September 22, 2006

5 foreign Vet Volunteers / News Coverage / Welcome Lorna and Aoife / Preparing for jungle expedition!

  • Spayed / Neutered 327 dogs, 85 cats
  • Donations Wonderful donation of pharmaceuticals from Peruvian Isabel Paz

Recent days have been some of the most challenging, yet rewarding days for Amazon CARES. Everybody in the organization has been working VERY long hours under some tough conditions.

I currently have 5 foreign volunteer Veterinarians:

  • Dr. Beth McGennisken, Melbourne, Australia
  • Dr. Sheradan Harvey, Hawaii. USA
  • Dr. Lorna O’ Dowd, Ireland
  • Dr. Aoife O'Sullivan
  • Dr. Janey Little of South Africa

On Monday, September 18, I welcomed two more volunteer vets who are volunteers with the Worldwide Veterinary Service. These two vets, are Dr. Aoife O'Sullivan (pronounced live Eva but with an F instead of a V) and Dr. Lorna O’Dowd, both of Ireland.

On Tuesday, September 19, we conducted a sterilization clinic in Bella Vista Nanay. This is within 15 minutes of Iquitos and is the ending point for the raft race. Previously we conducted an anti-mange campaign there. When people arrive from the race we want them to see the fruits of our labor!

Our team was on the local news the night before and the morning of the clinic, so there were throngs of people waiting for us. We did more than 20 operations on dogs and several cats. Throngs of children were also there, so I conducted my first humane education classes on my own, and they went well. Several people thought I maintained great control over the situation.

We also had many consultations. A woman came with her female Cocker Spaniel mix and a litter of 8 puppies that looked malnourished, but she claimed they were 5 weeks old. Some puppies had experienced a decline in health and were not able to walk. I explained that dogs, and especially nursing mothers and puppies, need food designed especially for them. The Peruvian household food does not provide the vitamins and minerals that puppies need to develop and to grow with good health and strength. I begged her to please buy Pedigree food for the mother and the puppies. Previously we had some puppies that could not walk, and after one week of eating Pedigree they walked! It is the truth. I realize that is more costly, but pets are a responsibility, like children. I told her that in 3 weeks or a month, when the puppies do not need to nurse, she should bring the mother to our clinic to be spayed at no charge. I pray she comes.

On Wednesday, September 20, we traveled about 30 minutes away to a small community called “Les Delfines.” They have requested help for months. A medical doctor helped with the arrangements and we were able to hold the clinic in a small health facility in the town. People were lined up with their dogs waiting for us! We operated on more than 20 dogs that day too.

I conducted educational seminars with the assistance of a local Peruvian volunteer, Veronica. She was a huge help. We had 21 kids and discussed many topics about animals, played a game comparing animal needs vs. human needs (they are the same), and ended up by dividing them, up by age and providing different activities that involved drawing and/or coloring. On this day I felt much more prepared and secure in my presentation. I had the activities planned, I maintained their attention, and of course I had the assistance of native speaker Veronica, who has been a volunteer with Amazon CARES for over a month now, and is a valuable contributor.

On Thursday, September 21, I saw Beth, Sheradan, Lornautor and Aoife off. They took a bus to Nauta where the World’s Longest Raft Race begins. Janey and Corinne, a new volunteer who is not a Veterinary volunteer, but who can help in many other ways, took the boat to Nauta.

Next week I will be really OUT OF TOUCH. I am so excited to be taking my first extended boat trip into the jungle since I decided to stay here in summer 2004! We will be conducting veterinary clinics and educational clinics in 4 jungle towns in the Napo River area.

Personal notes: Mangos are back in season. They were only “out of season” for a few short months. I am happy to have my big, delicious mangoes back!!

My hammock. I have started going to sleep every night on my hammock which is located on the upper part my patio outside in my backyard. I play a tape (yes, a CASSETTE tape) of classical music which helps the dogs settle down. We have built a special puppy area in the main garden, so the part of patio directly below the hammock is now a dog-free zone, and they let me sleep in peace. Usually I wake up around 3:30 AM and move to my bed. Last night however I must have been sleeping deeply and attempted to roll over in bed. Needless to say I rolled over right onto my concrete patio! That woke me up!! LOL

Once again I am asking my friends to input their emails into the blank on the right of this page so that you will automatically be notified of my blog. I try to respond to emails as best I can. Who knew this work would be so much more challenging and time consuming than running a jewelry store (albeit what I do now is much more rewarding for me!). Til later. Love, Molly

September 18, 2006

New vets arrive! Dr. Sheradan's presentation a success! / Newspaper publicity

  • Spayed / Neutered 11 dogs, 2 cats in last weeks clinic
  • Donations Donations appear to have stopped. Please help us keep saving lives and donate as much as you can afford today!

