November 22, 2016

A Wall of Heat & a Wall of Pet Owners – Manuela – Welcome to the Jungle!

Nothing can prepare you for Iquitos, Peru! We've heard this from nearly every volunteer that comes to help Amazon CARES. Manuela Rodrigues is more prepared, however, as she was born and raised in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The wall of suffocating heat that welcomes every visitor on deplaning felt familiar to her. Excited, she hopped on a three-wheeled rickshaw and headed to work!

Manuela joined Amazon CARES years ago, but in January, 2016 she assumed leadership of all operations in Peru & in the USA! On this, her first trip to Iquitos, she would finally see all that she had imagined.

Halloween Event at our Clinic.
After settling in to a hostel, she walked the short distance to the Amazon CARES clinic. “Before I could greet the staff, I had to walk through a waiting area of people and animals!” she exclaimed. The clinic is always busy. Meeting the staff would have to wait, as the clients were eager to meet Manuela, the new Director and President of Amazon CARES.

Manuela with rescue dogs, Laura and David.
Manuela explained “So many people care about their pets, but can't afford proper veterinary care. Our vets are very well trained in small animal care, and they are fully licensed.”Sadly, this is not the case in all of Iquitos. “Pseudo-vets” operate clinics or provide treatments from their home. We do our best to accommodate these loving pet owners, providing services at “social cost.” Manuela elaborated that “Services are free, but we must charge for the medicines and materials used. At least the people only have to pay the wholesale cost.” During her trip Manuela discovered that the social cost actually falls below the true wholesale cost, but we are grateful that a person can make a contribution to their pet's care, enabling us to rescue more abandoned animals.
Manuela with her staff in the clinic.

We rescue many homeless animals, and Manuela met some of them on her first day. She finally met the entire staff!  Be sure to check in as we learn more about Manuela’s exciting trip!

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