When you think of an animal foster, usually the images of a sweet doggy or kitty come to mind…but what about llamas? While Melissa Shrout is an active foster for domesticated animals like kitty cats for Happy Tails off Folsom Rd in Sacramento, she also serves as a Llama Mama out at Blackberry Creek for rescued llamas. Recently Melissa shared with DayTripper Magazine how she became a Llama Mama:
Melissa “The Mama Llama” Shrout, how on earth did you find out about the Blackberry Creek Llama Rescue?
“Josh and Danielle Hanosh, (Danielle was my son, Kyle’s, BFF in grade school), created Blackberry Creek two years ago. They moved heaven and earth to save Bert (a llama) from a field where he was abandoned. Just getting him to Blackberry Creek was a feat. So, now I simply donate monthly to his medical care, feeding, etc. His bio is on www.blackberrycreek.org. I love Danielle and what she’s doing. It was and is something I will continue to support.”
That is phenomenal! So you don’t actually have the llamas come live in your house or condo, you can go to them, and help out. (WHEW! Not sure llamas are made for apartment living)! What’s the best part of being a Llama Mama?
“Best part? One? There are so many and it’s impossible to list in order of importance. Well, maybe the first is that you’re literally saving a life. The rest would be the snuggling, purring, laughing and a sense of making a difference. It’s also amazing to watch my children and grandchildren gain the animals trust which adds to their compassion and self esteem. And, I feel such satisfaction when someone falls in love and wants to adopt them. It makes someone else’s family complete. Win, win, win.”
Wow! This almost sounds too good to be true! Certainly, there’s gotta be some aspect that’s not so appealing, right?
“Litter box. A necessary evil. Absolutely the worst part. But, I’m super excited about the new Blue Buffalo crushed walnut kitty litter. I never thought I would say that!”
*Laughing hysterically* Okay, yes, that part would be “crappy!” But what a great concept, and the work you all are doing is fantastic! We know you are a super busy lady, and fostering is something that is extremely near and dear to your heart, so putting you on the spot, given the choice, which kind of animal would you prefer to foster the most?
“Fostering kittens is the animal of choice. There are so many that are simply thrown away and discarded. And, all of them deserve better. Sometimes I take a litter of two, sometimes a litter of eight. They’re like cupcakes, if you’re going to make the effort to bake, what difference does a few more make?”
Great point! Between real estate, teaching Jazzercise and all the community activities you are involved with, it’s wonderful to hear about the time you share with all these animals to help them have a quality life!
Melissa is a fascinating person who is extremely involved with many different activities in the Sacramento Region, click here to read more: