Please also see our other blog at

It is more active than this one. Always check there for updates, too.

Northeast Llama Rescue was started by Wes and Darcy Laraway of Middleburgh, NY.

Several years ago they rescued their first llama out of a tiny horse pen. Since that day, Northeast Llama Rescue has helped dozens of Camelids from several different states.
The primary mission of Northeast Llama Rescue is to educate owners on how to properly care for their animals.

We also offer assistance with a traveling chute to shear, worm, and trim toenails on hard to handle animals. A 'TRUE REPUTABLE BREEDER" should help out the llama down the road that is not being cared for by owners that understand the needs of llamas.

If you know of a llama owner who is no longer able to care for their animals, there is help available. Members of Northeast Llama Rescue will adopt any unwanted animals. Rescue animals will be relocated to farms of members for training and necessary vet work.

If a llama is able to be rehabilitated, he will be available after a careful screening process. All rescues are placed in homes with a contract that says they shall be provided for and can not be sold. In the event a rescue animal becomes unwanted, the llama MUST be returned to Northeast Llama Rescue.

If you share our philosophy and love for the animals, you are more than welcome to join us! There are lots of llamas that need a person to love.

We also rescue farm animals, and are licensed wildlife rehabilitators.

This site is copyrighted by Wes Laraway.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

I am actually starting to look forward to these daily blogs.

It is much cheaper than therapy and my counter and email feedback is letting me know that people are actually interested in what I am doing.

School was interesting today. The local public library does a tag day every Election Day. They basically give you a slip of paper for tossing your pocket change in a can that says you supported the public library. Residents wear this slip of paper to avoid the people all over town with cans. The library uses the money to buy books (Hope they buy John katz's new bestseller).

The busy lifestyle that we live....most teachers at the school don't actively participate in "selling" the tags to the kids....pretty poor in my opinion that educators dont support the public library. I created a friendly competetion (no, there isnt any such thing with me) to see what Social Studies teacher 6 - 12 grade could get the most donations. I of course expected to win but I was pleasantly surprised at how many of the great teachers that I work with (in our department ) actually rose to the challenge. We raised a good chunk of change (literally) for the library.

The entire day at school, getting change out of (broke) kids was fun....but I couldn't stop thinking about the farm (as usual). I was preoccupied with 2 things. One was the safety of my fawns....way up on the mountain...with blood thirsty coyotes prowling around...looking for an easy meal (at my expense) and my poor "babies" in their 1 acre enclosure learning how to be wild. Now, keep in mind...I increased their odds with a couple of llamas but one of my farm kids Aaron had told me last night he saw signs of a "kill" up on the mountain. I didn't think much of it....until I had time to sit still.

Let me tell you a little bit about Aaron. He came to the farm because he needed a purpose as much as I needed help. I am not an easy person to work for or work with. I run every where and think that everyone should read my mind and know as much about animals as I do. When I got up to the fawns' soft release area tonight, I knew as soon as I saw the llama, that there was trouble. I knew it already but I was trying to be tough.

When I got up this morning and was standing in the kitchen making coffee (before I went out to the barn)....I had a funny feeling I was being watched. I turned around and saw one of "my fawns" standing about 100 yds from my front porch. He was barely visible in the dawns early light, he was telling me....bad night....I went out on the porch and we just looked at one another for a minute or so.

He stood in the yard for over an hour. My Border Collie ran right past him (once I was dressed ) and started to make the trek for the barn....You see "Austin" knew that he was going to miss a ride on the Kubota RTV and wasnt going to stop to see what some deer's problem as. As angry as I get at Aaron because he often messes things up, forgets to work off the check-list that Ive left for him or leaves gates open.....I failed to listen to him last night when he told me (what I knew already) because I was busy. The fawns were in danger.

Colin (farm manager), Aaron, and one of my other students....who had come to slave at the farm for free and is probably too scared to ever come back and I went up to see what was going on. I investigated the spot where Aaron had seen the "pile of guts" the night before when he went up to feed them (because he likes driving the Kubota RTV more than he likes working at the farm).....He was right, I smelled death. I took out the jack knife and cut all the gates on the pen open. Told the guys that the fawns would do better free, not that they couldnt have gotten out of the 5 foot fence back in august when I moved them up there. We found one other eaten fawn as we were trying to get the last llama out. We did everything by the book to protect the fawns but sometimes, as in the wild, death happens.

