Meet the Board
F.E. Baxter “baxter” fell in love with llamas in 2001 when she spotted a herd of llamas with their big, beautiful, soulful, dark eyes. The Kerrville Sanctuary at baxter’s home has rescue animals that include llamas and alpacas plus rescued cats and dogs. For many years, baxter and other volunteers have maintained the “maternity ward” until homes are found for the llamas and their crias. Currently the Kerrville Sanctuary is home to llamas that need care due to age or health concerns. baxter is a co-founder of SWLR and serves as Treasurer and Kerrville Sanctuary Manager.
Ellen Jackson: My fascination with llamas began almost 10 years ago in Kerrville, TX when I first met baxter. I’m a retired teacher and I wanted something fun and interesting to do with my time. I started volunteering and learning about the llamas. I’ve helped with feeding, shearing, helping host workdays, looking for toxic weeds, etc. Except for crias, baxter’s lot is all females (except for Gus who is gelded). Their behavior is so interesting to watch, with the older ones like moms and aunties, and the youngsters kicking up their heels and playing together. I love being part of this community. Here’s a pic of me and Gus smooching. He’s quite a character. baxter says it’s very bad manners for a llama to run up to you, but it tickles me every time. Then he has to sniff your face like it’s the first time you’ve ever met. It’s like being nuzzled by a peach.
Lynda Liptak: Lynda Liptak is dedicated to sharing the awesomeness of llamas. Lynda and her family have seven wonderful trekking llamas-five of them trained by her at her farm, Llamas del Sol in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and all of them rescues. Lynda has been practicing camelid dynamics philosophy and technique that focuses on respectful, kind, fun, and safe llama handling since the start of her llama adventures on Valentines Day on 2009. Her mission is to see all llamas treated with care and respect when handled as well as to show people what llamas can do for them. Lynda sees herself as an advocate for llamas and a student of llama communication.
Pat Little: In 1989, Pat and her husband, ET were on a back-pack trip in Northern New Mexico. They were descending from Santa Fe Baldy when they encountered a group of hikers with llamas. They knew that day they too would be hiking with these beautiful animals. That day came in 2001 after they took in 8 lamas from a severe animal cruelty case, providing a safe caring home. Pat is a co-founder of SWLR and serves as the Chief Executive Officer.
Nina Pedersen: Though her professional path led her career geared toward the rehabilitation of human beings, her personal life has been dedicated to bringing more kindness, compassion and respect to animals. Since 1993, Nina has owned Rainbow Ridge Llama Ranch in Petaluma, California. Nina has participated in numerous llama association events, showing locally, regionally, and nationally, hikes, community events, parades, and hosting school and youth groups at her ranch for educational purposes. Involvement with llama rescue has included drafting the original guidelines of LANA’s LAMA Lifeline with Cris Jennings and Eva LaMar, working with animal control in abuse cases, placement of llamas after owners passed away, cases of neglect or abandonment, assisting numerous llama rescue organizations, and disaster assistance and fostering during/after the recent California firestorms. Nina fields phone calls from through-out the state from owners or their neighbors requesting assistance and/or resources. Nina was very honored to be asked to serve on the board for SWLR as an advocate for llamas.
L’illette Vasquez: L’illette has worked with rescue since the beginning of her camelid journey. She bought her first llamas after receiving an unexpected vacation check from a job lay-off. It was cold and rainy in Ireland in January 2000, so she bought her first llamas instead! In 2003, realizing a far greater love of llamas than technical writing, L’ sent out her first “Have Llamas, Will Travel” ad and was invited by Bobra Goldsmith to work with her at Rocky Mountain Llamas. After Bobra’s death in 2010, she joined 925 Sterling Alpacas, adding alpacas to her love of all things camelid. Now happily ensconced at the SWLR sanctuary in Kerrville, Texas, L’illette’s journey continues with yet another wonder-full bend in the path.