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Seized alpacas finding homes

DALLAS — The 175 alpacas taken into protective custody in the largest animal neglect case in memory in Polk County have been forfeited to the Sheriff’s Office.

Polk County Sheriff Department

Polk County Sheriff Department

February 11, 2014

DALLAS — The 175 alpacas taken into protective custody in the largest animal neglect case in memory in Polk County have been forfeited to the Sheriff’s Office.

Former owners Robert and Jocelyn Silver signed them over to the county officially on Feb. 4. Thursday, part of the herd was moved from the Falls City ranch to a temporary home near the Benton County Fairgrounds, under the care of a team of Oregon State University veterinary doctors and students. Of the now 176 alpacas (one baby was born recently), 54 of them were moved to the OSU property before the weather delayed the rescue mission.

The rest of the herd was moved this week.

Polk County Lt. Jeff Isham said the effort to care for and eventually find homes for the alpacas has been extraordinary.

“The alpaca community is a tight knit bunch,” he said Monday. “They have been incredible. As of right now, we are going to have a home for all the animals.”

He said since spreading the word about the case, every day he has had a phone call from someone interested in adopting one or more of the alpacas.

“That was my biggest concern, finding homes for 175 alpacas,” Isham said.

He added Washington-based Cross Creek Alpaca Rescue has been involved since late January and has been instrumental in caring for and screening potential adopters.

OSU’s College of Veterinary Medicine has also provided sorely needed assistance, providing a suitable location to assess the health and to treat the animals.

Isham said thus far, the cost to the county to care for the animals has been about $14,000. However, grants and donations have nearly covered that amount.

The Silvers are each facing 18 criminal charges in connection to the case.

To make a donation or participate in an auction to help care for the alpaca herd, go to www.crosscreekalpacarescue.org. Donations will also be accepted by the Polk County Sheriff’s Office. For more information: 503-623-9251.

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