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Nomad_vet up the Amazon 'Not to hurt our humble brethren is our first duty to them, but to stop there is not enough. We have a higher mission: to be of service to them whenever they require it.' - St Francis of Assisi

Mobile dog neuter clinic in Belen

PERU | Monday, 15 May 2006 | Views [2636] | Comments [11]

Rare chance to take a break

Rare chance to take a break

Ask any foreigner in Iquitos about Belen market & they will answer “muy peligroso” (very dangerous). “Don’t wear your watch, or take a camera, & definitely don’t spend more time there than you have to”. Good advice it may be but when Belen is where the mangy street dogs hang out in their hundreds, it is exactly where the staff of Amazon Cares will be going.

Belen market is always busy & noisy & smelly. It’s a bargain hunter’s paradise & you can buy anything there from a hand rolled cigarette for 3 cents to illegally traded wildlife. If I went there alone I would be hustled by Belen toughs who demand a ‘protection’ fee to follow me through the market. Daylight robbery in comparison to the stealthy kind where you are jostled & the pocket picked. A wallet removed without feeling a thing! In Colombia I met a great aussie Aden Mac who had a terrific solution for irritations of pickpocketing kind….he carried a fake wallet with a message in spanish “get a job you SO & SO” – not a polite word. He had it stolen 3 times much to his delight.

The municipality has kindly allowed us to use a huge room on the second floor of the meat market as our hospital. It was unbelievably filthy & required a lot of elbow grease to get it clean. There’s no electricity or water but the natural lighting is good. But noisy! I was certain someone was throwing rocks on the roof continually. It took me half a day to realise that turkey vultures were landing on the roof & sliding down the tin to scavenge in the rubbish below. One vulture misjudged the distance between wall & roof & flew into the surgery. It seemed rather Monty Pythonesque. Sorry mate nothing dead in here!

What a team! We managed to clean, organize & catch & sterilize 8 dogs. And that was just week1. On the second visit it was 10 dogs. And we will be going back to Belen every week until every street dog in Belen is sterilized, mange free & vaccinated for rabies. It’s a mammoth task but worth every ounce of effort to improve the lives of all these animals.

For more info about the graet work that Amazon Cares is doing in Iquitos, Peru see: www.amazoncares.org

Tags: amazon cares, animals, iquitos, work



Beth - what an amazing job you an the others are doing!!!
Best of luck with everything!
/Jenny (the Swede from los Llanos, Venezuela)

  Jenny May 15, 2006 5:26 PM


hey Beth, thanks for the emails and the link to your blog - how much does my heart ache when i read about your adventures? You are one of my heroes and i just love how you are out there doing it!!
sounds like you are making awesome progress and leaving a lasting legacy by training the local vets..
Tell me, are you speying flank or midline?


  john May 15, 2006 5:42 PM


Hey Beth,
As always amzed by what you're up to.
Does your project (or you) have an Australian Bank account for donations? I got your email chasing free antibiotics (can't help there) but I'm not broke these days, and could chip in a little a month.
Let me know,
- Dave Newman x

  Dave Newman May 15, 2006 8:43 PM


Hi John, doing midline speys at the moment. Esther (our Peruvian vet)is more used to midline...once this is perfected we may change to flanks for skinny dogs. A lot of the Belen dogs are really big/fat/pregnant/in heat so I think flanks speys could be tough.
Hey Dave thank you so much for your generous offer. One way to donate is via Paypal on the website (www.amazoncares.org - "How to Help") using a credit card. I do still have an aussie bank account if that's easier. Every donation really helps us & I am hoping that we can create long lasting changes in Peru.

  nomad_vet May 16, 2006 3:40 PM


Hi Beth,

Great to hear from you and to see what you are doing. Let me know if you need anything.

Lots of good wishes,

  dipankar sen May 16, 2006 10:49 PM


Hey Beth, your life sounds fantastic as always! I would kill to be there doing the work your doing, must be so rewarding! Thanks for keeping me updated!

  Tanja May 16, 2006 11:44 PM


Hey Bethy
Great work! Sounds like you are achieving alot as always! Think of you often. Am very tempted on my trip to Africa to try and incorporate somehow to get to you and perhaps do a couple of days volunteer desexing?!?! Will keep you posted..... Keep up your fantastic work matey!
Love Karen

  Karen May 17, 2006 1:38 AM


Wow! I am pretty amazed by all your story’s! I am so proud of you! Miss you though... Hope to see eachother again! Keep up the good work babe! Will write a long email soon! X Petra

  Petra May 18, 2006 4:36 AM


Hey Beth,
Great to see the pics and hear about the crazy good you're doing there.
I'll spit you a private eem to ask some q's.

  Romana May 19, 2006 11:24 AM


I was there in Belen at the spay/neuter clinic today as well as two weeks ago. It's awesome everyone! Beth, you are so very zen with everything and such an inspiration! To see this surgery actually happening in the middle of the meat market surrounded by hundreds of people below yelling at each other, selling, cutting up animals and displaying them for sale, yet seeing a different kind of 'surgery' upstairs is overwhelming. Beth just continues on with a smile, people talking to her while she's suturing or removing a testicle! This is direct action to help the world. It's a small corner of the world but so full of life, death and suffering. You couldn't have picked a better place to make a huge impact! And this is making a huge impact not only on the pet overpopulation, but on the local people as well. Keep going please!!!!!

  Patty Webster May 20, 2006 7:12 AM


I forgot to mention a very cool thing. During the clinic in Belen today, one of the dogs that was neutered two weeks ago, came upstairs to say hello to everyone! This young male dog actually had to be taken back to the Amazon Cares vet office because of a complication with his surgery, but was returned to Belen a few days later and continues to live on the street. He came upstairs and was so happy to see everyone working there, jumped up on everyone and is doing quite well! How awesome is that!

  patty May 20, 2006 7:19 AM

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