November 8, 2015

Top 5 Reasons to Adopt an Adult #Cat by @PawesomeCats

Top 5 Reasons to Adopt an Adult #Cat by @PawesomeCats

Guest Post by Pawesome Cats

When prospective pet parents visit an animal shelter it’s usually the cute, cuddly kittens that get all the attention, but don’t overlook the adult cats available for adoption who have a lot to offer and may be a better choice for your family and your lifestyle.

You know what you’re getting
A kitten doesn’t develop its full personality until it matures – so it’s hard to know what sort of cat you’ll end up with when you take home a cute 8-week-old kitten. Will they be aloof and independent, a 3am athlete, or a cuddly lap cat?  When you adopt an older cat you know their personality, how much fur their shed, how talkative they are and how much attention they’re likely to require.

Understand basic household etiquette
Adult cats are generally house-trained and most of the time they know right from wrong. Provided they have been trained, they will know how to use a scratching post instead of clawing your furniture or curtains, they are less likely to run around the house all night while you’re trying to sleep and they are usually litter-box trained.

Older cats are lower maintenance
Kittens are like human toddlers – they are active and curious which means they require constant supervision to keep them out of mischief. Adult cats are more independent; they’ve outgrown the crazy kitten behaviour and will be quite content to take care of themselves during the day when you’re out at work.

Great for families and kids
Kittens and small children are not always a great combination. Kittens are fragile and prone to injury and they are likely to bite or scratch without warning if they are handled roughly, for example if their tail is pulled. An adult cat that is accustomed to children is likely to be more tolerant of little ones and will walk away when ‘enough is enough’.

When you adopt an adult cat you are saving a life!
Cute and fluffy kittens will always be in higher demand and stand a much better chance of finding a home. Adult cats that have been abandoned or surrendered by their owners through no fault of their own deserve a second chance!


Pawesome Cats shares cat-related articles to help you care for, understand and enjoy life with your cats. www.pawesomecats.com.  Follow PawesomeCats on Facebook and on Twitter!



Amazon Community Animal Rescue, Education & Safety is a US 501(c)3 and all "staff" in the USA are volunteers.  We welcome guest posts on our blog.  Please leave a comment if you have a desire to contribute or re-purpose non-commercial material.

September 23, 2015

The Miraculous Transformation of a #StreetDog via @Dodo


Yes, this is the SAME DOG!

Ursula Vari has written a beautiful story about Charlie's journey "From the Streets of Peru to Hollywood - The Miraculous Transformation of a Peruvian Street Dog on The Dodo. 


We previously reported on Charlie and his angel, rescuer Ursula Vari in our blog "Charlie's Angel:  Rescuing a Dog with No Hope


To help more dogs like Charlie you can donate here or visit Amazon Cares.
Follow Charlie on Facebook.
Follow Charlie on Instagram
Follow Amazon Cares on FaceBook.

September 11, 2015

Adoption / Free Vet Clinic in Peru by @AmazonCares! Fun Pics! #animalrecue #charity

In recent months Amazon CARES has held multiple adoption and pet awareness campaigns in conjunction with another local organization, Huellas de Rescate (Rescue Paws).

Tomorrow, September 12, 2015, Amazon Community Animal Rescue, Education & Safety is working with the local government to provide:


  • Free treatments for mange, fleas and parasites
  • Free Rabies vaccinations
  • Free Pet Licensing
  • Information sessions about responsible pet ownership
  • Pet adoption
  • Check out the fun pictures from an adoption fair earlier this summer!  

Support our work!
Like our English Facebook Page!
Like our Spanish Facebook Page!
Follow us on Twitter!

For more information, contact our Director in Peru, Tanith@amazoncares.org.  

July 15, 2015

Why You Should Adopt a Senior Dog

The author's senior dog, Daisy.

