Here at Classy Camelids, we have a passion for giving back to the community.
Meet Owner: Shannon Joy
Shannon originally got into llamas thanks to the incredible youth program: 4-H. Before Shannon’s family purchased llamas, they joined 4-H and Shannon borrowed a llama named Shania Twain to learn about and show at the Clark County Fair.
After falling in love with these special animals, Shannon’s mom took her shopping with the guidance of their 4-H leader where they met and fell in love with Rojo the Llama when he was only 4 months old. Shannon showed Rojo at their county fair for 4 years before graduating high school and adulting when she come back to the llama world full-time.
Shannon is now a 4-H leader helping to educate more youth about how to raise and show llamas and alpacas of their own. Passing on this opportunity is important to her as she in return, loans her family’s animals for youth to borrow just as she did when she was young. Shannon also sits on the Board of Directors for Southwest Washington Llama Association which is a great resource for those interested in getting connected with llama breeders in the Pacific Northwest as well as learning how to get into raising llamas and alpacas of their own.
Meet Llama Mama: Lori Gregory
Lori is Shannon’s mother and the inspiration for all of this! It was Lori who came across llamas at a local fair when considering what animals to get for their 2.5 acre pasture.
Lori always knew there was a purpose for her life bigger than herself. When she heard about sharing llamas as therapy animals, she knew this was it! Seeing the look on the faces of the elderly she was meeting with Rojo, she was overcome with joy beyond what she had ever imagined.
From 2007-2015, Lori single-handedly shared Mtn Peak’s llamas and alpacas with her community until she could no longer do it alone. Seeing her daughter, Shannon, taking pride in joining the mission, Lori gave Shannon the go-ahead to take over all of the special event opportunities in order to continue as volunteers for all of their therapeutic and educational mid-week visits. This is how Classy Camelids came to form in 2017, ten years after it all began.
With the help of her daughter joining forces, Lori is now able to focus on expanding her 501(c)3 non-profit Mtn Peaks Therapy Llamas & Alpacas. As she gets older yet wanting to still be involved, Lori is working towards her dream of offering on-site therapy interactions right on her farm offering free therapy and educational opportunities to those who need it most in her Ridgefield, Washington community.
Lori is also a proud Representative for Quechua Benefit, an organization dedicated to helping the Quechua people in the highlands of Peru. Quechua Benefit delivers medical, dental and optical care, and distributes warm clothing, provides shelter, food, and sociological services with an emphasis on children. As a non-denominational faith-based non-profit, Quechua Benefit strives to unite those who feel a call and have a heart to serve the poorest of the poor in Peru.