Cuba has a huge problem with stray animals. If you are a visitor to this beautiful island, you will notice it right away - dogs with signs of illnesses and injuries hanging around the streets, cat colonies living at the resorts. Their existence is usually short and miserable. Cuba has no resources to cope with the problem in a humane way. Stray dogs and cats are routinely rounded up and killed. This ‘method’ is cruel and useless, as the animals are quickly replaced by the new ones, and the vicious cycle repeats itself.
In order to improve things, and to control stray animals’ population in a humane way, a group of young Cuban veterinarians formed an alliance with the Canadian organization called APAC-Varadero (All for Progress in Animal Care). Together, we target the root of the problem - by offering free spay/neuter surgeries in several locations across Matanzas Province, including Varadero, the most popular vacation destination. We co-operate with Varadero resorts, introducing them to the concept of Cat Cafes – one of the most effective ways of long term care and control of the feral cats living around the hotels. You can see more on our Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/CubanAnimals )
We have been present in Cuba since 2009, making slow but noticeable progress. We have attracted many supporters who help us by bringing supplies necessary for surgeries, and some monetary gifts. All our activities are 100% volunteer and each penny goes directly to our goals. Besides free sterilizations, we also provide various educational activities for both children and adults, and we added horses and their well-being to our agenda. As part of our Cuban-Canadian co-operation, we would like to invite our volunteer doctors to Canada, so they can learn, observe and improve their own environment. So far, we have managed to have our chief surgeon come and visit eastern provinces. Dr. Hanoi went back home with a renewed energy and full of great ideas!
As you can imagine, we need a stable budget to support our work. Not everything can be brought to Cuba – we need to buy anesthetics and other medications, provide food and transportation for our volunteers, cover the cost of communication – and much more. While most our Canadian friends have many ways available to contribute, our supporters from around the world (yes, we have them too!) need a place like GoFundMe to help us. Our funds are kept in Canada, in a BMO Community Account. APAC-Varadero is a legal entity registered in Alberta, Canada, and working with Cuban vets thanks to the formal agreement signed with CCVC (Scientific Council of Cuban Veterinarians) in Havana.
The amount indicated, in combination with supplies offered by you, supports a year of our work.
Thank you all!
- Ellen Walsh
- Helen Kaddour
- Ellen Walsh
- Helen Kaddour
- Corry Anderson-Fennell