Don't get me wrong - I love puppies, but boy can they be a lot of work! Senior dogs, on the other hand, are much calmer and already have established personalities. On average, dogs are considered to be "senior" at the age of 7 (though younger for larger breeds and older for smaller breeds), and are often the first to be euthanized for space at shelters because they often have trouble finding homes. Need more reasons to chose a senior pet next time you want to add a new family member? How about six more:

  1. Older dogs are calmer and (in most cases) settle in quickly to their new home.
  2. Older dogs have usually had some training already (they come pre-programmed!).
  3. They don't always have special health needs or behavior issues. Sometimes older dogs are dropped off at the shelter because their owner has passed away, there is a new baby, or some other reason completely beyond the dog's control.
  4. You have the opportunity to make their last few years (or months) the best of their lives.
  5. Less mess. Senior dogs aren't likely to be peeing all over the house or chewing up your favorite shoes. 
  6. Senior dogs are down to hang out on the couch or go for a ride - whatever you want to do, they want to do it with you!
This post was written in memory of Orlando, a senior dog that romped and loved the last 4 years of his life at the Amazon CARES shelter in Iquitos. To help older dogs like Orlando and the other dogs that call the shelter their home, please consider donating here.



June 17, 2015

Charlie's Angel: Rescuing A Dog With No Hope

He could barely walk
Charlie when Ursala rescued him
I have never met Ursula Vari, yet I feel I know her.  While visiting Iquitos she came across a dog she named Charlie.  



Charlie, in recovery

Charlie is the reason I started Amazon Community Animal Rescue, Education & Safety in 2004.  


Charlie, gaining confidence
Charlie is the reason our work remains important.  Even a no-kill shelter would have euthanized Charlie.  He had no hope, and his eyes begged for the mercy of death.

But Charlie's ailments are not necessarily fatal.  Despite being riddled with mange, parasites, infections, and suffering from dehydration and malnourishment, we have treated many animals like Charlie. 
Ursula Vari

Ursula had hope, even when Charlie did not.

Thanks to Charlie's Angel, Ursula, and the dedicated Amazon CARES team in Peru led by Tanith Peña Araujo.

Amazon CARES needs your support to rescue animals like Charlie. Additionally we are desperately trying to find new land for a shelter devastated by flooding.  Read more about the flood.

Donate for flood relief.
Donate for animal rescue programs.




Written by Molly Mednikow






June 11, 2015

Throwback Thursday: History Repeats Itself As Flood Washes Hope Away

This blog was originally published in March of 2012.

The Itaya River continues to rise, strongly affecting those living on the coast, and including our no-kill animal refuge at Cabo Lopez.

The inundation of rain has caused a fast deterioration of the shelter.  There is no longer a dividing wall between healthy animals and those in treatment.  CARES' workers are endangered, as they must wade through water to get food to the dogs, avoiding snakes and other dangers.  Sadly, the dogs have no play area anymore.


We currently have 50 dogs at the shelter.  We are re-locating them to a Maloca building on the property.  The rain continues and the flooding continues to worsen.  Amazon CARES's has appealed to Peruvian authorities for help with this disastrous situation, and we can only hope they will listen to our plea.

Our number 1 priority at this time is getting animals adopted and re-located.  If you can help us rebuild our shelter, please donate today.

View more photos on Facebook.

Translated from Spanish by Molly Mednikow.

June 4, 2015

Jungle Shelter Destroyed by Flood...Again! Help Us Rebuild Please.


In 2004, nobody wanted an animal shelter in their neighborhood.  We built a beautiful shelter 30 minutes away from the city, but jungle elements and flooding every few years are a constant challenge.  Finally, there is more compassion for animals, and people understand our mission.  We seek a new location and we must rebuild.  WE NEED YOUR HELP to make this vital move.  This will help us better care for our animals and increase adoptions!


