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.

Friday, March 20, 2009

A Dog Named Casey

People that know me well know that I have two weaknesses. Kids and animals are two of my favorite things in the world: the ability to be young and have fun; the right to be born free and live wild. In the years that I have been doing rescue work, we have saved thousands of animals. I have an open door policy on just about any animal that needs help. I do have limits on the number of horses, dogs and cats that we can take in. If I had an open door for dogs, cats and horses we would be overwhelmed and bankrupt overnight. There are lots of other facilities that specialize in these areas ... my resources are best utilized on barnyard domestics, exotics and wildlife that most other facilities can not take in.

If you have ever read any of my older blogs, you would also know that I usually travel with a pack of dogs around me. There is Lucky, a Golden Retriever who was abandoned in our kennel while boarding here. Our Great Dane is Cleopatra; Cleo is not the smartest dog we have ever had but she loves to sit in your lap and be loved. Otis "P" Mister is a little terrier mix that a dog warden brought to our grooming shop and asked if we could find him a home. I am sure we could have found him a home if my kids didn't keep him hidden in our house whenever a customer came to pick up their dog. Our last dog is Austin, my Border Collie; I belong to him and he is my shadow. There is not much that goes on at our farm without Austin in the middle of it. I have always had a weakness for Border Collies (read my older blogs) and I love a smart dog that is a challenge. Austin is my best friend and best companion. Austin makes sure that I get up after one hit of the snooze button in the morning because there is work to be done and he has been looking forward to getting it done all night.

I recently got an email from a former student, one of my favorite kids. They have a Border Collie that they need to place. I didn't ask any questions, but they have to leave their house and move into an apartment. She was wondering if I was interested in taking Casey. If it had been any other kid, or any other breed of dog, I would have helped find the dog a good home and gone on with my life. I said that we would talk about it (she emailed back). I told her that maybe I should meet Casey sometime (they came over last night). Casey was not what I expected. As their car pulled into the driveway, it appeared to be heavy in the rear. It had the happiest Border Collie in the world in the back. BC's love to ride and it doesn't matter on what. If it moves they are on it, in it, or chasing it. After brief introductions, the fattest Border Collie I have ever seen in my life got out of the back of the car. Casey is the same size as my Austin but easily 4 times his weight. I was amused. It also amuses me that if I agree to take this dog, my best friend from High School has two sons ... named Austin and Casey. What are the odds? It must be destiny.

Casey didn't realize it but his test had already started. If Casey is going to live at NY Wildlife Rescue Center there are rules. There are lots of them that are loosely enforced.... Our Dogs need to: love all people (even ones that are tough to like), not harass customers going in and out of the grooming shop, put up with my kids, walk past all types of loose animals, stay on our property, be within eyesight of me (that includes when I am in the bathroom or sleeping), be able to sneak into our house (when covered with mud) and go lay down so my wife doesn't yell, and never let my truck pull out of the driveway unless you are in the back seat (covered in mud) and hanging out the window. The rules are not limited to these. I frequently make up rules as I go along but none are too unrealistic. I will put up with a dog being a dog if they can handle the same of me.

Casey said "hi" to me and then we took a tour of the farm. None of the pack really seemed to find anything at fault with him. Casey is smart, like most Border Collies. He didn't seem to be bothered by much on the farm. He responds to verbal and hand commands for: come, sit, heel, down, back-up and would shake or do just about anything else asked of him. I wish that we could have tried him off of his leash but it was too soon for that. Casey might come to spend 10 days with me over April Vacation from school. It is the logical time to "break him in" since he will have my attention 24 hours a day during that time. My wife doesn't know it yet but I think that we are about to get another dog. No, we don't need another dog: but what is one more when I walk with a pack of misfits already?


No comments:

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.