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.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

My Introduction

Hi My name is Wes Laraway and with a lot of encouragemnet from my good friend Jules....I am going to try to keep a daily journal of what I do...Let me give you a little background. I was born in upstate NY. My parents didnt like animals but I was the type of kid that couldnt get enough of them. My second grade teacher actually wrote on my report card that if I had as much interest in my schoolwork as I did in animals that I would do better in school....Kind of funny since I became a teacher. I was the kid that always had a snake in his pocket, a toad hid under his bed or a hamster hid in the closet so his folks didnt find it. Unlike other kids, I didnt starve "my pets" it was my mission to figure out how to keep them alive.... I fed newts pieces with hotdogs on tooth picks, had a baby robin nursery ...and could never get enough of reading.

By High school, I had 36 exotic birds in my bedroom. Hand feeding, trick training (enrichment) and cleaning consumed my life. While being very involved in extra curricular activities. Such as Pres. of Student Council, Eagle Scout, Drama, sports, Etc.. I decided to be an exchange student to Brazil and one of the worst parts was parting with my parrots.

Upon returning from Brasil. I went to SUNY Oneonta as a teaching major. Met my wife Darcy, love at first sight and she is just as into "lost cause" animals as myself. We married, got jobs teaching school at Middleburgh Central School (where I graduated from) bought a farm and had 3 great kids. Hannah (11) Jacon (8) and Emma (5). I was always the "animal guy" that people called when they had a pet to cast away, an injured bird or an animal related problem. People often ask me how I got involved in rescuing animals....

My response is typically..."I didnt plan it, it just kind of happened". I can not say no to an animal in need (although I do limit the numbers of dogs, cats and horses that I rescue because there are great other facilities for that). My wife and I bought my great grandparents homestead 10 years ago. My intentions were to raise llamas, Clydesdales and Celtic Livestock. I quickly became known as "the Llamaman"...People have commented that I am the "llama whisperer".

I do have a psychic communication with animals that goes beyond normal observation....but I dont consider myself a hero. I am a one man army. I quickly figured out that I could not keep every animal that I save. Especially when we currently rescue between 200 to 400 animals a year. My motto has always been "First Class not half assed". I do what I can do, have almost bankrupted my family several times but have proved that one person can make a difference in the life of an animal....even if it is only one at a time. Ive met hundreds (if not thousands) of animals (of several dozen species) over the last several years and I have never met an animal that I didnt like....even the animal now and then that tries to kill me. I am almost 40 years old, have everything that Ive ever wanted, a great job, great farm ,great family....what else is there?

Last year (in Oct '06) I had a life altering experience. I went to the Catskill Game Farm auction. It really bothered me. I have no ill will to the Shultz or Lindemann families....If it wasnt for the CGF a lot of animals would not be in captive breeding programs. The simple fact is that captive breeding programs are the only chance that many species of animals have. There are more tigers in captivity in the USA then there are in the wild. As a rescue facility, I have a no breeding stipulation. I saw a lot of animals bought by rescue groups, private game farms and canned hunt ranches....I was thinking to myself....I cant believe that I cant help these animals. I was even more disturbed to see the big cats and the lack of facilities for them...I knew then that I needed to expand my 165 acre facility. Recruit some help, turn in the not for profit paperwork and do some fundraising.

I started the process of getting the inspections, licenses, permits, and certifications that I would need to rescue virtually any animal. Not just peoples' unwanted pets and livestock. After a "little scare" thinking that I had throat cancer (it was benign), I realized that I was put on this earth to save animals. I realize that I cant save them all but I am a pretty important guy to every animal that I come into contact with. I need to go get my little monkeys in bed (my kids are on their post Halloween sugar high)and I will be back.....I hope that you will "get to know me" through my daily journals and validate what I have chosen to do with my kids (in school) and animals here at Second Chance Rescue Ranch at Red Maple Farm. INC..

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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.