PLEASE DONATE OR AT LEAST SHARE OUR EMERGENCY FUNDRAISER PAGE!  http://bitly.com/1AMbWey



We are committed to the no-kill philosophy. Thus, our jungle shelter has lifetime residents, living in a beautiful, large, peaceful location. Our adoption rates continue to increase, yet animal abandonment keeps our shelter full. Now we our shelter is devastated by a flood! We are utilizing foster homes, although many dogs are living on wooden platforms in poor conditions. Amazon Community Animal Rescue, Education & Safety began in 2004, at a time when the majority of people in the remote Peruvian Amazon town of Iquitos and surrounding areas lacked awareness and respect for domestic animals. Through humane education, animal rescue, adoption, and free veterinary clinics, we have made significant changes to the culture in the region.
Our Mission:  Amazon Community Animal Rescue, Education, & Safety (@AmazonCARES) seeks better health and living conditions for ALL living beings in the Peruvian Amazon region.  This includes appropriate care, respect, and protection from cruelty and neglect.

May 22, 2015

Why Are Amazon River Turtles Important?

May 23rd is World Turtle Day, which made us wonder why these creatures are at such a risk and why they are so important. Of course they are important as a living being, but what makes turtles so special, especially the ones closer to us in the Amazon?



According to SELVA International, about 42% of all turtles are threatened with extinction! There is a great movement to help sea turtles, but freshwater turtles are at risk, too. SELVA International says,
Turtles play important roles in nutrient cycling; they are important dispersers of seeds in riverine forests, and they are sources of food for other animals. Their extinction could cause the environment to degrade in serious ways we cannot predict.
The Giant Amazon River Turtle used to be found in the thousands in the Amazon, but now they are a rare sighting and continue to be hunted! River turtles are also affected by climate change with nests being flooded before the turtles have a chance to hatch.

SELVA International works specifically in Bolivia to educate both local people and the world about the importance of saving the turtle population.



Photo Credit: eliduke via Compfight cc

May 18, 2015

Prevent Dog Bites Today - Learn How to Properly Greet a Dog



May 17-23 is National Dog Bite Prevention Week.  Over 4.7 million people get bit by a dog every year, and over half of those people are children under the age of 12, which is unfortunate for many reasons.

But think about it – how many times have you seen an excited child run towards a dog with hands in the air and squealing about the “puppy”? Many times, the dog will put their ears back and shrink their bodies back towards their owner, if not try to run away, which is setting up a potentially dangerous situation. Don’t force your dog to accept the child’s advances by holding him or her in place, this only increases the chance of the child getting bitten because the dog doesn’t have anywhere to escape the scary (to them) situation. Even as adults, we sometimes walk up towards a dog with our hand over their head to go in and give them a head pat, while facing them straight on. This can also be a dangerous situation.

Here are a few tips to keep you, the dog, and everyone else self when saying "hello"!

  • Approach the dog (and owner) slowly, no matter how excited you are to see them or Fluffy.
  • Ask if you can pet their dog if you have never met them or the dog before. 
  •  Squat down sideways to the dog, avoiding direct (a.k.a. threatening) eye contact, and give the dog enough space to approach you at his own rate. If the dog appears nervous or frightened, don’t push it. Either stay still and wait, or try again next time. 
  • If she seems friendly or interested, offer the back of your hand for a sniff. 
  •  If the dog allows you to pet her, start with the chest or chin and the go to the ears/back. 
It’s all about paying attention to the dog’s body language and not pushing them into something uncomfortable. Trust your instincts!

The National Canine Research Council also has some great information if you want to learn more, and there is a great poster about how to properly greet a dog on Sophia Yin's website.


Photo Credit: anjrued via Compfight cc

April 22, 2015

Environmental Protection in the Amazon: #EarthDay Facts


By Shannon Sullivan

Photo:  Shannon Sullivan
Earth Day is celebrated worldwide to raise awareness and support for environmental protection. If you ever get the chance to visit the rainforest in Peru you’ll surely fall in love with the Amazon Rainforest. That’s why this Earth Day we’re honoring this beautiful and enchanting rainforest.  The beauty of the Amazon Rainforest is overwhelming, and the protection of vital resourced is crucial for the entire world.