Of course the silly llama (if she could only talk) didn't want to leave the pen. We don't chase animals at Red Maple Farm. I said let's go.... Back at the barn I put a halter on a cranky little alpaca that I rescued (that has a bad attitude) and told Aaron and his friend (also one of my students) to walk the alpaca up the mountain, let the llama see them and walk back to the barn. Of course, I had put a llama halter on him (the alpaca) it had already slipped around the alpacas neck and off Aaron went as his friend watched...probably thinking poor guy. I suggested that he join Aaron, off they went...a mission doomed to failure.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch Colin and I (and a Border Collie named Austin) set about to putting a renegade goat in for the night so he didnt become dinner. Of course, Aaron came back off the mountain in the pitch darkness....while I was cleaning the dog boarding kennel. Put the alpaca away and was ready to call it a day. I hope that he realizes that sometimes I expect more out of him than he is probably capable of but hey life is a test so he needs to listen and toughen up. Of course, I came out of the kennel. Asked where the alpaca and llama were, gave him hell when I found out he had let the alpaca lose. While Colin went to recatch the alpaca (which he doesnt like and the alpaca likes him less) I freaked out in typical Wes fashion.

Darcy and the kids got home from Walmart (I was wondering where the heck they were) and Hannah came over to see what my problem was....As Colin ran the guys home....I marched up the mountain with the alpaca in tow....Coyotes yipping all around...with my daughter following (from a distance) with the RTV. I am not sure what she was actually doing, hoping to witness me being killed by coyotes, if I could actually do the mission or if she just plain felt sorry for me.

Any way, the deer are free....I am alive, Aaron probably thinks Im a jerk and I got the Camelids back down to the barn. I am bummed about the 2 lost deer, wildlife are very difficult to read. I kept telling myself that only 25% of rehabilitated wildlife survive. I planned on 100%, boy mother nature can be cruel. I guess that death of one species, is the survival of another....just wish I wasn't providing the grand buffet.

I really can read animals....When Steve and Karen brought their Paint Draft Mare this past Sat. to be taught to drive, as soon as she got off the trailer....I began "reading" her. She was telling me that she was scared, hasnt had a "home" and really wasnt up to whatever I was doing because she was pregnant. I got her settled in, continued to communicate and question her owners on the possibility of her being bred..... They didnt think so but since they had only owned her for 2 months....they didnt really know. They got thinking about it and called me last night to let me know that they wanted to have their vet out.

I was hoping that I could sneak away from school to hear the verdict in person. When I eventually got home, Steve and the vet were long gone but "the girls" in the dog grooming shop here at the farm informed me I was right and Sierra was 5 months pregnant. I love it when the vet tells me what the animals have already told me. My vet often asks me what "my hunch" is....and I am normally right on. I talked with Karen tonight. They are probably going to cancel driving lessons (which is what I would do) and take the mare back home to get settled in to what she had started to get comfortable with. I wish that Sierra could stay here and have her foal with me but as I explained to Karen.....I never put money before what is right by the animals. I guess today is just another day of death and (future) life here at the farm...

Another day in paradise. Wes

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Northeast Llama Rescue by Wes Laraway

The Northeast Llama Rescue was started by Wes and Darcy Laraway several years ago after they rescued their first llama out of a tiny horse pen. Since that day, the Northeast Llama Rescue has helped dozens of animals in 5 states. The primary mission of Northeast Llama Rescue is to educate owners on how to care for their animals properly. We also offer assistance with a traveling chute to shear, worm and trim toenails on hard to handle animals. If owners get "tired" of the daily maintenance of their herds, members of the Northeast Llama Rescue will adopt or buy, if possible, any unwanted animals. Rescue animals go to the farms or members of the organization.

The Northeast Llama Rescue does not wish to compete with other rescue organizations, although any llama or alpaca is welcome. We need to cooperate to help ALL camelids, not just registered or "nice-looking" ones. Everyone has the right to breed and sell llamas, but a true reputable breeder will "help out" the llama down the road that is not being cared for, regardless of its age, sex or conformation.

Our last rescue came from Central New York. A farm had purchased 9 animals from a Midwest auction. Four of the animals had died from natural causes....starvation? The owner had health problems and no longer wanted the animals. After several other concerned people failed to negotiate their sale, I eventually called and within five minutes we had agreed on a price and the deal was done. The next night, Wes Laraway, Kim Scheurerman and P.J. Wagner went to pick up the animals. The owner informed us that the llamas were wild and could not be handled. Within five minutes all were calmly caught, on lead ropes and in the trailer, with us using a wand and some TEAM Training techniques. The owner thought I was the "llama whisperer" because I got those llamas to do things in five minutes that she couldn't do in a year. She unfortunately knew nothing about handling llamas.

Three hours later, we were back into quarantine at Red Maple Farm starting "damage control". The animals were immediately wormed, fed fresh hay and grain, and watered. All were body scored under three by sight and by feeling through their wool. This hands-on inspection revealed barbed wire that needed to be cut out of the fiber. We decided NOT to shear because it was too late in the year and they were too thin.

Another concern was an ingrown halter. One of the best ways to remove ingrown halters is to undo the buckle(s) and cut the nose band with sharp toenail clippers on each side of the nose. Then gradually, over time, the remaining pieces will fall out. With application of an antibiotic cream, any wounds from the ingrown halter will heal quickly. In this particular case, the halter came out of the nose and was added to the "wall of shame" in our barn (along with the barbed wire and ear tags still on them from the auction they were purchased from). The blood stream stopped within fifteen minutes and now, after a month, we can tell that scarring will be minimal. Please tell everyone you know that owns camelids, NEVER leave a halter on a llama! Even in a week, with wet conditions, a halter can embed itself in a llama's nose.

My biggest concern was the 10 month old female that was exposed to her father. If bred, we decided to abort the unborn cria for the safety and well-being of the young female. None of these five animals were over the age of three years. All of them, over the following months, would need intense care and proper nutrition. The animals were all updated on health requirements and gelded. All of these animals would need training before they could go up for adoption.

New problems continuously arose. Two weeks after they arrived, one of the females surprised us with a weak, constipated fourteen pound male cria. Within hours I knew it wasn't "normal" so mom and baby were moved to a quarantine pen in the barn. The decision was made to supplement the cria with goat colostrum and give him an enema. Although the cria was walking, he continued to strain to relieve himself. Around the clock surveillance did not reveal any nursing or defecation. At two days old, I found very small maggots between the cria's toes and by his umbilical cord. After consulting my vet again, the cria got a bath and dried out in the heated office before going back to mom in the barn. My vet explained that crias born on rainy days must be completely dry or flies will lay eggs in moist areas of umbilical fluid. I've never heard of this problem before but I know now to check my newborn crias for maggots every day. After five days of constant care, we lost "Trooper"....I guess it was not meant to be, but we tried.

The rest of the animals are doing well today. Concerned individuals found them, bought them and will protect them. Today is actually a special day, because the vet did fecals on them and all five of them are parasite free and can join our llama herd. After training and further rehabilitation, by Spring 2001 this group of animals will be available for adoption to carefully approved homes. All animals sold or placed by Northeast Llama Rescue will be adopted with a legal contract. The contract states that if the llama ever becomes unwanted or is not cared for properly, the animal will return to Red Maple Farm for a full refund. I used to think I could save every unwanted llama in the world...I know that I can't . It is too great an undertaking for one farm to rescue all the unwanted camelids out there. For this reason, several other farms have joined in the effort with Red Maple Farm to pool resources and save neglected and unwanted camelids.

Any farm that shares our philosophy that every llama deserves a life with proper care is welcome to join us. We are people who genuinely love all llamas and want to make a difference one llama at a time. Eventually we will print an educational brochure to hand out at events with member farms listed. Don't just tell people that you love your llamas; show people by making a difference and actually save one. Always quarantine new animals for at least one month while getting wormings, vaccines and nutritional needs in order. Always do a fecal exam and consult your vet about when new animals should go out with the herd. Geld all males and most of all BE PATIENT. Llamas are very forgiving animals and will learn to love and trust again with gentle care and training.