May 31, 2010

True Story to make you smile: A greyhound rescue

A True Story.

In 2003, police in Warwickshire, England, opened a garden shed and found a whimpering, cowering dog.  The dog had been locked in the shed and abandoned.  It was dirty and malnourished, and had quite clearly been abused.
In an act of kindness, the police took the dog, which was a female greyhound, to the Nuneaton Warwickshire Wildlife Sanctuary, which is run by a man named Geoff Grewcock, and known as a haven for animals abandoned, orphaned, or otherwise in need.

Geoff and the other sanctuary staff went to work with two aims: to restore the dog to full health, and to win her trust.  It took several weeks, but eventually both goals were achieved.  They named her Jasmine, and they started to think about finding her an adoptive home.
Jasmine, however, had other ideas.  No one quite remembers how it came about, but Jasmine started welcoming all animal arrivals at the sanctuary.  It would not matter if it were a puppy, a fox cub, a rabbit or, any other lost or hurting animal.  Jasmine would just peer into the box or cage and, when and where possible, deliver a welcoming lick.

Geoff relates one of the early incidents.  "We had two puppies that had been abandoned by a nearby railway line.  One was a Lakeland Terrier cross and another was a Jack Russell Doberman cross.  They were tiny when they arrived at the centre, and Jasmine approached them and grabbed one by the scruff of the neck in her mouth and put him on the settee.  Then she fetched the other one and sat down with them, cuddling them."

"But she is like that with all of our animals, even the rabbits.  She takes all the stress out of them, and it helps them to not only feel close to her, but to settle into their new surroundings.  She has done the same with the fox and badger cubs, she licks the rabbits and guinea pigs, and even lets the birds perch on the bridge of her nose."

Jasmine, the timid, abused, deserted waif, became the animal sanctuary's resident surrogate mother, a role for which she might have been born.  The list of orphaned and abandoned youngsters she has cared for comprises five fox cubs, four badger cubs, fifteen chicks, eight guinea pigs, two stray puppies and fifteen rabbits - and one roe deer fawn.  Tiny Bramble, eleven weeks old, was found semi-conscious in a field.  Upon arrival at the sanctuary, Jasmine cuddled up to her to keep her warm, and then went into the full foster-mum role.  Jasmine the greyhound showers Bramble the roe deer with affection, and makes sure nothing is matted.


"They are inseparable," says Geoff.  "Bramble walks between her legs, and they keep kissing each other.  They walk together round the sanctuary.  It's a real treat to see them."

Jasmine will continue to care for Bramble until she is old enough to be returned to woodland life.  When that happens, Jasmine will not be lonely.  She will be too busy showering love and affection on the next orphan or victim of abuse.

Pictured from the left are: "Toby", a stray Lakeland dog; "Bramble", orphaned roe deer; "Buster", a stray Jack Russell; a dumped rabbit; "Sky", an injured barn owl; and "Jasmine", with a mother's heart doing best what a caring mother would do...  and such is the order of God's Creation.
And, just in case you wondered, has verified the truth of this wonderful story and the reality of these photographs which accompany the story - so you can pass this story on, and help make someone else's day to be just a little brighter!

May 23, 2010

Reasons to Adopt a Dog ... Instead of Getting Married

If you want someone who will eat whatever you put in front of him, and never say its not quite as good as his mother's 

.... . . then adopt a dog.

If you want someone always willing to go out, at any hour,
 for as long and wherever you want ... 
.... . . then adopt a dog.

If you want someone who will never touch the remote,
 doesn't care about football, and can sit next to you as you watch romantic movies 

.... . . then adopt a dog.

If you want someone who is content to get on your bed just to warm your feet and who you can push off if he snores .... . . then adopt a dog!

If you want someone who never criticizes what you do, doesn't care if you are pretty or ugly, fat or thin, young or old, who acts as if every word you say is especially worthy of listening to, and loves you unconditionally, perpetually . . .

.... . . then adopt a dog.
 BUT, on the other hand . . .

