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July 31, 2010

Brigitte Bardot Supports Vet Trip

The Amazon CARES team, supported by two veterinary volunteers from Lima, peru and three veterinary volunteers from France has completed an intensive two week Veterinary campaign in Iquitos, Peru.

Our intensive and costly campaigns are made possible by many generous donors.  The Brigitte Bardot Foundation, a Platinum Benefactor of Amazon CARES, is especially important in the funding of these Veterinary campaigns.  Thank you to this generous and internationally respected Foundation for granting Amazon CARES substantial funds for the second year in a row.

The environmental health campaign addresses the issue of parasites in pets, street animals and humans.  Humans are affected by parasites and various communicable diseases.  As always, the campaigns also focused on spaying and neutering street dogs to help control animal overpopulation.

This successful campaign resulted in the treatment of more than 100 animals per day, and on some days, more than 200!  Over 142 sterilization surgeries took place as well!  Human treatments for parasites were also distributed. 

A strong educational component helped people understand how to better care for the pets and the importance of quality veterinary care.

It is always exciting to travel further out to help communities with no access to veterinary campaign.  Thus, this campaign started on July 12 in the community Santa Maria de Ojeal and continued on the 13th in Sichicuy.  Both small villages are an hour outside of Iquitos and must be reached by boat.  Volunteers received free accomodation thanks to the generosity of the Tucan Amazon Lodge.

On the 14th the campaign continued, and all worked at a fast pace, spending 2-3 days in each location.  The campaign took place in several well-populated, yet rural neighborhoods in or around Iquitos. These included Punchana, Port of Bella-Vista Nanay, Plaza of Sargento Lores and the City Park of Iquitos.
Following this successful Veterinary Trip, we look forward to our October Trip in conjunction with the Brigitte Bardot Foundation and the Worldwide Veterinary Service.  This trip will see the return of a fave volunteer, Dr. Barbara Bennett, who is also a Platinum Sponsor of Amazon CARES!

Related Blog Entries:  Brigitte Bardot Saves Animal Shelter

July 30, 2010

Give-Away: Peru Hammock for Two

In a few days I'll be announcing the first winner of our first Give-Away

Our next Give-Away ends August 15, 2010 at 12 AM EST  and the item is an incredible handmade artisan hammock for two people. Beautifully colored with natural vegetable dyes and super comfortable.  Colors in these pictures may not be 100% accurate due to computer screen settings and photographer skills.  Click the "Contest" tab above to learn how to enter!

July 29, 2010

FIDO Friendly Needs No Introduction...

VOTE for @FIDOFriendly Carol Bryant; help her win $$ for Cocker Spaniel rescue:

Who is Carol Bryant and why do I care this much?

I met Carol at the first BlogPaws held in May 2010 in Ohio.  She is an inspiration, fueled by a great editorial team headed up by Susan Sims at Fido Friendly Magazine.

Carol Bryant is the Editorial and Social Media/PR Director, Blogger for FIDO Friendly Magazine.
“It came to me that every time I lose a dog they take a piece of my heart with them. And every new dog that comes into my life gifts me with a piece of their heart. If I live long enough, all the components of my heart will be a dog, and I will become as generous and loving as they.”Dog Mom to: Dexter: Born 09/06/08; Lovebug Extraordinaire AND Brandy Noel: 10/17/93-10/11/08; Forever Mighty Dog.

I am a Twitter person (Follow me at @AmazonCares, and while you are at it, follow @FIDOFriendly).  My main contact with Carol and the magazine is through Twitter, although they are very active on Facebook and YouTube as well!  Their blog is excellent, and I encourage you to subscribe by email.

FIDO Friendly is the travel and lifestyle magazine for your dog!  Doesn't your dog deserve this?  Despite their upscale doggy diva coverage, they also feature much information about animal charities, rescues and rescuers...even international Amazon Cares!

