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