Here I am, once again displaying my ignorance...but I never knew that there was an 'Alpaca Boom' back in the mid-2000's. I can't imagine paying $30,000 for a male, or god-forbid, $70,000 for a female.
Then again, I'm one of those who can't imagine paying more than $40 for picking up a cat at the pound...but still...authorities are saying that boom, and now bust, are what led them to have to shutdown an Alpaca Farm back in December...and now the State of Oregon is trying to nurse 175 alpaca's back to heath, so they can find them homes someday.
It's kind of sad...the couple in question didn't set out to abuse a bunch of animals, it sounds like they moved to fast to get into an industry they didn't fully understand, and things went bad in a hurry.
I have a co-worker that raises a few llama's(much bigger than alpaca's)...and he likes them...but he is careful to keep his herd at only 5. He does swear by the manure as a fertilizer...he has a waiting list of folks willing to come to his house and help him fill wheel barrels of the stuff.
We are already fairly maxed out on animals around here, what with chickens, and two cats, and a snake, and a tarantula...but I wonder if I could convince my neighbors that an adopted rescue alpaca is really just an ugly dog?