Viewers Show Support For Orphaned Alpacas

CBS San Francisco
CBC San Francisco

CLEMENTS (CBS13) — We brought the story to you Thursday, but we went back to the town of Clements to hear how much help our viewers are offering to a pack of orphaned alpacas.

View the video report.

What a difference a day makes. We had an outpouring of support for Sheryl Hudson and the alpacas she never intended to take care of. But one of the entities that is not going to help is San Joaquin County.

"I try to love with an open heart," said Sheryl Hudson.

Sheryl is simply astounded by the heartfelt support for her and the 50 alpacas abandoned on her property.

"I feel that there's been a huge outpouring of people wanting to adopt them and it's wonderful," said Sheryl.

She now has hope nearly seven months after she agreed to temporarily house this herd of llama-like animals for a dealer she knew. That dealer ran off leaving her with all of the animals.

"I was conned. I was conned big time," said Sheryl.

Now the money to care for these animals she hadn't planned for is running out.

"It's a cost factor, and I'm doing all I can to feed them," said Sheryl.

Hudson has shelled out more than $2,000 to keep the more than 50 alive.

"I've done my best.  Feeding them has cost me about $30 to $40 a day," she says.

"They need to be sheered, they need dental work, they need their shots and they need their feet done."

And with the weather heating up, the alpacas are now suffering without a haircut Sheryl can't afford. She says San Joaquin County Animal Control won't help either.

"I feel like the county has left me hanging," said Sheryl.

Sheriff's Deputy Les Garcia says that at this point a vet has deemed the herd healthy, therefore the county will not seize the animals.

"She has them. She agreed to put them on her property, and now she has to maintain them," said Garcia.

While it may be tough to hear those words, Sheryl's hope is not lost. After viewers learned of her situation, they began calling our station and posting pledges of support on our website.

"It's given me some hope that there are still some really kind honest people out there," said Sheryl.

So what's next? Sheryl is now working to get in touch with everyone that is trying to help her. Once she does, she is planning on staging an open house for those who want to care for the alpacas.

Photo caption: A herd of alpacas in Clements, Calif. (CBS)