'We call it the Alpaca-lypse': 175 rescued animals arrive at OSU

CORVALLIS, Ore. - The last of about 175 alpacas rescued from a farm in Polk County arrived at Oregon State University on Tuesday.

"We call it the Alpaca-lypse," said Robyn Thompson, a fourth-year veterinary student at OSU.

The alpacas were removed from a farm near Falls City as part of a rescue operation to help care for and save the lives of the animals.

Helen Diggs, a professor of veterinary medicine at OSU, said about 50 alpacas arrived in two trailer-loads late last week after the ranch owners in Polk County could not care for the animals any longer.

Owners of the ranch that housed the alpacas are facing legal charges.

Some alpacas with special needs are being treated at the large animal hospital in Magruder Hall on the OSU campus.

"They really need the one-on-one with people that are ready to give them some solid TLC," Diggs said.

She said some have serve medical conditions, including parasites, dental issues and infections.

Some of the alpacas are giving birth or about to give birth.

"Right off the bat, they're thin," Diggs said. "These teeth are bad, she's eating sideways.

Vet student Thompson said a team of doctors and vet students at OSU will be working to nurse the animals back to full health.

"We get amazing experience in working with tons of animals, doing triage and just seeing a lot of different medical problems," she said.

On Tuesday, Thompson was helping to nourish a baby alpaca that was born early this morning.

"We have to know what condition they're in because a lot of them are in pretty poor condition," Thompson said. "Some are better than others. We need to get help to the animals that need it first."

The alpacas will eventually be up for adoption.

Diggs said they have already been overwhelmed with potential adopters.

Polk County Sheriff's Office will be working with Cross Creek Alpaca Rescue to identify suitable placements.

To donate food and supplies or to inquire about adoption, visit