August 24, 2016

Getting to Know the Clinic

ONGD Amazon CARES in Iquitos, Peru
We arrived at the clinic for the first time, where I would be spending the next three weeks working alongside the veterinary staff in their daily work. The clinic is located in a charming little 3-story building, with lime green walls and bright, colorful signs and decorations throughout. Two staff members, Susan and Marjorie, were assisting a client with a small pup in the reception area when Ann escorted us to the back treatment area where we were introduced to Dr. Edwin Inga and Dr. Fernando Rodriguez, the amazing veterinarians of Amazon CARES. Dr. Edwin and veterinary assistant Junior tended to a patient receiving fluid therapy while Dr. Fernando started to give us a tour of the clinic. I began my attempts to converse in broken Spanish, quickly realizing that it was much easier to ask a question than it was to understand the answer (the team was kind enough to always talk to me slowly and repeat themselves!). Improving my Spanish skills was another goal I had during my time in Peru and it looked like I would be starting full throttle on that one.

Surgical Suite
There were four exam tables in the treatment area where patients can receive physical exams, treatment, and fluid therapy- this is where Sydney and I would be spending a lot of time assisting with appointments. They also have a curtained-off isolation area which at the time was being used to house some orphan kittens that had recently surrendered to them, as well as a surgical suite. The 2nd and 3rd floors had a kitchen, supply room, grooming area, a beautiful outdoor cat condo, and area for small dog housing. 

Treatment Area
Dr. Fernando explained that the dog receiving fluids on the exam table was diagnosed with Ehrlichia, which is a tick-borne infection pretty common in the U.S., but extremely common and severe in Iquitos. Dogs will typically present to the clinic with non-specific signs such as lethargy, depression, and lack of appetite. The infection can progress to more severe life-threatening disease through destruction of vital cells like red blood cells (causing anemia) and platelets (used for clotting blood). While some topical flea & tick preventative medications are available in Peru, it doesn’t seem to be as widely used as I am used to seeing back home. At Amazon CARES, intravenous fluid therapy is an important aspect of supportive care for patients with this disease. In the coming weeks, I was prepared to see diseases and conditions that were much different from what I've seen, as well as different and innovative approaches to treatment with limited resources.

After getting settled, we were going on a cat-catching adventure in the local Belen Market- part of a feral street cat spay and neuter campaign. Stay tuned for the scoop!
Getting a puppy fix!

Written by Sarita Patel, Amazon CARES Volunteer 

August 17, 2016

Bienvenido a la Selva!

Arriving to the jungle!
I was absolutely ecstatic we had finally arrived!
Our plane to Iquitos, Peru descended for landing amongst the lush jungle foliage, the snaking waters of the Amazon River, and finally the quiet city of Iquitos. For the next three weeks, I would be living in the city, working with Amazon CARES, a non-profit organization dedicated to animal rescue in the Peruvian Amazon Region.

As a third year veterinary medical student, my goal in mind with this summer trip was not only to help an organization whose mission I felt passionate about, but also to experience veterinary medicine within a different culture, gain new perspectives on how to address animal welfare issues, and as always to gain as much veterinary knowledge as I could from the talented veterinary staff as possible.

While I had been in communication with the Executive Director of the organization, Manuela Rodrigues, I wasn’t 100% sure what all we would be doing. I had learned that Amazon CARES was founded in 2004 and that is the only organization in the Amazon to have a no-kill shelter for the animals. I had been following the Amazon CARES Facebook page for a while, so I’d gotten a rough idea of the quantity of stray animals that come into the clinic each day and the types of illness and injury we might see. I was anticipating to encounter many differences between the resources available in the clinics I’ve worked with in the United States vs. clinics in Iquitos, and was very curious to see how the team worked to overcome these challenges. Manuela had mentioned that we would be helping with a spay and neuter campaign for street cats, which I was excited to learn more about!

Upon stepping out of the air-conditioned airplane into the thick humidity of the jungle, we found our backpacks and wandered out of the airport. My classmate Sydney Young and I immediately were welcomed by Ann Owen, a longtime volunteer for Amazon CARES, and Carlos, who would assist us in getting all our belongings to our hostel via mototaxi. Our first moto ride was so exciting! The roads were packed with other people zooming by on their own motos, and I got the impression that there were fewer traffic laws than in the US by observing everyone weaving in and out of traffic and speeding ahead. I was so excited we were FINALLY in Iquitos and couldn’t wait for the experience this beautiful city had in store for us!

Written by Sarita Patel, Amazon CARES Volunteer

April 13, 2016

We're all Smiling! Eva & Spotty Find Forever Families!

Puppy Eva has been adopted by Enos!

It's always an exciting day when one of our shelter animals finds a loving home!  Today two of our fabulous canine friends were adopted!  Peru Coordinator Marjorie Tutiven Abreu is pictured with Enos and puppy Eva! 

Eva is a very special puppy, indeed!  She is part of a litter of abandoned puppies that we rescued, and she was lovingly given the name Eva in honor of of Eva Catalina, a longtime supporter of Amazon Community Animal Rescue!

Adriana fell in love with Manchas on Facebook.  "Manchas," means "Spotty."   

Adriana Andrade met "Manchas" at our shelter!
All of our pets are adopted out for a nominal fee (less than $10 US), and adopters are vetted through an adoption process.  Animals are up-to-date on all vaccines and health treatments.  Manchas is spayed, and Eva will return to be spayed in a few short months!

Adopters receive our signature red collar and red leash.* 

In years past we conducted home visits and adoption follow-ups, and we are excited to resume these important activities to ensure the well being of our rescue animals.
Checking out Mancha's new home!

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* Thank you to Laurie Leslie of Campbell Pet Company for providing us a special price on our leashes and collars!

Our Mission: Amazon Community Animal Rescue, Education & Safety seeks better health and living conditions for ALL living beings of the Peruvian Amazon region. This includes appropriate care, respect, and protection from cruelty and neglect.Amazon CARES is a 501(c) 3 tax-exempt charity under section 170 of the Federal IRS Code.  All  donations, bequests and gifts are tax deductible.  Our FEIN number is 45-366-0998.