Deputies lure escaped 'mini horse'-sized pig back home with a bag of chips

A caller reported the large pig running through the neighborhood.

When police in Highland Station, California, received reports of an escaped pig "the size of a mini horse" running through a residential neighborhood, they had to get creative -- even a little cheesy.

It was 7:30 a.m. last Saturday when Deputies Shelly Ponce and Ashleigh Berg of the Highland sheriff’s station were dispatched to an area where a large pig, said to look like a small horse, was reported wandering around the streets.

"When they arrived at the incident location, they located the pig, but had no way to gain control of the animal," the department said in a statement. "The deputies knew where the pig lived and devised a plan."

Initially, the two deputies were not sure if the black pig with white patches was friendly. So, they watched his behavior for about five minutes, first.

The two were going to use a "hog tie" and create a leash to walk the pig home, but the animal seemed wary.

"We were afraid he would freak out if he felt that we were putting a rope around his head," Ponce said in a statement. "So I said we should just make a trail of food ... it was obvious he was hungry and that’s why he got out of his house."

But the only food she had was a bag of Doritos. They decided to try it out.

One chip at a time, they made a trail for the pig to follow.

"I put the first one down in front of him and he ate it," Ponce recalled. "He started walking towards me and I just started placing more chips down on the ground and he just kept following."

Even drivers on the street stopped their cars to let the deputies cross, she said. Finally, they lured the pig back home and gave him a little reward.

"We finally made it into the property and I gave him the rest of the chips that were in the bag," Ponce said.

The two were able to lead the large animal back inside the property and secure the gate, with nothing but the Doritos.

"It was fun!" Deputy Ponce aid in the statement.

"Crime fighting to safely securing a mini horse-size pig, we do it all," the Sheriff's department said.