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.

Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year

I really dont know if it is a happy new year....It isnt 2008 yet. My little potbelly pig has been a trooper. She really has. She is the best sow ever, even though she is a baby herself she has tried to raise her piglets. We've lost a few along the way....but my gut instinct to leave them with her has been right. I cant second guess everything I do, but Ive done it several times with her.
I got a great llama in yesterday, he is an intact male. This makes things complicated but I think that I will have him gelded the same time as the mini donkey "Boom-Boom"...just got to get the vet here. This new llama, which I call "Taboo" is a sweetheart. He has really funky eyes,,,they are half brown and half blue. The kids that volunteer up here were kind of freaked out by him. I feel kind of sorry for him, he so wants to be with the rest of the herd.....we just cant do that yet.
I gotta hit the hay, even though we havnt been invited to a New Years Party yet, I know we will. My wife always makes it a point of doing New Years with our children......and I am normally in the barn shortly thereafter...Wes

Friday, December 28, 2007

Happy Holidays

I dont know really where to begin....I know that I have been neglectful of my blog. I really had writers block between holiday parties, my kids Xmas concerts and lots of food and festivities. We still continue to operate a farm with lots of rescued animals even when the weather is bad or if we would prefer to be inside by the fireplace. My "volunteers" are really great, Colin even came Xmas morning because he knew I would be doing chores alone. Not that I couldnt handle is just easier with some help.

The visitors to the farm this week have been as great as any of our peak weeks during the summmer. We adopted out the llama boys that I picked up about a month ago. These llamas found a perfect home. I walked them in the back of a mini=van.....They dont call me the "Llama Whisper" for nothing (sorry Alex). Very few other animal have been in or off of the farm. It is the holidays and people dont get or dispose of animals during the holidays.

The weather has been good, things have been uneventful...until this morning.
This morning I walked into the barn....did a quick look over, everything looked normal. The HS guys that help me out hadnt showed up yet (they have been great helping out all over break)and I started chores. I ran the hay up on the hill for the horses and let them out of their stalls. I got the dogs out into the kennel.

I took two bales of hay down into the new wing of the barn for the llamas, sheep and goats. As I was filling hay racks, I noticed something moving in the hay below my feet. I thought that it looked like a rabbit with some babies but upon investigation I quickly discovered that it was one of the potbelly pigs that I had rescued a few months back. This pig is literally the size of a large bunny. How this was happening I dont get, she must have been bred at 3 months old. I dont have any male intact pigs at the farm.

This little sow has never been friendly, she quickly took off down the barn, leaving her nest and piglets behind. I quickly built a temp. pen around her nest where other animals couldnt step on her babies and then tried to figure out how I was going to get her into it. Let me tell you one thing about Potbelly pigs, no one wants to adopt them. The second thing, they can run like hell when a large man is chasing them.

Which is what I preceded to do. As the pig (the size of a cocker spaniel) was running she was dropping piglets out. As she was leaving a living easter egg hunt I chased her. I was picking up the piglets, cleaning off their snouts and once I knew that they were fine as I stuffed them into my jacket pocets because they were squealing like....well pigs.

I normally have a small army at the farm of volunteers....where were they now? As I was chasing a pig the size of my cat around the barn.

I eventually caught the pig, got it into its nest with all of the piglets she had there and the ones that I had picked up while getting her back there. They were happy to be there, I checked on them all day long and all refused to move....Then I got thinking, yeah, dangerous. When I rescued that little piglet, she had a sister. I got to thinking that if her sister had babies at 8 months old (or younger), then she was probably going to be pregnant also.

The key here is to remember that I had survived the entire episode myself, alone, no help....Things were different by this point....As I stood haggard, gasping, covered with really gross ambriotic HS kids arrived. I quickly built another pen and we (along with a great BOD member that happened to stop by)chased the potential sow down and put her in the pen next to her sister.

All are resting comfortably, along with the 2 new goats that arrived this afternoon. I felt comfortable enough to leave the farm (with my favorite farm daughter/babysitter Kayla holding down the fort) to go see some great friends Bryan and Katie that were visiting from Ca..

