Man and woman charged for starving alpacas, llamas

Published 10:44 pm Thursday, March 26, 2015

By Leah Justice

David and Shannon Hamby were recently charged with cruelty to animals following an investigation into the deaths of four alpacas and two llamas located on a farm along Smith Dairy Road in Columbus.

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David Hamby, 46 and Shannon Hamby, 43, were both charged with seven felony counts of cruelty to animals and 11 misdemeanor counts of cruelty to animals, according to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office.

Shannon Lynn Hamby

The investigation began on March 5 when the sheriff’s office received a complaint about the questionable health and welfare of animals located at 2366 Smith Dairy Farm Road just outside Columbus. Shannon Hamby and her estranged husband, David Hamby own the farm, according to sheriff reports.


The Polk County Animal Control responded and located 18 animals on the farm, including four dead alpacas and one dead llama. Officers found one of the remaining llamas to be emaciated and in such poor health that it had to be immediately euthanized, according to sheriff reports.

A Polk County Cruelty Investigator was called to the scene as well as a veterinarian from Tryon Equine.

The sheriff’s office obtained a temporary order to seize and take custody of all the animals from the property.

Animal control worked with the Polk County Health Department in order to properly dispose of the deceased animals, according to the sheriff’s office.

Shannon Hamby was released on a written promise to appear. David Hamby was released on a $50,000 secured bond, according to sheriff reports.