Anyone who has known me very well would definitely state that I am not a “morning person.” These mornings when I wake up at 5:30 AM and can’t go back to sleep baffles me. Usually I start my day reading or working on my laptop from bed! Some mornings, like this one, I have to get myself “in gear,” and leave the house very early. Two more Veterinarians arrive this morning at 7 AM. Both are from Ireland.

How fortunate Amazon CARES. is to gain attention and interest from Veterinarians from around the world who are willing to donate time, money and skills to us! The other night Dr. Sheradan Harvey of Hawaii did a presentation to local vets on animal acupuncture. One of my employees, Wilfredo Bardales, came on his own time just because he has a thirst for knowledge, and that says a lot about his commitment and love of animals. Sheradan’s lecture was fascinating.

Dr. Jane Little of South Africa has arrived and is settled in to our new Volunteer Housing on the second floor of the Pevas clinic. Iquitos Tourism week kicks off today. It ends Sunday with the conclusion of the raft race. At that time we will say goodbye to Sheradan and Beth. How can we ever express enough gratitude for her many contributions to the growth of Amazon CARES.. She had the vision to start the mobile clinics and stray animal health campaigns, and they have become our primary focus. Were it not for her, I’d still be trapping 1-2 dogs a week, treating & sheltering them, and seeking families for them. Now, instead of concentrating my energies on a few dogs we are tackling the pet overpopulation problem on a large scale that will yield more permanent solutions.

Look at the time! Almost 7 AM! I need to get to the airport. We are printing GREAT commemorative tee shirts for the raft race. See design in prior blog entry. They are available on Zazzle (Click to see the back and be sure to specify size please). I finally got a computer cable in the mail that I had accidentally left behind when I was in the US for a wedding, so I will, once again, be working on that website update I’ve been talking about FOREVER! Hopefully I can put some interesting options on the site about ways to contribute to Amazon CARES.

Here is our most recent publicity with article translation:

Article about Amazon c.a.r.e.s. female team in Amazon raft race!

From La Region, the primary daily newspaper of Iquitos, Peru

September16, 2006

Foreigners began to arrive in our city to participate in the eighth annual International Great Amazon Raft Race, part of the Iquitos weeklong celebration of tourism.

This competition will take place from September 22 to September 24 and will have as the starting point the city of Nauta; passing through Tamshiyacu, and concluding in our city.

Yesterday the first team that will compete in the race race arrived. The team is comprised of the foreigners Beth McGennisken of Australia, Sheradan Harvey of Hawaii, Janey Little of South Africa and Aoife O'Sullivan of Ireland. These four women have come with the intention of winning the title and donating the prize money to a charity that is devoted to the health and protection of the animals.

These ladies, not only love the sport but they also have passion for medicine, as all of them are professional Veterinarians. They arrived thanks to the coordination of Molly Mednikow, Director of Amazon Community Animals Rescue, Education and Health.

It will be a true challenge for them, because it will be the first time that they will be involved in this adventure sport.

Check out what Oscar has to say about visiting Amazon CARES during his World Woof Tour!

Amazon CARES is a program of International HumanitiesCenter, a nonprofit organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the IRS Code. Amazon CARES. now accepts donations through IHCenter. Please use THEIR donation links. We appreciate any and all support that you can afford. All donations over $50 US will receive official acknowledgement for your income tax records. All donations receive recognition on our website.

May 9, 2006

A plastic coat hangar worked as a splint, & Sarah recovered wonderfully!

Written by Dr. Beth McGennisken So many people were horrified to read about poor Sarah being tossed from a 2nd story window. She recovered with an outgoing personality, despite her tribulations.

February 27, 2006
Whilst walking home from the Amazon Cares clinic one afternoon I came across a pitiful creature in the street. A small black & white dog lay huddled in a doorway. Much of her fur was missing due to mange, & what remained was mattered & filthy.

