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, June 22, 2009

Happy Father's Day

I'm sitting here, listening to my new ipod that I got today from my kids. If I start writing the lyrics to Johnny Cash or one of the other great 438 songs on this thing, dont take it personal. I love this thing, tonight when I was giving bottles to 10 screaming Coons, I didn't hear them at all. I was singing along and it made it really pleasant, God I cant wait until these 10 are weaned. I am getting really burned out on coons, I hope that I don't get anymore.

I am not even going to try to catch you all up on the animals that have come in since Thurs when I last blogged. There are too many and each has a cool story. I am going to try to focus on Oscar and facilities. Oscar is doing great. He got the surgery that he needed. Cornell University and the folks that work there are first class and I am in debt to them. Oscar came through the surgery like a champ. It is all too complicated to get into but he got the best medical care that a Bobcat can get after being whacked by a car. He got the expensive surgery he needed and Cornell has agreed to work with me. It was not free, there is still a bill, please send checks. Write in the memo "Oscar" and I will dedicate all of that money to him and Cornell. He has a long way to go, long time to heal and most likely a life in captivity but he is alive and he wont have to worry about anything for the rest of his life. I am still taking everything with him one day at a time. He is in good hands and is still being worked on at the Cornell Wildlife Health Facility.

The other great thing about this ipod is that I cant hear the phone ring.:) Keep calling, the kids will bring me the phone if it is important. We've been busy but I notice that the orphaned and injured wildlife that is coming in is looking a lot older. The one eyed coon has almost completely healed her eye up, I am hoping to put her in with some other coons by the end of the week. I really appreciate the nice donation that the woman that brought her to me sent to cover that surgery. This is my last week of school and then things should be a little less hectic for me as I try to keep everything fed around my school schedule.

Sat. am, Tim and Kristen came up to volunteer at the farm. They had brought me a skunk a few weeks ago and came up to volunteer at our facility for the day. I thought that it was only appropriate to build a skunk pen complete with a hollow log since a baby red fox is in the pen that I made for skunks. We got it built and I ran down to the Negro Cemetery rededication at 2 pm Sat.. Middleburgh has a segregated negro burial ground used up until the early 1900's. When I bought this facility above the Middleburgh Cemetery 10 years ago, I found the Negro Cemetery off in the bushes. For the last 10 years I've been working on getting it cleaned up with my Schoharie County History Class at our High School. The Middleburgh Historical Society helped get a new stone, on it they had engraved "We cannot change the mistakes of the past but we can make right by it today" a saying that I tell my students all the time, esp. when I have them working in the cemetery.

Tim, Kristen and I came back up to the facility after the ceremony to put some skunks in that great new cage. After one sprayed me, they ate their food, one got out. We had to catch that one, triple enforce the sides....I just don't get why nothing is ever easy. I still like skunks a lot right now even after one used me for target practice, I am really tired of baby coons. I like the fawns a lot now also. They eat their bottles out of their bottle racks and wont even come out of hiding if they see me...that is good considering how easy they imprint. It was a long day Sat..... I fell to sleep on the couch in the living room watching a movie with the kids and was pissed when I woke up at 2 am and had to come out and do coon bottles.

The phone started ringing at 630 this morning. I scowled at the caller, "NY Wildlife Rescue Center, it is 630, I'm tired, what do you have".....Friend of mine in North Carolina, wanted to know if I wanted some cigarrettes, they are cheaper down there......gotta quit those things, who will feed all of these darn coons if I die of lung cancer. Every wildlife rehabber should be required get their RVS license because there is not many people doing coons, skunks and bats...
I really want to get this cage, It is seven hundred dollars but it has 3 different would be great for sorting coons (of different ages) while they wean until they get big enough to go in the big community cage. I need it. It isn't a want, it is a necessity.

By 730, I got a call from one of our new volunteers. Melinda was wondering what I was doing (not sleeping) and she said that she had several friends that were handy at building things and wondered if they could come over (I like people that can build things), wish I had a connection with a lumber yard....They all arrived just as I was finishing am rounds with bottles. I told them that I had to pick up two loads of hay and a donated bunny cage. I told them to go look at the Raptor Center, look at exactly how we had built the finished sections and if they wanted to tackle it while I did what I had to do they were more than welcome to work on it. After I got done with a cup of coffee with the wife so I could explain that what I do everyday is exactly what I wanted to do today on my I went. With all of the help I had today, My Summit, NY gang actually almost finished the remaining framing and construction on what was left on the indoor half of the Raptor Center.

We got the hay in. I got everything fed, done and actually took the wife and kids for an ice cream. I like days like today. Besides for a Kestrel that came in, it was a slow day. If you have never been here, you need to visit. I hope to have an open house soon. Ive had a dozen people tell me in the last week that they didn't realize the magnitude that we were helping animals. This is one of the largest not for profit animal rescue facilities in the northeast and we do NOT get any STATE or FEDERAL funding. I repeat, we survive entirely by your generosity. Any body good at grant writing out there? I need someone to take the initiative to start sending our name to Extreme Home Makeover, Animal Planet (would make a great series) or anyplace that can get us the exposure we need to get some donations.

The Raptor Center is half done, the best part is the outdoor flight, which needs to be built yet. Does anyone have a Lumber Co. connection, someone call Curtis Lumber, Stock Builder, Home Depot????I think that I will give a lumber list, everyone that comes to the Open House can bring a board or send a check and we will get it for you. Geeez, I will even build it if I keep getting some help like today. I like volunteers, raccoons too, esp when they are sleeping....maybe I cant hear them, I love this ipod.

...thanks kids,

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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.