Carol is a finalist in the PetFinder Best Pet Parent contest.  There are many great reason to vote for her.  Her entry states
"I once read that you dont pick a dog; that the dogs in your life pick you. How very true that resonated on December 19, 1993. The moment our eyes locked amidst the barking and chaos, I was hooked. Brandy Noel ignited the passion I have for dogs in every way possible. My little girl lived 15 ripe years and we battled many illnesses together. I decided on a home-based career to be with her. I am a dog writer, active in dog rescue, and eat, sleep, and breathe dog. My dog rescued me."

VOTE today and Spread the Word, Please.  CAROL IS IN THE TOP TEN!!!

As many activists as I know, I know very few with the honest enthusiam for her work to promote animals and animal welfare.  I have investigated her charity of choice and their work is admirable and I know the prize money will be handled in a correct manner.  That is very important to me.  Accountability.  Carol must know as well, because she picked the right charity! Her prize money will be donated to Oldies But Goodies (Northern VA) Cocker Rescue, Newington, VA

Thanks for reading AND voting!!


Molly Mednikow

P.S. Enter our Giveaway this week.  Ends Aug. 1, and only two entrants!  I started late! ;)

July 28, 2010

A time to beg, a time to thank...

On July 18 I published a blog entitled Rescued Dogs in Need.  Please Do Not Turn Away.  It is rare for me to publish a blog that so blatantly asks for donations.   However, with our veterinary campaigns ongoing, we are rescuing more dogs than usual, and I wanted to show people the FACE of these needy animals.

Thank you SO VERY MUCH to several Donors that didn´t think twice about supporting us in our desire to save these three dogs.  They are Candy Benedicto, Lesa Steeves, Christina Walsh and Stacey Tollackson.  Thank you for your generosity.  Two of these benefactors are featured below.

Carol "Candy" Benedicto
Carol "Candy" Benedicto has been a benefactor of CARES for many years. We even named one of our beautiful rescue dogs, now with a forever family, after her. Carol grew up in Manila, went to college at Cal Berkeley and Parsons, and law school at Fordham. She resides in New York City, where she is a designer and a legal editor. She started supporting CARES after coming across photos of our work and the many animals we help. "I've only known love from the dogs I've been lucky to meet in this life, so it's always a heartbreak when I see dogs suffering. When I learned about Amazon Cares, its mission, and its work in Iquitos, I couldn't just turn away. I continue to support CARES not only to help the animals, but to thank people like Molly and her staff for their work -- they show the world that respect for animals and a commitment to their welfare are not only the right things to do, but are essential to a healthy community."

Lesa Steeves

Lesa Steeves has also rescued and had a specific dog named for her (and since adopted!).  Like Carol, she is a longtime supporter of CARES.  She adores her Peruvian Pasos She adores her Peruvian Paso Horses, the National pride of Peru. She's travelled extensively in Peru and has seen first hand the animal welfare concerns in the country. She feel it's important that CARES is helping in the Iquitos area where there used to be no voice for animals at all before CARES started their organization.

July 26, 2010

A Peruvian Folk Art Give-Away!

Many blogs and websites sponsor give-aways, especially when doing product reviews.  We would be thrilled to do product reviews (hint, hint), but in the meantime we do want to have a few give-aways.  Readers will know that I am in the Amazon region of Peru working with international volunteer veterinarians.  There are many beautiful artisan crafts here that are unavailable in the US.

Another reason to offer give-aways?  We spend a lot of time on our blog.  Much is focused on our work in Peru.  However, we carefully cover many topics relevant to a broader group.  We highlight pet-friendly companies, donors, volunteers and volunteer opportunities.  We want you to read our blog and learn about us and the topics we cover.

While in peru, I am collecting a sampling of beautiful handicrafts that I would like to pass on to loyal readers.  Here is a sampling:

How to enter: 
1) Simply subcribe to this blog
2) Add a comment to one of the posts from the month of July
3) Follow us with Google Friend Connect (bonus entry)
4) Tweet "Peruvian Folk-Art Give-aways from @amazoncares"

We´ll choose our first winner on August 1st, at random.  The first give-away is for a small. over the shoulder purse that is hand-embroidered by the Shipibo Indian tribe.  It is perfect for a wallet, cellphone, and some cosmetics!


