August 1, 2009

The Accidental Charity

Amazon Community Animal Rescue, Education and Safety came into being by chance. A North American business woman traveled to Peru's stunning Amazon region over many years as a volunteer for another organization. She remained dismayed at the countless, severely ill, stray dogs in Iquitos, Peru. Every year she would rescue at least one dog, the first one being "Lucky," due to all the Peruvians saying he was one lucky dog that she came along!Copy of marone1onstreet.jpg

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.

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, and hotel employees had not forced them to move as was the custom.

She snuck them into her hotel room and spent the entire night bathing dried mud and fleas from them. She watched over them as they finally relaxed, although nobody slept that evening. At 6 AM she snuck the two sisters out of the hotel and took them to see her former vet partner. Despite her desire, she did not choose to rescue more dogs, but the dogs didn't know that! They found her, one even walking up to her table at a Chinese restaurant (He got named "WonTon.")Copy of maroneinjured2.jpg

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.marron.jpg

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, and we host international volunteers year round at which time we serve outlying communities. It is amazing the difference in the community as a whole, in terms of overall health, well-being, educational levels, and a decrease in domestic abuse! Please support our mission that, over 4 years, 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 Marone, above, was adopted by Molly, and lives very happily at our spacious jungle shelter!

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