(Source National Geographic
The Amazon Rainforest is home to millions of people, and an estimated 70% of the world’s plants and animals. (Chron.com) The rainforest also produces 20% of our planet’s oxygen(WWF)

Unfortunately, he divertse ecosystem and the health of the rainforest are threatened due to deforestation caused by logging, unsustainable farming practices, and the burgeoning cattle industry.  Greater deforestation has occurred in the past forty years than in the previous 450 years.  That is 20% of the rainforest which is gone forever.  (National Geographic)   

Indigenous tribes are negatively affected by deforestation and often have their territories invaded by loggers. (BBC)
There is one simple measure you can take to help protect the Amazon Rainforest. Always look for the Forest Stewardship Council and Rainforest Alliance certified seals when purchasing products that may be sourced from South America.  Only products sourced in a sustainable manner may display the logos.


Eco -Friendly Stores that donate to Amazon CARES with every purchase!
Threads 4 Thought - Sustainable Apparel
Nike - Yes it's true!  One of the Top 15 Greenest companies according to Newsweek!
Better World Books
The Body Shop

Follow us on Twitter and Like us on Facebook!  Support our cause!

April 9, 2015

The Curious Canine Kitchen is raising money for Amazon CARES

The Curious Canine Kitchen in London is raising money to support Amazon CARES with their pop-up dinner coming up on April 11 and April 12. The event is one of a kind, in which some lucky dogs will be presented with a five-course, fresh, organic meal. There will be two sittings each day.



According to the Curious Canine Kitchen website,
"Items on the "The Nature Way Tasting Menu" for dogs include Textures of Tripe with seaweed and kale puree, crispy Paddywack with reishi mushroom flaxseed cream and coconut and blueberry chia pudding with gluten-free cinnamon quinoa 'dog biscuits' to name a few. Served alongside refreshments such as Alkaline water, beef consommé and coconut water, the menu will be polished off with a piquant marrowbone, known for its teeth cleaning properties and a 'Fresh Breath' herbal tea tonic to aid digestion. 
Served by waiters at one of the restaurants four bespoke doggy tables, any left over's will be available to take home in a doggy bag, along with a special goody bag featuring some easy tips and tricks on introducing fresh foods and herbs to a dogs diet as well as recipes and samples from dog loving sponsors including brands such as Diet D'Og and Woof&Brew. On-site entertainment includes a fido photo booth for posing pooches. 
Not wishing dog owners to miss out on the action.. they too will be served an assortment of seven, raw whole food amuse-bouche and a variety of drinks as part of a set 'Rawsome Tasting Menu'. Featuring a range of the superfoods presented in the doggie menu including spirulina, flaxseed, coconut oil and chia, the menu which includes items such as gazpacho raw soup, golden quinoa, coconut and mango salad as well as avocado, blueberry and chia cheesecake demonstrates how culinary ingredients can be shared between owners and their hounds.

The event is sold out, but you and your pooch can still win a ticket by donating 5£. Even if you can't attend, you can make a donation to Amazon CARES on the Curious Canine Kitchen website. You can also follow along with #FEEDFIDOFRESH.

Amazon CARES thanks Natty Mason and the Curious Canine Kitchen for their wonderful support of our mission to eeks better health and living conditions for ALL living beings in the Peruvian Amazon region.

Photo Credit: Curious Canine Kitchen

March 23, 2015

7 Phone Apps For Dog Parents

By Abbie Mood

It seems like there is an app for just about everything, and there is certainly no shortage for dog enthusiasts. With everything from the fun to the functional, here are some of my favorites for the iPhone, though I'm sure many of them are on the Android system, too!



Dog Park Finder Plus - $1.99 - Find the closest dog parks, off-leash areas, beaches, hikes, and rest stops. Includes user reviews and important information about these areas (hours, park type, restrictions).

Clicker Lite - free - Forget your clicker during training? Download the Clicker Lite for free and never be without your training tool.

Pet Dossier - $1.99  - Organize all of your pet's information in one place instead of filing papers.

My PetMinder$.99 - Like a datebook for your dog, keep track of your dog's appointments, health or eating habits, medication, or anything else you need.

Map My Dog Walkfree - Log your walks, map routes, and track calories.

