Polk sheriff responds to Smith Dairy farm, alpacas and llama found dead, another llama euthanized

Published 2:10 pm Friday, March 6, 2015

During the morning of Thursday, March 5, the Polk County Sheriff’s Office received a complaint about the questionable health and welfare of animals located on a small farm on Smith Dairy Rd. just outside of Columbus in Polk County.  Polk Sheriff’s Office County Animal Enforcement responded and a subsequent investigation was initiated.

The farm is located at 2366 Smith Dairy Farm Rd.  The farm is owned by Shannon Hamby and her estranged husband David Hamby . A valid Domestic Violence Protection Order signed in September of 2014 gave Shannon Hamby temporary possession of the farm and the animals on it.

The investigation by the Polk County Sheriff’s Office Animal Enforcement and Patrol Officers located on the farm a total 18 animals to include four dead alpacas, and one dead llama.  A Polk County Animal Cruelty Investigator was called to the scene and a veterinarian from Tryon Equine was also called in to assist. The officers discovered one of the remaining llamas to be emaciated and in such poor health that immediate euthanization was required.

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On Thursday afternoon the Polk County Sheriff’s Office obtained a temporary order for the immediate seizure of the animals.  On Friday morning Judge Emily Cowan signed a permanent order giving Polk County custody of the animals. Polk County Sheriff’s Office Animal Enforcement is currently working with the Polk County Health Department to properly dispose of the deceased animal carcasses.

The investigation is continuing and criminal charges are pending.
– Submitted by Lt. Lowell Griffin, Polk County Sheriff’s Office