Holly Callahan-Kasmala knew something was wrong immediately when she saw her 22-year-old llama Skippy lying in a different spot than usual on the farm she owns in Millers with her husband, Peter.
As she approached the llama late Sunday morning, Callahan-Kasmala could tell his pulse was off. She called a vet, who found three broken legs, two with compound fractures. Skippy’s bones were crushed and would not be able to heal.
“He was in agony,” she said. “We elected to euthanize him immediately because he was suffering so much.”
Callahan-Kasmala believes a person or multiple people broke Skippy’s legs intentionally.
Two other elderly llamas and two senior alpacas were unharmed; the older but still healthy 400-pound Skippy was an odd choice for a victim. No signs of a predator entering the enclosure at the couple’s Baltimore County farm could be spotted.
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“He had no other wounds on him whatsoever,” she said. “If a pack of coyotes or a bear had gone after him, there would be bites.”
Callahan-Kasmala said it appeared that human hands had unscrewed the screw eyes that secure stall guards inside the couple’s horse barn.
She says she believes that either someone broke Skippy’s legs either as a deliberate act of cruelty, or a group of intoxicated young people decided to beat up the llama.
Callahan-Kasmala and her family are urging anyone with information related to the incident to contact Baltimore County Police at the Cockeysville precinct.
After finishing graduate school, Callahan-Kasmala decided to get llamas and alpacas because she wanted to get back into the fiber arts she learned from her grandmother. A retired history librarian, she now runs a chicken podcast. She no longer sells the yarn she spins, but mostly uses it for her own art projects.
She’s had Skippy for 18 years, since he was just 3 years old.
“It’s like a nightmare that I keep hoping I wake up from,” Callahan-Kasmala said. “It will haunt me for the rest of my life.”