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.


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