If you want someone who will never come when you call, ignores you totally when you come home, leaves hair all over the place, walks all over you, runs around all night and only comes home to eat and sleep, and acts as if your entire existence is solely to ensure his happiness . . . 

.... . . 
then get a cat!

Now be honest, you thought I was gonna' say... marry a man, didn't you?

Note:  I received this as an email from my Mom and thought it was cute.  The model is my dog Marilyn Monroe.  I am pictured in the boat with Marilyn, and a Vet Volunteer is in the last picture with Marilyn.  The cat is unidentified.  - Molly Mednikow

Can you spare 1 minute to relax?

Amazon Sunsets and Scenery, originally uploaded by AmazonCARES.

Thank you Annie Cook for these beautiful images. Video is less than one minute and accompanies her blog at

May 17, 2010

Vet Trip: Parasites, One-Eyed Cat, Poor Monkey & Salsa

Report WVS trip Amazon Cares Peru from 16/10 – 6/11/2009
by Carolien Grim
Date of trip: October/November 2009

Click here to lend your support to: Vet Trips are Worth the Cost and make a donation at !

In October I arrived in Iquitos, the biggest city that is not accessible by road. And what a hustle and bustle it was, motor taxies everywhere. Don’t think they ever heard of any traffic rules, but it made me laugh. In the next few days most vets and nurses arrived and on the Monday we were all ready to start some work. Of course we had to get used to some of the working methods but we soon did.

We operated in different places; the clinic from Amazon cares, above the meat market in Iquitos, in a classroom and in someone’s back yard on plastic garden tables. After a few days we got the hang of it. We arrived, looked around, adapted to the place and would start unpacking the stuff, ready to start operating. The team was great, hardly any complaining and we just got on with it.

Harry, a Peruvian vet nurse, was brilliant. Installing the oxygen bottle, Harry where can we get water, Harry that dog is a bit vicious can you hold it, Harry just saw a really bad dog on the street can you help and get it? Harry was everywhere and nowhere at the same time. I don’t know what we would have done without him. One Saturday night when we went to the local disco in Coballo Cocha, Harry transformed from this timid, hard working boy into a sexy dancing gigolo☺ He tried to teach us the salsa which of course created a lot of hilarity amongst us but also the locals. Thanks Harry…

One day we were at one of the harbors in Iquitos and I saw a dog that looked really bad, hardly any fur, skin and bone and a huge wound on his front leg. When I saw him we did not have anything to catch him with so I promised him and myself to return the next day to pick him up.

Harry, Miquel and me went the next day to try and find this dog; the whole market was pointing dogs out to us. A good sign in a way the local people knew exactly who we were and what we were trying to do. But we were on a mission… After an hour we decided to give up (for today) and get some other dogs that we had crossed that also needed our help. I think I drove everybody a bit crazy because I kept talking about this dog trying to organize to go back to the market and find it. Finally a few days later I was able to go again.

Again no luck… but instead I found a cat and his eye looked a mess, so Luke came out and it appeared the eye was missing and he had a few big holes in his face. So we immediately went back to the clinic to help this poor cat. Luke promised me to keep looking for this dog as we were leaving the next day to Caballo Cocha. When we returned after 8 days, Luke and Annie told me they found the dog and were sad to tell me they had decided to put him to sleep. I felt relief, either way his suffering was over…

Another case that really touched me was a little monkey. We were in Caballo Cocha, a jungle village 30 km from the Colombian border, 8 hours away on a speedboat from Iquitos. The Amazon rainforest is their back garden. So at the “parasitos” table it was not only dogs and cats but also a lot of birds and some monkeys.

One day these 2 little kids came with a wooly monkey baby which was in an appalling state. The poor thing was dehydrated, anemic, very thin and covered in diarrhea. As I work with rescued wild life at home I recognized the sound of a monkey and went outside. I assisted Miquel in treating the monkey and took it inside to give it a wash. With Esther as a translator I found out they had been feeding the baby rice, rice and rice. So we tried to explain that rice does not grow in the jungle and that the baby needed fruit and leaves. With pain in my heart we had to return the monkey to these kids knowing it was not going to make it without the proper care. But they were going to come again in the evening for more fluids. They never came… I could not get the monkey out of my head and started asking Bruno, the coordinator of Amazon cares, Miquel, the Peruvian wildlife vet and anybody that would listen to me if there was not something we could do for this baby.

