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February 20, 2010

Re-cap of Favorite Tweeter Lists

BIG NEWS!  An anonymous donor will MATCH every dollar donated to Amazon CARES through May 31, 2010 up to $10,000!  Please support our first Capital Campaign and donate today - your donation will be doubled.

My twitter lists are popular, although remember, I am an amateur.  All this information is based on my own research and, sometimes, interaction, with the listed Tweeters,  As I continue to produce lists, I wanted to summarize my prior lists of Inspirational Tweeters, Top Veterinarians, Top Animal Charities, and Fave Anipals. 

I want to highlight a blog article we wrote about Teeny's Friends.
Additionally we feature at

TOP 8 TWEETERS THAT INSPIRE ME (in alphabetical order, not by rank)
Read entire article...

Richard Bassett - @RichBassett

Sue Birkam - @Beingswell

Martina Clements - @martisunshine

Melissa Galt -  @ProsperbyDesign

Marisa Herrera - @Marisa_Herrera

DIOSA Communications (Heather Mansfield)- @DIOSAComm

MARCOME  - @Marcome

Lois Martin - @LoisMarketing

9 FAVORITE VETERINARIAN TWEETERS (in alphabetical order, not by rank)


Marc Abraham



Dr. Jim Humphries

Pete Wedderburn



MY TOP 9 ANIMAL CHARITIES ON TWITTER (in alphabetical order, not by rank)

American Animal Hospital Association Foundation

Amazon Community Animal Rescue, Education & Safety

Bernie Berlin

@Big Cat Rescue
Big Cat Rescue

Black Dog Rescue

Dogs Trust

In Memory of Magic

Ratbone Rescues

Teeny's Friends

MY 9 FAVE ANIPALS ON TWITTER (in alphabetical order, not by rank)


The Dog Park

@Frugal Dougal

Laura Lassiter

Rachel Spainhour

Darlen Arden

Al Navas

Romeo the Cat


February 18, 2010

21st Century Refugees: Displaced By Climate Change

Global warming and climate change have certainly become buzz words within the past five years.  For many of us, it’s something that will affect us in the future; the most we’ll notice is a change in the weather.
Feature Photo: m o d e / Photo above: AmazonCARES
The inhabitants of the smaller islands in the Pacific Ocean notice the effects of climate change and rising sea level everyday, and each day that passes these people get closer and closer to becoming “environmental refugees.”
Cartaret Islands
The Cartaret Islands rise five feet above sea level, and due to flooding and high tides, are practically uninhabitable. The people of the Cartaret Islands have tried to save their land by creating sea walls and planting mangrove trees, but it is estimated that the islands will be totally submerged by 2015.
In 2007, the government of Papua New Guinea officially designated money to relocate the families living on the island, making them the first island residents in the world to be relocated by the government due to rising sea levels.
Global warming has been a concern for Tuvaluans since the 1990s. The government even runs workshops to educate the residents about the impacts of climate change and how it continues to affect them.
Tuvalu’s highest point is 15 feet, much higher than some of the other islands, but most of the island is just over three feet above sea level. As with the Cartaret Islands, high tides are causing severe erosion and widespread flooding.
According to assistant secretary for Foreign Affairs Paani Laupepa,
“Even if we are not completely flooded, in 50 to 70 years we face increasingly strong storms and cyclones, changing weather patterns, damage to our coral reefs from higher ocean temperatures, and flooding of all our gardens.”
At just four feet above sea level, the President of the Maldives, Mohamed Nasheed, has already pledged to use tourism revenue to buy land in India, Sri Lanka, and Australia for Maldivians to relocate to once their island is gone.
Over the next 90 years, the sea level is expected to rise two feet, and with the highest point in the capital city, Male, just three feet, the 70,000 people who currently live there might want to consider relocating for their future children’s sakes.
Not Just Islands
Not just the islands of the Pacific are feeling the effects of global warming and rising sea level. The coastlines of Chesapeake Bay in Delaware and parts of Florida are diminishing each year, but one of the major areas of concern is Bangladesh.
Bangladesh is situated on a large delta, created by hundreds of tributaries of the Ganges and Brahmaputra Rivers. 90% of the land is on the flood plain, and 15-20% of the population lives on land that is just three feet above sea level.
Every year, storms and extreme flooding cause the communities in this area to be evacuated, and some permanently relocated.


