When Pam Kinnaman learned about an animal sanctuary that needed help, she couldn't just sit back and do nothing.
Her love for animals wouldn't allow her to do that.
So Kinnaman, along with her husband Tim, decided to adopt some of the animals from the Montana Large Animal Sanctuary.
Plans are currently under way to move between 70 and 90 llamas and other animals from the sanctuary.
The Kinnamans, who own Wee Sheep Shetland Farm north of Bloomfield, adopted an alpaca in November, and added three llamas Dec. 19.
"Soon after receiving the llamas, I learned of the massive rescue of animals from a large animal sanctuary that lost their funding and also had too many animals to provide proper care to them all," Kinnaman explained. "I have heard there were hundreds of llamas on the property, also horses, cattle and pigs. It is a desperate situation and a nation-wide effort to save as many of the animals they can. There will be 30 llamas coming to Indiana."
Kinnaman said that Lynnsey Dauer is the Indiana Southeast Llama Rescue Indiana (SELR) coordinator from Laconia who is working to find and approve foster farms for the animals.
"My husband and I will be taking up to three of the Montana llamas with an unknown arrival," Kinnaman said. "There is another farm in Owen County that will also be taking some of them if their farm passes the required SELR inspection that I will be conducting on Friday."
Kinnaman says there are hundreds of animals at the Montana sanctuary and there was not enough food or proper care for all of the animals before rescue organizations got involve.
"Once it became known that the animals were in dire straits, the rescue organization got permission to intervene," Kinnaman said. "The article link (below) explains the conditions and reasons for the intervention."
The link is https://rtfitch.wordpress.com/2011/01/10/update-death-in-the-montana-montains/
Kinnaman says all of the llamas coming from Montana have to be fostered for a minimum of 45 days.
"These llamas have not been socialized at all or it has been a long time since they have been handled so they will be difficult to handle when they arrive," Kinnaman said. "During the 45 days, that will give the foster parents time to evaluate their behavior and begin to socialize the animals ... hopefully to the point of being more adoptable."
She added that llamas are prey animals so their initial response will be fright and flight.
"They need to learn that people can be trusted. The younger the animal, the easier that should be," Kinnaman noted. "It is my intention that the animals that will be fostered on our farm will ultimately be able to be adopted."
The Kinnamans have been raising Shetland sheep on their farm since 2002.
"Since then I have learned to use their fleece by spinning yarn and felting the wool. I have also learned to appreciate many kinds of animal fiber and have been able to diversify our farm animals to include three alpacas and three llamas," Kinnaman said. "We did have an angora goat but their nutritional needs are different than the sheep so it was hard to keep one goat with the sheep. He went to live at our neighbor's farm where he can be with other goats.
"I had the opportunity to get two alpacas a couple of years ago and fell in love with these quiet and gentle animals."
Kinnaman met Dauer in October and learned about another alpaca that she could adopt.
"After receiving the alpaca, I decided to adopt the three llamas. I thought I loved alpacas a lot, but the llamas have been such a wonderful addition to our farm too," Kinnaman said.
"The more I learn about them, the more I love them."
Kinnaman hopes others in Greene and surrounding counties will step up to help the Montana animals in need.
"We could use more foster farms right now and then ultimately those interested in giving them a permanent home," she said. "If anyone is interested they can go to www.southeastllamarescue.org to contact Lynnsey directly or they are welcome to contact me as well."
Kinnaman can be contacted by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org .
"I just want to express how beautiful and peaceful llamas are. Llamas have a reputation that they spit, and yes they may spit on people if they feel threatened or are abused by people. If handled properly and socialized, spitting is rare," Kinnaman said.