Reality Check: Not All Rescues Are Precious Pups
A sad, yet still common site on the streets of Iquitos
Recently we have posted many photos of abandoned puppies and kittens. These cute and helpless creatures tug at our heart strings. Today I write to remind our supporters that Amazon CARES is SO MUCH MORE than a rescue center, no-kill shelter, and adoption center. If our sole focus was to rescue street dogs and cats in need, we would barely be making a dent in the actual problem facing Iquitos. That is the issue of overpopulation, ill animals roaming the streets, and a lack of positive action on the part of the government to remedy the situation.
Prior to the advent of Amazon CARES, street animals were routinely shot, poisoned or drowned in mass culling of the population. A portion of our Mission Statement reads
"This is the reason that Amazon Community Animal Rescue, Education and Safety (CARES) was founded in 2004. Citizens with a desire to protect countless stray animals stepped in to create programs that the government did not provide."
What makes us different from similar charities? We are based in the community. While I, the Director, travel back and forth, our employees are primarily Peruvian. We work with existing facilities and available resources. We have a large geographic focus, the Peruvian Amazon. We work with local municipalities, offering solutions, and if they accept, we set up mobile spay/neuter clinics in the poorest neighborhoods. But that would not be enough. Learn more about our Spay-Neuter-Release programs.
How do we create a sustainable solution for animals? We return to these same neighborhoods and jungle towns again and again. This way we can ensure that this area will not have animals continuing to procreate, thus repeating the cycle of animal overpopulation, abandonment, and abuse. It does no good for a group to "drop-in" to a community and perform surgeries for 1-2 weeks if there are no plans to continue working in that region.