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April 30, 2010

Sunsets and Monkeys

The North Face Logo

Written by Dr. Annie Cook, a continuation of her blog post from mid-April.

There is no denying it and I think my facebook photos say it all "I LOVE SUNSETS" and there is no better place to see and photograph sunsets than the Amazon. The sky is a broad arc of blue dotted with cloud. The colour and light remind me of the romance painters and even I could be inspired to take up a brush but fortunately my digital camera whilst not doing the scene justice spares me the disappointment of trying to paint.  The massive expanse of water reflects every nuance of the sky from puffy white cotton to brooding black storm clouds and the pinks, purples, red and yellows of sunset. I find myself expectantly waiting from 5.30pm onwards to see what masterpiece will unfold. It never disappoints and even on evenings when the horizon is blurred by mist the sun throws out a flare of light as it dips below the horizon outlining the clouds in an array of colours. I cannot take credit for any photographic genius for it has not taken any artistic talent to record these magnificent moments.

It has been a good week for work as well as sunsets. I spent a day at the Amazon Cares Jungle Shelter attending to our resident rescue dogs. It was enlightening to work with such a variety of happy, healthy, affectionate animals. It is due to the diligence of  Harry, Gustavo and the rest of the Amazon Cares team that these animals are so well socialised. Especially when you consider the  desperate physical and mental state they arrive in  - unloved, abandoned and often abused. We are currently starting a campaign around Iquitos to encourage animal adoptions and will be putting leaflets regarding our animals around the city. It is my hope that we will get many adopted this year. It has been an auspicious start to the campaign as one of our long term residents Sysy was adopted at the weekend.

I was fortunate to spend the weekend on Monkey Island at the invitation of the founder Gilberto Guerra Reateguiin in order to assess the monkeys current health. The island was established as a sanctuary for orphans of the bushmeat and pet trade and is now home to 42 monkeys including spider, woolly, titi and red howler monkeys, marmosets and tamarins. There have been ongoing problems with mange in the Woolly Monkeys and Amazon Cares is generously donating a bottle of ivermectin to assist with the treatment of this condition. It was a fabulous although back to basics weekend. There is no electricty or running water on the island so it was early nights, early mornings, helping with the chores and baths in the river. It was wonderful to be away from it all for a couple of days although my immune system was unprepared for the onslaught of insects and I will be itching for the next week.
I am back in Iquitos this week and happy to say that the manatee Samiro is recovering well. I only have one day left of my Amazon Adventure and will be sad to leave the forest yet again. It is so rewarding to work with such a variety of animals and a pleasure to work with such professional and devoted people.

April 28, 2010

A beautiful keepsake that gives back to charity!

Today I am featuring news from Lisa Taron, a wonderful person I met at BlogPaws 2010!
She is creating keepsake bracelets and donating proceeds to the charity of your choice, so if you order one, PLEASE tell her you would like the donation to benefit Amazon CARES!

Greetings from Guest Blogger, The Pet Book Lady, in Canada!
I am so glad that I attended Blogpaws a few weeks ago.  Great presentations, lots of amazing artists and vendors, and of course, meeting wonderful like-minded warm & friendly pet-loving people.   Wouldn't miss Blogpaws 2011 for the world!
My business is Online publishing and Digital scrapbooking.  Using a fun and simple web-based system, customers upload their photos and can create a variety of projects, such as storybooks, posters, calendars, playing cards and more.    It can be on any subject matter.  (I help people capture Family History, Life Stories, Baby Books, Vacation Books...) Where my passion especially lies is helping people to celebrate the love for their pets through our various products.
I was very inspired to do something as part of the Be The Change commitment.  As you may have seen on Twitter and Facebook, I am donating ALL of my commission from Keepsake Bracelet Sales to Rescue Groups.   It works out to $5 a bracelet.
How I am doing this is if someone creates a Keepsake Bracelet and checks out, I will e-mail them to see what group they are donating to.  If they don't have a specific group, I will be donating to Furever After here in Canada.  I am setting up a special account and ordering cheques for donation distribution.
Bracelets are only $39.95 plus shipping and tax.  I created a 10 minute How To Create a Keepsake Bracelet Video which is posted on my Pet Book Lady Blog.  Plus I am here to help them if they need any assistance in making one.
I'm hoping that you can help me spread this message to anyone you think would be interested in such a product and would like to help raise money for their Rescue Group.  So feel free to forward away! 
Thank you in advance from a Canadian Blogpaws attendee on a Mission!
Best regards,
Lisa (aka The Pet Book Lady)
Lisa Taron
Founding Director
(Independent Consultant)

April 26, 2010

Get Interviews by BlogInterviewer - Web's Best Blogs!

