Current news about dogs being utilized in Peruvian medical school brought back sad memories of a wonderful rescue dog named Brando. Brando lived for praise. Once we taught him to “sit,”
The girl that adopted Brando passed all of our requirements and paid 30 Nuevo Soles for the adoption fee. This is equivalent to about $10 US, but in Peru it is $30, which is not easy for many people to afford. Yet, we believe this fee to be nominal due to the medical care and spay/neuter surgery, and we also believe that if people cannot pay this fee, they will not likely have resources to care for the
Within hours, we received an anonymous phone call
Our rescue dogs, as anybody in this field will say, are always remembered in our hearts. We follow up on adoptions, but many people move around in Iquitos, and it is easy to lose track of some animals. My heart broke as I remember teaching Brando to sit using the clicker method. I remember his ASPCA "Meet Your Match" profile as "Constant Companion." We had put more than just time and money into Brando. We gave love and our heart as well.
When we began, we faced harsh animal cruelty cases: A dog set ablaze, a dog that suffered attempted murder when somebody tried to decapitate him, a dog with a large machete wound.
Right: Amazing survival after being doused in kerosene and set on fire.
Left: A Machete Wound, 4 days after aggressive treatment to heal the wound.
Right: an unsuccessful attack to decapitate a dog
After reading the wonderful editorial piece written by Brandi Pool, I revisited the Brando incident in my mind. It is still a raw wound. I remember he was the only shelter dog that learned how to catch a Frisbee. Getting the Frisbee back was a different situation!
It turns out the medical school in Iquitos has also utilized live dogs for medical practice. The neighbors denounce the school often, for the school does not dispose of the carcasses properly, leaving them by the side of the road to decompose, or in some cases, not even completely dead.
I am proud that the Iquitos government, in a unique act that benefits animals, passed a law saying it was illegal for the medical school or students to continue this practice.
Is this common in other nations too? When will people, all people of this world, recognize our responsibility to care for animals that WE domesticated? Is this their final reward. Amazon Community Animal Rescue, Education and Safety continues to fight ignorance and cruelty. Working with children and teenagers seems to be very effective. Yet it also seems we have a long way to go.
In loving memory of Brando.