Friday, May 27, 2011

Their Story

Thelma and Louise came from far, far away in land called Washington State. They had been living on a huge ranch with over 250 other llamas and 300 alpacas. They were cared for but, needless to say, they were not given the individual attention they deserve. Then the economy took a nose dive. Budget cuts were made. Healthcare was skimped on. Finally, the bank foreclosed on the ranch. Bankers don’t know how to care for llamas and only care about money so they scheduled an auction to liquidate the herd.

The good people at Lama Reserve took up a collection and sent trucks and trailers to the auction. You see, they knew that in an economy like this there was no way all those animals would be bought by loving homes. They knew the slaughterhouse representatives would be there. They were. Thanks to the folks at Lama Reserve though, lots of animals were saved from ending up in a can.

Thelma and Louise hopped on the truck heading for Indiana. They spent several weeks in quarantine at a vet facility where they received the proper medical care. Often well intentioned people will take an animal such as this and try to fix them all at once with drugs and too much food. That is not the best thing to do though. Rehabbing a llama is a long drawn out process. Feeding them too much too soon can actually hurt them. They are now ready for some fattening food, but it will still take awhile to pack on the pounds. I think we were selected to care for Thelma and Louise because I don’t seem to have a problem in that area. I’m a pound packing expert.

In an attempt at keeping things real here. I want to say that I was every bit as shocked as you were to see how thin they were. When I visited the vet facility they had not yet been shorn but needed it because they were full of burrs. With all that fiber on her you couldn’t tell how skinny Thelma really was.

Before:

During:

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The thing is though, Thelma and Louise were the two healthiest looking animals there. The vet had just received in another herd for quarantine. That herd is so compromised the photos are too disturbing to share.  This is the reality though of what happens in an economy like this. It is not just the cats and dogs that are left homeless.

It is still going to take awhile to get Thelma and Louise looking good again. It doesn’t happen over night. It would be easy for me to only show happy head shots of them along the way, but I think it is important to share their story in hopes that it might give someone else the courage to try to help a displaced animal.

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I am looking forward to the day I get to post the after photos.

christinesig

17 comments:

kristi said...

So heart wrenching, I hear of so many stories about horses just being turned loose in parks and on deserts because people can't car for them. Your post is wonderful and I can't wait to see them come Fall! I have been thinking about getting an alpaca through a rescue...gosh I think so much...

Winona said...

You are an angel! No more needs to be said.

AutumnSkyRanch said...

They are lucky girls to have found a forever home with you.

Kris said...

Wow! I sure hope they thrive in their new home!

Kellie said...

I am so glad there are those like you who can care for these animals. It truly is sad how mankind (in general) lacks in their stewardship of the earth and it's inhabitants. I dearly wish I had the land to bring a couple home with me. I just have a tiny yard that may support like one itty bitty goat or something. thank you for doing what so many of us cannot do but want to do. I am very careful of who I donate to but because of this blog I am going to look into possibly donating to this cause! I may not have the space, but I know I can spare a few bucks to help out that way!

Kris said...

Okay..here's the thing. I am pretty new to your fabulous blog. A friend who has been reading along with me on mine, and knew I was a new to chicken farming, referred me to yours! I am loving it. First I was looking for all things chickeny on your blog. Now, I see you knit too. I am just going to have to start from your most recent and keep reading backwards to take it all in! Love it!!! I am new to knitting, and only have done several knit wash cloths, which I love, and a pair of slippers. LOVE the process. So relaxing. I crochet too. And sew....quilt..etc.

Robin said...

What a kind heart you have. First the adorable alpacas, who wouldn't love them? And now llamas who just want a place to survive. I'm anxious to hear about their antics as well as their progress. What do the sheep think of all this?

Christine said...

The sheep don't seem to care about the llamas at all but they were freaked out by the alpacas at first. The llamas have been with other sheep for the past six weeks so they seem to take it in stride. Of course they're not all in the same pasture yet. That may change things entirely.

Penny said...

One day if I am blessed with acreage I would love to do animal rescue. You have definitely changed these animals quality of life! Good for you and good for them!

I need orange said...

Thank you for taking them in and giving them a second chance. I, too, look forward to the "after" pics!

Briarose said...

Oh my Goodness! They are sooo thin, I'm sitting here crying for all the others that need for ever homes...thank goodness they have to to care for them. Claire

Florida Farm Girl said...

Good job, Christine! My brother had given one of his horses to a little girl, but hard times hit and they could no longer afford to feed and they asked if he would take her back. He did, of course, and she's well cared for. His at the point of about having to start buying hay for the horses because there is no pasturage due to lack of rain. He's already sold part of his cows and the rest may be off to market in the next week or so if no rain comes.

Evelyn said...

Lucky Thelma and Louise, if I was closer I would have a couple also. It's going to be hard finding time to spin all that fibre and choosing sheep, llama or alpaca lucky you. Can you please tell me what the difference is between an alpaca and a llama. Stay safe, are the storms affecting you?

ain't for city gals said...

This all makes me sad also....people are just turing their horses out in the desert to die basically...they can't even give them away!

ain't for city gals said...

p.s. I came over from Whosyurgurl...

*~*~*~*~Tonia said...

Oh my! I am looking forward to seeing them "pack on the pounds"! Glad you could take them in!

Tammy said...

Lucky lucky llamas (finally) to make it to your little paradise. You will be blessed as they come back into full health. I had heard horses were similar to what you said--you have to take it slow and easy to get the pounds back on. My heart breaks for all the animals in need, but everywhere I go around here there are 'free puppies', 'free kittens' signs stuck by mailboxes.
Good luck and bless you for taking on these two beautiful creatures.
Tammy