Visit our website!

April 30, 2009

Harry carries a dog to safety: Flooding at shelter

Thank you to those who have helped in during this unexpected crisis. Donating money isn't the only option. Please help us spread the word!

We are spending $400 to build temporary, dry, kennels inside a building raised on stilts. Even a $5 or $10 monthly donation. See below to donate just $2.

The Brigitte Bardot Foundation has generously granted $13,000 to re-construct a shelter damaged by the Amazon's severe reason season. However, this generous grant does not cover all expenses.

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 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.

A financial donation isn't the ONLY way to help. Help spread the work on your own social networks! We are on the following social networks:

    April 24, 2009

    Thanks You Ana Garcia! Our Head Translator.

    Ana Garcia joined the Amazon CARES volunteer team in January 2009. She has made life MUCH easier on me, especially when dealing with long documents and very technical documents. Ana is ALWAYS prompt with her assignments. She translates items from Spanish to English and vice-versa. She is so well respected that Peruvian staff members usually send her translation projects directly! I am grateful to have this dedicated volunteer on our team! -Molly Mednikow

    Ana is actually from Perú! She now lives in New Jersey. She is Rutgers for a degree of Biochemistry, and possibly a minor in Animal Sciences.

    She has prior experience volunteering at Animal Rescue Force; cleaning cages, walking dogs, helping in adoptions. She has also volunteered at cancer awareness events. She has also delivered pamphlets asking drivers to watch out for deer.

    In her own words:

    I love animals of any kind, and I am always looking for something to do for them. I believe that certain people were born to help animals, and I know I am one of them.

    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.
    Return to Amazon Cares Website
    Please Donate

    April 19, 2009

    Sarah Razmandi Taylor: Our High Energy Social Networking Director!

    Sarah Razmandi Taylor is a wonderful, devoted person, and I am happy to consider her a friend. – Molly Mednikow, Director

    Since joining Amazon CARES USA as a volunteer in September, 2008, Sarah has never faltered in her duties as the Webmaster of Facebook. She has recruited over 500 people and raised over $1000 on our causes page, located at and she created an Fan Page on Facebook, located at, which has 180 fans. Finally, she created a charity store for CARES on Facebook, with over 200 fans!

    Wow! That is quite an impact made by Sarah! Prior to her joining CARES, we had NO presence on Facebook. As of late, she has agreed to take over the role of Social Networking Director in addition to her duties on Facebook!

    In her own words:
    “Hi Everyone! My name is Sarah and I am the Facebook Manager for Amazon CARES, what that means is that I setup and maintain the Amazon CARES page on which is a social networking site that lets us connect with other like-minded individuals. I have been with CARES for a couple of months now and I really do enjoy my work. Other than that, I am a full-time student and wife. My husband and I live in Florida and we both enjoy the simple things in life. I have a passion for knowledge (which has led to many, many, many hobbies), animals, photography, and music. I joined Amazon CARES because I really wanted to make a difference in a way that I could. I look forward to my future with Amazon CARES and know that with our team of dedicated volunteers we can succeed. I hope to see you all on facebook and thank you in advance for all your help!” - Sarah R Taylor

    Her favorite quotes:

    "Two roads diverged in a wood and I, I, took the one less traveled by and that has made all the difference" ~Robert Frost

    "Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds." ~ Albert Einstein

    Return to Amazon Cares Website

    Please Donate

    April 18, 2009

    Introducing Charles Franklin: Volunteer Director

    Charles Franklin began working for Amazon CARES as a volunteer in August of 2008. From the onset he took on a time intensive and very important position – that of Volunteer Director. Without Charles, Amazon CARES would not have a US office, and we are grateful to him for his dedicated and passionate leadership.
    -- Molly Mednikow, Director of Amazon CARES

    Charles Franklin is a junior attending Augusta State University with the goal of obtaining a Bachelor of Social Work with a minor in Health Science. Before moving to Georgia, Charles lived in Florida where he served in various part-time jobs and internships including Library assistant and Human Resources intern. Currently he is serving as a Library Assistant in a local hospital. His favorite activities include laughing, reading, and volunteering. His favorite TV shows are Heroes, Corwin’s Quest, Seinfeld, and Saturday Night Live.

