April 28, 2009

Distress Call: Kennels Flooding in Perú

Yesterday I received incredibly disturbing news.


Perhaps site visitors or blog readers already know of the worsening situation at out animal sanctuary. I have clearer information, and want to explain it to you. It was reported
in an earlier blog entry.


Who could have imagined how much worse out situation could become in just 10 days!?!


Our land at Cabo Lopez is approximately 2.2 acres. I purchased it for $1200 several years ago and donated it to Amazon CARES. The land has increased in value, due to its location on a tributary of the Amazon, the Itaya River, where the water is less contaminated than if it were on the Amazon River. A 30-45 minute scenic boat ride gets employees and volunteers to and from Iquitos where the veterinary clinic is located. However, Cabo Lopez is also the site of much activity.


We have (had) a spacious animal sanctuary where most animals roamed free during the day, free and secure within our gated property. The ony times that we actually closed dogs inside their individual kennels was during mealtime, to prevents fights and to measure consumption.


We have shelter dogs that are healed and adopted out, and we have a “lifetime resident” program for dogs that are not sick but have other issues that prevent their being adopted. Some of them have long-term illnesses that will worsen over time, and while they have many good years left, we must be concerned about the responsibility of families in administering daily medications, etc.


To reach the Rio Itaya from our property one must descend a hill and finally stairs to reach the landing where we dock our small motorboat. This is NOT the area of flooding (although the river has risen dramatically, of course).


The flooding has approached from the BACK of the property. This 1 acre of property is undeveloped in order to preserve the habitat of monkeys living there, and with the hopes of one day creating an educational nature walk for visitors and their pets. Granted, 1 acre is not much of a nature walk, but with the thick foliage, we can walk in a zig zag motion and demonstrate the variety of plants, trees, animals, insects, etc. living in the rainforest. Think of it as a mini-rainforest introduction for many children born in the developed areas of Iquitos that never actually SEE the rainforest in its full majesty!


That part of our property, although it appears to be level with our developed land, is actually closer to the river water source. Thus, the flooding has come from the BACK of the property. Currently, we navigate this part of the property by canoe. The kennel and volunteer housing needs replacement roofing due to massive leaking.


We have raised our generator 5 feet on a floating raft. The flooding has moved forward into the dog kennels, first inundating the land, and now, sadly, inundating the kennels.


What are we doing during this crisis?

  • Smaller dogs are being re-located to the veterinary clinic. We have several spaces there where they will be comfortable.

  • We are quickly constructing temporary kennels in the “maloca,” our multi-use facility that is raised off the ground. There is danger of water reaching the maloca, but we pray that does not happen.

  • We have protected the maloca by covering the roof in plastic.

  • We have a Yahoo forum in Spanish that is very active at http://www.donperrito.com/. Utilizing this and free media publicity we are asking people to foster some of our animals for 3-5 weeks. Perhaps a few adoptions will result!

This is a dire emergency, and any means of support available will be greatly appreciated. There are now options to donate $5 or $10 one-time or monthly to Amazon CARES.





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