Deaths of alpacas lead to animal neglect investigation in Clay County


Image courtesy WTHI

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BRAZIL, Ind. – Animal welfare advocates raised concerns about an animal neglect case in Clay County after the deaths of at least two alpacas.

According to WTHI, a viewer reached out with concerns about alpacas on the property in Brazil. There were originally six alpacas on the property, but only two were left, the station reported.

Michelle Cannava with the Clay County Humane Society said problems at the property date back to the summer, when a dead alpaca was discovered under a trailer. A week ago, the group received a report about another dead alpaca. She went to the property to investigate and found two of the animals were on the property living in poor conditions.

“There was another dead one under the same semi-trailer in the freezing cold and the other two as well as a potbellied pig and an emaciated calf were only being provided shelter underneath that semi-trailer and were not being given proper food or water,” Cannava told WTHI.

Cannava said the Clay County Sheriff’s Office is aware of the case and has contacted the State Board of Animal Health. A spokesperson with the board confirmed an investigation was underway.

Cannava said it’s sometimes hard to judge if livestock are being properly cared for.

“[People are] used to seeing them outdoors with less fancy shelters, but we do live in a rural area that does have a lot of farm animals, so yeah, that can get trickier,” she said.

Cannava said good shelter is critical for animals. She mentioned some red flags that could indicate an animal isn’t being taken care of properly, including improper shelter (especially in extreme cold or extreme heat), lack of food or water and poor body condition. If you see something amiss, Cannava said time is of the essence.

“If it’s a place you live close to, if you observe for several days that it doesn’t look like the animals are being cared for, we encourage people to contact the local authorities.”

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