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April 22, 2009

Jeanette Harper: Getting Vets to Peru!

Jeanette is a very dedicated volunteer, and she has a very responsible position with Amazon CARES. Jeanette is the Peru trips coordinator. This means that she recruits veterinary volunteers to dedicate 2 weeks or more of their time, talent and sometimes donations, and come to Iquitos for a volunteer trip. Amazon CARES has just received great news. The Brigette Bardot Foundation (France) will pay many expenses for 3 trips! Guess what? They want us to get the trips planned ASAP and all occur in 2009! What a task for Jeanette! Jeanette and I have become friends, and she has such a sunny disposition that she always motivates ME, when I should be motivating HER!

When she originally joined our volunteer team, she submitted the following essay that I want to share with everybody.-Molly Mednikow

Remembering, as if it were yesterday…
The day that a small dog hid underneath the awning to the two-story house, seeking shelter from the April showers of 1994. I didn’t realize that my future, if not written already, would be decided from that moment on. I had noticed the small creature out of the corner of my eye, but I was too busy doing a rendition of “Anything You Can Do I Can Do Better” with the boys, in my school shoes. The familiar voices of “come inside out of the rain” seemed to repeat itself over and over on the Brooklyn Street of Church Avenue, but it took just once to hear my mother’s voice for me to head for the front door.

The small dog still present in front of the door, I decided to let him in the hallway, and then told my mother about it. She took the animal in to assist with finding its owner, with no avail. We later learned she was a toy poodle aged high in her senior years, which didn’t give my family a lot of time with her. Shortly before her death, we visited an animal clinic and I knew from the moment on, that I would spend eternity, giving my free time to animals and my community.

Times were hard growing up, yet my passion for helping both animals and people never waivered. After much persuasion, I convinced my mother to take me to various animal shelters, so that I may assist in any volunteer missions available. I was frequently turned away due to age restrictions. I became lucky, however, when a woman visited my Junior High School during Career day. She talked of how she was an animal cop, and I listened attentively hoping to ask her of volunteer opportunities at her facility. She left her card and names of people to contact about my interest.

CACC in Brooklyn, NY were the first to give me an opportunity as a volunteer. I served as a representative at various sites when CACC collaborated with North Shore Animal League, including Central Park and Pet Stores and I even assisted during appearances on Good Morning America. While on site, I aided in Dog Walks, animal husbandry and assisted in some weekend adoptions. The Animal Care and Control facility has been a matriarch for rescuing and providing homes to all types of animals for several years and I am very proud to say that I served part of my youth with this organization.

While in High School, my experience at the animal shelters enabled me to seek an intern position confidently with a veterinarian in Coney Island, NY. I enjoyed my Summer Internship so much, that when moving to the Poconos I made sure to find a Veterinarian that would allow me to give my free time. Throughout much soul searching, I decided the route of animals was not the way I wanted to earn revenue. They are a big part of my life and I will continue educating others and myself on the importance of opening their heart and their lives to all living beings. Whether or not it pays them with cash, it always pays back.
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