Dogs and cats have no way to pay their veterinary care bills! Our modern Veterinary Clinic in a prime location in Iquitos supplements all of our charitable activities. Additionally, it provides a convenient location for people to drop off ill, abandoned animals, and to receive reasonably priced, quality care for their owned animals.
Our modern facilities are a source of great pride. It took months to budget for a modern $300 stainless steel surgical table. Our Surgery & Consult room also has its own bathroom with a HOT water tank! The icing on the cake is our very own microscope and scale! Despite being the finest Veterinary facility in Iquitos (in my humble opinion), it did not take long for Veterinarian Beth McGennisken, a long term volunteer to point out the many items lacking, and the importance of these items in order to perform more efficiently and safely.Since then we have implemented advanced procedures to sterilize the clinic and all equipment and tools.
Spay and neuter surgery is performed very rarely in Iquitos. I discovered this when animals spayed by our first Veterinarian turned up pregnant! That is when I began my search for a super-qualified Veterinarian, who had to revise all of the surgeries we had previously performed.
We have two top-notch Veterinarians on staff. Both were recruited and re-located from Lima, and they share a dedication and enthusiasm for the cause of Amazon Cares. Dr. Esther Castillo Peña is the Chief Veterinarian. She attended Veterinary school for an additional two years in order to study small animal medicine. Veterinary schools in Peru put their primary emphasis on agricultural animals and their needs. Esther's husband is also a Veterinarian. Dr. Miguel Salas is photographed here with Esther in our Consultation Room.
We also have four Veterinary Assistants who are all self-taught and trained by Vets Esther and Miguel. All of our foreign Veterinary volunteers have been amazed at the skill of our Veterinary Assistants, the quality of care, and the surgical skills of the Amazon Cares team.
Very recently, in January of 2009, we received an important donation from US non profit Veterinary Ventures. Their donation of a gas anasthesia machine enables us to perform more difficult surgeries and surgeries on younger animals in a much safer manner. These machines are so hard to get in Perú and all of South America that Dr. Peña was recently invited to a Veterinary Conference in Colombia to demonstrate how the machine works. Due to our cost-cutting measures, and the recurring projects in or near Iquitos, Dr. Peña could not attend.
Our Veterinary skills are always enhanced by visiting foreign Veterinarians, who introduce new techniques and skills that are new to Peru. These Veterinarians also provide seminars for the rest of the local Veterinary community as we have a goal of improving animal care throughout the region, and we know that one clinic can not "do it all. In addition to the lectures of diverse topics presented by our foreign volunteers (with the help of slides and a translator), we regularly invite local Veterinarians to our clinic to learn new methods, new equipment and to practise using these new skills.
The best doctor in the world is the veterinarian. He can't ask his patients what is the matter-he's got to just know. --Will Rogers