What is BlogInterviewer? is a website devoted to discovering the most interesting bloggers on the Internet and their reasons for sharing their thoughts with the world. You as a user have the opportunity to vote for your favorites and make comments about them for the world to see. Every month we giveaway prizes to the top rated blogs. If you are interested in being considered for an interview, please submit your interview HERE.

The Amazon CARES blog reports on exciting work being done in the Peruvian Amazon to improve living conditions of people and animals. The blog does have a broader focus as well. We focus on other charities, events, environmental issues, animal activism and so much more. This is THE blog to read if you have an interest in learning about the challenges of domestic animal welfare in the Third World!
I work full-time as the Executive Director of Amazon Community Animal Rescue, Education and Safety (CARES). Many call it a hobby, as I don’t draw any income from the cause. However, I founded the charity by selling a former business, and donations continue to increase!

Many years before the founding of CARES I fell in love with the tranquility of the Amazon rainforest combined with the exuberance of Iquitos, the region’s capital. Yet the status of NUMEROUS ill, homeless dogs dismayed me. I tried various projects before deciding to sell all my worldy goods and move to Peru full time to start Amazon CARES. My blog is meant to promote and inform.
I have blogs about Amazon related issues dating back to 2000. However, this particular “niche” blog began in 2004 on a different hosting platform. We have copied many older archived posts, but I have been a very active blogger in 2009 when I started living part time in the USA.
When we have a new blog post up, approximately 500 per day. Otherwise around 150-200. We consider this succesful for a tiny charity like Amazon CARES.

Animal activists, adventurers, veterinarians and potential volunteers, other charities, environmentalist, and people interested in some incredible animal rescue stories and human interest stories.
When I have good content, I’ll spend 4-8 hours preparing a blog. We try to blog several times per month,and our blogs tend to be very detailed and a little long.
Subcribing to the Amazon CARES blog will guarantee you a lively and interesting blog entry in your mail box, but not a FLOOD of entries and NEVER spam.
The challenges we face in the Amazon will warm your heart as we discuss some amazing stories of survival.
We also feature other animal charities and activists. We do our best to “give back to the community”.
Many people must like what we do as we were named one of the Top 10 Causes on Twitter and one of the Top 12 Causes to follow on Twitter in 2009. We are currently ranked #17 in the Twibes Philanthropy category, and we have nearly 6000 Twitter followers!
Give back. Dont make it all about self promotion. Have guest bloggers and feature other people and charities.
Finally, make your content unique and interesting, and always have an unique angle.

April 18, 2010

Dr. Cook reports success! Slideshow pics of Peru stray campaign!

Iquitos is a fascinating place and I have always loved it. The heat, the smells and the sounds are overwhelming but it is a colourful, lively and beautiful city. There are imposing buildings from a bygone era in various stages of decay. The river stretches away from the city shimmering in the sun, reflecting the cloud scattered sky. The people (apart from the odd red-faced tourist) are darkhaired, olive skinned and smiling. The expressions on the faces of newly arrived tourists and their shock at the poverty, housing conditions, level of education and treatment of animals is a reminder of my first impressions. I am still shocked by the heat, saddened by the poverty, and terrified of the traffic but I think my impressions of the city have softened. I find myself being defensive knowing how much things have changed in the three years I have been travelling here. Seeing the reduction in the number of street dogs, the general improvement in their welfare, the changing attitudes of the local people to animals and the knowledge that Amazon Cares has played a crucial role in this inspires me.

