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


What makes people volunteer their time, money and resources to a charity, cause or project?

I dont know. I know that I've always done it. I am an Eagle Scout, I am always fundraising or selling something for some Club or charity but I have never tried to raise some money for my own cause. No wonder I'm broke, just today I gave 2 kids $20- each that needed it (can't explain). I bought a $20- box of oranges from the senior class. Kicked $5- in the hat for a teacher with a sick wife and another $5- to a help needy people at Thanksgiving fund.

Wow, no wonder why I had to go through the ashtray in my truck to get enough change together to get a Mountain Dew for lunch. No big deal I will survive. I listed one of my favorite horses Cooter tonight on't worry about me, I'll be alright. I'll do what I need to do. If we are going to do rescue work full time, we will all need to downsize a bit. First class, not half assed....has always been my motto.

My day actually started off great. My son, Jacob met me downstairs as I came out to make coffee. The kids know my morning ritual and Jacob decided he wanted to tag along on my morning chores. Jacob doesn't normally show much interest in the farm. He likes the animals but would rather be playing on the computer....that is fine. I feel that kids should be able to do their own thing. He "volunteered" to help me. Now I must admit, it might have been because he wanted something, did something bad or maybe...just maybe he wanted to tag along with his Pop at 6 am in the morning, in the freezing cold....feeding animals that he doesn't even really care about. No...being a volunteer starts at a young age and you have to want to do it.

I was thinking a lot about the emails, phone calls and animals waiting for me to pick them up. I was thinking about how I would explain to Cooter that he had to go to a great home . I didn't forget that Jacob was with me for no reason other than it was quality time with his Dad and that was cool. I let him drive the Kubota RTV on the easy parts. The farm is huge at 165 acres but it is almost entirely at a 45 degree angle. We finished up in the barn. We got the dogs out of bed in the dog shop and out in the kennel for breakfast. We still made it to school on time. Hannah, my oldest daughter rides to school with me. She is in the "big school" now, 6th grade. Darcy drops Jacob and Emma off at the Elem. school. They are growing up fast, I hope I don't miss a thing that they are doing because I am so busy doing what I do.

It cost me money to go to work today. I wont bore you again with all the cash that I "lost" today. Why do I go to work? My wife actually suggested that I stay at the farm full time and retire from teaching. As much as I would like to do rescue work full time, I can't do that to my students. They love my class (even though I am strict and have a weird sense of humor). I know that I have taught a good lesson when the bell rings and they all look at the clock and go awwwwhhh....finish the story...Hard to believe huh? Most of my free time was spent emailing Northeast Llama Rescue Volunteers. I finally admitted it this past weekend.

After 15 years of doing rescue, I can't do it alone anymore. I have invited several people to be on "our BOD" and help me with things like technology (I'm afraid of computers). I look forward to my emails from my good friend John Palmer from Unadilla. John has Unadilla Game Farm, a small zoo with some really cool animals. John is actually coming out this weekend to take the Wallabies home with him for the winter. He has a heated basement that they will be a lot happier in. We are going to visit another facility that has some big cats......I want to see how they set up their cats. There is a huge demand for exotic rescue and very few facilities to "sanctuary" difficult rescues.

I want to thank Debbie Frey for her work in the past helping me with the 2 websites. I really appreciate your help in the past. Jules and Gayle are really doing a great job right now getting me in the year 2007 technologically. They will both be great assets to Northeast Llama Rescue and have not taken a dime for the hundreds of hours that they have put into the animal rescue cause. I really am not used to people being nice to me or helping me out.....but I am a strong believer in destiny. The members of our BOD that you will gradually get to know through my blogs are my friends, I really couldn't mentally, physically or financially continue what I am doing without their help to save hundreds of animals a year. I really don't give compliments or thanks often so there you all won't get anymore for awhile.

After school, I waited for my little ones to get off the bus at the HS. Hannah normally stays up in Darcy's classroom to take care of the dozens of animals that Darcy has there in her Life Science class (mostly rescues). I help the 2 little ones with their HW and catch up on emails. Aaron came in as usual, to see when we were leaving for the farm. He never wants to sit down and do his HW. He always wants to get to the farm before me....I think it is just so he can drive the Kubota. He rides his bike almost 3 miles up a side of my mountain to get there before I go home at 4 pm. I try not to identify people by name in my blogs, esp. kids (without parental approval, which I have) but you need to get to know Aaron. HE alone had most of the chores done by the time I got home. I could tell that he was running (like I do) and really wanted to prove to me he could do it. In the couple of months he has volunteered up here (I don't pay him) he has come a long way. Now granted he forgot to fill hayracks before he let the horses in but as long as they have grain they will run in and stay in their stalls. The rest of the chores are a breeze, Hannah finished them up while I ran Aaron home (it gets dark early now, I wont let him ride his bike home) and took Jacob to karate. Aaron is a great help and I appreciate his hard work up here and try not to yell at him when he forgets something.

Jacob has karate 4 nights a week. I am designated driver since Darcy stays home to start dinner. Wednesdays are sparring nights. Jacob loves sparring. It is kind of like "ultimate fighting" with kids. They get dressed up in enough padding that they would be safe from most police attack dogs and they get to use the moves they know on each other. A lot of parents might not approve but he is there because he likes it. I had to come up with a way of getting him off the couch and computer. Maybe someday the moves he is learning will save his life.

Upon return to the farm. Dinner was ready. Hannah was quite proud of herself for finishing chores (the way that I like things done) . I had forgot to tell her that the pigs ( that had a party in my garbage cans yesterday ) let their guard down and got locked in the empty horse stall they were snoozing off their good time this am. I would have loved to see her expression when she opened that door. The pigs have been driving me nuts, they chase my Border Collie, they are out of control. No more running around the farm, ripping up my lawn, eating my wifes lovely Halloween pumpkins, mums and cornstalks off the porch. No...they are in big trouble more freedom, until they are big enough that they cant squeeze under my electric fences anyway. They are in piggy jail, better than the freezer I suppose.

I appreciate all of my volunteers. I hope that a lot more people that have enjoyed following my antics running this rescue will get to volunteer to our cause as well. People that cant contribute their sweat are always welcome to contribute their money....My vet bill is over $1500- right now.

If Jules has the photos ready from this past weekend it is time to start introducing to our animals. We have a lot of animals that wont leave here but we have a lot more that are looking for perfect homes. Till then, another day done.....Tune in 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.