How alpacas are helping troubled children in Cumbria

News & Star
By: News & Star
Photo: Courtesy of Alpaca Culture
Original content from News & Star.     

ROVER, take heed there's a new pet therapy animal in the mix that's every bit as cute and cuddly as those grinning golden retrievers.

And they've got novelty on their side.

Alpacas, the fuzzy, docile domesticated member of the camelid family, have been proving companionable to children and adults as therapy animals in a new initiative launched this week by Cumbria County Council.

With the idyllic Lingholm Estate, near Keswick - famously the childhood holiday home of Beatrix Potter - as the backdrop, foster carers and their children participated in an off-the-wall excursion with alpacas in tow.

Andy Hobday, a team manager in Fostering and Adoption at the county council, was instrumental in setting up the partnership between the council's Fostering Service and the team at Alpacaly Ever After at Setmurthy, near Bassenthwaite, Terry Barlow and Emma Smalley.

He got the idea of a 'Walking with Alpaca' initiative, after doing an alpaca walk on his birthday.

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