Dogs may not have been on the roof, but they had to scramble to high ground when recent floods in Peru nearly destroyed Amazon CARES. Animal Cafe talked with Molly Mednikow, Founder and Executive Director of Amazon CARES, to get the news on what’s happening with their no kill shelter and the International Veterinary Jungle Volunteer program after the worst rain in 25 years put the wooden structures underwater.
There was extensive damage – flood waters are not exactly clean – but all of the animals were taken to another, smaller building on high ground. Now huddled together, big dogs, little dogs, healthy and not have the added stress of too many dogs in one room, but at least they are safe. There was a spate of local adoptions after the waters receded which may have relieved some of the high stress animals feel when they are removed from a familiar setting under rushed conditions and then crowded together. These types of sustained events weaken immune systems and for those already sick, can compound the problem.
Molly told Animal Cafe this was the first time she ever thought Amazon CARES might not survive. Having spent the last 7 years building programs and support for the mission, physically building the shelter, the vet volunteer buildings and guest quarters, along with the first modern veterinary clinic Iquitos had ever seen, the possibility of failure was a shock. The strides in public and animal health, thanks to mobile clinics, humane education programs, free spay/neuter, assisted animal therapy for the disabled, youth and community programs, make it clear just what has been accomplished and what is at stake.
A grant came in, local government donated wood, and individuals chipped-in and sent checks. If you have spare dollars, now would be the time to donate – if you have more, you can still use chip in, or you can reach Molly through Facebook.
The great work of the international volunteer vet program continues, and the June program starts in just days. Billed as the trip of a lifetime, you’ve got to listen to the podcast to hear the wonderful experiences available – zip-line through the jungle anyone? The vets work hard for many hours a day. Since the days start at sunrise, that leaves time mid-afternoon to look around and have some fun.
I’m going to take a closer look at the work of Amazon CARES when I visit in August, so I hope you’ll check out my posts, podcasts, and videos filed from Peru! In the meantime, have a look at the interview with Molly Mednikow at Animal Cafe. [There are many before and after photos of the dogs with happy endings.] After you see the video, let me know if you were as surprised at the variety of breeds available!