowl Foundation

The 51st annual Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade is excitingly upon us

The 51st annual Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade presented by Lerner & Rowe is upon us! The attraction honors Arizona and the history of the game.


Collins Comfort Masters

Avoid a potential emergency and get your home’s heating and furnace safety checked

With the weather getting colder throughout the Valley, the best time to make sure your heating is all up to date is now. 


Sanderson Ford

The best ways to honor our heroes on Veterans Day and give back to the community

Veterans Day is fast approaching and there's no better way to support our veterans than to donate to the Military Assistance Mission.

Potbellied pig delays ADOT’s efforts to clear land meant for State Route 30 in Avondale