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Changemaker Manuela Rodrigues Brings Leadership and Stability to Peru’s Only No-Kill Animal Shelter

IQUITOS, PERU, March 27, 2017 — As the recently-appointed President of Amazon CARES Peru, and Executive Director of the Board of Amazon CARES USA, Manuela Rodrigues is uniquely qualified to lead the animal welfare charity into a productive new era.

In late 2015, Amazon CARES board members unanimously placed Rodrigues in charge of the no-kill animal shelter and clinic in Iquitos, Peru, which is the first of its kind in the region. “The board and I are 100% confident in Manuela’s strong management and administrative skills,” stated Molly Mednikow, Founder of Amazon CARES and Chairman of the Board. She pointed out, “Manuela is a natural leader and has a genuine passion for animal welfare in developing nations. She’s one-of-a-kind…truly the glue that held Amazon CARES together during years of unprecedented growth, and the super-glue that will guarantee even greater success.” Amazon CARES operates solely through the generosity of its donors and volunteers, whose contributions directly fund the charity’s mission to rescue, treat, and find homes for neglected street animals in the Amazon River Basin.

As a former volunteer and employee of Amazon CARES, Rodrigues is no stranger to compassionate endeavors. From 2008–2013, she worked closely with Mednikow and her staff to achieve many milestones for the animal charity. In 2013, both Rodrigues and Mednikow departed Amazon CARES amicably, to pursue other endeavors, although Mednikow retained her position as Chairman of the Board. Two years later, Mednikow and the board agreed that the Iquitos shelter and clinic required stronger oversight and consistent leadership. They unanimously chose Rodrigues as the best candidate to take on the challenge of overseeing Amazon CARES in both Peru and the United States. 

Immediately after accepting her new post in January of 2016, Rodrigues validated the board’s decision by addressing multiple issues and completely restructuring the organization. During her first six months in charge, assisted only by a local coordinator in Peru, Rodrigues implemented numerous positive changes at Amazon CARES. She enforced strict employee rules and regulations, oversaw the build-out of a new veterinary clinic, ensured that sanitary conditions were in place at the no-kill shelter, initiated street animal health campaigns, and supervised international vet volunteers who spayed and neutered over 200 community cats. “My fellow board members and I are grateful for the fresh infusion of energy Manuela brings to Amazon CARES,” Mednikow asserted.

Rodrigues also expressed gratitude for her new roles, saying, “The volunteers, board of directors, and supporters are passionate about the mission of Amazon CARES. I am extremely impressed and proud of the high level of care we provide to every single animal that comes to us. I look forward to working with such a great group of people, as we continue to provide shelter, care, and love to needy animals in the Peruvian Amazon region.”

As she continues to manage multiple responsibilities in both Peru and the United States, Rodrigues’ tasks include:

  • Overseeing all budget decisions and purchase orders
  • Managing donations and fundraising efforts
  • Hiring and firing employees
  • Recruiting and managing both on-site and “virtual” volunteers
  • Recruiting and supervising international veterinary volunteers

The results of Rodrigues’ efforts show plainly in the renewed productivity of the no-kill Amazon shelter and clinic, and in the faces of countless street animals who receive a second chance at health and happiness.

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About Manuela Rodrigues 
Drawn to charitable work early in life, Manuela Rodrigues tackled the challenging task of caring for abandoned and abused babies in the slums of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where she was born and raised. Years later, she volunteered in Cape Town, South Africa to help underprivileged children suffering from disease, abuse, and neglect. In 2004, Rodrigues moved to the United States and gained her US citizenship. She enjoys life in America and stays busy with her family, “fur family,” and ongoing philanthropic activities. Named “Changemaker of the Year” by in 2008 and 2009, and honored with President’s Volunteer Service Awards in 2010, 2011, and 2012, Rodrigues brings a fierce determination and a wealth of experience to her new roles at Amazon CARES. 

About Amazon CARES
Founded in 2004, Amazon Community Animal Rescue, Education & Safety (CARES) is a 501(c)(3) charity in the United States and a registered ONGD in Peru. Amazon CARES seeks better health and living conditions for all living beings of the Peruvian Amazon region. This includes appropriate care, respect, and protection from cruelty and neglect. Amazon CARES is the first and only animal welfare charity for domestic animals in the Amazon region.

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Media Contact:
Manuela Rodrigues   
Phone: 919-208-8561

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