January 30, 2010

Brigitte Bardot Saves Animal Shelter and More!

The majority of this article, including photographs, are from the Brigitte Bardot Foundation newsletter, which is written in French and located at http://www.fondationbrigittebardot.fr/site/monde.php?Id=385.

The Brigitte Bardot Foundation has approved funding to aid Amazon CARES in the sterilization of 600 dogs. CARES is located in the Amazon, wich is known for its exceptional biodiversity and is home to the largest variety of plant species in the world. The region is under constant threat by predation of all kinds; from the trafficking of wild animals to domestic abuse.

The people of the Amazon also live in a precarious situation with significant health and social concerns. The prevalence of endemic diseases (malaria, dengue, diarrhea, parasites...) is severe, especially in marginally urban areas and in Indigenous communities.

Conditions in Iquitos are no better. Iquitos is home to 60,000 domestic animals, "street dogs," approximately 70% of which suffer from abuse and neglect. Street dogs carry infectious diseases that are contagious to humans. These factors make Iquitos seem dangerous and unsanitary to tourists, which causes the local economy to suffer further.
Amazon CARES has provided ongoing support to sick an abandoned animals since 2004. Drawing on the expertise of its members and foreign volunteers, several projects have already emerged and mobile clinics in remote forest areas have been established. CARES also organizes educational programs, prevention campaigns and shelters rescued animals suffering from ongoing needs in the Amazon region of Loreto, Peru, until they are healthy enough to be adopted. CARES enjoys the support of local and national authorities (Municipalities, Region of Loreto, Ministries of Health and Agriculture) and international (Worldwide Veterinary Service, WSPA, Animal Medical Care Foundation).
In addition to sterilizing the 600 dogs mentioned above, The Brigitte Bardot Foundation has elected to donate much needed funds to CARES to repair their shelter damaged by severe flooding in 2009.

Amazon CARES is extremely grateful for the grant which enabled us to survive the flooding catastrophe during 2009.

Fondation Brigitte Bardot - 28 rue Vineuse 75116 Paris - tél: 33 (0)1 45 05 14 60 - fax: 33 (0)1 45 05 14 80

January 4, 2010

Dr. Cara Grant arrives to volunteer!

Hi I’m Cara, I am a vet from Scotland but I live and work in Devon. I heard about Amazon cares through the WVS but also through a colleague who volunteered with them and loved it. Just arrived in Iquitos after a nice day in Lima, where I checked out the Mercado Indio for artesanias and wandered around Miraflores, to the seafront and went to Barranco for a cerveza and watched some Andean musicians in the plaza. Then I went to the playa Pescadores where they were throwing fish to hoards of pelicans, an amazing sight to see. Everyone seemed very friendly and Lima was not as scary as some people made out.

The flight to Iquitos was enjoyable as I got to see the Andes, the cordilleras negra and blanca, through the clouds. Then flying over the Amazon river you can appreciate the size as even from 30,000 feet it looks huge. Not like any river I have ever seen.

The heat on landing in Iquitos was quite startling. I like it hot, and have travelled in some warm places but The 95 degree heat and humidity was still a bit of a shock. The moto taxi man met me at the airport and took me to the office on Calle Pevas, where I met Molly and Danielo and we went for a wander to the waterfront, which looks amazing. They both seem lovely and very easy going and welcoming. I cant wait to get on the river and go to Cabo Lopez tonight. I am also looking forward to sampling some of Danielo’s cooking. Felt a bit jet lagged last night so hope I don’t crash and burn too early tonight.

Photo of Dr. Cara Grant top.
Photo of Dr. Cara Grant and Dr. Kirsten Patrick bottom.

January 3, 2010

Kirsten's First Impressions of CARES

Welcome to Veterinarian Kirsten Patrick, who is taking the time to write about what she expects and what will eventually happen during her 3 week veterinary volunteer experience with Amazon Community Animal Rescue When I arrived at Iquitos, I wasn’t sure what to expect apart from it was going to be different! I was expecting to not have the same equipment or drugs that a vet clinic (or clients of a vet clinic) in England would think of as standard and to be having to make do with whatever happened to be on the shelf at the time. These I assumed would be the older, cheaper versions of drugs rather than the newly licensed expensive drugs and I assumed some creative problem solving would have to be done to get around this lack of equipment or drugs. Also a lot of creativity where communication is concerned as in my case school time Spanish ended 8 years ago and although picking up some words and phrases, following the rapid pace of the locals was challenging. I also assumed that the attitudes of people about their animals and what they expected could be done for them would be very different in South America compared to the pampered pets of North London.

This short video below should show her some of the things to come.  Stay tuned for more as Kirsten learns more about Iquitos and Amazon CARES! If the video does not display below, please watch the video, A Day in the Life of a Veterinary Volunteer at a remote clinic on our YouTube channel.  We love your ratings and comments!