Alpaca owners speaking out after dog attack; charges against owner dismissed

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JAMES CITY COUNTY, Va. (WAVY) — 10 On Your Side has learned new information in an alpaca attack dating back to October.

It happened on October 17 at a family farm on Jolly Pond Road. Two dogs attacked and injured three alpacas. Now, the family that owns the alpacas is upset because they believe no one is being held accountable for what happened.

Michael Hipple developed the farm where a few family members live. He stopped by on October 17 and saw two dogs barking at his brother’s alpacas.

“One went under the gate and one jumped through the top of the gate and they started to attack the donkeys and the horse,” Hipple said.

After that, the dogs turned their attention to the alpacas. Hipple recorded the attack on his cell phone while he tried to distract the dogs.

“You can hear her screaming.  He’s pulled her down now and she’s in the mud right by this little pond here and you can hear her just screaming for help,” said Hipple. “I was throwing rocks and sticks at them to try and break it up.  I didn’t enter the pen because once dogs start attacking and there’s a couple of them, they can turn that aggression on you.”

The dogs’ owner, David Rudloff, was charged with two counts of dogs injuring livestock. The charges were dismissed because alpacas are not considered livestock.

Now that the dogs are back with their owner, the Hipple family is worried about what could happen if the dogs get loose again.

“I think that we have opened ourselves up to a situation that could give us problems down the road and I do not like to have that out in our community,” said Hipple.  “They could come back here today and do the same thing and that’s what I’m worried about. I’m mostly worried about the children. They could go into the community and attack a child and think it’s an animal.”

Hipple says the dog’s owner did pay the medical bills for the alpacas and said in court that he would fix his dogs’ enclosure.

Hipple now plans to work on getting the law changed so alpacas can be considered livestock.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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