Washington

33 emaciated alpacas seized from Thurston County property

Cross Creek Alpaca Rescue members Shari Bond, right, and Jackie Glover attempt to herd a group of rescued alpacas into a holding area to administer deworming medicine. They are from a group of around 35 alpacas that were seized in Thurston County last Friday. Their owner had been in trouble for animal cruelty in Pierce County.
Cross Creek Alpaca Rescue members Shari Bond, right, and Jackie Glover attempt to herd a group of rescued alpacas into a holding area to administer deworming medicine. They are from a group of around 35 alpacas that were seized in Thurston County last Friday. Their owner had been in trouble for animal cruelty in Pierce County. sbloom@theolympian.com

Two animal rescue organizations have paired up to care for 33 alpacas seized near Mud Bay last week by the Thurston County Sheriff’s Office.

And now they’re appealing to the public for donations to help care for the critters.

“We need medical supplies, we need worming medicine, anything like that,” said Shari Bond, co-founder of Cross Creek Alpaca Rescue, based in Tenino.

“If people want to donate feed, we’re going through four (40-pound) bags of Special Blend pellets (per day) for these guys,” said Kathy Bailey, president of Hooved Animal Rescue of Thurston County. “And they’re being supplemented with hay.”

The animals were removed Friday from property in the 1200 block of McKenzie Road Southwest in Thurston County as part of an animal cruelty investigation involving a Pierce County woman, according to Sgt. Carla Carter with the Thurston County Sheriff’s Office.

“The suspect has been investigated with similar charges in Pierce County,” Carter said.

Nobody lives on the parcel, which was being rented out as pasture, and the animals weren’t being fed, given fresh water or dry shelter on a regular basis, Bond said.

“Several are emaciated,” she said. “Because the land was wetlands, they also are suffering from pad rot. It’s like if you were to stand in water all the time.”

After obtaining a warrant, a Thurston County deputy walked the parcel and found the remains of four alpacas, Carter said.

The surviving members of the herd are being cared for by a veterinarian and have been moved to several foster homes in the area.

Bailey said two of the alpacas are pregnant, and four are babies.

The alpacas will remain under the care of the nonprofits throughout the investigation and possibly as the case works its way through the court system.

“The courts will have to release them before they can be adopted out,” Bailey said.

So far, most of the alpacas have responded well to medical care, she said. One has a heart issue, and all of the animals are fighting off internal parasites, she said.

“We’ve got a few that are more critical than others,” Bailey said. “We’re just keeping an eye on them. We’re hoping they’re going to pull through. It’s kind of wait and see with them.”

Lisa Pemberton: 360-754-5433, @Lisa_Pemberton

How to help

Hooved Animal Rescue of Thurston County and Cross Creek Alpaca Rescue are accepting donations for the alpacas through their websites: har-otc.org. and crosscreekalpacarescue.org. Inquiries also can be sent by email to harotc@live.com, by phone at 360-701-2007, or mailed to Hooved Animal Rescue of Thurston County, P.O. Box 711, East Olympia, WA 98540.

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