CORVALLIS, Ore. – About 40 rescued alpacas from a Falls City farm now have new homes, after the Cross Creek Alpaca Rescue coordinated adoptions at Oregon State University on Wednesday.
Around 175 alpacas temporarily have been housed at OSU after the organization teamed up with the Polk County Sheriff’s Office to help rescue the animals. The Sheriff’s Office says the owners left the animals to starve to death.
“They were eating tree bark and tarps and mud and anything else they could eat,” said Shari Bond, the Co-Founder of Cross Creek Alpaca Rescue.
The College of Veterinary Medicine at OSU volunteered to take care of them until the animals found new homes.
On Wednesday, new owners from areas in Oregon and Washington came to adopt the first round of alpacas.
One of the new owners, Heidi Burford-Bell of Sprague River, says she and her husband have 172 acres of pasture for their 25 newly adopted alpacas. She says she has been interested in alpacas for a while for several reasons. For one, she says the fibers in their coats are hypo-allergenic and can be used for blankets and sweaters. But she says a child who is close to the family was recently diagnosed with autism, and she’s excited to be able to introduce the child to her new alpacas.
“Autistic children tend to be able to interact with alpacas really well,” she said. “We’d like to hopefully in the future allow autistic children to be able to interact with them just kind of for therapeutic purposes.”
Bond says Cross Creek Alpaca Rescue has an application process before it will adopt out any of the animals.
“Every home that I’ve seen so far – you know, they’re good homes,” she said. “We’re not just giving them to just anybody that wants to take them. We’re making sure they go to good homes.”
Bond says the organization has a waiting list of people wanting to adopt the rest of the alpacas, so they are unable to take more requests.
If you would like to donate to the organization, click here.