Feisty llamas rescued from Yakima County adjust to new life at Pasado's Safe Haven

The team at Pasado's Safe Haven is helping a herd of wooly friends from Yakima County after the county sheriff requested their assistance in saving nine llamas from extreme neglect.

Five of the llamas went to the Olympic Peninsula Llama/Alpaca Rescue, while four others have settled into Pasado's for some TLC.

"When one ear is back and one is forward, they are really taking it all in," said Syd Lukheart, Pasado's Safe Haven Animal Caregiver.

With the wooly crew now on site, there's a lot of llama drama going on at Pasado's.   

"He uses his spit," said Lukheart, referencing one of the llamas. "He and Shaggy like to communicate through their spitting." 

The four llamas that are recovering there after being rescued from Yakima County are a feisty bunch. 

"Right now we are just working on getting their weight up, finding all the food that they love," said Lukheart. "Their favorites are this llama green and also some fermented hay."

Now that they've decompressed, their personalities are starting to shine through. 

"Shakira has really warmed up quickly," said Lukheart. She is featured in the picture above wearing the purple blanket. 

While Shakira is the sweetheart of the group, Lenny is her protector. He's always trying to look out for his favorite girl. Lenny is pictured below. 

The staff says Shaggy, the chocolate brown llama, never misses a meal and caregivers say Ace, a llama with brown markings on his face, is the class clown and escape artist. 

"During the rescue, he attempted a 6-foot fence, I mean, he didn’t quite make it and fell on his face. But, he got right back up again," said Lukheart. "He has the goofy personality and big eyes that look right into your soul."

The Director of Animal Cruelty Investigations, who couldn't share her name due to ongoing investigations, says the herd was found without shelter and emaciated. 

"The whole property was full of garbage, broken down vehicles, broken glass, broken metal, wire, pretty much everything and anything that could harm a farm animal," she said.  

Animal caretakers say many of the llamas had wounds from attacks by neighborhood dogs. 

"Some of the animals had been killed by dogs or had babies that had been killed by dogs. So, just a horrible scene both physically and mentally for them," she said. 

At least 10 other animals were found dead on the same property. Because llamas are family-oriented, the team says Shaggy had refused to leave the side of a deceased herd-mate for weeks. 

"He was laying next to the remains of a body. The deputy said that she’d been coming by this property, trying to get this case built, and for over a month, he’s been laying there. He was there when we got there, laying next to that body," she said.  

Fortunately, things are looking up for the llamas. 

Now that Shakira has had her wool clipped, the next thing on the agenda is a series of haircuts for the boys, although it may be a tough sell for Lenny. 

"We had a behaviorist come out with a lot of llama experience," said Lukheart. "We assessed Lenny. In her experience, she was like, ‘If you try to halter him right now, and hand-sheer him like you did Shakira, he’s going to kick you’." 

The Pasado's Safe Haven team says Lenny will likely be sedated for his spa day.

Pasado's has information on how you can help the llamas or other animals at the sanctuary listed on their website. They also have a list of animals that are currently available for adoption. 

The llamas could be up for adoption as early as this summer, but for now, they are taking it slow.  

"Even just them eating their mash in front of us is a huge step. They feel comfortable enough to take their eyes away from us and eat their food and that is really great," said Lukheart.

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