December and January are always 2 horrible months for me. December I reflect at all of the horrible (and good) things that Ive seen in the animal world in the last year. In Jan. I try to get psyched up for all of the mid-winter rescues I do. I really do look forward to 2008, new rescues, and new goals for this place.

Hopefully without any unexpected delieveries. ...Wes

Friday, December 14, 2007

The Calm Before The Storm

The Calm before the storm, I hate it.

It isn't that I haven't known it is coming. We have had 2 "snowdays" already from school and came home early once but this is the big one coming. The animals deal with ice, subzero temperatures and small snow storms. Big snow storms make my life on the farm very difficult. Even though we are not suppose to get the storm until tomorrow night, we started closing things up and preparing tonight.

We got most of the barn closed up tonight. I need to go to the feed store tomorrow. I have had lots of help (Thank God). Three of my "old reliable" HS students came up tonight, Colin had the day off from his day job so he also came up. We got the huge doors on the rear end of the barn sealed up and wind proofed. All of the side doors except for the llama, sheep and goat door have been nailed shut. The front 12 foot door always stays open, all winter long. Even though the barn is huge, the horses will heat the barn up too much if I shut the barn completely up and it is not healthy for the animals to be in a building that is 10 to 20 degrees warmer than outside. The animals just need to be out of the wind and dry...

It seems like when I was a kid that winter was 2 weeks seems like it is 8 months long now. I have done a great job finding the animals that Ive picked up all year great homes. My headcount going into winter is the lowest that it has been in years. I hate going into the heart of winter. Winter poses many problems for rescued animals. Most are thin, weak, have nutritional and parasitic problems. When you toss freezing cold temperatures and snow on them you really have to be in touch with your animals because a small problem quickly develops into a major problem. That is why this time of year I like to be in the middle of everything on the farm.

I am out doing chores before school by myself. I like to observe the animals as they wake up and start feeding. I like seeing where and how they were sleeping....I can often head off many problems before they begin by just knowing the animals and what they "normally" do. It is nice to have "help" but most of the volunteers up here are focused on getting chores done, not on getting to know the animals. One of the kids was amazed tonight....I was walking amongst a herd of galloping draft horse as they were coming in to the barn across the ice. My back was to them and they managed to get around me...I know them, I trust them. I can feel the earth as they approach....I know they wont run me down, I have no fear.

What I do fear is the phone. The phone will not stop ringing all winter. I cant understand why people like to have animals in the summer but when they have to walk through snow drifts 4 foot high to care for them in the winter they seem to lose interest. It really bothers me. Some of the worst rescues Ive ever been on have been in mid winter. I remember my old farm. It was years ago but it used to take me hours to carry water, hay and grain to all of the various barns. We had nothing, just a love for animals.

Yes, I hate the calm before the storm....lets just hope it is just snow.

Friday, December 7, 2007

This week

Lots going on this week, really haven't had time to Blog. I have been dancing and singing in the dining room tonight to get my daughter ready for "Annie "Auditions. Most of my week has been spent working on blueprints for our new Wildlife Rescue facility. I have the barn, "We" just needed to figure out how we could do Wildlife and "Domestics" in the same facility with a buffer zone...the plans look great. I haven't been this excited about what Im doing in 20 yrs.

I really like doing a blog every day (or every other day) but I can't always do one. What my readers need to understand, is that when they are not hearing about what I am doing on the usually means that I am into things at the farm to my neck and am falling to sleep at the dinner table and can't do it.

The goats and sheep that are starving to death locally...A trooper that I know looked into it and there were not grounds for an arrest yet. The Troopers are good guys, I know what they deal with because I work with them so much. They might seem tough but they love animals as much as any of us...they (like me) can't always do what they want to do until they have enough evidence to get a case against an animal abuser.

I have also been working with some great people that I know that have several mini horses, goats, pot belly pigs, a cocker spaniel and a basset hound that are looking for homes. Not a case of abuse or neglect, just a case where the need to find homes for all of the above without making their divorce any more difficult. They are good people, I just don't want the animals to get tied up in their personal problems.

