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 14, 2007


I actually had just written a great blog about juggling.

My wife came home from Choir practice. I did something and lost it...I dont get any breaks. The last week I've done alot of juggling. It really isn't like the juggling that I learned how to do as a kid at the local County Fair. I juggle life. I have always believed that you really only get one chance to do life right. I have always believed that actions speak louder than words and that everyone should do random acts of kindness. My wife on the other hand is a living Saint. She keeps the fort held down, me in line, the kids cleaned, fed and she keeps a clean ship. She teaches 7th grade full time and volunteers in our community. Yes, she is a Saint. It seems okay when she goes away (esp. with the kids) but I always end up missing them after about a day.

Since I last left you. I was juggling life without Darcy. When I went to Italy last month on a conference, I really didn't appreciate what she did while I was gone. When she was at her teacher's convention in Texas we didn't really appreciate what she had did before she left....The house was ready for a photo shoot for Better Homes and Gardens, the laundry was done, meals were made in the freezer waiting for us to cook. Kids clothes were laid out for school....Geez, what exactly do I do around here? Friday was a typical day of juggling. The kids got out of school halfday (lucky them, I had to stay for exciting meetings) .

I had gotten Colin to agree to take the little monsters with him for the afternoon. (Inspiration for birth control). He had some projects at the farm and a bunch of errands to run. I had let him in on the biggest parental secret of all, get them fed, in the car, drive and blast the heat.....nap time. I actually ran to Tractor Supply to get some gates over my lunch break. Got back to the farm after school and everyone was still happy, well rested and alive so I guess it was a good day. The greatest part was everything was done, I didn't need to do chores so I got a break....

Hey being a parent is tough work. I had one of my students (that I had seen helping at an Eagle Scout Project a few weeks ago) come up friday night. He is looking for an Eagle Scout Project of his own. Colin showed him around the farm, I am sure that we can come up with an idea of something that we can do up here that We can use for the rescues (Great Project)...

Saturday morning came early. Cornell University is opening a new Wildlife Rehabilitation facility. Friends were going but I had something just as important. The first real Board Meeting of Northeast Llama Rescue at Second Chance Rescue ranch. Jules (Project Manager) had already told me that her husband (Jerome) and her daughter were coming up early to take pictures and get dirty. That is never a problem here. If you come to visit and stay longer than 2 hours, you are no longer a guest. I cant sit still longer than 2 hours and I will put you to work. The volunteers here are really my friends, my sanity, and my salvation. I had hand picked about a dozen folks that keep coming back here, told them Id buy them pizza if they would come over here.

They came over, I got the guys moving the Camelid hayracks down to the other end of the (new 100 foot addition) of the barn, accross from the foxes and the wallabies. While everyone pretty much did what needed to be done, Jules tagged me around. Meeting the animals as I did my chores and met with the never ending flow of prearranged adoption appointments, the large number of people that just stop in to visit and lord knows what else will just happen (damage control).

One of the first appointments of the day was with Bob and his 2 kids. Bob and I had talked on the phone, he wanted to see some goats that I have looking for adoption. I work with a couple of different dairy goat farms. They have to bred their does to get the milk. They dont want to sell their kids for meat, I can (usually) agree with that...(Just kidding, I wouldnt sell my kids or the goat kids for meat).

Bob showed up, got the 3 minute tour (as I call it) and he successfully answered all of the interogation questions that I had, that I hadn't already asked 3 times. He passed the test, Bob picked out 2, then 3 then 4 really nice wethered (neutered) nubians. I told him that he had to take 5 since they were all the same age, came from the same farm and were pals. I quickly grabbed everyone from all over the farm, we herded the goats into a catch pen and promptly loaded them in the back of his station wagon with his kids.

Everyone was kind of amuzed by it but it is something that I've done (when needed) for years. Yes I have a 22 foot long goose neck beautiful animal mover....but at 369 a gal for diesel...lets remember that I'm cheap. I was actually at a Wildlife Conference last month, as my wife and I were leaving the conference I told her that I would see her later....I had to go pick up a donkey. She didnt even raise an eyebrow....(I brought it home on the back seat of my truck) It actually was kind of funny, I had to stop for fuel. A trucker was looking in my truck and said "What kind of dog is that"? I said "That isn't a dog it is a donkey"....and went on pumping my fuel.

He speaks up after thinking for a couple of minutes and says "Does it always ride in your truck with you?" I smirked and said " Why yes, haven't you ever seen a donkey in a truck....everyone is doing it". It is definately something that we will do again when I need to pick the kids from someplace where they could be easily embarassed. My kids have so grown up around the pack of dogs that follow me around, the trailer pulling in late at night, messed up schedules due to emergency animal rescues....we actually almost like watching people's expressions when they visit our farm as they do looking at what we do. I can't embarass my kids easily, esp. with an animal.