She was bareing her teeth at two large male dogs that were constantly harrassing her. On closer inspection I see that her left leg was dangling, clearly broken and that it was swollen to the shoulder with an infection. The poor little dog was in heat which is why the males were so interested in her. What a heartbreaking sight - she could barely stand up & yet had to fend off two aggressive dogs. I couldn't imagine how awful the situation would be when inevitably this pack of males increased in number to who knows how many.

Thank god for Amazon Cares! I didn't have to walk away and leave this poor animal to suffer & perhaps die slowly in the street. Catching her was no easy task. Not surprisingly she wanted to bite us too! Dog catcher Harry, using skills learnt from episodes of the 'Lone Ranger', was able to deftly lasso her & hold her steady while I quickly gave her an intramuscular injection of a tranquilliser.

We christened her 'Sarah' in honor of a Molly's niece, and then we took Sarah to her new home for treatment. Friday night at 8pm when most people are enjoying a movie or a beer, the fantastic dedicated & uncomplaining Amazon Cares staff, Dr Ester, Harry & I were bundling two sedated dogs into a three wheeled mototaxi to travel to a human radiology clinic to take xrays. And what fabulous xrays they were too! Of course, I shouldn't mention that there were no lead gowns, gloves or thyroid gland protectors for the dog holders (ie. us!) to put on. Health and safety is not yet an issue in Peru.

The happy ending to the story is that Sarah has a minimally displaced mid shaft fracture of the radius, and with a bit of improvisationion (and a plastic clothes hanger!) she now has a splint. She is also taking oral clindamycin for the infection. There was no option of surgical repair as we don't have the necessary equipment so fingers crossed that the splint provides sufficient stability and immobilisation. The photo at right shows Sarah still recovering in April, 2006.

And after four days in the clinic Sarah wagged her tail and let me pat her head for the 1st time. Moments like this make me so happy that I am a vet.

May 2009: Update on Puppy Sarah! You'll have to look twice! Even I couldn't believe this is the same little puppy we saved. Her happy Mom brings her in for regular check-ups!

Sadly, stories like these are all too common.
Amazon CARES is a non-profit 501(c)(3) through the International Humanities Center.
Donations are tax-deductible. See official documentation.
Please donate so that we can provide animals like Sarah a new life.
Return to the Amazon CARES homepage.

April 20, 2006

Amazon CARES Mission and Projects

Amazon Community Animal Rescue, Education & Safety (CARES) 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.

We are the first and only "Humane Society" in the entire Amazon region. In Iquitos, Peru we operate a modern veterinary clinic and in nearby Cabo Lopez we have a no-kill animal refuge. Our focus is on DOMESTIC animals.

In 2006 Founder and Director, Molly Mednikow, received the "Kindred Spirit" Award from the Doris Day Animal Foundation.

Please support our mission that, over 5 years, has made a significant impact on living conditions and health for animals AND humans in the poorest region of Peru, the Amazon region. All donations are tax deductible.

Official Tax Documentation:

IHC_IRS-LOD.pdf - IRS letter of determination to the International Humanities Center, our Fiscal Sponsor.

LS-ACARES-060717.pdf - IHC letter of support & statement of our 501(c)(3) status as a project of the IHC.

Ongoing, Active Projects

  • Modern Veterinary Clinic located in center of Iquitos, Perú.

  • Two Full Time Licensed Veterinarians on staff, including the only Licensed Veterinarian in the region specializing in "Small Animal Medicine."

  • Absolutely NO-KILL Animal Sanctuary with "Lifetime Pet Program" in Cabo López, near Iquitos.

  • Animal Rescue, Rehab, Adoption.

  • Free Mobile Veterinary Clinics & Stray Animal Birth Control Programs.

  • Youth & Community Enrichment, including Humane Education programs & Anti-Domestic Violence Campaigns.

  • Frequent boat trips to service more remote communities.

  • Assisted Animal Therapy for disabled children.

  • Free wildlife veterinary assistance at a non-profit "Animal Orphanage" and INRENA, the government facility that rescues illegally traded wildlife.

  • Continuing Education Programs to All Veterinary Professionals in the Region.

  • Active Volunteer Programs in the USA and in Perú.

Return to the Amazon CARES homepage