Pet First Aid by the American Red Cross - $.99 - This app is like the WebMD of the pet world. Look up your pet's symptoms and figure out how to either self-treat, or when to get them to the vet asap!

Guide to Dog Breeds - $.99 - Whether you are trying to figure out your dog's breed, or just like learning about them, this little app will be your go to guide!

Photo Credit: William Hook via Compfight cc

March 18, 2015

Is Fair Trade Worth It?

In a word, yes. Fair Trade benefits more than 1.2 million farming families in 70 developing countries.




Ok, but what is it? Fair trade certified products are based on six key principles to benefit the farmers and workers, their communities, and the environment:

  • Fair prices- at least the market price, more if the product is organic.
  • Fair working conditions - safe working conditions and fair wages.
  • Direct trade - importers purchase directly from farming groups as much as possible, eliminating the middle man and empowering the farmers to develop business skills.
  • Democratic organizations- fair trade farmers and workers decide how money is spent in the community.
  • Community development - the farmer organizations invest money back into the community for projects such as schools, leadership training, organic certification.
  • Environmental sustainability - agrochemicals and GMOs are strictly prohibited. 
For more information on Fair Trade practices and to find companies that are Fair Trade USA certified, visit the Fair Trade USA website.

March 13, 2015

Celebrate National Wildlife Week



March 9-15 was National Wildlife Week, the National Wildlife Federation's longest-running education program for teaching children the wonders and benefits of protecting our world's wildlife.

While Amazon CARES is best known as a domestic animal charity in Peru's Amazon region, we follow and believe in our mission statement, which includes wildlife animals as well:

Amazon Community Animal Rescue, Education, and Safety (CARES) seeks better health and living conditions for ALL living beings in the Peruvian Amazon region. This includes appropriate care, respect, and protection from cruelty and neglect.

Amazon CARES works hard to represent the rights of all animals in the region, and has reported inhumane treatment of wildlife animals, raised funds for neglected animals, and filed a formal complaint about the illegal use of endangered animals as decoration (yes, decoration). Read more about those efforts in our post, Celebrate National Wildlife Day in Amazon CARES. If you want to help support our mission, you can make a donation here.

But what can you do at home?

The National Wildlife Federation has a few great ideas to get involved in learning about and protecting wildlife near you!

  • Join Wildlife Nation - A community of adults working to connect kids with nature.
  • Organize a community event - Organize a trail clean-up, tree planting, building a habitat garden in your community, host a recycle event.
  • Join a local watershed group - Surf Your Watershed can help you find one!
  • Conserve water 
  • Reduce runoff and erosion by planting trees and native plants
  • Dispose of waste properly
  • Limit your use of chemicals and plastics
  • Create a water source for wildlife
  • Adopt a wildlife animal


For more information and some great resources from the National Wildlife Federation, visit the NWF website.

 Photo Credit: JPBennett1 via Compfight cc

March 4, 2015

How do dogs develop from puppy to adulthood?



We all know that dogs start as these adorable little puff balls and grow to be a reliable companion, but what exactly is going on in between? What can you expect as your puppy grows into a teenager, adult, and then senior?

Prenatal: The mother’s nutrition and emotions have an impact on her developing puppies. If the mother was malnourished or stressed out during her pregnancy, you may end up with puppies that have emotional and/or behavioral issues.

Birth -approx. 3 weeks: During this time, the puppy’s vision and hearing develop, and he begins to walk.

3 weeks –approx. 16 weeks: This is the socialization period for the puppy. The puppy explores her environment and this is the most important time to expose a puppy to lots of different people and situations in a positive way. During this time is also the fear period (around 8-10 weeks), and traumatic experiences can cause lifelong problems. Most people get a puppy around this period, and it is a great time to give your puppy safe social experiences!

12 weeks –sexual maturity (6-9 months): The puppy is now considered a juvenile, and is becoming more independent. Permanent teeth come in around 4 months –goodbye sharp puppy teeth! This is a period where you may see lots of chewing as your puppy is teething. Most veterinarians recommend spaying or neutering your puppy around 4-6 months.

