CORVALLIS - Safe Haven Llama and Alpaca Sanctuary is reaching out to the community for help, after an annual fundraiser was canceled this year.
Char Hakes runs the farm and non-profit in Corvallis.
"Come on ladies and gents,” Hakes called out to her llamas as she tossed hay and feed on the ground for their breakfast Wednesday morning.
While she fed her animals, Hakes reminisced about when she got her first llamas back in the 1990s.
“I thought, yes this is an animal I can have and use and take care of and not kill,” Hakes said.
And since then she has continued to grow her heard.
"I use to have almost up to 80 now I’m down to about 30," Hakes said.
Even with so many animals, she takes care of each one personally, knowing each one by name.
"And if they don’t have names I give them one,” Hakes said.
Throughout the morning, she addressed every llama by their name calling out to Crystal, Thor, Gunner, and Ashley.
Safe Haven Llama and Alpaca Sanctuary became a nonprofit back in 2004. Llamas were big in the 90's but with over-breeding some people who used to love llamas lost interest. Hakes never did. Ever since, she has been taking in unwanted llamas and alpacas and giving them a home.
"We have got them from Washington, all parts of Montana, Idaho, and last year we had two come from Spokane," Hakes said.
But this year her nonprofit sanctuary hit a bump in the road when it couldn’t host its annual fundraiser.
"I did one last year and we were going to have one this year, but my mom was really ill so we had to cancel it," Hakes said.
Then the situation got more dire:
"There is always something just when you get all situated something comes up,” Hakes explained her personal truck she uses for the sanctuary quit working.
"If I need to transport an animal or haul hay or haul feed, I need a pickup truck," Hakes said.
But transportation isn’t her only need. Safe Haven Runs 100% on volunteer work and donations. Hakes said she'll take anything from feed to cash.
"Plus it is all tax deductible because we are a 501 c3,” Hakes said.
Hakes said the best way to help is send donations to P.O. Box 226 Corvalis, MT 59828. But she can also be reached on her Facebook page or over the phone by calling (406) 961-4027.