After Bob left with the goats. Bill (and a sweet ole woman friend) came to look at some Diamond Doves (Australian) that I had picked up. Bill was on a portable oxygen tank so he had to sit at the bottom of the stairs and watch us catch doves upstairs in the large cage by the kid's room. I really wish that I had a heated place for animals (besides my house) but my wife probably would miss the mess. The kids have rode their pony through the house before (she didn't think that was funny either) but if you really want to see my wife lose it, put a barnyard animal and more birds in the house.

Wait until she vacuums and watch all of the parrots I've rescued happily toss their seeds all over her dining room...priceless. Bill adopted 6 doves (There were 12) so that should cut down a little on the dove mess on the stairs and kid's rooms. I like the noise they make. It isn't obnoxious like the parrots...I love hearing birds in the house, esp. in the winter when there is no wild bird noises coming in from outside. Before I knew it, many jobs were done, the pizzas arrived and the day was winding down. The group of friends that I had assembled all agreed to be on the BOD.

Jobs seemed to just fall into our laps, great ideas were discussed and I am very excited. For the first time in a long time, I think that we can really continue to expand the work that we do here for hundreds of animals. I really believe that this will be more than my passion. This rescue facility will outlive me for many generations to come.

Sunday was just another day of juggling. You see my kids and the farm always come first. But the hour countdown had started, Mommy's mid afternoon return was upon us. The days of eating Halloween candy for lunch, staying up till we fell to sleep on the floor, and leaving our clothes, dirty dishes and toys all over the place were over. As the theme (from the witch) in the Wizzard of Oz started to ring in my head.....My wife returned home....much to the happiness of all of us. We thought she would forgive us for wrecking the house ....she is slowly getting over it. Yesterday was a "school day" on a Sunday. Averages were due today....I got them submitted (on the computer) about 1 am last night. A lot of people think that teachers just come home at 3 pm and their job is over....they just dont get it.

I have 5 and a half years of college (almost a Doctorate, I won't get it....I don't want the title), I have been teaching for 17 years...I do it because I love it....One person can really make a difference. I should have worked on the averages all day but I had chores to do and people that are visiting. I started teaching Steve how to drive Clydesdales tonight. I should have been cleaning up the house and doing my averages but driving Clydesdales is a lot more fun. Steve and Karen bought one of the Clydes that I had here to sell for another friend. I told them they couldn't take her until they could drive her....Steve is a natural. Just as he was leaving. Travis (from Lake Placid)came to look at the 6 seat sleigh that I am selling to try to get ahead again. Don't really want to sell it but what I am doing here is more important than what I own. Long day, short night as usual.

Today, yes....another day after 5 hours sleep. We are all caught up againon the farm and at school.. Hannah went out with me at 6 am to get the chores done. A couple of the HS volunteers and I went to get hay yesterday and I need someone to stand by it as the horses run out of the front of the barn. If no one stands there they all stop, get into a traffic jam and proceed to knock it all down . Two deer watched us as we drove around filling hay racks. They weren't afraid at all, even with the dogs tagging along. They had to be a couple of "my" deer..

School was great today. My students are great. Got home to see that a couple of pigs that I had rescued had gotten out, knocked all of the garbage cans over and strung garbage all over the place. I mean really strung garbage all over the place. At first I was thinking about where I could hide their bodies (my freezer) but as I was picking up trash I realized how smart they are. I've never had my garbage cans knocked over, strewn all over the yard and so appreciated by any of my animals....I didn't catch them in the act but from the evidence, it looks like they had a really good time doing it.

My 2 HS volunteers tonight learned a valuable lesson. DO NOT let the herd of horses into the barn until their stalls have grain in them. They had gotten stalls cleaned, most of their hay racks filled, and their water buckets filled. They just forgot to put grain in their corner feeders. They came galloping into the barn from the pasture as I stood in the driveway talking to my wife about the Teacher Conference she had just returned home from (a good one). Then I saw 2 guys frantically trying to keep them in as the all came galloping out...I don't know what they were more afraid of, the galloping Clydesdales or me but I am learning to relax. I told them that it would be helpful to grain them before letting them in. I hope they remember that in the future.

Juggling, isnt such a bad thing. I've always said that people that retire too young die. They have too much time to think. They have too much time to sit down. They have too much money, too much food, too many petty complaints. No. People don't die from old age....they retire from forgetting how to juggle. People say that they are so busy when they retire that they don't know how they ever had time for work. For some reason, the thought of that makes me want to take a nap....or as some people call it...go to bed.

Till tomorrow, 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.