July 14, 2009

Amazon CARES campaign in Bella Vista-Iquitos

Amazon CARES, was recently approached by the Punchana Municipality for help with stray animals gathering in street market areas, especially near and around food vendors.

Of course, Amazon CARES agreed to help and the Health and Clean Atmosphere in Bella Vista-Nanay campaign was launched. CARES veterinarians and staff focused on deworming strays and pets, as well as educating the public and pet owners on the significant impact that animal health has on all public health.

Educational issues included the need to keep pets and strays free of intestinal and external parasites such as ticks, fleas, and scabies. For example, parasites can carry diseases, some of which can be passed from animals to humans. These diseases are called “zoonoses[1],” and are not limited to infecting the intestinal system. Some target other human organs, such as the eye, and have no cure. The importance of such education cannot be overstated, considering the cycle of infection posed by pets as well as strays gathering, sleeping, eating, and relieving themselves in the market; of special concern are the areas that draw them the most, the food vendors.

The Punchana Municipality provided tables to work from and public address sound equipment for use in teaching. Everyone in the city was invited to bring their pets to the veterinarians, while volunteers caught strays for treatment. The final count of dewormed animals was 183. This included 95 male dogs, 63 female dogs, 9 male cats, and 16 female cats.

The governor of Punchana, Joiner Vasquez Pinedo, appeared in person to thank the Amazon CARES team of vets and volunteers for the making such an impact toward a cleaner, healthier environment for everyone.

Amazon CARES would like to give special thanks to volunteers Paola Urquiaga and Sandra Nunez who stayed until 2:00 a.m. helping vets and staff to sterilize instruments and other equipment; to Max Chavez, Victor Ubillos, Rosa Merly and Wilson of the Punchana Municipality, Ing., for all their efforts; and to all the volunteers in this campaign for demonstrating solidarity and civic responsibility.

[1] Zoonosis: any infectious disease that can be transmitted (in some instances, by a vector) from other animals, both wild and domestic, to humans or from humans to animals. Zoonoses is plural.

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