4animals: Stories to Inspire – Issue 16


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Mary Haight shares her experiences helping strays in Peru with Amazon CARES. Meet several animals who help scientists gain access to environmental data, leading to a better understanding of how we can save our planet.

Welcome to this issue of 4animals, our monthly newsletter. Marvel at the majesty of the animal kingdom and feel inspired before another month of animal advocacy. Enjoy!

Mary Haight Volunteers with Amazon CARES

by Kim Clune

Amazon CARES

Mary Haight


Mary Haight has been wholly immersed in the world of animals all her life, from caring for cats, birds, and chipmunks as a child to working with horses and dogs as she matured.


These days, Mary is an officer on the board of Lake Shore Animal Shelter, one of the first No-Kill shelters in the US, and she serves on the board of the Chicago Animal Shelter Alliance. She’s been involved with animal welfare for 15+ years. She also founded the podcast site Animal Cafe and has been a team member at Be the Change for Animals since May of 2011.


As if that isn’t enough, Mary recently immersed herself in the world of Peruvian animal welfare, volunteering under the direction of Amazon CARES. The acronym and the organization stand for Community Animal Rescue, Education and Safety, something much needed in the areas served.

Facing the culture of the Amazon is difficult at times. As Mary reports from one clinic day:

Molly Mednikow, President of Amazon CARES, went through the list of requested treatments and noted that most of them were not getting their dogs fixed. She gave the 20 or so people there the “talk” about the benefits for the dogs, but here’s what is true in every disadvantaged area on the globe: if you have something others want, you don’t close down your income or trading stream. And keep in mind these people love their dogs.  Molly asked one woman who had a mixed Pekingese why she would not sterilize her dog and she said she can mate her with a full blood and have great puppies to sell…

At the same time, Mary found it gratifying to see how many came for treatment of fleas, mange and other ailments.


Mary kept a journal at the Dancing Dog Blog about her Amazon CARES experiences working with children, parents and pets. Read her full story there and let her know what you think!

5 Great Animals Helping People Help Our Environment

By Peggy Frezon

Pollution, deforestation, resource depletion. These are just some of the environmental issues we face today. According to an article by Sidney Stevens on Mother Nature Network, scientists studying these issues are often aided by wild and domestic animals. There animals help scientists gain access to environmental data, leading to a better understanding of how we can save our planet.

  1. Dogs- Some dogs are trained to sniff out animal and plant populations so that scientists can locate, monitor and preserve them. Dogs’ acute sense of smell enables them to locate what humans are unable to find out their own.
  2. Narwhals- These rare and mysterious tusked whales live in the arctic waters off Greenland. Outfitted with thermometers and transmitters, narwhals provide scientists with helpful climate data. Because narwhals can dive more than a mile below the ocean surface, they can collect data where humans are unable to swim.
  3. Rats- African giant pouched rats sniff out undetonated land mines which are not only dangerous for humans, but leave large areas uninhabitable. Don’t worry, the rats are too light to set off the land mines.

    Learn about APOPO!

    Learn about APOPO!

  4. Sea Lions and Seals- Like narwhals, sea lions and seals are outfitted with sensors. This equipment helps scientists study ocean temperatures, salinity and other conditions. Seals are perfect for the task because of their diving and swimming skills.
  5. Bees- Did you know that bees have a great sense of smell? Like the rats, bees are actually being trained to locate land mines. Because they fly and hover, they won’t set off the land mines.

Animals help people in so many ways. As long as we always treat the animals respectfully and humanely, we should be able to continue many beneficial partnerships in the future.

Source: Mother Nature Network

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