    Charles’s attraction to volunteering came from his desire emulate his childhood heroes, Batman and Superman. He began in high school as a Special Events Volunteer with a local museum in Florida. He learned of in 2001 and began working on small projects such as Internet research. He developed a passion for volunteering virtually. He was captivated by the opportunities that it could provide. Some of his projects included the Elicott Wildlife Refuge, Mayhem Rugby Football Club, Georgia Parks and Recreation, and the Humane Education Network. One of his capstone projects includes helping with a virtual volunteering project for a business college.

    Charles’s interest in the environment began with a children’s show, Captain Planet, which aired in the early 1990’s. Since then, he began saving paper, recycling, and encouraging his family to use less energy. Charles is a member of the Sierra Club, Arbor Day, and National Wildlife Federation. His interest in animal’s rights grew because of hearing about abused pets with neglectful owners. He wanted a more active role in helping animals, so he began working for Amazon CARES. This allows him to assist an area where both people and animals desperately need help. The people that influence him most include Jeff Corwin, Jack Hanna and Jane Goodall.

    Note from Molly: Incidentally, Captain Planet, an early role-model for Charles, is the name of a very active foundation. The Captain Planet Foundation is directed by my friend, Laura Turner Seydel.

    Return to Amazon Cares Website

    Please Donate

    April 17, 2009

    Please Save Our No-Kill Animal Shelter!

    An urgent plea from Amazon CARES Director, Molly Mednikow

    I do not like asking, and especially begging for money. I empathize with everyone, and I, personally, and Amazon CARES, have cut costs in every way possible, as we continue to look for more ways to save money.

    However, the following images of our jungle facility at Cabo Lopez broke my heart.

    Our beautiful shelter, a source of great pride for me, is falling apart. The rainy season has been hard on our shelter, made from natural materials. Please take a moment to watch this short PowerPoint slide show that downloads in seconds. See for yourself: The presentation was arranged by a non-native English speaker. However, I am sure you will understand what his words mean, and please help us with your any donation amount you can spare. Please Download and watch Current Status of the Amazon CARES shelter in Perú.

    The shelter in better days:

    Return to Amazon Cares Website

    Please Donate

    April 15, 2009

    Calendar of Pet Expos by Marina Hanes

    The following post originally appeared at
    Author: Marina Hanes

    There are so many pet expos scheduled this year that you could almost go to one every month. Every expo has different events, but if you’re looking to adopt a new pet or put your current pet into a competition, you will definitely be able to find one that suits your needs. So take a look at these upcoming pet expos and see which one you might want to attend.

    Fort Meade Pet Expo - May 30-31 This free two-day, pet-friendly event will feature an Adoption Corner where you can adopt various animals such as greyhounds, Yorkies, ferrets and kittens. So if you’re looking for a furry friend, this is the place to go. In addition, they will have fly ball races for dogs, free health exams and a fashion show.

    Long Island Pet Expo - September 11-13 In 2007 this event was packed with special guests and fun filled activities. Their Dog Arena had demonstrations and programs, and there was even a Rainforest Reptile Show with turtles, lizards, alligators and snakes. Some experts included Karen Kober (animal communicator), Jeff Kolbjornsen (New York’s dog whisperer) and Jillie Dog (tricked trained Yorkie and the world’s only Poker playing dog). This year it will be held in Brentwood, New York.

    Greater Philadelphia Pet Expo - November 6-8 Check back for the schedule of events, but every year they have breeders, veterinarians, animal care professionals, distributors and retailers. To help educate and entertain their visitors, this pet expo in Oakes, Pennsylvania will feature a petting zoo, pony rides and a pet photo contest.

    Meadowlands Pet Expo - November 21-22 Who knows what’s in store for this pet expo this year, but last year they had a cat show, a disc dogathon and a parade of breeds. This year’s event will take place in Secacus, New Jersey. Tickets are $12 for adults and $5 for children 11 years old and under.