September 21, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Photography by @PatrickMahaney

This beautiful image is featured in the 2012 Amazon CARES wall calendar.  This dog was photographed by Patrick Mahaney, VMD, CVA, who volunteered during our April Vets Abroad trip.

Show your support for animals and Amazon Community Animal Rescue, Education and Safety with our beautifully photographed 2012 calendar.  You will be proud to display this hanging wall calendar throughout the year.

$15 each and free shipping!  Buy one for you and one for a friend!  Thanks to a 150% matching donor, your $15 purchase actually means $37.50 donated to Amazon Community Animal Rescue, Education and Safety.

Click here to purchase a calendar via PayPal today!

Wholesale calendars are available for you to use as a fundraiser!  For information contact

September 20, 2011

A Non-Vet Volunteer Discovers Iquitos and Amazon CARES

By Guest Blogger & Amazon CARES Volunteer Nicola Kopp

There was a moment in Peru when I found that there was no better place for me to travel to than Iquitos. I fell in love with the Amazon Jungle.  Iquitos is many things to me. It´s hot, sunny, rainy, green, lush, flavoursome, friendly, hospitably and extremely welcoming.  A visit to one of the many jungle lodges is a must. It´s a trip into a remote world.  When I first arrived, I had a two hours boat trip on the Amazon river and then three very special days in a jungle lodge. Several days excursions took me  into the territory of thousands of animals and plants, noises and aromas. Here I feel a true visitor.  Among all the impressions, I most love how the jungle smells! It´s the most wonderful aroma on earth!

Back in Iquitos I found the city full of excitement.  Miles of Mototaxis, rocking chairs in front of the houses, an amazing malecon, splendid facades of the rubber times, clubs full of cumbia music and happy people allover. 

Jessica, at the time of her rescue.

But in Iquitos I also found a street dog. She was one of many. It made me suffer until I found the most wonderful animal community – AMAZON CARES – Amazon Community Rescue, Education and Safety. They seek better health and living conditions for ALL living beings of the Peruvian Amazon region. This includes appropriate care, respect, and protection from cruelty and neglect.

Jessica with her new family!

They invited me to bring them the dog I found, cured it in their clinic and brought it to their no-kill-shelter, named it Jessica and found her a family. A long time after being back to Lima, Amazon Cares mailed me pictures.  Jessica had turned into a completely healthy dog.

My goal: I wanted to go back, help Amazon Cares, help so many other animals. It took me a year, and I was back to Iquitos! This time to stay 4 weeks at the no kill shelter! Thanks to Molly, the wonderful founder, and Bruno, the wonderful director and thanks to all the other clinic and shelter staff, I had a very fulfilling time of my life! My dream came true as I was a volunteer for animals!
Madhu and Kimberly

Every day I got up early and  first thing Kimberly and Madhu, two wonderful little puppies, welcomed me stepping out of my door. Then, we prepared the food with my bowl for each dog + vitamins compliments of i Love Dogs, Inc.!  Read more here.  First the puppies , then the small dogs , then the big dogs ate. We watched them eating, happily. Then all dogs would get fresh water, clean shelters, their treatment, and above all much attention, play and walk! The dogs loved it and ended happily relaxing after a fulfilling day.


I got very attached to my dogs, especially to Facundo, my very special baby.  Facundo's life was cut short, and you can read my memorial.  

The farewell was like leaving behind a big family. I also visited Jessica in her family before I left.  She is a happy dog now.  Back in Lima I got the wonderful news that 16 dogs got adopted in 20 days! Amazon Cares is amazing.  They have accomplished miracles since 2004.  Read more and convince yourself of the great job those guys do in the Amazon Jungle of Iquitos.

Nicola walking Bruno, Canela and Barbara

Between now and March 2012, a donor has challenged CARES to raise $12,000.  If we reach this goal, the Donor will donate $18,000 to CARES!  Please find it in your heart to support our animals today.


September 16, 2011

A "Less Adoptable" Pet Transforms His Owner's Life.

Rusty is a beautiful boxer whose family abandoned him.  We do not know what led to several characteristics that made him "less adoptable," but he suffered from a lame leg, and his tongue always stuck out of his mouth.  Other dogs at our no-kill shelter had a hard time "reading," his facial expression.  He was often bullied by the other dogs.

Benefactors David and Dottie Bonnett sponsored Rusty, and we expected him to become one of our "lifelong" residents at our spacious jungle property.  Despite his troubles, Rusty remained extremely affectionate.

One exciting day a family came to adopt a dog for their teenage son.  This sight impaired young man did not see any of Rusty's "imperfections."  The two bonded immediately, and Rusty was adopted!  We follow up with our adoptive families to see how the pets are being treated and if they are well integrated into their new home.  In this case, Rusty lived near the Amazon CARES Veterinary Clinic located in the city of Iquitos.  One of our Veterinarians passed by Rusty's home everyday while walking to work!

I will never forget the day this male Veterinarian came to the office with tears in his eyes.  He had just come from visiting Rusty.  Emotionally, he described his experience.  The teenager was alone in the family room with Rusty.  No training exists in Iquitos for Guide Dogs or Assistance Dogs (see "Assistance Dogs in the Amazon").  Yet Rusty was a natural.  The veterinarian explained that this dog and teenager communicated on human terms.  When the boy spoke, Rusty understood.  They behaved like brothers.

Dog abandonment is rampant in Iquitos, and the Amazon CARES Animal Refuge has a wonderful lifetime resident program.  We are forever appreciative to David and Dottie Bonnett for sponsoring Rusty as well as many other wonderful animals.  Between now and March 2012, a donor has challenged CARES to raise $12,000.  If we reach this goal, the Donor will donate $18,000 to CARES!  Please find it in your heart to support one of our less adoptable pets today.


September 12, 2011

Disney's Spooky Buddies Delights All Ages!

Molly Mednikow with Director Robert Vance.
Check out our Spook-tacular Give-Away!

During BlogPaws 2011, Disney presented the first and only press screening of a Halloween family film.  SPOOKY BUDDIES, the latest Disney release in the popular ―Buddies franchise of direct-to-video movies, features that adorable gang of talking golden retriever puppies. Produced and written by a dynamic filmmaking duo, Robert Vince and Anna McRoberts, SPOOKY BUDDIES was created with one of their favorite holidays in mind. Realizing that Halloween is equally popular with both kids and adults, they knew they had to write a compelling script that incorporated fun, humor, friendship and some family-friendly frights!

Dressed in their costumes, the Buddies hit the streets along with a witch‘s brew of Halloween characters. Sheet ghosts, goblins, ghouls, skeletons, devils, even a fairy princess, are all followed by their parents, who will soon congregate at Sheriff Dan‘s annual Halloween Brew Ha-Ha.

September 9, 2011

Meeting Marilyn Monroe

This post is my entry into the BlogPaws Blog Carnival Contest sponsored by BISSELL Homecare, Inc.

The beautiful blonde had backed herself into a dark corner.  At least four males surrounded her.  I watched her helplessly, knowing this was a fight neither of us could win.  She snapped and growled at the male dogs to no avail.  She was in heat.  I could not help her.  

That was 2004, the year I founded the charity Amazon Community Animal Rescue, Education and Safety, better known as Amazon CARES.  Four weeks later I rescued that blonde dog.  Of our early rescue dogs, she was the healthiest.  She did not suffer from extreme mange, yet she was clearly malnourished, and something inside of me told me to take her with me to our newly rented animal shelter.

Marilyn at the CARES jungle animal shelter in 2005.
Little did I know I saved three lives when I rescued Marilyn.  As soon as Marilyn began receiving healthy, regular meals, she plumped up and we realized that she was pregnant.  She gave birth to two beautiful puppies:  A pure black male and pure white female, and my workers exclaimed and wondered HOW WAS THAT possible!?

September 8, 2011

Assistance Dogs in the Amazon

September is National Guide Dog Month, a time set aside to raise both funds and awareness about the critical role guide dogs play in the lives of disabled persons.

The training and adoption of guide and therapy dogs in Iquitos has always been one of Amazon CARES' most cherished goals, but in our efforts we have met with a great deal of resistance.
Before Amazon CARES came to Iquitos, the prevailing attitude about dogs was that they were unclean, something closer to vermin; the bands of roaming, flea-infested street dogs do little to discourage the notion. Hospitals refuse to even entertain the possibility of using therapy dogs, fearing the introduction of disease. In addition, in the Amazon, persons with disabilities are largely left to their own devices - the social services we take for granted in the United States are simply not present. It is felt that nothing will improve the disable person's life or ability to care for him or herself, so why bother - the motto seems to be the same as late-night rotisserie infomercials: "set it and forget it."

Rejected by hospitals, we approached and began working with individual families. One of our first candidates for therapy dog placement was a largely unresponsive developmentally delayed boy who was confined to a wheelchair. Our informally trained therapy dog was very gentle with the child, and after only a few visits the boy would smile and laugh when the dog visited, interacting with the dog and even throwing a ball for him to fetch!

September 7, 2011

"Forest," Then and Now

Nearly Wordless Wednesday:
"Forest," Then and Now
Forest the puppy, as featured in the Amazon CARES 2012 Calendar, now on sale!

Amazon CARES Peru Director  Bruno Antoine with Forest, all grown up and in a loving home!

September 6, 2011

Bruno's Blog: August Stats

Report from Bruno Antoine, Director of Amazon CARES in Peru: (translated from Spanish)

The NGO Amazon CARES is mostly known for its campaigns of sterilization and veterinary services in poor areas of our region. In August, CARES has undertaken a new campaign of environmental health from Nauta, Bellavista-Nanay and the Yarapa River basin.

 However, even during our campaigns, our full service Veterinary Clinic on Pevas Street is open and committed throughout the year to those most in need.

In August, for example, the social agenda of the NGO, funded by contributions from veterinary clinic customers, served 34 animals in the clinic (in addition to the campaign) for a sum of Nuevo Soles S/ 1,280. (USD $470)

The following is a summary of actions taken:

Clinic costs incurred by the NGO:
5 Sterilization dogs / cats with owner S/ 100 (USD $36.66)
2 Sterilization dogs / cats of the street S/160 (USD $58.65)
16 Other animal actions with owned animals 16 S/ 980 (USD $359.35)
1 Other animal acts with animal from the street 1 S/ 40 (USD $14.67)

Apart from medical procedures, CARES has given has 8 talks (in the market for Bellavista Nanay, Puerto Miguel, Nauta, Iquitos and Isla College César Vallejo), there have been 6 interviews (Channel 2, Amazon channel, The Ribenero Nauta and Channel 19), 5 press articles, and 6 dog adoptions (Ball, Vania, Lilian, Canela, Gustavo and Ana) and 4 kitten adoptions. Sadly, we performed one euthanasia on a very ill street dog.

 As an institution, we are in the process of coordinating a health partnership with the community of Bellavista Nanay.

During our small veterinary campaign during August, we sterilized 68 animals, treated 352 animals including de-worming, flea and tick control, and treatment for mange, and distributed 1,171 Albendazole 400 mg anti-parasite tablets to humans. We also lectured to over 150 students, and adults about responsible pet ownership.

Thank you for reading this post.  Our Peru Director, Bruno Antoine will have regular posts on our English blog from now on.  Subscribe to our blog by typing your name in the "Receive Posts by Email" box to the upper right.  Also, please Like our Facebook Page and Follow us on Twitter!