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, March 13, 2008


Seems like just yesterday I blogged, I love having stuff to write about. As I sit here at 1am on a school/work night waiting for bottles to warm up I am catching my second wind....which I will definately pay for tomorrow morning at 5am. lambing every March for the last several years is something that I love. I love the trek out to the barn every 2-3 hours for a couple of weeks. I love the sleep deprivation. It is like Christmas morning every time I find a Ewe contently licking her newborn lamb. I know my sheep so well that I can usually tell when they are going to "pop" and they usually do quite well without me lurking around watching and waiting but it makes me feel good so Im there if they need me. As much as I love lambing, triplets are hell. Ive found that sheep can usually count to two quite well....anything past that usually gets complicated. Lambing is complicated even with my veteran registered Scottish Blackface Sheep. Lambing can also be very sad and emotionally draining . I hate to lose any of our babies.
From my last blog, Tuesday a goat that I am boarding popped. She had great twin doe kids. She was attentive and a great mother. We always seperate the mothers and their offspring in their own pen as soon as they give birth for a few days so the new family can have time to bond without the pressures of the flock. This nubian goat was doing everything right. I watch them closely for the first couple of hours, Ive actually had sheep kill their babies in the past. We checked the goat every 2 hours around the clock. I came home from school on tuesday every free period...things were going too good. At 5 am Colin checked in on them, they were doing fine....By 6 am when I got out to the barn, she had laid down with them to snuggle and smothered both of them. There really wasnt anything that I could have done different to protect them other than take them away from the doe, milk out the colostrum and bottle feed them. I didnt think that it was a necessary option...I feel bad. 24 hours after their birth, they were accidentally killed by their mother.
The ewe that had the triplets on tuesday night also had some problems... They were nursing, she was taking care of all 3....I noticed that the lambs were getting lethargic (not good). The ewe didnt have much milk, we milked the goat and started supplementing the lambs while leaving them with the ewe while her milk came in. One was weak enough last night that I made the decision to pull her, bring her in the house and really work on her. She died in my arms after finishing part of a bottle. The other two were doing great and I just blamed it on triplets and lack of milk. The real shocker came this am when Colin came in to tell me that one of the other lambs had died during the night. Guess we wont know why....It had a full belly when I did the late night feeding. The surviving triplet is doing well with her bottles and mom but I dont want to jinx it. When I came home at lunch time to give her a bottle, I noticed another ewe getting ready to deliever/"pop". By the time I milked the goat, got the bottle and got back she had delievered a great little ram lamb and was happily licking and "talking to him". I had to get back to work. An hour later, I ran back home during a prep period. She had another ewe lamb that was cleaned and walking but unfortunately I was about 5 minutes too late for the third lamb (a little ram) that she was working on but the afterbirth was still on his head and even after I got it off and almost revived wasnt meant to be.
We dont eat our animals at Red Maple Farm. My Scottish Blackface Sheep are part of my Celtic Critters show that I do at Scottish Festivals to generate money for the rescue work we do. They are a rare breed of sheep in the USA...only about 4000 registered SBF here. There are over a million of them in Scotland. When you drive by a sheep farm in the spring and you see all of the lambs frolicking around in the pasture....most people really don't understand what the shepherd has done to get those lambs out in that green pasture. Lambing is one of the toughest things that Ive ever done. I love to complain about it but I love every second of it. It would be nice to go through a lambing season without a single loss but I think that is impossible and unheard of unless your flock consists of two ewes and a ram. I will keep you updated.
I had a pygmy goat come in today. I have 3 geese and 2 llamas and a goat being adopted this weekend. I also have a pheasant coming in this weekend that has been rehabilitated and is ready for a soft release here on the mountain....I like spring, I like lambing....I am the luckiest guy in the world to be going to the barn right now. Till tomorrow, Wes

