The prized pig of Ventura, California’s St. Patrick’s Day parade, Sham Hock, has trotted off just days before the main event.

The 12-feet-high and 20-feet-long green, inflatable pig was last seen outside of the Move Green storage facility as parade volunteers picked it up last Monday. The parade committee members are now offering a $100 reward if the pig is returned in time for March 17. Quite a ham-some reward.

Sham Hock has hogged attention in the St. Patrick’s Day parade for the past twenty-five years. Quite a feat for an animal with an eight-year life expectancy. The pig couldn’t avoid the butcher’s block this year, however, as he disappeared from the storage unit early this week. Volunteers had placed Sham Hock at the entrance of the unit outside the view of CCTV camera when they believe he was stolen. The swine!

The pig was originally designed in 1990 for a cost of $2,500 and has been a shining ex-ham-ple of positive energy in the parade every since. Parade organizer and announcer, Tim O’Neill, told CBS LA, “It’s hard to hide a big pig like this. Even if it’s not inflated.”

This isn’t the first time that poor piggy Sham Hock has been the center of a Paddy’s Day escapade. He was the victim of a similar pig-napping several years ago but was returned to the committee the day before the parade. Organizer and parade chairman, Tim Monahan, adds “We want him back”.

Parade organizers are calling on the thieves to bring home the bacon as the parade will be quite a boar without its sty-lish hog. We’re sure that they will be as happy as a pig in muck if they receive any information on the ham burger-ler.