VALLEJO, Calif. (KTVU) - A Vallejo farm, that serves as an educational ground for kids, is mourning the loss of three of its beloved alpacas, after a pair of dogs got onto the property and began attacking animals.
Officials with Loma Vista Farm said two Husky mixes apparently accessed the farm by digging under a gate on Friday evening.
In addition to fatally mauling the alpacas, the dogs injured two sheep and three goats.
Solano County Animal Control was called to the scene. Officers located the dogs and proceeded to contact the animals' owners through identification microchips implanted in the dogs, according to the Vallejo Times Herald.
It's unclear if the dogs will be put down or if the owners will face any charges.
The incident has shaken up workers and volunteers at the farm, which has decided to keep its doors closed until Feb. 20 as it deals with its loss.
On its website, the farm posted a message about what happened along with a photo of the alpacas and words of thanks to supporters who have sent their tributes and thoughts.
"I can't even imagine going and finding what they did," volunteer Kathy Beistel said to KTVU. "It breaks my heart. It absolutely breaks my heart."
The Vallejo resident said the farm is a community treasure and offers so much to young people and adults alike.
Beistel brings her own granddaughter to the farm, which allows kids to feed and pet its animals. "She loves it and watching the chickens be crazy... It has made her have a new comfort level with animals," Beistel said. "It's just all around a wonderful thing for the community and everybody in it," she added.
Established in 1974, Loma Vista is a five acre farm that describes itself as "an outdoor classroom for kids," offering students hands-on educational opportunities through its animals and community gardens.
"Many of the students served are enrolled in special education classes, are from low income circumstances and are ethnically diverse," according to the non-profit.
Beistel said the attack is the latest blow to the farm, which has had a rough couple of months. During the holidays, vandals damaged the property along with Christmas trees the non-profit was selling as part of a big fundraiser.
On Monday night Beistel set up a GoFundMe page to help Loma Vista with veterinary expenses for the injured animals. She said the money will also go toward the replacement of the alpacas that were killed as well as an upgrade to the farm's security system.
As of Tuesday afternoon, the GoFundMe effort had already received more than $3,600 in donations.
Filled with gratitude, she called the show of support the silver lining in this tragic event, as she praised her community.
"When something happens, the people of Vallejo are amazing, ready and willing to step up." Beistel said. "If they don't have the financial means, they will give their blood, sweat and tears."