A McGavock High School teacher has been cited for animal cruelty following the death of several alpacas.
The alpacas were part of the school’s animal science program. The teacher said someone jumped their fence and fed the alpacas the wrong food, which killed them.
“We were not informed of the jumping over the fence,” said Metro Animal Care and Control Director Lauren Bluestone. “Does that mean it didn’t happen? I don’t know. That’s not what we were informed.”
MACC responded to McGavock’s farm on February 23 after an online complaint was made about the animals.
The officer wrote in his report that a ferret, chickens, roosters, hens, a rabbit and its babies were all kept in filthy enclosures without food or water.
“There is zero grazing for the animals, and they had no hay,” the report states. “When the director let them to the hay, they all ran and started eating.”
The director was cited for animal cruelty.
According to MACC, they were told by the program director that one alpaca was overfed by a student, another got into something, and a third died of disease.
After our original story aired, our newsroom received several emails from people concerned that the animals at the school farm are not being cared for properly.
News 2 followed up with Metro Animal Control and discovered it is concerned, too.
“We were concerned with what we saw,” Bluestone said. “Their hearts are in the right place; I don’t have a doubt on that. But we are doing our best to work with the school, with the program to make sure things like this don’t occur again.”
MACC is now making periodic, unannounced visits to make sure the animals are safe.
“What we can definitely say is that we care about our animals,” said animal science teacher Jessie Lumpkins. “They would never be abused or neglected, and we appreciate the support that people give us.”
Meanwhile, over $1,000 has been raised to put security cameras on the McGavock farm property. Lumpkins created the fundraiser after she said someone jumped the fence to feed the alpacas.
Metro Schools said in an email that someone is checking on the animals every day during Spring Break to make sure they are being cared for. MNPS officials are also reviewing the animal science program to make sure it has a long-term plan and budget for the animals.