It has been an exciting couple of weeks for Amazon Cares. The campaign to neuter street dogs around Iquitos has continued and we neutered 95 animals in total. We worked in four locations around the city and in each attracted a large and interested crowd of spectators. We were filmed and photographed by local television, local newspapers and even the general public. It was an invaluable opportunity to educate the local people and I think we will see the benefits in future campaigns. The municipality worked tirelessly alongside us helping set up and catching dogs with Harry everyday and we are very grateful for their assistance.

Bruno, Anne and Florence had a very successful trip to Caballo Cocha and with an early morning wake up call from the town cryer at 6am announcing the days events they were able to vaccinate 100 animals against rabies, give parasite treatment to many more and neuter 13 animals.

Back in Iquitos, Ines and I had the unique opportunity to treat an orphaned manatee at the request of Daryl Richardson founder of the Dallas World Aquarium and of the Manatee Rescue Centre. Samiro is a 4 month old male manatee that was rescued in January weighing 14 kilograms and living in a small dug out canoe. He has a large harpoon gash to his back and damage to his flippers from struggling in the canoe. He is now, thanks to the diligence of the staff at the rescue centre, a healthier 20 kilograms and continues to gain weight as his wounds heal. He developed an ear infection two weeks ago and was not responding to antibiotics. With advice from Dr. David Murphy at Lowry Park Zoo we have been treating the ear topically for almost 10 days and there has been a significant reduction in the infection. It has been a rewarding and heartwarming experience to work with such a gentle and affectionate creature.

Easter was a lovely break for all in the middle of the campaign. We relaxed and had the opportunity to do some sightseeing. The city closed down and we saw a number of colourful parades in honour of the holiday. I had a little reminder of my childhood with an Easter egg hunt for the caretaker’s children at the Amazon Cares Jungle Shelter.

Once again it has been a very successful campaign both professionally and personally. It is a pleasure to work with enthusiastic and inspiring people and I am proud to work with an organisation that continues to do such worthwhile work.

Written by Dr. Annie Cook on April 14, 2010

Sé el cambio" desafío - Be the Change for the Spanish community

El viernes, 16 de abril me hice cargo de un desafío. En primer lugar, admitir mi principal objetivo ha sido siempre el de crear conciencia y fondos para Amazon CARES. Esto es a menudo difícil porque la gente le gusta o donar a nivel local, y es difícil para ellos imaginar que centrar los esfuerzos filantrópicos en un área tan remota como la Amazonía peruana. El apoyo financiero proviene principalmente de los Estados Unidos, Canadá, Europa y Australia. Tenemos la suerte de tener algún maravilloso, increíble partidarios de la herencia Hispaniola.

Lanzo un reto para todos, pero especialmente los de herencia latinoamericana, para ayudar a los de habla española Twitter y Blogger apoyo comunitario a este desafío especial. Por favor, Tweet y Blog en español o en sus blogs el idioma Inglés dirigido a la comunidad hispana.¿Cuántas personas pueden llegar a apoyar Amazon CARES, una organización benéfica con sede en los EE.UU. y Perú, y "Las mascotas sin padres", una organización benéfica con sede en los EE.UU.?

Me gustaría pedir donaciones para el programa CARES, pero hoy me estoy tomando un enfoque global y quiero expresar mi generosidad hacia los "Pets Without Parents" (Animales Sin Padres) de Columbus, Ohio. No importa dónde estamos o hacia dónde vivimos, si usted se preocupa por el futuro de los animales, debe unirse a esta "Sé el cambio" desafío. Así que les pido a donar a una organización benéfica de EE.UU. en vez de CARES Amazonas.

Por favor, haga un comentario si usted hace una donación, para que pueda ser reconocido. Por favor, envíenme enlaces a un blog en el que escribir sobre este tema, o escribir a decirme que se Twitter!
TWITTER:  Siga @AmazonCARES en Inglés y @CARESinSpanish en español.

BLOG:  Siga el blog en Inglés y/o el blog en español.

April 17, 2010

Reaching out to the Hispanic Community: How I can "Be the Change"

For the past several days I have been blogging about the first ever pet blogging conference, Blog Paws 2010, held in Columbus, Ohio.

