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, January 14, 2008

LLama Trauma

Llama Trauma... That is catchy. I should know, it has been my motto lately. I received an interesting phone call from a guy with a poor llama with a broken leg. My experiences with llamas with broken legs has never been good or happy (for the llamas or myself).... We had a long talk, Im still surprised that his vet just vet wrapped it and left (I am not a vet nor do I second guess them). I suggested Cornell but they had to decide what was best for the llama since they were there with the animal.

The phone calls and emails have started to pick up lately. Lots of interested peoplein adoptions, lots of llamas looking for homes and lots of people with questions or problems with their animals. I love the education aspect of what I do. I would much rather "fix" a problem for someone than have them call me up and ask if I want their animals.

I am still very happy to have passed my USDA inspection. I am working on trying to come up with the funding to get my rabies shots to finish off my DEC requirements. I also would love to take the Chemical Capture course in Lake Placid but dont have the $700- to go.

I picked up a Barred Owl yesterday.... pretty exciting. See the Wildlife Blog for the story on New York Wildlife Rescue Center Blog. Ive lost my voice (my students probably love that). We have gotten a lot done around the farm over the weekend. Colin has been a great help along with my barn kids. We set up a new Bunny area, A new huge quarantine pen and set up a proper place for hay storage. I want to design a raptor/hawk pen next for rescues that come in as I do my apprenticeship.
I guess all I lack is time and money....Wes

Thursday, January 10, 2008


A lot has went on this week at the farm. The weather is great and the mid- winter blues are not a problem. It is hard to believe that a week ago my fuel lines froze solid and I woke up chilly and saw that outdoors it was - 6 degrees. I finally got the furnace going...what a nightmare. I cancelled Ski Club last week because it was too cold, I cancelled this week due to lack of snow. The winds were so bad here at the farm yesterday that it blew my kids trampoline halfway accross the farm and landed the thing on a white board fence...doomed...gone.

My week started out with the federal USDA vet inspection. We passed!!!!! We are now a Class C Exhibitor. We can show our animals in public (legally) and I am very proud. The vet (that inspects) is a great guy and said that we have a beautiful facility and likes what we do here up on the hill.

Tonight I did a program for the St. Andrews Society of Albany. They have a beautiful brownstone on Wash. Ave a block away from the Capital. I talked about my Scottish Livestock, the tours I take MCS students on throughout the world and what I do up here....It was a lot of fun and they presented me with a set of books on the History of St. Andrews Societies. As a Scottish organization, I enjoyed sharing what we do and I hope that I can count on them in the future for support.

One of the advantages of all of the public speaking events, kids groups and animal rescue groups that I deal with is that I get to meet a lot of people. The St. Andrews Society of Albany is a great group. It was really a pleasure to do a program for them. I was pleased that the MCS District Newsletter did an article on Darcy and I. I think that it is really important that the people in Schoharie County (esp. Middleburgh) know what I do. It was a great week, Wes

Friday, January 4, 2008

Happy New Year

2008....Did you know that the average person writes 2007 over 100 times before they get 2008? I hope I remembered that on all of the checks I wrote today for bills. It is nice to be settled in to the school routine again, I really like going to work every day and I like the routine. I am really glad that vacation/holidays are over.

Not much is new from the last time I blogged. I have gotten a new llama in. An intact male, I have to get him gelded by my vet. He is halter broke and should be very adoptable once he is gelded. He came with lots of support but no money to pay the vet bills..I hope that this one will eventually come back to reward my efforts..

The potbelly pig sow that had piglets (as a baby herself) didnt end in a perfect situation. She was a trooper and tried. Ive gotten so many emails in the last week that it is almost a fulltime job. Ive started getting a lot of emails for advice....I love the educational aspect of what I do...I love telling someone how to catch a llama on the loose. But it still is depressing to know that people are still selling animals that are "wild" and offer no support when a scared animal gets loose. Few "reputable" breeders do what is right and that makes the job of all of us rescue folks that much more difficult.

My day today is going better than yesterday. Yesterday morning, at about 430 am, I woke up feeling kinda cold. When I am teaching, I always wake up an hour before my alarm clock, but this was different....I was cold. I noticed that the Great Dane and my wife were hogging more blankets than normal. I also noticed that my 5 yr. old (Emma) had crawled into bed with us at some point. I looked at my thermometer by my bed and it said that it was negative 6 outside but it felt like it in the house. I got up and made coffee in the 50 degree cold (no one likes a wife without coffee). I went downstairs into the dungeon, a really grim place. Our house is built on a stone foundation, the basement is really someplace not worth visiting. I tried to bleed the lines to the furnace....when nothing came out...I knew I was in trouble. It was so darn cold that the fuel line from the furnace to the outside oil tank had froze. It just is another reason to hate winter...Im not even talking about frozen hoses, water tubs, and life in general.

The highlight of my day today. Gayle (our webmaster) and Cherryl (picking up my son for a sleepover) stopped by. Colin (farm manager) came by on a snowmobile and we had an informal BOD meeting. I really think that 2008 will be the year that people realize what we are doing. I look forward to my program at St. Andrews in Albany next week.

As we start 2008, I try to think about 2007....What we do is a tough thing here but I am really confident that with this group of people ,and with your, help we can continue to help both the domestic livestock that we pick up and the onslaught of wildlife this spring. Wes

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.