September 28, 2016

Wordless Wednesday: More than cats and dogs

Amazon CARES provides veterinary care to not only dogs and cats, but other types of furry friends too! While pocket pets are not as common in Iquitos as in the United States, we still work with many owners that want to provide their small pets with the best care they can. We have seen pets such as rabbits, small pocket pets, birds, and more. These little critters require very specialized care and proper diets to be healthy and happy, and can get very sick if they aren't taken care of properly. We are there in Iquitos to provide owners with resources, education, and affordable veterinary care to ensure ALL their companion animals live long, happy, and healthy lives.

Look at all these adorable fuzzies we have seen recently in our clinic! 
Volunteer, Sarita, with a patient, hamster.
New patients, beautiful rabbits!
To learn more about our work, please follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook and visit our website!

September 25, 2016

Four street dogs with one happy ending

Check out this amazing transformations!

Paloma, Choco, Forest and Blanco were sick and/or injured when they were rescued. You can see from their "before" (antes) photos that they were in very bad condition-emaciated and scared from living on the streets. We provided all the care they needed and then lived in our shelter, some for months and some for years, waiting for this day. All four were adopted by a lovely family.
Most of our supporters are unable to adopt a dog or a cat from the jungles of Peru, but you can "virtually adopt" at PLEASE sponsor our animals today and help us have many more happy endings like this one!

September 21, 2016

Animal Welfare Awareness Event

Amazon CARES hosted an exciting event in our Iquitos clinic last Sunday: an open-house style "Gran Feria" open to the public!
Amazon CARES in the local paper

Volunteers spent the weeks before the fair spreading the word about our organization and inviting everyone to come check out the clinic in the heart of the city of Iquitos. Our event even made the local papers and national news of Peru!

The event was a huge success for us- full of friends, food and fun. The focus of our event was to invite the community to find out more about us, our mission, and what we offer. In Iquitos, many people simply don't know that there is affordable veterinary care available for their pets, as well as an animal shelter they can bring injured and sick stray animals in to. Through community outreach, we hope to make Iquitos a better place for dogs and cats.

Amazon CARES Fair
During our event, we provided 100 animals with free rabies vaccinations, and offered deworming medication for all. We also had a raffle and some fun crafts for sale as a fundraiser to support our shelter dogs and cats. We had a total blast and can't wait for more events like this in the future!
Homemade crafts for sale at the fair

Interested in volunteering? Amazon CARES offers virtual and veterinary volunteer positions year-round. Please send an email to to learn more!  

September 18, 2016

Amazon CARES Rescues Momma and Newborn Pups

Earlier this week, we rescued yet another momma dog at Amazon CARES. Momma "Tracy" named after our wonderful supporter, Tracy Temple, along with her five newborn puppies were found on the streets of Iquitos and rescued by some of our awesome volunteers. Our veterinary staff can now ensure that the momma and puppies are given the proper care and nutrition they need. They will all stay with us until they are ready to be adopted. Our clinic has a few rooms available for situations like these in which a quiet, clean area isolated from other dogs is required to house the puppies.
The rescue of momma dog Tracy and her puppies
In the streets of Iquitos, it is all too common for young puppies to become ill with diseases that can be prevented. We will provide the puppies with a course of anti-parasitic medication to fight off intestinal parasites, along with routine vaccinations to prevent highly contagious viral diseases like Parvovirus and Distemper Virus. These diseases are especially spread among unvaccinated street animals in Peru. They can be fatal even with treatment, so it is super important that to be proactive in preventing them. Additionally, both Tracy and the pups will be spayed and neutered to prevent future litters. 

Momma dog Tracy and her puppies
We can't wait to watch our newest additions grow into healthy, happy pups and find forever, loving homes. As a no-kill animal rescue, we see so many dogs just like Tracy and her puppies come to us, and it is our mission to provide veterinary care and shelter to every animal in need. Consider making a donation to help us provide the necessary care to momma dog Tracy, her puppies, and other dogs in need. Help us help more dogs!      

September 14, 2016

In Memory of Bill Grimes

It is with heavy hearts that we write in memory of a dear friend to our Amazon CARES team, Bill Grimes, who passed away in a devastating storm in Iquitos occurring this past Friday night. Torrential downpours and winds up to almost 50 mph tore apart homes and buildings, and injured 30 people. This is the worst storm on record for the city in many years. 

Bill Grimes with his wife Marmelita
Bill was an American writer, jungle tour guide, and photographer. He was the President and Captain of the Dawn on the Amazon Tours and Cruises and cafe owner, providing countless tourists with unforgettable experiences in the beautiful Amazon Rainforest. Bill was loved within the Iquitos community, and he will never be forgotten. Our thoughts are with Bill's wife, Marmelita, and his family.

Storm Damage in Cabo Lopez
With time, Iquitos will be able to heal and rebuild after this horrible tragedy. Our animal shelter, Cabo Lopez, was damaged and will have to be repaired with new parts for the roof.
Volunteers working in our Shelter
Our dedicated volunteers worked tirelessly this past Sunday to clean up the wreckage and fallen trees in the area, and cared for all our shelter dogs and cats.