More about the Shipibo Indians:

The Shipibo Indians reside at the southwestern edge of the vast Amazon Basin in Peru. Shipibo Indians are River Indians living along the banks and tributaries of the Amazon River. The Shipibo people are primarily artisns, hunters, and fishermen and some practice slash-and-burn agriculture. Primary tools are machetes and spears. Virtually none of the villages have electricity. A small number of Shipibo people live in Iquitos where they make and sell their uniquely patterned art and craft.

The Shipibo-Conibo consist of around 35,000 people living in three to four hundred villages located north and south of the town of Pucallpa on the Ucayali River, which connects Cuzco to the Brazilian Amazon.  All of the villages use barter for trade, but their proximity to the burgeoning town of Pucallpa makes it inevitable that the people will soon be drawn into modern trade and exploitation.

They speak a language of the Panoan family, though some of them are starting to learn Spanish. Despite 300 years of sporadic contact with white or mestizo civilization, and massive conversion to Christianity in the 1950’s and 60’s the Shipibo-Conibos maintain a strong identity and retain their ancient ways. They are known for their intricate designs on their pottery and their bright clothing.

The Shipibo are well known for their distinctive pottery and textiles. In their culture the designs they use are traditionally copied from the skin of the Giant Anaconda or the heavens, such as the Southern Cross. Many other designs were given to them by their culture hero Incan ancestors. Their cotton cloth is hand painted in traditional designs. The cloth is worn as a wrap around loin cloth by the women of the tribe as well as being used for other functions.

(Text from the Peruvian Amazon Indian Institute)

July 24, 2010

Insights from a Donor, now a Volunteer!

Please allow me to introduce myself. My name is Charlie Bond.  I am a donor to Amazon Community Animal Rescue, Education and Safety (Amazon CARES). Since June 21, I have been a volunteer for Amazon CARES in Peru. I am seeing the amazing work of Amazon CARES up close and for the first time.

Over the past month, I have had the opportunity to see veterinarians at work on behalf of CARES. They have been involved in campaigns sterilizing dogs and cats and ridding them of fleas, ticks, internal parasites and mange. The humane education campaigns are front and center, taking place along with the free Veterinary clinics. I am also pleased to report that CARES distributes anti-parasite medications to the human population as well, with over 7700 treatments distributed in 2010 alone.

As an Amazon Cares donor and volunteer, I wish to thank you for your support of this cause. Having seen work of Amazon CARES first-hand, I am more convinced than ever that my donations to this charity are well-spent. Come to Iquitos; see what I have seen; and you will be inspired to donate generously to this selfless cause. If you can not visit Iquitos, keep up with Amazon CARES through their website, subscribe to this blog, and follow them on Twitter! You will see that your support is needed and not a penny goes to waste.

As you know, Amazon CARES oversees the welfare of domestic animals in the Amazon region of Peru, focusing its efforts in Iquitos, rural areas and communities as distant as Columbian and Ecuadorian border villages.

The number of abandoned and stray animals in Iquitos is astounding. Yet, a significant decrease in these numbers through animal birth control campaigns, rescue and re-homing, along with a healthy dose of education has made a difference due to the diligent work of Amazon Community Animal Rescue, Education and Safety.


Charlie Bond
Nashville, TN

P.S. I welcome your feedback and comments. Please write and tell me if and why you support CARES.

July 22, 2010

Embrace Pet Insurance: A Generous Benefactor!

Amazon CARES is in the midst of a three week volunteer trip.  With increased resources (volunteers) we are able to accomplish amazing things!  We estimate that we are treating 600 dogs per week.  We are also providing anti-parasite medications to HUMANS as well!  These campaigns are very expensive, and there are several donors that deserve our gratitude!  Today I must address the generosity of Embrace Pet Insurance

Their supply donations have defrayed our costs significantly. The first donation was valued at over $1100, and four more boxes are on the way!  

