Greetings from the Home of Llama and Alpaca Rescue!
The Southeast Llama Rescue’s [SELR] mission is to protect the quality of life and improve the well being of abused, neglected, unwanted and behaviorally unmanageable llamas through prevention, education, intervention, placement and lifelong care. SELR is a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization incorporated in North Carolina.
There are many groups in the United States that rescue various kinds of our animal friends from abuse, abandonment, lack of proper care, owners who die or are unable to continue caring for them, and many other reasons. The words of Albert Schweitzer, preacher, philosopher, physician, noted musician, 1950 Nobel Peace Prize recipient, ring true for this kind of rescue, “Until mankind can extend the circle of compassion to include all living things, he will never himself know peace.” The heart of one such organization’s is finding homes for llamas and alpacas: Southeast Llama Rescue (SELR) formalized in 2000 and is a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization incorporated in North Carolina.
SELR rescues those charming creatures with their long necks and baby-sweet looks. You might ask, “What is the difference between llamas and alpacas?” Alpacas look like small llamas yet both alpacas and llamas are shorn like sheep. Further, they are members of the camel (camelid) family. In addition to the well-known, one-humped Dromedary camel of the Middle East and the two-humped Bactrian camel of Asia, there are four native members of the camel family in the Americas today: the domesticated llama, regarded throughout the world as the premier symbol of South American animals; the domesticated alpaca, selectively bred for its fine, multi-hued wool; the free-ranging guanaco, probable progenitor of the llama and historically common herbivore of the arid lands of South America; and the wild vicuña, fine-fleeced denizen of the central high Andean mountains.
East Ellijay, Adoption Coordinator, Deborah Logan notes, “When we receive a surrendered animal, if they are a fit for what someone is looking for they are almost immediately routed to their new home. There are restrictions for the kind of space that llamas and alpacas require. Our guidelines states that no more than four llamas or six alpacas should occupy one acre of land. They actually do not require a ton of space but if sequestered on a small lot they can quickly turn it into a “dry lot” as they are browsers and will eat bushes, small trees, etc.
“The llamas and alpacas are advertised on the web pages when we do not have adoptive homes waiting within a reasonable distance of where the animals were surrendered or are currently being fostered or they are not a match for applicants who have gone through the approval process and are currently waiting for just the “right one.” The “right” one for you could be far different than for others,” Logan points out.
She also informs that in the past year 50 llamas and alpacas were placed. Surrenders and adoptions numbers fluctuate. Animals are surrendered due to change of circumstances for the owners such as death of a spouse, medical issues, relocation, etc. Also, interest is increasing for adoptions as a result of prospective adopters learning about SELR as a resource, but with fewer adoptions taking place in the cold of winter or the heat of summer. “We often get surrenders in relatively large numbers and adoptions are typically in pairs.
Logan advises, “An adopter needs to be aware of the kind of animals that llamas and alpacas interact well with and those they do not. For instance: Though camelids are not regularly recommended to share space with horses, individual situations are evaluated. Some very successful situations occur, but adopters must keep the size difference in mind – a bite or a kick from a horse could devastate the smaller animal. Many camelids live happily with livestock guard dogs such as Anatolian Shepherds, Great Pyrenees and other breeds raised specifically for that purpose.
“There are organizations similar to clubs for llama/alpaca owners, with the primary one for llamas in this area being the Southern States Llama Association (they have alpaca owners as well) and they offer new SELR adopters a free year membership. The Southeastern Alpaca Association is another active organization. There are also quite a few state-specific organizations as well as groups focused on one aspect, such as fiber, packing or carting for instance,” Logan adds.
There is an internal registry where all animals are tracked that flow through SELR – they have an internal number assigned to them and are kept up with where they are (either foster or adoptive home) and their status, but after adoption nobody is bound to SELR other than they have a contractual obligation to return the animal to SELR if they can no longer care for it and they must notify us of a death within 24 hours. All SELR people are volunteers, so aside from the coordinators and a few longtime key volunteers, the rest are ad hoc volunteers who respond to requests for assistance. Volunteers, financial support, and heart are what keep SELR going.
Logan advises that interested parties need to get your application off to your state coordinator so the process gets rolling. “You never know when your future llama or alpaca will turn up!!
To volunteer, make a donation, adopt/surrender
a llama or alpaca, please contact:
Deb Logan, Southeast Llama Rescue
628. 358. 0945
For more information or to make a tax
deductible donation online, please visit:
You can also find SELR on Facebook: