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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