I have finally had my inspiration as to how I can uniquely contribute to the Be the Change Challenge!  On April 16th attendees of Blog Paws and many more blogged about ways they would support  My initial idea, to donate my Birthday Wish to this worthy cause was not possible because Pets Without Parents doesn't have a "Cause Page" on Facebook.  However, they ARE on Facebook, and follow them here.  So here is my idea, a unique form of reaching new donors.  I am going to reach out to my Spanish speaking community, many of whom reside in the US.  I will do this through @CARESinSpanish on Twitter, our Spanish newsgroup on Yahoo which is very active, and by promoting the challenge on our less active Spanish blog.  I will have to translate some documents to get this underway, but Be The Change should continue...  So let's see what happens when I reach out to a new community of possible Donors.  I believe I am the only Blog Paws attendee in this unique position.  So here goes....!

April 16, 2010

And now for Tomorrow's Announcement....

Blog Review about the Journey to BlogPaws!:
Notes from the Funny Farm has several great blog entries about BlogPaws, including pictures!  One short, gread read from @joannebrokaw "5 Things Learned at BlogPaws"   She also wrote about her round-about, hazardous route to BlogPaws!  This is definitely a blog I plan to keep up with!

The big news in blogging today, April 16th, is an idea sprung from the blogpaws "Be the Change" session.  Learn about the beneficiary in a great blog by I Love Dogs, Inc.  They are donating $250!!!  Dr. V. blogs on the I Love Dogs site about their generous donation

At Blog Paws during a session entitled "Be The Change," dedicated animal lovers and activists decided to see how far they could reach out into the community to support a Columbus, Ohio based organization "Pets Without Parents.  Here are some wonderful blogs about how bloggers plan to MAKE A CHANGE today and raise $500 (or more!) for  Pets Without Parents.

Another inspiring and informative by blog post by @Romeothecat tells us about the idea to bring together activists to make a difference for one charity.

I have thought of several ways to contribute, and am trying to work out the logistics of my idea.  So, my "Be the Change" blog idea will have to be announced tomorrow.

April 12, 2010

What bloggers say about BlogPaws Part II

I have a horrible confession to make.  When I met @DogFiles at BlogPaws 2010 my eyes glazed over when he spoke about video.  As a charity in Peru, we have a very hard time creating good video due to 1) lack of good equipment that can withstand conditions 2) large amount of time spent traveling by boat and accompanying wind noise eating up any form of narrative, and 3) lack of technical knowledge to put videos together.  Yes, we do have a YouTube channel and I would love nothing more than for somebody to tell me I'm wrong and that I am an Oscar winner in the making.  But my videos can not compare to the quality of videos at The Dog Files website

Now, I must self-promote here.  Amazon CARES is very fortunate to be involved with an incredible documentary in the making that needs your support (plus your name in the credits).  It is Fixing Fido, and thanks to Director Jeremiah Alley, we do have some GREAT professional vids.

Now, back to promoting OTHERS! 

Just watched Interview with Petco's Natalie Malaszenko at Blogpaws. Excellent!

Blog:  Implementing an idea / Closing Ceremony Video
I love the superb "Two Cavalier's" blog by @Felissahadas.  She writes an entry about a great idea she had AND implemented while at BlogPaws.  She promotes an easy way for you to help Pedigree help animals.  As much as I want to promote it as well, I prefer you visit her blog to read about her clever idea!  She also writes about the inspirational tear-jerker video shown at the closing ceremony of BlogPaws.  Her reflections express my feelings exactly, and I am sure many of you will agree.

Blog:  Session Review "Be the Change"
Check out this blog by @BoulderDog1.  One of the first I've seen to review a session!  "Be the Change" She writes "That’s what the “Be the Change” panel was all about. It was moderated by Jane Harrell, and members of the panel included: Dorain Wagner, Your Daily Cute, Jessica Vogelsang, DVM, Pawcurious, and Lynn Haigh (aka @frugaldoudal) and CDO of At the end of the panel Lynn showed her Shorty nominated video, “Be the Change.”

*Editor's Note:  This is our favorite expression, especially due to the emphasis on the "world."  We actually have printed magnets with an Amazon scene and the quote!  If you want one free simply comment below.  Also, just ask and we'll send you a free Member decal if you *promise* to display it proudly on your car or vet practice window! 

