The director of the Humane Society of Cowlitz County says the agency next week will cite a Woodland-area alpaca farm owner, who is accused of starving more than 20 alpacas discovered in July.
Keenan Harvey, Humane Society director, said Monday that he and the Cowlitz County animal control supervisor are working to determine the amount of the citations, which will be based on the alpacas’ conditions.
Harvey declined to name the farm owner.
Five of the alpacas housed on the Woodland farm were brought to the local animal shelter in July after Harvey said he received a call from the owner of the farm.
Within a couple of days, one of the alpacas died, prompting Harvey to call Cross Creek Alpaca Rescue officials, who determined they were starving.
Soon after, Humane Society officers and Cross Creek Alpaca Rescue officials returned to the Woodland farm to bring two female alpacas to the shelter. The animals were “in very rough shape,” and one died, Harvey said in an August interview.
The other female was taken to Cross Creek Alpaca Rescue, where her health improved significantly.
Harvey said that at one point, the Woodland-area alpaca farm was “a good operation.” He said he never had any suspicion the farm wasn’t being properly run. However, Shari Bond, co-founder of Cross Creek Alpaca Rescue, said she believes the farm has been operating poorly “for a very long time — a lot longer than anyone realized.”
The alpacas have all been removed from the farm and nursed back to health by the Humane Society. All of the animals were adopted by new owners.