The llamas that Jules and I picked up last weekend are doing great. What gentleman. I love to see the way that they watch everything and they are about ready to clear quarantine and go out with the herd.

This week has been one of a great deal of reflection for me. The end of the year I always start thinking about what I've done for the last year. All of the money that I've spent, all of the animals Ive rescued, and all of the things I would like to do. There is never enough time, money or me to go around... This year I found my calling. Anyone can rescue domestic animals.... The Wildlife is my calling.

I sleep 2 hours at a time, I get up without the alarm going off to trudge out to the barn to bottle feed a bunch of wild animals that I am eventually going to reintroduce to the wild....It doesnt get any cooler than that. My vast exotic and domestic animal experiences have given me the background that I need to do what I want to do and do it right. I will never stop domestic animal rescue because I am one of the only games in town but I love doing wildlife.

I have been drawing up plans all week for a "new" wildlife rescue facility here at the farm. The kids at school are working on blueprints, a Boy Scout named Nick is working with me to make some of it happen....I will be announcing all of the new developments in the next few weeks.... Between now and then, I will help Nick out with his Eagle Scout Project by letting readers know about our needs. Right now we need any old dog kennels sitting in peoples yards (that they don't want). We will come and pick them up and it will be a vital part of the new "New York State Wildlife Rescue Center."

This time of year is always tough. Feel free to hit the "donate" Button. I estimate that it will cost 50k to get our new facilities in by April/May to help the orphans that we will be called upon to help....We will talk about this another night, I need to go sing "It is a Hard Knock Life " with my daughter to get ready for Annie auditions...Wes

PS Austin has come home, with a health nurse and IV....he needs to get well enough for surgery...he is a tough little boy.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Not My Trailer Cont.

Just another day at Red Maple Farm.

As my wife is singing at her Holiday Concert (sorry I couldnt come honey), I am going to take a moment to blog about my day. First, I think that winter has found us. All of a sudden the temperature has dropped 20 degrees, it is downright the low teens.

I got everything done early this am because I knew that Jules was coming. I had all of the dogs out in the kennel from their beds in the office before Jenn got here to groom. Chores were well under way, Aaron called and saved my butt again by doing stalls while Jules and I talked about technology and paperwork.

Then Jules went with me on what I love to do, go on rescues. I had to meet a couple of llamas in Binghamton. They were llamas without a home. We met at the Cracker Barrel restaurant, we pulled in the parking lot within minutes of one another. I had to write a check for the vet bills on these guys, something I dont normally do. I dont buy llamas anymore, I rescue 50-100 of them a year....but if that was what was needed, I will do it.

These guys were cold, as soon as I saw them pull in the parking lot we exchanged llama kisses over the back tailgate of a very open trailer. I was very worried that they would jump out so I quickly got lead ropes on them and got them on my trailer.

They were shivering and cold but they are snug as a bug in a rug right now in my barn....Happily nibbling on hay and settling in. They are great guys and I am glad that I could help them. They were not abused or neglected, they were in need of a home....I did what needed to be done and now I will look out for them forever.

Jules loves going on rescues with me....It was also a great chance for the 2 of us to catch up on business since she is NELR Project Manager. We got home and got chores done and got everyone settled in. It is important to me that people know that we also rescue wildlife so we modified the blog to add that. We also added a new link to the blog so that I could tell my wildlife rescue stories separate from my domestic wildlife stories. The wildlife blogs wont be as often but they will show our readers the scope of what we do here.

I really want to thank Jules for keeping me in this century with technology...she is awesome. She gets to see what I do when we are out on rescues and I get to see what see does when she is setting up my computer. The best part of the whole day was that she took 4 chickens home with her. I taught her how to catch sleeping chickens in the pitch dark without waking everyone up...It is an art that only a hillbilly would know...:)

On that note, it is a good time to go to the Wildlife Blog and tell mey Peregrine Rescue story... An update on the little boy Austin, They couldnt operate today...keep praying, the infection has to go down, Wes

This is not my trailer!

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.