I am going to publish this now, but I'll still be writing!  Keep those links coming!!

April 11, 2010

What bloggers say about BlogPaws + Great SWAG!

I just read the blog entry from the always great Edie Jarolim at It is such a great start to the roundup of the many happenings at BlogPaws 2010.   In addition to social commentary, she focuses on the session on the book publishing biz.  And why not?  She has a WONDERFULLY FUNNY book of her own to promote!  I actually JUST ordered Am I Boring My Dog: And 99 Other Things Every Dog Wishes You Knew. describes her book as "A delightfully witty guide to keeping much-loved dogs not just fed and groomed, but happy to be with you. And vice versa."

FrugalDougal, a founder of this first pet Blogging conference made a very inspiring video that people need to see.  It reflects how one person CAN make a change, especially when working with others for a cause!  My dog MarilynMonrowf sampled a PawPawty once, but now I plan to skip my high school reunion so she can attend the next one!  I didn't really want to go to that reunion anyway!

AboutVetMed wrote a short blog "Blogpaws was a Blast!"  I can't wait to read more from her!  When I met her I just had to hug her!  She is one of my faves on Twitter!

Check out this funny pic of some of the pawtying going on! I hear that George the Duck was quite mortified.  My advice, George -- never let a photo be taken of you drinking from a beer bottle.  A proper beer mug is
so much classier!  BOL.

Since blogs about BlogPaws are slow coming in (everybody's traveling and/or exhausted!), I'll add some content of my own!

The organizers put together an awesome goodie bag.  I am featuring a few items here.  Some items have been consumed by my dog already, or are not yet unpacked.  I wish I knew exactly who to thank for some of these items.

We got a really nice hardcover book, The Meaning of Meow, Understanding and Caring for Your Cat.  The book was a courtesy of Meow Mix/Del Monte Pets! I just visited their Milkbones site and printed some coupons!  Meow Mix / Del Monte also gave Meow Mix Market Select food and do you see the cool Kibbles and Bits magnet?

On a personal note, my boyfriend and I stopped in Cincinnati to see his 85 year old cousin, and he PROPOSED to me with a gorgeous radiant cut diamond ring!  He is ready for bed, so it is time for me to stop blogging.  Will continue to tweet other blogs and continue discussing sponsors and swag tomorrow!!

April 9, 2010

It's a BlogPaws thing...You wouldn't understand!

I am writing from BlogPaws, the world's first pet blogging conference.  The Westin Columbus is delightful and very accomodating, and I am thrilled that my rescue dog Marilyn Monroe is along for the journey!  A great blog explains this conference really well.  Read it!  It is by @BoulderDog1

There is a Playroom for the pets and Marilyn loved playing with Toby, the subject of  This blog
 has such a cute intro:  "There were three rules for getting a dog: No Chihuahuas, no pet store puppies and no little dogs. Meet the love-of-my-life Toby, a 12-pound, store-bought Chihuahua. This is an ongoing adventure of a journalist and the dog she never thought she would own, but now can't live without." by Michelle Maskaly.  Definitely check out this blog!  It wins "BEST BLOG NAME" award for today!

The "BEST BUSINESS CARD" Award (for today) goes to George the Duck.  It is a mini-card with a poem! 
"I am George the Duck
I like to have Adventures and make people Smile.
I like to give Ducky Hugs.
I like to make graphics and stuff.
You can see all my Adventures and stuff at"

I checked out the sight which is full of FUN PICTURES!  I also learned that "@anipaltimes is proud to announce that @GeorgeTheDuck has joined our staff as Managing Editor working with Editor-in-Chief @cokiethecat."

I sat at a table with great, interesting people.  I "knew" Amy Jo Casner already from Twitter, where she is known as @informedferret.  Her website,, will surely post a blog about BlogPaws, at which time I will report back on it.  Amy Jo is the only ferret person represented at Blog Paws.  She is also super generous!  She won $500 worth of pet food from sponsor Del Monte and donated it to a Central Texas Feral Rescue immediately upon the suggestion of @RescueAnimals. @CentralTXFerals is new to Twitter, so everybody go follow them!  Oops I spoke too soon!  Amy Jo (@InformedFerret) JUST posted a new blog post about our first night at BlogPaws!

