Sheriff investigates dog attack against alpacas, goats

A picture of alpacas on gofundme.com for a pack of alpacas in La Puebla, N.M. that were killed by dogs. The Santa Fe County Sheriff's Office have identified one of the dog's owner, but citations have yet to be issued as of Monday morning.

The Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office reported that dogs running at large killed eight alpacas and two goats in the La Puebla area on Saturday.

Sheriff Robert Garcia said the alpacas’ owner, who lives on Wickersham Lane in the community about a half-hour north of Santa Fe, reported seeing two dogs attacking the alpacas in their pen about 4 a.m. The owner shot and killed one of the dogs, a tan pit bull, but a tan mixed-breed dog escaped, Garcia said.

Earlier that morning, about 3 a.m., dogs also killed two goats at a residence on West Arroyo Alamo, in the same area, the sheriff said.

Garcia said that Santa Fe County Animal Control was able to scan the dead dog’s body for a microchip and identify its owner. The sheriff said there’s reason to believe both dogs that attacked the alpacas are owned by the same person. Garcia also said a citation or a criminal complaint is pending.

Garcia said the owners of the alpacas didn’t want to speak to reporters, but Angelina González-Aller organized a campaign on gofundme.com to raise money from the public to fortify the corral, buy a sheepdog to protect the animals and start a fund to buy new alpacas. Since Saturday, the Wickersham Alpaca Fund has raised about $1,500 toward a $4,000 goal.

Alpacas are usually raised for their fleece. Females generally cost more than males, but the cost can range from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars depending on fleece weight and bloodline.

In a similar but unrelated case in Santa Fe in May, 2013 several dogs owned by Dominic Vigil escaped an electric fence system and fatally mauled a pony and a goat. Vigil, 33, pleaded guilty to three counts involving the killing of livestock by his dogs, three counts of failure to restrain his animals and another three counts of allowing his dogs to run at large.

Vigil received a 120-day suspended sentence, and he will be on unsupervised probation for the next year minus a day. He also owes the court about $600 in fees in addition to $2,500 in restitution that he agreed pay to Santa Fe County in $500 monthly installments.

Contact Chris Quintana at 986-3093 or cquintana@sfnewmexican.com.

(3) comments

Angelina González-Aller

You can help the family recover by donating here: http://www.gofundme.com/6wfuyk

Steve Salazar

Mr. Quintana, what the heck does this incident have to do with Dominic Vigil?

Emily Koyama

Um, he is trying to parallel this story with a similar incident last year, illustrating that this is a repetitive problem, and also showing what the consequences were for Vigil- although, as usual in these types of cases, irresponsible dog owners rarely do any jail time- unless a child is mauled or killed.

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