For more information, read Ian MacKenzie’s article about The First Casualties of Climate Change, or Julie Schwietert’s article, “Maldivians Abandon Archipelago; Establish New Country in Australia”.

About the author:  Abbie lives in Southern California and, in addition to being a freelance writer, teaches preschool Special Ed. Check out her adventures at Miles of Abbie, or on Twitter @MilesofAbbie!

February 15, 2010

My 9 Fave Anipals on Twitter

I am in love with Twitter and the many great people I meet and learn about on Twitter.  Thus, every list I make is harder than the one before!  Remember, these lists are made up by me, one person.  There is no way to know and rank everybody on Twitter.  However these are 9 of my favorite Anipals that I thought deserved recognition.  If you're not on the list, don't be surprised if you DO show up on a list soon.  Also, feel free to DM me @AmazonCares with suggestions! 


Long Island, NY USA
Bio: Multi-dimensional. Thoughtful, insightful, funny, serious, human. Animal lover and advocate. When you care enough to follow the very best.
Why? Gotta love that screen icon.  Always makes me smile!  Consistent tweets too!
Sample Tweet: Eat fish

The Dog Park
Bio Dog owner/enthusiast, freelance writer for pet pubs, and a sucker for english bulldogs named Frank.
Why?  Tweets a lot of content from different sources.  A true dog enthusiast who must scout the web for all of his super great Tweets!
Sample Tweet:  The Animals' Favorite Golden Girl

@Frugal Dougal
Rutland UK
Bio CDO of #pawpawty events, helping animal charities around the world.
Why?  I am not alone! 513 Tweeters voted for him, landing him in 2nd place in the Shorty Awards!  Attend a #pawpawty on twitter and you'll understand his great depth and creativity!
Sample Tweet:  GREAT IDEA RT @kyba: join us on a world trip PLEASE join IN and pls RT

Laura Lassiter
Tampa, FL
Bio: Animal Communicator, Advocate, Writer, Volunteer @BigCatRescue, EARS, Spiritual Coach, Quantum/Reiki Practitioner, Energy Translator of the Unseen
Why?  Thoughtful tweets almost landed Laura on my Top List of Inspiring Tweeters.  However, her dedicated support for animal charities won her spot on my Anipals list!
Sample Tweet: Turn your face to the sun and the shadows fall behind you. Maori Proverb

Rachel Spainhour
North Carolina
Bio: Mom, wife, nana, christian, co-worker, knitter, surviving RA and critter lover, retired vet tech.Rat Terrier Rescue volunteer
Why?  An active volunteer for @RatboneRescues, she supports other groups through her frequent Tweets.
Sample Tweet:  RT @sabrina0008: RT @ersle: RT @BreedRescue Sponsor a dog from your favorite rescue group.

Darlen Arden
Bio: Darlene Arden, an award-winning writer, lecturer, and author of  The Irrepressible Toy Dog and The Angell Memorial Animal Hospital Book of Wellness and Preventive Care for Dogs, is an internationally recognized authority on Toy dogs and their care, and a Certified Animal Behavior Consultant.
Why she’s on the list:  First of all, I smile every time I see her Twitter icon.  I don't know why, but it makes me want to laugh.  I love her quotes, but what really caught my attention is the sample tweet below!!
Sample Tweet:  One of the great moments in musical theater: Elaine Stritch, "The Ladies Who Lunch," from "Company" ♫

Al Navas
New Jersey
Bio: Christian, husband, father of 3, animal lover, fond of pitbulls.
Christian, husband, father of 3, animal lover, fond of pitbulls. Altruism.  This pitbull fan has no charity to represent,  He just loves animals and supports animal causes.  A look at his tweets reveals he is a very frequent ReTweeter for other charities, and wants to spread the good word about their work!
Sample Tweet:  RT @sidewalkangels: Give Your Heart to the Dogs - All proceeds go to benefit LAST CHANCE Animal Rescue Fund -

Romeo the Cat
Charlotte, NC
Bio: Proud two-time rescue cat raising $ to help other animals find homes. $28K since Feb .09. Are u a rescue that needs help? Visit XO!
Why?  One of the organizers of Blogpaws 2010.  Enough said.
Sample Tweet: OMG Pugs is totally snoring again. HE'S KEEPING ME AWAKE!