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

New Animals

Lot has been going on here at the farm since the last time I blogged on March 4th. I have had 3 new HS Students volunteer to work at the farm. As soon as I get some time, I will get them started. I really don't know what I would do without their help. My current HS crew is great. They know what they need to do and don't require any babysitting. Colin is at the farm now, living in the apartment and finding his niche around here. Was really busy last week between gymnastics, karate, play practice, appt.'s with the kids....etc. My oldest daughter (age 11) and our rescued Golden Retriever Lucky are both in the school musical "Annie". Hannah is an orphan and Lucky is "Sandy"....Lucky is getting her own bio in the program as the only "real" orphan in the play. Hannah is a natural, I loved plays/musicals in school and she is just like her Dad. Lucky just sits on stage and is thrilled to be surrounded by singing and dancing kids. Colins Great Dane Ally got spayed over a week ago. She gets her staples out tomorrow. She has spent the last couple of nights with him which is great. They need to get to know one another and it is tough sleeping with 2 Great Danes sprawled across your bed.
The 17 ducks that came in last week are doing great. I found a great home for 2 of them already. The same woman wants to adopt 3 of our geese also. Friday the 7th was a hectic day. It was the last day that I had Mr. Martin my student teacher in my classroom at school. He did a great job and I know that he will get a job teaching and be an asset to any school lucky enough to get him. On friday, The Rochester Humane Society (Lollipop Farm)brought out 2 donkeys that had special needs and were looking for a permanent home which Ive agreed to provide. I love donkeys, they are easier keepers and they have a home for life. I am looking for a sponsor that will want to cover their costs and hopefully even want to spend some time here at the farm socializing them (they are very shy). Saturday, we got 3 loads of hay and got a bunch of projects done around the farm.
This past sunday we had a great fundraiser and PR/Easter Photos with the kids at Sweet Temptations candy and coffee shop on Main Street Middleburgh. Colin, Gayle and Linda were there. Gayle took some great photos that we will try to get up on the blogs and the website. Linda got our business cards, banner and brochures. I set up a great display. Over a dozen local businesses donated raffle prizes. I had 2 of my students helping out there. Rich and Heather Vilegi, the shop owners were great. Shelly Wood organized the fundraiser and is donating 25% of the proceeds to our cause from the photos she took with the kids with the bunnies and lamb that I brought. Kelly Martin brought down a Great Horned Owl and a Marsh Hawk (Threatened Species) which she showed to the crowd and talked about all day. I really appreciate everyone that came out to support our animals and our mission in the freezing cold....It was an awesome day and one that I wont forget soon. I will blog more about it on the NY Wildlife Rescue Center Blog. Cheryl got sick and we panicked without a lamb for photos (my sheep hadnt arrived yet). Elaine Jaycox was nice enough to provide us one of hers for a few hours which I also deeply appreciate. The photos wouldnt have been the same without the lamb.
Speaking of babies. Ive been putting in some long hours lately. Colin offered to let the horses out and do am chores. He came in this am to let me know that the Nubian goat we are boarding for a COBY College student had given birth to twin females. I was already up and on my way out so I went out and showed him how to dry off kids and get them in a pen where they could bond with their mother alone for a few days. I came home at lunch time and they were nursing and doing great....I love the baby animals. I checked on the goats again after school before I ran Hannah and Lucky back to school for play practice. When I got back to the farm at 945 tonight, I did rounds of the farm. The goats still are nursing and doing well. I went down to the far end of the barn to check my small flock of registered Scottish Blackface Sheep. I use the sheep at Scottish Festivals for my Border Collie demos. We were blessed with triplets....She had just had them. 1 ram lamb and 2 ewe lambs.... Triplets are not usually fun but they were all up and nursing and Ewe #20 was taking good care of them. When I checked my records....It is interesting that she had triplets on March 11th in 2005 also. (Last year we didnt have any lambs because the ram I borrowed from a friend was too old to get the job done). I figured I would kill some time getting you all caught up with a blog before I go back out at midnight, 3am and 6am. "Lambing" is fun but the sleep deprevation gets to you after a week or two. It is really good practice for May when the Whitetail Fawns start coming in and I am feeding bottles every 2 hours around the clock. This weekend I have a wounded Pheasant coming in that has been rehabilitated and needs a soft (gradual) release site. Spring isnt until next thursday but I know it is coming because things are picking up....Spring is always the busiest time of year at the farm and I can't wait to share all of my experiences with you....Gotta go check on some sheep, Wes

(update: for pictures, see our New York Wildlife Rescue blog)

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Back on Track

Seems like I always start a blog with an apology for not blogging in so long....this one is no different. We are starting to get busy again. Spring is definately in the air and we have a lot to do before the baby wildlife and trailers full of rescues start pouring in. Since last blog, we have gotten Colin's Great Dane spayed. Ally is doing well and will be living with Colin in the manager's apartment by the end of the week. The vet also gelded a friends horse here last week. He also gelded a new rescued llama to get him ready to go to his new home with the Novak family here in Middleburgh. Dr. Baldwin checked the little donkey Boom Boom to geld but lets just say he isnt quite ready to be neutered yet.
I had 17 Muscovy ducks come in this past sunday. I like the Muscovies. They dont quack but they can fly. They are white and black, great for keeping slugs and bugs eaten off around the farm. I also have 2 "special needs' donkeys coming in to be sanctuaried this friday. My friends at Lollipop farm/Rochester Humane Society are bringing them out. We have helped them out however we can in the past and I am glad that I can help them out with these two donkeys as well.
We had a productive BOD meeting this past weekend and I hope to get our new logo up on the blog ASAP. It is with regrets that Jules has decided to leave us as project manager...I hope to continue the blog and I really want to thank her for everything that she has contributed to our mission. I really appreciate it. This sunday we are having our first fundraiser for NY Wildlife Rescue Center. It is on Main Street Middleburgh from 10-1 pm. There will be Easter photos with the animals and kids....a raffle and lots of press....I am really hoping that the weather cooperates. Join us at Sweet Temptations this Sunday, March 9th.
I want to end this blog by thanking my wife Darcy. Today is exactly 20 years since we met for the first time. She is a great woman and has always supported my desire to rescue and help animals....even if quite often it resulted that she and our kids went without. I have almost bankrupted ourselves several times doing what I do. I have no regrets but I want her to know that every day for the last 20 years I have been in love with her. She is my best friend and I couldnt think of anyone that I would rather spend my life with than her....I love you. 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.