August 5, 2017

The Accidental Charity - A Tribute to our Canine Co-Founder, Marron. RIP.

This blog was originally posted in 2009
2016: R.I.P.Marron, the co-founder of Amazon CARES charity.

Amazon Community Animal Rescue, Education and Safety came into being by chance.Molly Mednikow, a North American business woman traveled to Peru's stunning Amazon region over 
many years as a volunteer for another organization.  Dismayed at the countless, severely ill, stray dogs in Iquitos, Peru, she would rescue at least one dog per trip, the first one being "Lucky," due to all the Peruvians saying he was one lucky dog that she came along!
Molly & a Recovered "Lucky"

She made an arrangement with a local Veterinarian. They converted his backyard into a kennel area, and she sent money to support his rescuing 10 dogs per month. Of course this is a mere drop in the bucket, and the initial "Amazon Dog Rescue" did not continue for more than 6 months.
Meeting Marron on the Street.

During 2004 she kept food on hand to feed street dogs that would approach her cautiously. One very ill, malnourished, mangy dog caught her attention frequently. One evening, when returning to her hotel, she saw this dog sleeping in front of the hotel entrance. However she was seeing double! Two sisters, identical in appearance and in poor health, "found" her!

Sneaking Marron 1 & Marron 2 into the Hotel!
She snuck them into her hotel room and spent the entire night bathing dried mud and fleas from them. 
As she rescued more dogs and took them to local Veterinarians for treatment, she started running out of space. Everyone she knew was keeping dogs for her! When she visited one older dog that had been abandoned, she found him in a dark room behind the Veterinary Clinic in a cramped box, unable to move, and with no water or food.

She had no other choice . . . She never boarded the plane back to the US. She rented space and built out kennels and a exam room. Most people thought she'd lost her mind, and Peruvians especially were unaccustomed to humane treatment of animals. Animal abandonment was very common. Mass poisonings to control the stray population was the government animal control program.
Happy at the Shelter!
Since 2004 Amazon CARES has operated stray dog health and population control programs, humane education programs, a no-kill shelter and a low cost vet clinic.  Please support our mission has already made a significant impact on living conditions and health for animals AND humans in the poorest region of Peru, the Amazon region. All donations are tax deductible.

A final note: The two sisters survived and thrived. One was adopted into a wonderful family, and Molly adopted Marron who lived very happily at our spacious jungle shelter!

Epilogue August 2017: Molly and Marron returned to the US.  Manuela Rodrigues is now the Executive Director of Amazon CARES in Peru & the US. 

Marron lived a long, beautiful life, passing away March, 2016.  Manuela scattered a portion of Marron's ashes in the Amazon river and at the Cabo Lopez shelter.  

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