Sexual maturity –2-3 years: The puppy is now an adolescent or teenager. She may be mature in size (most puppies stop growing around 1 year old), but she is not mature in social skills, and this is a great time to prevent and manage undesirable behaviors. Exercise is also important during this stage.

2-3 years –7+ years: You and your dog have survived the puppy and adolescent stages and reached adulthood! Play and training are still important to keep your dog’s mind sharp and to practice skills.

7+ years: Depending on his size, your dog is considered a senior around this age. Keep an eye out for things like arthritis, declining vision or hearing, andyou should take your dog to the vet at least every year, though some vets recommend every 6 months to catch any problems sooner.Play and training are also still important in this stage, to keep your dog’s mind sharp and to practice skills, though the play and training may be at a reduced level than previous years.

Information Source: Doggie 101 program with Communicate with your Dog
Photo Credit: smerikal via Compfight cc

February 26, 2015

Common myths about spaying and neutering your pet

On Tuesday, we shared some great videos and information about why pet parents should spay or neuter for National Spay Day (you can find that post here), and today we wanted to share some of the myths around spaying or neutering.

Myth: Every female pet should have a litter. It's good for their development.

No, this just contributes to the overpopulation of pets in shelters. While there is a current debate about whether or not to allow a female dog to have her first heat, the general consensus in the veterinary world is still that it is better to spay before that first heat if possible.

Myth: I want my male dog to be protective and he will lose that instinct if he is neutered.

Neutering can help behaviors like marking, roaming to find female dogs in heat, inappropriate mounting, and possibly aggression towards other males, but it's not going to change his personality.

Myth: It's expensive.

There are many low-cost clinics around the United States and around the world that make it very affordable. Sometimes rescues are able to help with the cost, and sometimes clinics even offer free fixing for dogs, such as pit bulls. Click here for spay/neuter resources in the United States. Click here for spay/neuter resources internationally.

Myth: I'll find a good home for the puppies or kittens.

While this may be true, this unnecessary litter is taking away a home from a dog or cat already in the shelter.

Myth: I love my dog or cat so much that I want another one just like him or her!

All animals have different personalities, and while an offspring may have similar traits, it is not the same animal, and may not be the same personality.

Dr, Annie Cook providing a spay/neuter clinic in Peru. Read about her experience here.

One of the goals of Amazon CARES is to provide education and resources to pet parents in Iquitos around pet care, including the importance of spaying and neutering their animals. You can help support our mission with a donation today! Any amount is gratefully appreciated.

February 24, 2015

National Spay Day: Why should you spay or neuter your pet?

Most pet parents have heard about the importance of spaying or neutering, but may be curious about why this is so heavily promoted, especially within the rescue world. The simple fact that millions of animals are euthanized every day from unwanted or accidental litters, and that this could be easily prevented is one huge reason that makes spaying and neutering "worth it". In one year, one female cat and her offspring could produce 60,000 cats! One female dog and her offspring can produce 11,000 dogs in one year! The staff and volunteers of Amazon CARES work hard to prevent the cycle of unwanted animals through our animal birth control campaigns.

Four times a year, Amazon CARES recruits volunteers and veterinary professionals from around the world to assist with mobile clinics in remote villages throughout the Amazon Basin. In 2013, 800 dogs and cats were spayed and neutered by Amazon CARES, and even more were fixed in 2014! Donate today to help us spay dogs and cats in Peru.

What exactly does it mean to get my pet "spayed" or "neutered"? 




Why is it important to spay or neuter your pet? 



Find more great, short videos on the World Spay Day website.

If you are worried about the cost of fixing your pet, there are many low-cost clinics around the United States and around the world that make it very affordable. Sometimes rescues are able to help with the cost, and sometimes clinics even offer free fixing for dogs, such as pit bulls. Click here for spay/neuter resources in the United States. Click here for spay/neuter resources internationally.

Be sure to check back on the blog on Thursday for a post about the common myths around spaying/neutering!
 