Speaking of @RescueAnimals, the Founders of, Ashley and Nikki are delightful and interesting and inquisitive.  See picture.  They do so much to support animal advocates and shelters.  I hope I didn't talk their ears off!  They win today's award for "MOST SELFLESS ADVOCATES."

Another blog post just in:  Read this short update by @dailydogscoop and see what tip they learned from @yourdailycute.

I must sleep, but will update tomorrow.  If you are mentioned in this blog post, leave a comment, and find me for a free Amazon CARES baseball cap!

April 3, 2010

Dr. Annie Cook in Peru for new Spey / Neuter Campaigns: A Brilliant Blog!

Click here to lend your support to: Vet Trips are Worth the Cost and make a donation at ! To THE CURRENT CAMPAIGN.

Annie Cook working (pictured in background of the picture to the left).

It is fabulous to be back in Iquitos. The heat is overwhelming as always and my head is pounding. It is definitely the only place in the world where I drink in excess of my 2 litres a day. The city is so busy and noisy. Mototaxis whizz past in the street, a dog dodges the traffic and meanders up the foot path, workmen stand on the corner and haggle over goods, a woman walks past with a tray of exotic fruits for sale and an old man sit in his doorframe watching the world pass by. Away from the buzzing mototaxis the city is calmer, people are relaxed and friendly greeting me with a smile and often an embrace. It is such a change from my life in the UK. There is the obvious temperature difference – I was still wearing a winter coat when I left on Friday. Then there is the commute. I am not dodging cars, applying my makeup between changing gears, scoffing a piece of toast if I had time to make it and yelling at the jam of traffic in front of me. Here the day starts with the sun filtering through the screens, the sounds of insects and birds in the trees and the occasional dog bark. Breakfast is at the table with fresh fruit, juice, eggs and toast. The journey to work is a thirty minute speed boat ride along the river with the chance of a pink river dolphin to delay the trip rather than a broken down car that jams the motorway. The river is busy, there are fisherman throwing their nets, long boats so laden with bananas that water splashes the gunnels, rafts of timber heading to market, a woman washing her clothes whilst her children bath in the water.

Arriving at work there is the anticipation of what the day will bring. In the UK I might expect to treat forty patients a day with the only spectator being the owner of the animal. I will stand behind the table in my air-conditioned room with an array of medicines and equipment to assist me and my patients will arrive in baskets or on leads. The majority will be in good physical condition if not a little overweight. In Iquitos my patients come in nets or with rope around some body part to prevent them fleeing. My consulting room is in the street under a tarpaulin and I might have thirty people watching. The animals are thin and carrying an array of parasites, some dogs so affected that there is not a hair left on their skin. Working with Amazon Cares is an opportunity to provide frontline care to those that need it most.

We have set up a mobile neutering clinic for stray animals in a Plaza at the edge of the city centre. The Amazon Cares team consists of Bruno, Esther (pictured below), Bethjane, Harry and me and we are joined by volunteer vets Anne and Florence from France and Peruvian vet, Ines.

We have neutered 28 animals so far in the campaign and treated them for skin problems, chest infections and parasites. The response from the community has been inspiring. The local government has been very supportive and assisted with setting up each day and many people come to watch and inquire about our work. We are quite a spectacle – a row of red tents beneath which 5 veterinarians perform surgery on dogs. To the uninformed it must be bewildering and one small child asked her father the other day “why are they killing them?” It is for this reason that the mobile clinic is an invaluable opportunity to educate local people and raise awareness about animal welfare. Many observers have congratulated us for our efforts and others have requested to have their animals neutered at the Amazon Cares veterinary clinic in the future as this campaign is only for stray animals. The neutering campaign has so far been very successful and will continue around the city until April 10th. There is also an outreach clinic next week in Caballo Cocha coordinated by Bruno together with our two volunteer veterinarians Anne and Florence.   Read more about our trip to the very remote Caballo Cocha in November 2009...

Veterinary and non-veterinary volunteers are always welcome in Iquitos.  We are launching a new program that welcomes volunteers for longer term visits than our planned 2-3 week trips.  Learn more and download an application on our website at