By BROOKE SNAVELY
CENTRAL OREGON DAILY NEWS
Two alpacas now call the Deschutes County Sheriff’s rescue ranch home.
Their primary function on the ranch is to control coyotes.
Mazzie and Blackie were donated to the sheriff’s office by the Flying Dutchman Alpaca farm in Tumalo.
“We have a breeding herd of about 170 alpacas but some of the breeders as they retire, we are looking for other jobs for them,” said Amanda VandenBosch, Flying Dutchman Alpacas LLC. “The sheriff’s department was looking for some alpacas to help with predator control. Happy to donate these two because they can do a great job here and also be cared for so well.”
Alpacas pay close attention to their surroundings.
When they see a potential threat such as a coyote, they alert the rest of the animals and then confront the predator.
“They give out a warning call. It’s kind of a loud pitched scream and so everyone turns and faces that direction so they create awareness within the herd,” VandenBosch said. “Also, if a predator comes into their pasture they will attempt to go stomp them. They’ll approach them and stomp their front feet and try and ward them off.”
The sheriff’s office requested help with predator control at its ranch off Rickard Road in southeast Bend because its menagerie of rescued horses, pigs, sheep, ducks, chickens and geese is enticing to coyotes.
“We are thrilled to have the new addition. These two alpacas will hopefully serve the purpose of predator deterrence. Hopefully, they will be our future mascots here,” said Mariya Leufven, a field law enforcement technician for the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office.
Most of the animals at the ranch were rescued from abuse and neglect.
They are nursed back to health and offered up for adoption as pets … or to farms and ranches that know how to care for animals.
Right now the rescue ranch has seven piglets available for adoption.
“They have had their shots and been wormed and are ready for the next phases of their lives,” Leufven said.
There are a dozen goats, sheep, chickens and horses also looking for homes.