Location Sonoma County, California
Bio I'm Li'l Corgi Bro, one of two Corgis here. We like to have fun. We also dig up arfully serious nooz to share.
Why?  I like the identification with a specific geographical area.  The name tells us a lot.  Plus tweets are important and serious at times, but many are fun and from a dog's viewpoint. 
Sample Tweet:  2day was not a pawsitive day. take that from our pawstrologer. BOL

Don't miss my other (personal) Twitter rankings:
Top Animal charities on Twitter
Top 8 TweetersThat Inspire Me
My Top 9 Veterinarian Tweeters

And still to come:
Favorite Animal Resources on Twitter
Favorite Wildlife Charities on Twitter

February 12, 2010

"I cleaned my teeth with sun cream"

Amazon CARES, Iquitos, Peru
by Hazel Taylor
Date of trip: 11-11-2009

I arrived in Iquitos on Saturday at about 10am, however, having been travelling for about 18 hours, I really couldn’t have told you what day it was, let alone what time of day. I was met at the airport with typical enthusiasm by Amazon CARES founder Molly, who can perhaps, be summed up by one of the first things she said to me:

“I’m sorry,  I accidentally cleaned my teeth with sun cream this morning, so my mouth feels a bit… funny”

Having met up with a couple more volunteers, we set off to the clinic in Calle Pevas in Iquitos’ universal mode of transport – the mototaxi. A sort of Ben Hur with motorbikes instead of horses, with a free foot massage thrown in.
At the clinic we met with the local Amazon CARES team. They were extremely welcoming and throughout our stay were invariably helpful and cheerful. They never appeared hurried or flustered, but the jobs just got done with speed and efficiency. Behtjane did have, occasionally, to give one or other of us ‘the sack’ as we struggled to cut and fold gauze correctly for swabs or shave an opsite with the razor.

On Sunday, we went with the addition of two more volunteers who had just arrived, to Pilpintuwasi, a butterfly farm and animal orphanage. This involved a boat ride across the Nanay river and then, as the rivers were so low at the moment, a long, rather hot, walk. There were many species of butterfly, some very spectacular, and it was interesting to see their caterpillars and chrysalis as well. We were also introduced, among other things to several species of monkey, a tapir, a giant anteater that came and drank a bowl of milk, and a jaguar. However, I think the most endearing were the two baby sloths in the arms of one of the volunteers at the centre.

Whilst in Iquitos accommodation was provided at Cabo Lopez. This jungle shelter soon felt like home for us, and despite the constant cacophany of cicadas, frogs, early morning warbling of wild birds, crowing of cockerels, barking of dogs and occasional screams as Molly chanced upon an insect, had a very peaceful atmosphere. Mention also has to be made of the 8 3/4 if not 7/8 pregnant Marlene – not only did she have delicious meals waiting for us when we cam back in the evening, she was responsible for coaxing our appetites back after our stomach troubles in Cabolla Cocha.

Staying there also meant a daily boat trip into Iquitos. Not for us the daily grind of red traffic lights and school-run-mums clogging the roads, but a wonderful whizz along the Amazon. Canoes and debris were expertly negotiated by our driver Vladi, or not so expertly, as we all had a go at piloting the boat.
The first week we concentrated our efforts above the meat market of Belen. The whole market was an experience in itself; ramshackle stalls lined both sides of the road selling a vast array of ‘things’, including clothes, shoes, fruit, fish and meat – I think  I caught sight of alligator legs complete with feet still attached. On the first morning we were dismayed at the large queue of people, dogs and cats all the way up the stairs and spilling well into the area we were setting up in. Our initial dismay at the numbers, thinking they were all for operations, was allayed as we divided them into those for neutering and those just for parasite treatment. Annie (WVS and Amazon CARES veteran vet) and I weighed in on the ‘parasitos’ – an injection, dose depending on condition and age, of ivomec, and an oral wormer (parentel), whilst the rest of the team started neutering.

Dogs were sedated with xylazine and atropine, which rendered them pliable enough to give i/v propofol and then intubate. Cats were given a triple sedation which meant they were unconscious long enough for neutering. Gaseous anaesthetic was then given using a system similar to that used in UK, except for one imporant point – up to four animals could be run off the one machine. So all four got the same concentration of isoflo, and the % given was generally dictated by the lightest animal. Those that were too deep were just taken off anaesthetic for a short while. All were given antibiotics, painrelief and antiparasite treatment. Timing for administration of the oral wormer had to be judged very carefully so the dog was able to swallow, but not so awake it would bite you. All this was accompanied by the clumping and rattling of vultures on the tin roof above, hoping for scraps from the meat market below, and occasional forays, to see what was going on, by the pigs housed in the room behind us. I was amazed at the interest in what we were going shown by the locals, both here and in the other areas we operated. Owners stayed to watch their animals being neutered and even took pictures of this event.

