LANA's Lama Lifeline

Lifeline is a safety net for llamas and alpacas.  It consists of a network of individuals, businesses and organizations that will take action to intervene on behalf of lamas in precarious life situations through consultation, networking, education and/or placement of llamas in new homes within the llama community.  Lama Lifeline is a model that other llama associations may emulate.

You can help!  We are always in need of foster ranches to provide a temporary emergency home to camelids who have suddenly found themselves without a home.  Forever homes are even better.  Do you have room to take on a scared, homeless llama or alpaca or two?  Your donations help us to provide feed, medications, vetting and transportation.  Donate now to help Lama Lifeline!

Lama Lifeline Committee

Jerry Kimbro just recently joined the Lifeline committee.  He has worked llama rescue for years on a personal basis and we look forward to adding his experience to our team.

Cathy Spalding has served on the Lifeline Committee for over ten years.  Her background and knowledge of lama behavior is invaluable to LANA.

L'illette Vasquez has also been on the Lifeline committee for ten years.  Her vast networking skills are crucial to finding homes for the camelids that Lifeline works with.

To contact Lama Lifeline:

By Cathy Spalding

It takes stamina, courage and compassion to become immersed in the world of animal abuse and neglect. You must know when to “hold ‘em” and when to “fold ‘em.” There are laws, rules and protocols. Those can vary from place to place. It is important to establish a working relationship with authorities, veterinarians and other organizations. Some situations are emergent and dire while others can move more slowly. Sometimes the situation involves healthy animals but their human has passed leaving them to fend on their own. Sometimes the situation demands you work hard to keep yourself together as you strive to remove the still living amidst the dead. Now and again an extra special individual steps forward. Back in early 2000, Gary Kaufman began helping with llamas in need. LANA was revising the LANA Lifeline program and I knew Gary had the heart and expertise for great input. Gary was already very involved answering calls and making trips to connect with people in need of help –animals with behavioral issues, training issues, in need of shearing and/or toenail trimming. Often times he had worked with people who thought that they needed to be rid of their llamas, only to learn, that with a little help from someone they could make living with their llamas a lot more enjoyable.

While reviewing the Lifeline program at his dining table, I floated the idea that he seriously consider joining the LANA Lifeline committee. After thinking it over for a few days, he decided to do it and, as they say, the rest is history. Gary’s critical thinking skills combined with his knowledge of regulations, contacts and resources led the LANA Lifeline Committee through some of the most memorable and difficult neglect and rescue situations imaginable. Lifeline played a large role in the Montana Large Animal Sanctuary evacuation. Gary personally went to MLAS. He also worked directly with OSU and Cross Creek Alpaca Rescue in the horrific Polk County alpaca rescue. He helped establish criteria for the Llamas Owners of Washington State rescue program. Gary was typically the first line of contact for Lifeline fielding a vast array of phone calls and emails providing support and solutions for resolution to questions, concerns or crisis issues. He personally went out and assessed a number of situations, volunteered his time for transport and fostered both llamas and alpacas on his farm. As chair of the Lifeline committee, he has taken the lead in coordinating efforts with other rescue organizations and sanctuaries including StillPointe, SELR, SWLR, the CRC and Cross Creek Alpaca Rescue. In honor of his ongoing selfless efforts on behalf of camelids in need, Gary was awarded the LANA Lifetime Achievement Award as well as the 2007 Virginia Christensen National Lama Welfare Award.

As is a process we all experience, Gary has found it is time for him step down as chair of the LANA Lifeline Committee. LANA Lifeline will sorely miss his enormous contributions and truly, cannot thank him enough for everything he has done. We all wish Gary the very best.