Our team is currently doing everything in our power to take care of the street animals that suffered through this terrible event. Amazon CARES would like to honor Bill's memory through a new campaign to provide 100 more street dogs with veterinary care. Please consider supporting us in our fundraising efforts and by spreading the word. A friend of ours and Bill's, Tracy Temple, has set up a Crowdrise Fundraising Page to help support our efforts- All donations will be applied to our street dog campaign in memory of Bill Grimes. Thank you so much to everyone for your continued support, especially through these challenging times. 


September 11, 2016

Shelter Dogs Bathing in the Amazon Jungle

The best way to express our love for animals is to be with them. 

This is the philosophy of our amazing, dedicated volunteers in Iquitos, Peru. Every two weeks, a team of Amazon CARES volunteers make a special trip to our jungle shelter, Cabo Lopez, where all our adoption-ready dogs and cats awaiting their furrever homes live happily. During these visits, all the pups are walked to a nearby beach on the Amazon River where they are bathed, groomed, and given the extra attention they deserve. Bath time isn't so bad when you get to splash around in the Amazon River while you do it! Additionally, the dogs are treated with a topical medication called Fipronil, which is a preventative treatment for fleas and ticks- essential for living in the jungle as you might imagine.
It looks like a grand time! All are welcome to join and get in on some doggy lovin'.

THANK YOU to all the dedicated volunteers and supporters who show kindness and compassion to all animals, especially those that have been given a second chance at an animal shelter. 

Some of our Volunteers - Thank you for all that you do!

September 7, 2016

A Great Fix

By far, one of the coolest things I did while volunteering with Amazon CARES was assisting during surgery. As a 3rd year veterinary student in the US, I arrived fresh out of my small animal surgery course where we learned basic surgical techniques like suturing, maintaining sterility in the operating room, and common procedures like spaying and neutering dogs and cats. 

Volunteers Sydney, Amanda and I in surgery with Dr. Edwin
I was psyched about observing all the interesting surgery cases, but I hadn't anticipated that Dr. Edwin, one of the staff veterinarians, would ask us to scrub in and perform sterilization surgeries on feral cats with his assistance starting on day 1! Wow!
Performing a flank spay!

Veterinary assistant Junior helped us get started with preparing the injectable anesthesia, positioning of the patient, and preparation of the incision site. We performed our first male castration surgery, doing exactly what we had been taught in class. We watched Dr. Edwin spay a female cat- he used a special technique called a “flank spay” that I hadn't seen before. Rather than a traditional abdominal midline incision, a small incision is made on the animal’s right flank area. Then, the uterus and ovaries are identified and taken out similar to the traditional approach. Dr. Edwin explained that this technique can be much faster than a ventral abdominal approach with practice. I learned that flank spays can be easier to monitor post-operatively from a distance, and may have a better outcome if incisional suture failure were to occur.  Soon enough, it was our turn to do our own solo spay surgeries- it was a success thanks to Dr. Edwin and Dr. Fernando! 

One major limitation at the clinic is that we only had 2 packs of surgery instruments, so every few surgeries we would have to stop to clean all the supplies before we were able to resume. We also had to be very careful about not wasting expensive supplies such as suture and tissue glue. Most of all, we all wished we had air conditioning- the surgery suite is a small room with little airflow. It was sweltering hot all day long, so you just sweat, and sweat, and sweat in those masks and gloves. 

I can see how passionate and dedicated Amazon CARES team members are about not only taking the best care of all of their patients, but also readily sharing their knowledge with students like Sydney and I. We are the luckiest! 

Cats recovering from surgery

Written by Amazon CARES Volunteer, Sarita Patel

September 4, 2016

At Amazon CARES, Adoption Matters

Did you know that Amazon CARES is the first and only no-kill animal rescue organization in Peru's Amazon River Basin?

Rescued Kittens in our Care
Being classified as a no-kill animal rescue means that we are dedicated to the care of every animal that walks through our doors- no matter what. Animals will never be euthanized due to a lack of space. This means that we rely heavily on our supporters and on the adoption process for our program to be a success.
Dr. Edwin giving vaccine on one of our shelter dogs
Adoption gives the previously unwanted, sick, and injured animals of Iquitos a second chance to find a loving home. Our adoption-ready dogs and cats live happily in our jungle shelter, Cabo Lopez, until they find their perfect family. By adopting out animals that are spayed, neutered, vaccinated, and health checked by licensed veterinarians, we aim to promote awareness in animal welfare throughout the area. Spaying and neutering every adoptable animal ensures we break the reproductive cycle, preventing future unwanted litters. Vaccination and preventative medicine allows us to ensure that healthy, happy animals are re-released into the community, and are free of very common diseases like Parvovirus and Distemper virus. 
Getting more animals adopted into wonderful forever homes means that we can have more space available for incoming animals that need our help. We love seeing animals that have had a "ruff" start to life with happy endings! Here's some awesome pics of our recent adoptions:
Few of MANY adoptions!