Oh, I nearly forgot! On the second day we were joined by Luke and the film crew and introductions were made. The next day we redid the introductions to camera, pretending, of course that we had not just said ‘hello’ already. They then went out to catch dogs which Luke then treated to camera.

A very early start and a boring seven hour boat trip found us in the town of Caballo Cocha (minus Annie who had been pursuaded to stay behind with Luke and the film crew). We had clinics in two areas here. The first four days were spent doing clinics in the science lab of a local college, where operating conditions were good, apart from the number of locals watching and getting in the way, and the groups of small children being escorted round. The second area was not really suitable for surgery – a shed with cracked earth flooring, and inadequate lighting provided by two anaemic light bulbs. The highlight of the day was watching a small child trying to get a recalcitrant pig out of its mud wallow. Our numbers were slightly diminished on some days as one by one we went down with diarrhoea and some vomiting as well.

On Sunday we elected for a day off and took a couple of boats and a guide to find river dolphins, and we weren’t disappointed. Pods of up to eleven performed wonderfully, cavorting about and leaping clear of the water, accompanied by much ‘oohing’ and ‘aahhing’ from us. We then had a very interesting, although extremely hot, walk through the jungle. The whole of a small village turned out to witness the bizarre spectacle of a bunch of gringos lounging about in their local river. The wildlife was fairly elusive, but we did see some colourful birds including  a couple of scarley macaws and many butterflies. I was fascinated by a large and bright red beetle, but could not study it as I was negotiating a precarious log bridge across a very muddy stream.

As well as the sterilisation and parasite programme carried out by the vets, Bruno was also busy in the schools giving educational talks. This culminated in a large parade of children with placards exhorting people to be kind to animals, and to leave the wildlife in the wild. Some of the children even dressed as animals.
At the end of our stay we attended a prize- giving ceremony (it was in Spanish, so I don’t know what the prizes were for!) Esther gave a report of what we had achieved and the mayor thanked us for what we had done.

For the third week we were back in Iquitos. A pleasant two days were spend operating outside in the shade beside the house of an Amazon CARES client. Then as our numbers began to dwindle as people set off home or for further travel, we spent our last working day catching and treating cats and dogs for parasites in Bella Vista market. Unfortunately the most timid/wily dogs were those in worst condition. Perhaps there is a correlation. Having treated them we tied a ribbon around their necks so that next week, hopefully, Amazon CARES staff could see which ones had been treated.

By Friday, only three vet nurses remained, so we opted for a day off and in the morning went off to Monkey Island. We discovered, as we sat hot and cramped, that, in true Peruvian style, the boats do not run to any timetable – they go only when they are stuffed full to the gunnels with people and packages. Monkey Island, a rescue centre for orphaned primates, was delightful and we all enjoyed being used as climbing frames by several inquisitive young monkeys. In the afternoon, having waved goodbye to another team member, the two of us remaining set off for a rescue centre for manatees out beyond the airport. This was an amazing experience. First, to get to touch and feed the baby manatees with bottles of milk, and then to don wetsuits and wade about with them.

This was, for me a very worthwhile trip. Although our campaigns of neutering was only a drop in the ocean, it was part of an on-going project that has already made a big difference, not only for the animals, but in educating the Peruvian people. However, the work was, only part of the experience and it was great to work as part of such a wonderful team. There was plenty of team spirit and laughs along the way, even when half the team had to keep rushing to the toilet. Praise must also go to the Amazon CARES staff. A lot could be learnt from them by English practices; they were an amazing and professional team.


February 11, 2010

Charity: Teeny's Friends Milestone!

Amazon CARES (Community Animal Rescue, Education and Safety) is honored for some recent attention we've received from fellow animal charities.  Below, used with permission, is a photo of the FIRST newsletter put out by Teeny's Friends!  Learn more about Teeny's Friends!

"Teeny's Friends will operate by raising toys through various dog toy drives. Each month we will place bins at a dog related organization for several weeks. After two weeks, we will pick up the bins and collect the toys, which will in turn be donated to a different dog-related charity. Each month the toy drive location a well as the benefiting organization will be posted on this blog. So stay tuned!"

Thank you so much for your support and recognition!  Amazon CARES is truly honored to be a part of your milestone 1st newsletter!

February 2, 2010

Animal Abuse - "What fault is there in loving my pet?"

This article is from La Region newspaper of Iquitos, Peru.  Translation by Molly Mednikow.

-Animal Abuse

 "What fault is there in loving my pet?"
Friday, 29 of January, 2010

Liber Rios, who is the owner of "Robert", has filed a complaint with the police in Morona Cocha (a poor area near Iquitos, Peru).  His complaint is in reaction to abuse of his dog, who was brutally beaten to near death, "Robert has been our dog for 10 years.  We raised him since he was a puppy.  I feel very hurt and even want to cry when I think of the words "Your dog has been beaten."
"The day of the attack I sat in front of my house and my dog was wandering in and out.  Then my neighbor's son told me that my dog was inside of his house, bleeding and dying.  We assumed that somebody had poisoned Robert,  I went and found him bathed in blood, and realized that he had been beaten, not poisoned.   
Liber Rios took his dog to his house where he gave him first aid, "We took him to the vet after two days and learned that Robert's skull was fractured.  Veterinarian Marcial Aviles had to intervene after finding a bone embedded in the dog's brain. the doctor found a bone Avil├ęs embedded in his skull brain.  "Now my dog is better but he is recovering slowly." said Rios.
"I know there is a law on animal protection, which is why I decided to go to the police station of Morona Cocha where police are investigating this case.  My neighbor says that he refuses to pay anything because Robert is just an animal.  I want to see justice served because I consider my dog to be a member of my family.  I am completely disturbed by my neighbor's attitude." 

The official complaint is pending. (MI)

February 1, 2010

PetTalez: a great community for you & your pet!

PetTalez was created by Linda Horowitz of California, in May of 2008. is an online community of pet lovers who create profiles for their pets and themselves. They add friends, share photos and videos, and blog about their experiences in the fulfilling world of pet ownership.

Your pet’s profile includes his or her name, breed, gender, age, hometown, about me, arrival story, pet peeves, best tricks, favorite toy, favorite foods & treats, etc. Arriving at MyPetzPage shows you other users’ recent activity, a place to edit your profile, a link to list your friends, applications you can add, a link to your inbox, and a search field, and many other features. Chloe, my chocolate lab, now has her own profile and sent Molly’s beloved Marilyn a friend request just a while a go! This is too much fun.

Some great features of the site include groups that you can join with topics like: Pet Food – What Do You Eat?; Around the World, Recipes, Your Favorite Pet Quotes, and PugHug. You can even start a new group related to your specific interest. Or your dog’s interest!

Aside from the pure fun of social networking for your pet, the site also features some very useful resources for pet owners:

  • PetzFriendz is a directory of pet-related businesses, products, shelters, and charities
  • Lost and Found is an area that aims to reunite pets and owners who have become separated
  • Blogs give information and news that pet owners need to be aware of
  • Site Veterinarian Dr. Carol Osborne has an area for questions and answers related to your pet’s health. Dr. Osborne has pioneered the exploration of new therapies for the treatment and prevention of age-related degenerative disease, as well as promotion of optimum health and performance for pets.

PetTalez also realizes that not all domesticated animals have a loving, warm home. Doing their part to address this issue, they feature a shelter of the month. Between Jan. 15-Feb 15m 2010, Amazon CARES was honored to be the featured shelter. We wanted to know more, so we recently asked Linda Horowitz a few questions:

AC: Why do you feature a shelter of the month?
LH: PetTalez tries to help the plight of our furbabies by featuring a different Non Profit, Shelter of the Month. It is PetTalez way of helping  our defenseless furbabies. There is not a day that goes by when we dont read, or hear, another horrific story about abuse of our precious animals. Hopefully, by getting the word out of all the selfless acts by the countless volunteers across the globe, we can change this.

AC: How do you decide which shelters to feature?
LH: Answering this question is not as easy as it would seem, as there are countless shelters that PetTalez could feature each month. PetTalez often features shelters that are recommended by PetTalez memberz, and others come from people we meet on other social networking sites. The criteria that PetTalez looks for when featuring a shelter are selfless acts and endless dedication the shelter exhibits.

Thank you, PetTalez, for featuring shelters and giving pets a place to express themselves online. We’d like to express our deepest gratitude for spreading the message about Amazon CARES and the animals of the Peruvian Amazon Region.

- By Brandi Pool