I was hoping it would be possible to confiscate the baby and take it with us to Iquitos, as there were a few rescue centers around there. But that was not as easy as I hoped. To cut a long story short, nothing happened while we were there. But back in Iquitos I kept asking if they could not try and get the monkey confiscated. Finally one day before I left I heard the authorities were willing to confiscate the monkey. That made my day, now I just hope the poor thing was still alive by the time they got there.

These 2 stories might not sound like I had a good time, on the contrary I did.

We neutered almost 200 cats and dogs. A lot of people brought their pets to us which was a big change in mentality from 2 years before Annie told us. We had a brilliant, dedicated and hardworking team.

Lots of fun on the river especially when Vladimir let us steer the boat, and when there was a rat stuck in the motor one morning we spontaneously started singing “there is a rat in me motor what am I gonna do” a parody on the song of UB 40, still makes me laugh thinking about it☺ Dancing in the tropical rain, laughing till I cried, processions in the streets for Maria and god knows what else, dancing in the local disco, stunning sunsets over the Amazon river, dog testicles that mysteriously disappeared from the sterile drape. Our mascotte Fluffy, a dog that adopted us as soon as we arrived in Caballo Cocha, the parade of the children in Caballo Cocha to thank us, the film crew and Luke, the river dolphins, the butterfly farm and the monkey island. A trip that I won’t forget shortly…

May 10, 2010

Flood Puppies Get New Home From CGI!

CARES would like to extend its gratitude to CGI Technology and Solutions, Inc - US Enterprise Markets for an incredibly generous donation of $500. As part of their Business Unit Philanthropic Giving Program, CGI has chosen CARES as the recipient of funds. The charitable giving request was submitted by Ron Martins.

The BU Philanthropic Giving Council received many charitable giving requests from employees company-wide. The charitable giving program was established to invest in an organization with which CGI can make an impact and develop a long-term relationship. Employees who feel passionately about a cause can submit suggestions. The council then votes in order to allocate the donations appropriately. CARES was chosen in March 2010 because of the submission by Mr. Martins. CARES will be revisited each month and more funding will be appropriated as the budget allows. CARES looks forward to working and growing with CGI.

According to Mr. Martins, the Charitable Giving Request program is a rewarding opportunity for employees to share their philanthropic passions to an organization for which they feel strongly. Additionally, CGI revels the opportunity to invest in organizations that are making a difference.

CARES, with no shortage of need for these funds, has decided to rebuild the puppy corral which was destroyed during the April 2009 flooding at the Cabo Lopez facility. Much of the facility was destroyed by more than three meters of flood waters due to its location along the tributaries of the Amazon. The temporary shelter, which was built initially after the flood, will now be reconstructed. Recovery has proven slow but because of generous donors like CGI, much of what once stood has been rebuilt.

The former puppy corral was not in good shape prior to the flooding.  As one can see from the picture above, the puppies stood on crates or wood to stay off of a damp, muddy floor.

In the picture to the left is a portion of the shelter that has been rebuilt.  The new puppy corral will include a dry, cement floor, as well as a grassy play space and dry, comfortable sleeping quarters with a laminate roof instead of a leaky, grass roof (see picture on right)!  The shelter puppies, are abandoned or born to pregnant mothers that we rescue.

In Peru, every dollar can be stretched a long way. Thanks to the generous donation of CGI, the puppy corral will get underway this month, May 2010. The estimated date for completion of the new permanent corral is June 2010. Pictures will be posted of the corral as construction gets underway.

Bottom picture:  Dogs being evacuated in foot.  This picture was taken a mile from the actual refuge, where water reached to levels as high as 3 feet!

Special Thanks to Ron Martins and Megan Bishop for making this needed grant a reality.

Thank you to volunteer Kelly Beigle of Arlington, Virginia for researching and writing this article