2/4/11 - 11:58 am
Above: Some of the 100 starving llamas rescued by Wes Laraway in Schoharie County last week. Photo from the Northeast Llama Rescue blog.
A massive cross-country llama rescue operation coordinated by a Schoharie-county "llama whisperer" is making headlines, and has inspired some charitable impulses in a celebrity llama owned by the Fabulous Beekman Boys.
Last week, Wes Laraway, a Middleburgh history teacher who runs an animal rescue center at his Red Maple Farm, rescued 100 neglected llamas from a failing large animal sanctuary in Montana where over 1,000 animals were reportedly slowly starving to death. Laraway, who says that he thinks the rescue is one of the largest since Hurricane Katrina, funded much of the rescue himself, according to the Times Union:
Laraway agreed initially to take 50 llamas, but the cost of moving them cross-country was $9,000 for 50, or twice that number. Laraway took the 100 and paid the cost out of pocket. He hopes to recoup that and other expenses through donations, including an estimated $13,000 more to keep the llamas stocked with hay for the next six months, plus veterinary bills.
Yesterday, WRGB 6 devoted a long news segment to the story, which referred to Laraway's nickname:
But when it comes to helping sick animals recover, Laraway has a reputation for getting the job done. "Around here they call him the llama whisperer. He has a tendency to bring back the ones that nobody else would give the time to," says volunteer Gayle Natasi.
The rescue has also caught the attention of Sharon Springs reality-TV stars Brent Ridge and Josh Kilmer-Purcell, aka The Fabulous Beekman Boys, who own a llama named Polka Spot who makes regular cameos on the Planet Green show. (She also has her own Facebook and Twitter accounts. A sample tweet: "Cllaire Danes at Gollden Gllobes: spit." )
Polka Spot is so invigorated by the rescue of her Montana relatives that she is adopting one of the rescued llamas herself, according to a blog post on the Beekman website:
The 100 llamas that arrived at the Northeast Llama Rescue are in dire need of your help. In order to survive long enough to be eligible for adoption, they will need intensive medical care and food supplies.
That’s why Polka Spot decided to do something. Today she volunteered to foster one of these llamas for the next year. His name is Alistair. Polka Spot will pay for his food, care, and medical expenses for the next year until he is healthy enough to be put up for adoption.
She likes to use her world-wide celebrity for a good cause.
Polka released a statement:
“Me llove me.
Me llove llamas.
Me hellp llamas.
You llove me.
You llove llamas.
You hellp llamas.”
It’s hard to argue with llama llogic.
Brent Ridge also took some time to tell CBS 6 about Polka Spot's support for the rescue operation:
To follow Laraway's blow-by-blow account of the rescue, check out his blog. To donate to the care and feeding of the llamas, to help the acitvites of Northeast Llama Rescue, or to adopt a llama, go to the group's website. To watch Laraway rescuing the llamas last week, see the video below:
|Holiday Weekend Shopping at Tay Tea|
|Get Prepped for Thanksgiving at Tay Tea!|
|What's Better Than Sex?|
|Tay Bar's Bountiful Fall Menu!|
|Holiday Wedding Special!|
|Still Time For Senior Portraits!|
|PUT YOUR MONEY WHERE YOUR HEART IS. EMERSON SUPPORTS #SHOPLOCAL AND SMALL BUSINESS SATURDAY ON NOVEMBER 28th|
|Black Friday Shines Bright at the Emerson with Festive Family Fun|
|Happy Thanksgiving Catskills|
|Happy Veterans Day|
|Administrative Coordinator Position Open|
|Andes Hotel looking for servers.|
|Great three course Thanksgiving Dinner at the Andes Hotel!|
|Live music by Crane & McCoy next Friday at the Andes Hotel!|
|BUY ONE NIGHT GET ONE NIGHT FREE AT THE ANDES HOTEL|
|A collaboration with local college students comes to life!|
|Support our Veterans- November 11th|
|Brewery Open Mic & Karaoke- EVERY Thursday|
|FREE Schoharie Beverage Trail tasting! Saturday, November 21, 1-4pm|
|Free tasting TODAY! 4-7pm|
|Free tasting Friday, November 13, 4-7pm|
|Volunteers Wanted For 2016 Festival in Fleischmanns|
|GRBA Holiday Party, Tuesday, December 8 at Public Lounge & Restaurant|
|Annual Community Food Pantry Promotion|
|DEEP WATER SCREENS AT OLIVE LIBRARY, SATURDAY NOVEMBER 21ST AT 10:30AM|
|RAILS TO THE CATSKILL SCREENS AT D&H CANAL HOUSE SATURDAY NOVEMBER 7TH|
|Wildlife Portraits: Hand-Colored Photographs by Naturalist Walt Meade - Slide Show & Gallery Talk|
|DCHA to Present Awards of Merit; Presentation to Focus on “Unknown Museums of Upstate NY”|
|Artists' Supplies at X-it|
|5 Solar Myths Busted|
|Save $1000 per year on household bills|
|MUSIC MUSIC MELEE: WIOX ADMITS NO WRONG-DOING|
|Fresh Pork, Order Your Turkey, & Chef Rob on WAMC's "Food Friday"|
|Reserve your spot for "Eat Like A Pig" Supper Club, Fresh Lamb, Goat & Pork in the Cooler|
|This weekend! A chance to stay at Spillian!|
|Tonight! An Asian Feast Inspired by Spillian's Lotus Room|
|Spillian on a Plate on Hiatus, Returning in January!|
|Glimmerglass Film Days, November 5-9, Offers Compelling Mix of Receptions, Filmmaker Talks, and Award-Winning Films|
|“Personal Perspectives” at The Smithy in Cooperstown|