Laura was kind enough to share her incredible journey with us below.
|"Laura" in our clinic.|
Recently I took a trip to South America. When I was there I noticed many homeless dogs and cats. We would drive or walk through towns and I would see them. Their coats were filthy, some were very thin and they always seemed to have such grief and sadness in their eyes. I started saving all my leftovers, buying food and carrying it with me. I had heard from someone that I shouldn't feed the strays. That they were aggressive. But that was not my experience. All of the many dozens of dogs I met during my travels were friendly and patient. It seemed like they had learned that if they were well-behaved, people would feed them.
I felt so helpless. Here I was as a temporary visitor in a foreign country thousands of miles from home, desperately wishing I could make a difference. Feeding them didn’t seem like enough.
During one of our stops we visited the city of Iquitos, Peru. It was there that I came across one dog that stood out from the rest. She was curled up under a trailer. Her body was so shrunken from hunger that her skin hung loosely. Most of her fur was gone and almost all of her skin was raw and sore from mange. Her eyes were closed and she continuously rubbed at her ear with her paw. Although I’ve experienced bad allergies and hives, I couldn’t imagine the suffering this poor dog was going through. Something in the back of my mind told me to take a couple of photos of her location so I took one of the trailer she was under and a second of the marketplace across from where I found her.
I shared the photo of her on my Facebook page. People asked me why I was leaving her there and they wanted to know why I wasn’t doing anything to help her. It was painful to admit I couldn’t help her. I was in a foreign country, I didn’t speak the language and I was only there a short time before leaving for another location. I felt even more heartbroken. All I had was a photograph. How can anyone make a difference with just a photograph?
During the rest of the trip I couldn’t stop thinking about the little dog. When I arrived home the following week, I decided to post her photo on a couple of animal rescue sites. I wasn’t expecting any responses since Iquitos is a relatively remote city located in the Peruvian Amazon, but surprisingly enough, I received a response from my posting on the Angels for Animals Network that very evening. A woman named Manuela Rodrigues asked where the dog was located. I told her I had photos of the location and shared those with her. She told me that she knew the area and would have her two vet assistants look for the dog the following day. I was both surprised and excited. It seemed almost unbelievable to me. I felt like I was in a dream. I shared this update with friends and asked for positive thoughts and prayers that they would find her. Since the dog was in such poor shape, I hoped she wouldn’t travel far from the location where she had been.
|They found her! Way to go Harry and Junior!|
The next day I received a message and photos from Manuela. THEY HAD THE DOG!!!!!!! It was her-- "Laura". They brought her to their vet clinic and were giving her a medicated bath and starting treatment. I cried. I felt like I had won the lottery. A suffering dog 4000 miles away that I had just happened to capture in a photo during my trip had been rescued and was receiving treatment because I took a chance and reached out. Somehow one of my photos actually made a difference. Just thinking about this still brings tears to my eyes. I know I cannot save them all, but for this one dog I was able to make a difference. Manuela also confirmed that the dog was a girl and they had named her Laura after me.
|Veterinarian Dr. Edwin examines "Laura".|
There are no words to describe how deeply this experience has touched me. I owe much gratitude to Manuela for responding to my request. She has proven that sometimes something as simple as a photo can make a real difference, and sometimes miracles really do happen."
Right now, Amazon CARES takes in more animals that need our help just like Laura than ever before, and we need your help to keep our doors open. Any amount of support is a HUGE help to the animals and community of Iquitos, Peru. Please click here to donate today!