February 10, 2015

Amazon CARES introduces dental care to the Amazon

Dental care is something that many pet parents overlook when considering the overall health of their pet, and the community in Iquitos was no different. Although it had never been heard of before, now Amazon CARES offers inexpensive dental cleanings weekly at the veterinary clinic!

Keeping with the theme of National Pet Dental Month, check out this video of how we provide maintenance teeth cleaning for the dogs in the shelter:


February 6, 2015

February is National Pet Dental Month

While many dogs have bad breath, is your dog's mouth particularly stinky? Without proper care, bad breath can turn into a really serious problem, and here at Amazon Cares we are celebrating National Pet Dental Month by sharing some warning signs of medical problems as well as easy ways to prevent problems from getting serious!

What to look for

While some amount of bad breath is to be expected, keep an eye out for these signs of something more serious, from the American Veterinary Medical Association

  • Red swollen gums and brownish teeth. 
  • Breath that resembles the smell of a rotten egg.
  • Bleeding from the mouth, or frequent pawing at the face and/or mouth. 
  • Reluctance to eat hard foods.
Prevention

Regular vet visits are important for preventing any medical problem, but there are some things that can be done on a regular basis for dogs and cats, as recommended by the American Veterinary Dental College:
  • Brushing and toothpaste. Toothpaste for dogs is flavored and if your dog isn't a fan of the toothbrush, start slow. Just rub it on their teeth with your finger or a finger toothbrush, and it will help!
  • Chew toys
  • Dental chews
Cats can be a bit trickier, but some of the same techniques apply: brushing, special diet, dental gels or rinses. You can find more information here.

This video has some great tips for gradually getting your cat or dog used to having their teeth brushed:


Have you ever tried brushing your dog's teeth? How did it go?

January 27, 2015

How to give your dog mental exercise



Mental exercise can save your couch cushions, your shoes, and can alleviate your dog’s anxiety when you leave home (it can also replace physical exercise when the weather doesn’t cooperate). The good news is that mental exercise is relatively easy, and doesn’t require a ton of effort on your part!

Stuff a Kong. This is a good one for when your dog goes into his crate, or when you are leaving the house, and is probably the easiest one to do. Get a Kong, put some treats or kibble in it, seal it with peanut butter, and put it in the freezer until you need it. If you only have one dog, you can give it to her before you leave in the morning, and she can eat through the peanut butter to her breakfast! This is not a good idea if you have two dogs, no matter how well they share and get along when you are there. All bets are off with a high value treat like a peanut butter Kong!

Puzzle toys. Ranging from somewhat easy to difficult, the nice thing about Kyjen puzzle toys is that you can modify them to first train your dog how to use them, and then make it more challenging once your dog gets the hang of it.

“Find it.” Hide your dog’s favorite toys or bone around the house and tell them to “find it.” You might have to help them out at first. You can also play “find it” with people – have one person hide and then have your dog find the person. This is also great practice for the command “come”.

K9 Nose work. K9 Nose Work is a newer craze for the companion dogs, and it basically a modified version of scent training that police dogs and rescue dogs go through. Visit the K9 Nose Work website to search for trainers in your area that might be offering classes, but the beginning stages are pretty easy to do!

Have you tried any of these with your dog before? How did it go?


Photo Credit: OakleyOriginals via Compfight cc

January 22, 2015

5 Ways to exercise your dog



Exercise is not only good for your dog's physical health, but mental health as well (and it's a good thing for humans, too!). While playing in the yard can be great exercise, most dogs benefit from a more focused form of exercise. Here are 5 ideas to get moving with your pooch!

Morning or Evening Walks. This one may seem obvious, but it’s the easiest way to incorporate exercise into your daily routine. Even 15-20 minutes before or after work can do the trick, and with the sun coming up sooner and going down later, you have some extra time in the daylight! The dogs at the Amazon CARES Peru shelter love their regular walks with our dedicated volunteers.

Once you have built up a steady walking schedule of 30 minutes or more, you can add jogging if you would like. Start with intervals of running and walking (such as 2 minutes of running and 1 minute of walking) and see how that goes, gradually increasing the running interval.

