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 11, 2010

Been There, Done That

After a week of nasty weather, 3 snow days from school, lots of shoveling with over 4 feet of snow....what do I say? Spring is coming, my friends are boiling maple sap right now to make syrup. 36 gallons of sap to make one gallon of syrup. The snow is slowly melting (TG), I've seen robins in the yard for weeks, saw my first vulture returning this past weekend and I even heard a red-winged blackbird this a.m. while doing chores. I am excited about changing the clocks this weekend, spring is in the air.

Things have been slow at NY Wildlife Rescue Center lately but will pick up shortly as "orphan season" begins. January was everything that I thought it would be. I kept busy doing little projects and showing many interns from SUNY Cobleskill's Wildlife Program what we do here.

February was unproductive. My wife and kids went with their grandparents, aunt, uncle and cousins to Disney World in Orlando. I stayed home to try to get some wood cut and hold down the fort. The weather was lousy, I wish I had gone with them now. The highlight of my winter break from school was going to General Electric (with Gayle and Kelly) to do a program for their Wildlife Committee. The Whitney Club have supported us with checks and volunteer labor for years, they are good friends and we love doing our programs for them. The ride home during the blizzard was interesting but we made it, my truck really needs new tires.

March is a great month, spring is in the air. I did a Wildlife Program for the West Fulton Rod and Gun Club last week. I love speaking to hunting clubs, we have the same mission. I am all about conservation and preservation of wildlife. A good Rod and Gun Club will have the same mission statement. It was a good program and I believe that when it comes time to build the Raptor Flight their members will be there to help us. I appreciate their donation also.

This past Saturday, I did a Wildlife Program for the Golden Age Club of Middleburgh. I had a lot of fun and their lunch was great. I am surprised at how many people in the town where I grew up, live and teach don't know what we do up on the hill. I've made it my mission this spring (before things get busy again with orphaned wildlife) to get the word out locally about what we do. I will gladly speak and bring some of our licensed educational animals to any group that would like a program. I just try to keep my programs within a reasonable driving distance.

Last night I received a phone call from Cornell University's Wildlife Center. I expected that it was a call to see how Oscar the Bobcat was doing. Oscar is healing up nice but still favors the one hind leg a bit. I am still hoping that he is releasable. If he isn't, I would love to find a zoo with a native wildlife section that has a great enclosure for him but that is not a decision for today. The vet that called explained that Dr. Randell of Somers Animal Hospital has been working on another male bobcat that was hit by a car in Croton Falls NY, Westchester County. Deja Vu. I think that I've done this before. Cornell was wondering if I could help house and continue rehab on this Bobcat. The Wildlife Hospital at Cornell University offered to provide support care. I quickly agreed.

Somers Animal Hospital did a great job on this cat. Check out their website, and be sure to drop them an email thanking them for what they did to stabilize the bobcat. Many vet clinics do not want to deal with wildlife, this vet clinic went above and beyond. I am impressed: check out the bear surgery photos on their site...awesome. I agreed to help and said that I would start to figure out transportation to our facility. I instantly emailed Kim and Karen, two wildlife rehabbers that I greatly respect in the Rhinebeck area to ask if they would help with this cat. Kim and Karen were the wildlife rehabbers that caught and brought Oscar to me last year. They agreed to pick the cat up at Somers Animal Hospital and meet Roger to transport the rest of the way up to me. Roger is a new wildlife rehabilitator. He is also the man that saw Oscar laying along the road last year and stopped to see if he could be saved. He took such an interest in Oscars recovery that he visited, sent checks and took his test to become a rehabber himself this past fall at the Wildlife Rehabilitators Conference in Lake George.

Roger agreed to meet Karen, transfer this cat into his car and drive another hour to meet me at a convenience store by the Rip Van Winkle Bridge. We did that last night. I really appreciate the help from Kim, Karen and Roger. I appreciate that Kayla, one of our High School volunteers, came along with me for the ride. No one can do Wildlife Rehabilitation without a network of friends and help. They know that I would transport the other direction towards them if needed. It is easier to have 3 people drive an hour each way than force one person to make a 6 hour round trip. I still need to get a transportation chain linked between our facility to Cornell. I know that if we could shuttle raptors and wildlife easier between the Wildlife Health Center at Cornell and NY Wildlife Rescue Center that they could fix and I could rehabilitate many more animals that really don't have a place to go to heal for several months.

This new Bobcat, that I've been calling "Deja Vu" (I don't name wildlife), was pretty out of it last night. He has head trauma, a dislocated leg, and nerve damage in another leg. I don't think that Deja Vu is as messed up as Oscar was with his fractures. I got the bobcat settled in last night when we got home, he hasn't eaten in two days since the accident. Bobcats don't like commercial cat food if given a choice. I feed all of our bobcats the same defrosted dead rats that I feed the raptors. I gave him a couple last night and I didn't see the rats this morning but it was kind of hard to tell if they were in his cage or stomach with him attacking the sides of the cage. Tonight we will try some defrosted mice....yum. I like mice, they are easy to sneak his meds into.

I am excited to have the honor to save another Bobcat. I know that it is going to be expensive and time consuming but I like a challenge. I needed something to keep me busy until Orphan Season starts in another month. Now since I have something to write about, I will try to get blogging again. I will also try to get a photo of "Deja Vu" up on the blog asap, Roger took a couple last night. This bobcat is bigger than Oscar. Oscar was 17 pounds the day he was hit by a car, this bobcat is almost 24 pounds. I will also try to find out the details of the accident.

Be back soon, Thanks for your continued support.


PS: thanks to Karen LeCain for donating the pictures of "Deja Vu".

Friday, March 5, 2010

3rd Annual Easter Bunny Photo Shoot

Come join us for our 3rd annual

Fund Raising Event:

Easter Bunny Photo Shoot

Have your photo taken with a live bunny or lamb!

Where & When:

Saturday March 20th 10a.m. to 2p.m

@ Agway, Rt. 7, Cobleskill

Sunday March 21th 10a.m. to 2p.m.

@ Middleburgh Hardware, Main St, Midd


To help raise funds and awareness for the New York Wildlife Rescue Center, a local non-profit animal rescue located right here in Middleburgh.

***Please join us for a day of fun and have your photo taken with a bunny or lamb and learn something new about our local wildlife. Live Birds of Prey will also be on location for viewing and question/answer sessions. The New York Wildlife Rescue Center is a registered non profit that relies on private funding to support all of its releasable and non-releasable wildlife.

For more information please call:


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.