November 9, 2009

10 days, 10 vets: 1300 Animals Attended, 2300 Persons Attended


In July of 2009 Project Coordinator, Bruno Antoine, pulled off the monumental task of getting multiple government agencies to sign a formal agreement between the Provincial City of Mariscal Ramon Castilla and Amazon Community Animal Rescue, Education and Safety to improve the health of people and their animals, the two being closely related. 

Following more months of discussion, a similar partnership with the City of Bethlehem district was confirmed on October 5, 2009. The objective of these agreements are to resolve in a humanitarian and efficient manner the deplorable living conditions of stray animals and the danger that these animals pose to the human population.  The agreements also provided free treatments and spay/neuter surgery for owned pets.

Amazon CARES, in collaboration with the Worldwide Veterinary Service, obtained the professional services of eight Veterinary volunteers to work alongside the two staff Veterinarians of CARES.  These volunteers arrived from Australia, Italy, Holland and the United Kingdom.  The Brigitte Bardot Foundation of France generously donated funds to pay for all required medicines for the project.   These international contacts helped CARES comply with the agreement to benefit the public and animal health as well as the city's image.

We undertook our campaign in Caballo Cocha from the 23-30 of October.  It is worth noting that the authorities provided all the facilities to the veterinary team (10 doctors and a coordinator), with rapid transport by speedboat, lodging, meals and surgery sites. The population turned out en masse with their pets.  On many days more than 100 people brought animals.  This was an enormous amount of work for the team, especially considering the rustic work conditions and extreme heat.  The Vets reported that they were thrilled to see the enthusiasm of the community.  There is no healthcare provider in Caballo Cocha. 

In total, the following were provided to dogs, cats, birds, monkeys, rabbits and guinea pigs:
156 spay / neuter surgeries
306 consultations
462 de-wormings
156 vaccines against Rabies
376 anti-flea treatments

Additonally CARES conducted educational talks in the schools and provided technical training to agricultural students.  The campaign, "For a Healthy City, Look After Your Pet." extended to CARES' distribution of anti-parasite medicine (Albendazole 400 mg) to more than 2300 people of the Province Mariscal Ramon Castilla, and our donating over 1700 doses to be distributed later by the respective authorities.

Unfortunately, the hardworking veterinary volunteers did not achieve the same success and collaboration in the City of Bethlehem district, despite signing the agreement and multiple contracts regarding the schedule, location, publicity in order for Amazon CARES to develop an initiative to help families and their pets in low income areas. On the planned date, the facilities provided were unsuitable.  The site lacked light, electricity and running water.  Additionally, authorities had not performed their role in publicizing the campaign to the local residents.  The responsible party from the district ignored the situation and simply turned off his cell phone.

Faced with the urgency of the situation, CARES Project Coordinator Bruno Antoint asked his contacts to arrange for a new location and what little publicity could be provided at the last moment.  Thus, the following two days enabled CARES to spay or neuter 38 animals and provide treatments to 23 other animals. 

Good coordination between public and private institutions is beneficial for all.  These events demonstrate that the authorities of Peru are capable of the best and the worst. 

Amazon CARES is struggling to continue in the face of a severe lack of funding.  Despite our appearance on the web, we employ eight Peruvians and all other staffers, including the US based Director, are volunteers.  Please support us today at http://ihcenter.org/groups/amazoncares.  Thank you very much.

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