July 14, 2010

Activists do what we can... Surprise volunteers!

Less than a week after receiving an email from 2 Canadian students of the Ontario Veterinary College I welcomed Jennifer and Michaela to Iquitos as volunteers for Amazon Community Animal Rescue, Education and Safety. The two girls had finished their second year and were traveling through South America volunteering as they went along.

Obviously there was no time to organize a major campaign, nor could the girls perform full-on veterinary procedures. What to do? Well, we worked…hard. Walking door to door down dirt paths and stopping at every home to provide mange, internal and external parasite treatments to dogs, puppies, cats and kittens. There was no respite from the heat, although at times we were able to settle into one place for a few moments while people brought their pets over to us.

We started our walk with our supplies from the animal shelter at Cabo Lopez, which is near Iquitos. We walked quite a ways before deciding to travel by motorized rickshaw up to the main highway and work downhill. Sadly, we didn´t make it to every house.

Now as I walk or take a rickshaw through my neighborhood I feel as if I am a bit closer with my neighbors, as we smile and wave to one another. However, I also avert my eyes with guilt as I pass by the places we missed, and the sickly animals in these places.

I try to focus on our success, but it is easy to get bogged down thinking of the many homeless animals we want to help, but can not. There are so many animals on these streets, just barely surviving. This is a story re-told by most animal advocates. Together, we will continue working to find a solution.

I would like to conclude with good news.  "Dingo" has been adopted into a wonderful family!

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