September 2 2014 Latest news:
Thursday, June 19, 2014
An animal lover from Suffolk is preparing for an Amazonian adventure nursing stray dogs back to health.
Melissa Ilston, 21, of Saxmundham, will jet off to Peru next month to spend five weeks living in a shack on the edge of the jungle, caring for abandoned pets.
Having previously worked with vets in Framlingham and Saxmundham and as a volunteer with the RSPCA rescue shelter in Martlesham, Miss Ilston is hoping the experience will prepare her for a full time career working with animals.
“This is a great opportunity to help out in a developing country working with animals, which is something I really want to do,” she said.
“Animals rely on us, they haven’t got a voice and so I think we owe it to them to look after them.
“Dogs are man’s best friends. Sometime I think my dog understands me better than people do.”
Although she is reluctant to leave behind Amber, her three-year-old cavalier King Charles spaniel, Miss Ilston believes she will understand as “I’m going out to help her brothers and sisters”.
With only a limited experience of travelling abroad – a two week holiday in Sardinia – Miss Ilston says she is nervous about jetting off to Puerto Madonado - a city in south east Peru on the edge of the Amazon rainforest.
To begin with, she will be working with Cristina Corales, the founder of Peru Steet Dogs, but will be expected to fend for herself after Ms Corales heads home for a break in Australia.
Miss Ilston, who works with MelBek, an IT company set up by her father Darren Ilston, will be locating stray dogs, nursing them back to health and arranging for veterinary care.
Visit www.perustreetdogs.co.uk for information.