Saving Pets – Do Borders Matter? Compassion in Action

by Mary Haight on January 15, 2013

saving petsSaving pets doesn’t stop because there’s a line on a map. That’s not the way everyone sees it, but part of what is so engaging about helping animals and non-profits working to protect animals is witnessing that passion knows no borders. I was lucky enough to experience this during my trip to Peru with Amazon Community Animal Rescue Education & Safety (CARES) and their Jungle Veterinary Expedition along the Amazon River, an organization worthy of your support and my pick for Be The Change for Animals today.

Saving Pets

I watched while local families came to see pets available for adoption, took photos of the happy boisterous dogs at the shelter compound, saw crowds of people take the opportunity to get their pets vet checked, vaccinated, and spay/neutered at no cost during day-trip events to impoverished “suburbs” of Iquitos, and reported on the big picture, sometimes focusing the lens on dog stories of a more personal nature. I saw the same concern and love for the welfare of their dogs as I see in people here. The remote jungle expedition revealed the same. In this sense, borders are mere imaginings and pets deserve help.

Be The Change

After many trips to Peru, seeing the street dog population grow with each successive visit, Molly noticed something else. While she was busy stepping over dogs lying in the street, locals were kicking them, dousing them with hot water, or using whatever other method would drive them away from their homes, stores or lunch stands. That’s when she found her passion. Molly Mednikow established Amazon CARES in 2004, built a compound with a no-kill shelter, opened and staffed a vet clinic in the remote jungle town of Iquitos, said to be the poorest town in Peru, and began changing circumstances for animals.

The animal welfare scene in Iquitos and surrounding areas has changed in part due to the health, safety, and education programs offered by Amazon CARES and their excellent staff. Cultural change is a long, dynamic, challenging, often arduous process fraught with stops and starts. A good start occurred when Amazon CARES recently signed an agreement to work with the Iquitos Bar Association on animal cruelty cases and a landmark decision marked the first successfully prosecuted animal cruelty case in Peru.

Dedication and passion help non-profit groups persist in their mission, but it takes funding, not readily available when based in a country where wealth is more rare than not. You can help support this mission and the animals with your donation. Connections can be as important as cash, so think about what you might have to offer and help yourself help others. Step up, be compassion in action, be the change you want to see in the world!

Does a line on a map matter? Do we stop saving pets because the border of our State or country ends? What do you think – what have you experienced?

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20 comments
wantmorepuppies
wantmorepuppies

Wonderful post - Molly and Amazon CARES are an amazing and inspiring story, and I'm glad to see you highlight them!

PeterFaur
PeterFaur

Great post, Mary. I've been to Arequipa a few times and saw lots of stray dogs on the streets. There seemed to be little management of the issue or any idea what ultimately happened to the dogs. It's good to see the issue receiving attention in Peru. 

Latest blog post: The power of yes or no

KimT
KimT

Molly is a true hero to me. The way she saw a need, stepped in and did what was needed to work on it - just awe-inspiring. You're so right, borders don't matter. What matters is that there is an area that is in great need of assistance, innocent dogs that can be helped. Your trip must have been awesome,  Mary! Thanks so much for sharing about it, and about Molly's great work -

Kim T

Team BtC4A

shivathedog
shivathedog

Amazon CARES is such an incredible organization, proving that change can happen no matter what side of the border one lives on. As a person in Canada, I am capable of making a difference elsewhere. It just takes a lot of will and creativity!

 

Animals are animals regardless of where they live. They are all deserving of our respect and care. Thank you so much for all you do to make real positive change!

VickiStringfellowCook
VickiStringfellowCook

Mary - thanks for highlighting Amazon CARES. Molly Mednikow is one of my heroes! Selling her share of the  family business so she could devote herself to her saving animals in another country is truly above and beyond the call of duty. Amazon CARES has had a tough year with flooding and funding issues, but she continues to work to improve conditions for animals in Inquitos and the surrounding area. Thank you for participating in Blog the Change and for being a member of Team BTC!

sue2
sue2

I admire people like Molly Mednikow so much.  See a need and go about answering it in a big way.  (And I need to backtrack to your posts about visiting there!) 

greatpoetrymhf
greatpoetrymhf

thanks for sharing and caring    bless you in your mission  

donfre1
donfre1

Great job, keep it up!

Kim Clune
Kim Clune

Every homeless animal deserves saving, no matter where they are. That said, borders mean nothing to me and I publicly applaud Molly as often as I can for the important work she does. Thank you too, for volunteering with Amazon CARES. When you shared your experiences with us, it was a little like being there - something I too hope to do one day.

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