Obstacle Course. You can set up something in your back yard with a hula hoop, ball, ramp, jump rope, and doing puppy push-ups (ask your dog to lay down, then sit, then lay down, then sit). You can also create your own obstacle course at a park by going over and under benches, around trees, through a lake/pond, over fallen tree logs, etc. Sign up your dog for an agility class if you don’t want to create an obstacle course on your own!

Dancing. Freestyle doggie dancing is becoming quite popular, so you might want to check it out. You teach your dog to follow your lead and do certain tricks at certain times during a song. Check out this video, and there’s also a World Canine Freestyle Organization with some good resources.

Treibball. Similar to soccer, treibball is great for herding type dogs, or any dog that might enjoy pushing a ball into a net with his or her nose. Check out this beginner how-to video, and the American Treibball Association.

Swimming. Some dogs love it, some dogs hate it. The dogs at the Amazon CARES Peru shelter love to swim in the Itaya River, which is a "black water" (unpolluted) tributary of the Amazon. If it isn’t coming naturally to your dog, gradually introduce him or her to it with treats and toys. If your dog still isn’t taking to it, just choose a different activity! As with everything, take it easy when you’re first starting and pay attention to your dog. If he or she is panting excessively or slowing down, take a break, turn around, or call it quits for the day.

What's your favorite activity to do with your dog?

Photo Credit: feeferlump via Compfight cc

January 20, 2015

What's your pet resolution this year?




Over the last year, "dog shaming" has become a popular thing around the internet. For those who haven't heard of it, it involves taking a picture of a dog looking "guilty" with a sign in front of them detailing their dirty deed!

This year, positive reinforcement dog trainer Victoria Stilwell came up with the idea of pet resolutions, highlighting what our dogs (and their parents!) might strive to do better in 2015. There are quite a few submissions in the Positively community, and we thought it would be a cute idea to do with our wonderful Amazon CARES supporters and adopters!

What does your pup need to work on? Manners? Coming when called? Reducing counter surfing? Post below - we want to see it! And who knows, your #petresolution might be featured in an upcoming blog post!

Photo Credit: Positively community

January 6, 2015

Amazing Dog Makeovers! Matching Donations Extended to 2 PM Tuesday!

Ends Tuesday at 2 PM EST - Every $50 donation will be MATCHED!

I understand that you want to help animals and other great causes that you can SEE. The animals in remote Peru, in the Amazon jungle, are not tangible to you.

We used to BEG people to spay/neuter. We begged people to have a small amount of compassion. We changed a culture! I wish you could see these animals and these changes. Please help us continue!

Read our inspiring blog "Our Holiday Promise to Rescue Animals." Hopefully it will inspire your support!   Share this and support us today! The animals will thank you because they have nobody else!

Want to know what $1000 will do for Amazon CARES?

  • It will buy medicines & supplies for a veterinary volunteer trip to remote Amazon village in which 600+ animals will be treated and/or spayed / neutered.
  • It will feed our shelter dogs for 3 months.
  • It will save 15-20 dogs and cats like the ones pictured.


Against all odds we created a compassionate community, willing to rescue and help "vagabond" animals! Veterinarians from all over the world travel to assist in spay/neuter clinics. Please help us continue our important work!

Mission Statement: Amazon Community Animal Rescue, Education,and Safety (CARES) seeks better health and living conditions for ALL living beings in the Peruvian Amazon region. This includes appropriate care, respect, and protection from cruelty and neglect.


Very Sincerely,
Molly Mednikow, Founder




January 5, 2015

Double Down! Matched Donations for Animal Rescue ends Tuesday 12pm!



We know this is short notice, but any support would be greatly appreciated! Every $50 donation will get a $50 match. So...if you donate at least $50 right now, we will get another $50 added to our cause. Such a great way to rescue more animals. And in the Amazon region of Peru, that money goes a LONG WAY! We have a tiny overhead...$0 in the USA, and a barebones budget in Peru. This ends at 12 pm EST Tuesday, January 6!

For more information, click here - DONATE TODAY!!