Shed fire leads to llama drama in Vinegar Flats

SPOKANE, Wash. - One of the most bizarre parades you'll see this 4th of July did not involve patriotic hats and music. Instead, it was two llamas following a pickup truck to return them to their home in Spokane's Vinegar Flats neighborhood.

Sassy and Henry apparently were spooked when flames chewed through their owner's shed and yard Monday night. While neighbors ran to help, Sassy and Henry took off, taking up temporary residence in Jennifer Compau and Emmet Morris's yard.

"They were here last night and they were obviously upset," Compau said. "So, they've been camping out overnight."

The llama drama continued into the morning, and when Sassy and Henry began eating the trees and shrubbery, it was time for them to go. A call to animal rescue didn't yield immediate enough results, so Compau and Morris called the kxly4 Newsroom.

We sent assignment manager/photographer/resident animal expert Brian Neale to check it out. In addition to videotaping the story and gathering interviews, Neale helped neighbors and friends devise a plan to get the llamas back home.

They tied ropes to each of the animals and attached the ropes to a pickup truck. Then, slowly and deliberately, the truck led Henry and Sassy back up to their own yard. Because the owner was still not home, animal rescue officers finally agreed to come out and check on them.

All in a day's work for the people of Vinegar Flats and the llama wrangler of kxly4.

"I appreciate being able to call 911 KXLY and have you guys actually show up to deal with the runaway llamas," Compau laughed.

"[You're the] llama whisperer," Morris said.