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.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Rescue News: Nineteen Llama Newcomers

There are good days and there are bad days when you run an animal rescue facility.  When I received the phone call from some folks 6 hours away that were having a tough time with the bank and needed to find a home immediately for 19 llamas I didn't think no ... I thought what am I going to have to do to pull this off?  I've been on bigger rescues, I've driven longer distances to save animals.  The details are always the toughest to work out. The first thing that I started thinking about was: where was I going to borrow a larger trailer to get them all in one trip. My trailer is too small to carry 19. The next thing that I was thinking: what muscle could I get to road trip with me; since there was no way I was going to wrestle 19 wild llamas in the trailer by myself?   I found the trailer, Justin and Chris were up for an adventure--plans were made to take off for our mission at midnight on Friday night.

We arrived at 6am as planned to get the llamas. I was hoping that they would be locked in the barn ... we could back the trailer up and be home bound by 7am Saturday morning. Llamas are an amazingly intelligent animal and have the unbelievable ability to foil the best of plans. Due to the fact that we've done this a couple of times, Justin and I had everyone on the trailer and we were back on the road with two heartbroken people standing in the driveway waving their goodbyes. It didn't take me long to figure out that these were not your normal llamas. They were in good shape but over half the herd stood for the entire six hour trip back home; very odd and not something that I've ever seen before. Normally as soon as the trailer starts moving the llamas kush (or lay down) but these llamas were not making anything easy or normal.

We arrived back to the farm slightly behind schedule and really happy to be back. I decided that while the llamas were still on the trailer that they should get their worming shots. That went as I expected it would, it was not on the top of the llamas' list of things to do after a long ride but it had to get done. Now the fun part. I don't let intact male llamas out with the herd until they have been gelded.
Supposedly there were five intact males running with this herd. I started letting them off the trailer and running them down through the barn through a series of locks where I could sort off the males into pens and let the females out into the herd. My daughter Hannah (who is 12 and has rescued more animals with me than most animal shelters have) quickly volunteered for the Easter egg hunt and we quickly had seven males identified and separated. The one six month old male cria got a reprieve and got to go back out with his mom and the herd ... this still left us with six males, not five.

The females with their crias (most likely rebred) have adjusted well over the last couple of days. They like their new mountain view and they are starting to settle in. They do not want to sleep in the barn and prefer to sleep out in the middle of a 10 acre pasture. I am starting to get into their heads and get to know them. You really don't have to be an animal communicator to pick up on their vibes. They know that I won't hurt them and they know that I helped them but they are very nervous and you can feel that they haven't settled into their new home yet. They are confused, don't understand why they are here and really would like to be someplace that they are more familiar with. If they only knew what their fate could have been.
They have a lot ahead of them. They will be given the time that they need to settle in before I start halter breaking them. The first of the biggest two obstacles are over.

The males are the next hurdle. They need to be gelded before they can be let out of their pens to rejoin the herd that they have lived with their entire lives. I need to raise at least another $1000 to cover the vet bill for their surgeries. We have received enough donations to cover the transportation costs. Our facility has grown a lot over the last 10 years. I can no longer afford to pay for everything out
of my checkbook as a teacher. We have to rely on donations because my vets won't come for free. :) I have never been good at begging for money. We have become a not for profit facility now (not like any rescue facility ever makes a profit). The nice thing about this is that people that donate money to us can write it off as a tax deduction. I am hoping that we can raise the money to cover the geldings this week so that I can get the vets here. Once the males are gelded, we can handle the rest of their care, worming shots, vet visits, feed, shearing, training, etc. We have never turned an animal in need away and I don't intend to start saying no anytime soon. I really am flattered that so many of our supporters have sent a check. It really validates what we do that other people support us. As soon as we get the guys gelded and everyone gets settled in, I would love to teach anyone that would like to learn how to halter break a llama a few of my tricks to do that.

Tomorrow I will try to write a blog on all of the wildlife that we have taken in over the last couple of months. It is my intention to get blogging again so that our friends and supporters can see what is coming in on a weekly basis and hear the story of those animals as well. Sometimes there just isn't enough time in the day for the computer when I would really rather be in the barn with the animals.

Till the next update,

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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.