Read our blog to learn more! These donations were a direct result of Amazon CARES Director, Molly Mednikow, meeting Embrace Pet Insurance Founder, Laura Bennett, at BlogPaws 2010 (Columbus, OH). 
Working in a rural village.  Sutures are VERY expensive in Peru, so the Embrace donations saved us a lot of money!

July 18, 2010

Rescued Dogs in Need! Do Not Turn Away, Please.

There is so much news to report that I barely know where to start!  Volunteers have arrived for a three week animal welfare campaign that combines free spay/neuter, anti-parasite treatments and more.  This is coupled with anti-mange campaigns and educational campaigns.  We have rescued so many precious dogs, although it is hard to see them as precious AT THIS TIME.

In the final picture of the cocker spaniel (Jessica) is Roman (wearing the yellow coat to prevent scratching).  He is the same dog in the middle picture and he is already doing so much better!  The campaign has generated several local newspaper articles, including a front page mention, and several TV appearances!  More about the actual campaign with photos will be posted, but for now, I am asking people to PLEASE share this blog entry.  DIGG it, etc.  And while you're at it, why not subscribe to this blog?

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!

July 4, 2010

Pay it Forward with a vote for these animal charities.

Written by Manuela

Chase Community Giving is asking you to help decide which 200 local charities will share $5 million in donations from Chase. All you have to do is vote for your favorites charities by July 12th. You can vote for up to 20 charities. On July 13th, they will announce the 200 winning charities! One charity will receive $250K; 4 runners-up will receive $100K; 195 others will receive $20K. Can you imagine the difference it can make for a charity? And all you have to do is cast your vote! You must have a Facebook account in order to vote by clicking here.
You can search for the charities you wish to vote, or even check the leader board and check the top 200 charities to help you decide. We have some suggestions for you:

1-Dogs Deserve Better, Inc
DOGS DESERVE BETTER is a nonprofit organization dedicated to freeing the chained dog, and bringing our 'best friend' into the home and family.

Blind Cat Rescue and Sanctuary was started to answer the need for a safe place for blind cats that were deemed unadoptable by regular shelters and were going to be killed just because they are blind.

3-Animal Services and Assistance Programs, Inc
Animal Services and Assistance Programs, Inc. provides food, supplies, programs and services to shelters and rescues across the US.

Kitten Rescue is a Los Angeles-based non-profit organization dedicated to saving homeless and abandoned cats and kittens.

Precious Paws Rescue is a NO-KILL foster and adoption organization, they provide a safe location for unwanted pets until they can be fully vetted, altered and placed into permanent, loving homes!

6-Belleglen Sanctuary
Belleglen Sanctuary's mission is to provide sanctuary, always and forever, for rescued and special needs cats. The sanctuary seeks to find safe and loving indoor homes or homes with safe outdoor enclosed environments for special needs cats.

Leftover Pets is a non-profit organization formed to provide low cost spay/neuter services and adoptions/transports in order to reduce the euthanasia rate of our companion animals.

8-Save a Gato
Their mission is to humanly control the population of stray cats in the old city of San Juan P.R. They spay and neuter, vaccinate and feed. They also have a great adoption program for the kittens we find in the streets and a place to care for the sick and injured cats. They hope one day that all the cats will be sterilized so we can then help the other cities to do the same.

9-Hope Animal Rescue
Their mission is one of compassion for the homeless, rehabilitation for the physically and mentally abused. Their goals are to promote spay/neuter, stop the use of gas chambers to kill our homeless pets, and to educate people on how to treat all animals with respect and dignity.

10-Island Dog Incorporated
Island Dog provides and promotes animal welfare in the United States Caribbean Islands, including Puerto Rico, St. Thomas, St. Croix, St. John, Vieques, and Culebra. They provide rescue, rehabilitation, low cost spay/neuter clinics, vaccinations, food and medical treatment to many of the 200,000+ homeless dogs living on the streets and beaches of Puerto Rico. Island Dog also provides humane education to children throughout the islands, teaching respect for all of humanity.