Thursday, September 16, 2010

Rescue isn't for sissies

Okay. I understand when folks can't keep their llamas any longer. Believe you me -- after 15 plus years in the "rescue world" I've heard it all:

"We just don't have the time to give them any more."
"We're getting a divorce and selling the farm."
"My husband (or wife) died and I can't take care of them by myself."
"My kids are grown and we're done with the llamas now."
"I have health issues." -- join the crowd, by the way.
"We're getting miniature donkeys/ponies instead."
"This llama just came with the farm when we bought it and we really don't want him."
"This llama was boarded at the stable and the people never came back for him."

No one EVER says:

"I want to get rid of them."
"I'm sick of taking care of them."
"I'm looking for a place to dump them that won't make me feel guilty."
"It's too much work and I'm just done."
"I want you to pay for their care for the rest of their lives."

People DO say:

"I want to keep my herd together." -- Sure mister -- I'm going to take and feed your 10 llamas -- and keep them all together the rest of their lives -- no cost to you."

"I want to make sure they are going to a good home." Well, lady -- maybe YOU weren't the best home. So how dare you question someone who is willing to take in your herd about care giving?"

I've taken in one-eyed llamas, AND one-eyed alpacas.
I've taken in an alpaca with a steel plate in her hip -- and blind in one eye.
I've taken in grossly overweight animals -- and skeletel, next-to-death animals. (BOTH are very bad.)
I've taken in rowdy intact males that tried to bite me everytime I fed them.
I've taken in many, many blue-eyed animals -- both llamas and alpacas.
I've taken in geldings with front legs so crooked they look like the "letter X."
I've taken in animals that have residual effects from meningeal worm.
I've taken in llamas that have never seen a halter until I put it on them to get them into the trailer.
I've taken in spitters and kickers and even "chest bumpers."
I've taken in deaf animals and parasite-ridden animals.
And sadly, I've taken in animals that came to my farm to spend their last remaining days on earth.

And I've taken in some awesome animals that will live at my farm the rest of their natural lives (some of which are already in their 20s).
When they come to my farm I probably spend $$$ per animal right off the bat "vetting" them myself. Deworming, checking toenails, sometimes shearing them, treating for mites, pasty eyes, abscesses. That's PER animal and that's if no vet is involved.
Over the years I've taken in some awesome animals -- and some dangerous animals -- and some ridiculously amusing animals.

Has it evened out? Heck no. I'm crazy in the hole financially from doing this. And yet -- I seem to always have room for that "one more."
Just so you know -- all the animals pictured would be in the "rescue" category. All but Rebano, the handsome grey male with ear tufts, have died.
Some new ones are coming in the next week or so. I'll regret it. I already do. But they need a new home. And it doesn't make any difference to me if their PEOPLE have trouble. The llamas don't deserve that. I'm just waiting for the day when someone gifts me with a show quality, ARI registered alapca or ILR registered llama. Or even better -- with a grant to keep on doing this. I'm waitin'.

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