Friday, April 6, 2018

Chao 2017

September found us back at our Havana campaña home located at Quinta de Los Molinos
Set up days can be a bit of bore.
But at the Spanky Project we aim to make them as pleasant as possible.
Here Audrey, Spanky Project USA President, provides cheese and cracker service.
.. and hosts a little "fashion show".



After set up we were down to the serious business of getting to our diner spot.
The next day it was down to business.
The campaña was opened with greetings by
Martha Oneida Pérez Cortés
Presidenta
Sociedad PATRIMONIO, COMUNIDAD Y MEDIO AMBIENTE
SPCMA are our coordinating Cuban structure.
All patients are pre-registered and given time slots for their surgery.
There is always a group of early arrivers to process once the gates are opened.
 A big thank you goes to Blandine Jochem.
Coming to us from France via Colorado she was one of our international team.
She worked the registration desk with Justo...

... and also did spanish translation for us.
Including ...
...translations during interviews with Cuban media.
The Spanky Project is so much more than just a 
spay/neuter machine.
Our campañas are a place for education, training and investigation.
Indira Castillo Iglesias first joined our campañas in 2016 as a veterinary student.
This campaña Dra. Indira Castillo joined our team as a surgeon.
Dr.Viacheslav Eduardovich Zenkov holds an "Ask the Vet" session.
During campañas we offer caregivers informative sessions on a variety of pet related topics.
Doctors Anaeli Morales and Julio Martin, 
from the University of Havana, 
take blood samples from the cats in our campaña.
They are investigating blood borne diseases in Cuban cats.
Our campañas have come a long way since the kitchen tables and garages of 2003.
Our surgical protocols are second to none.
Our campaña weeks usually end with a free mass deparasitiztion event.
They show up early for a free deparasization and rabies vaccine.
The weather was on the rainy side so moved in doors.
Dra.Marina Galindo Chenard (all smiles) also worked with us as a student.
This campaña she was back as a veterinarian.
As was Dr.Ernesto
And once the last patient, for the week, was served it was off to the wrap party.
Our second mass campaña for 2017 was in the books
We had 20 veterinarians work on the campaña.
10 from Havana
4 from Mantanzas
1 Cuban veterinarian now residing in Qatar
1 each from Turkey and the Netherlands
34 veterinary students
4 veterinary technicians
5 translators
7 volunteers
Our total sterilizations for the campaña totalled 207
35 San Jose de las Lajas
172 Havana
Kisses and best wishes to all those who supported the work in Cuba
Once the campañas are over and I take that last walk through Habana Vieja I reflect on the week and what was... and at the same time planning for the campaña is on my mind.
And as always I do Camila Cabello one better... my whole heart is in "Havana-oh na na".
2017 by the numbers…
Sterilizations
February World Spay Day Week  283
May Mini- Campaña                   15
August Mini- Campaña               15

October Mass Campaña
 San Jose de las Lajas 35
Havana                                       172
———
520 

We average our costs at $30 per sterilization

2017 = $15,600

For 2018 our goal is 750 sterilization.

2018 = $22,500

Your contribution is vital to our work
Help Cubans help their animals.
The next generation of veterinarians are ready.
Sponsor a spay/neuter

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Friday, January 19, 2018

The Future Is Now!

On this September morning our Spanky Project Team assembled 
near the lancha (ferry) docks in Habana Vieja.
With representation from France, The Netherlands, Turkey, USA, Canada and Cuba 
we were truly an international team.
Before hitting the road Audrey Mabie, president of 
handed out some stylish scrub tops.
Our first surgical day was not at our Havana home base, Quinta de los Molinos.
 We were headed to San Jose de las Lajas now home to the veterinary school.

A point of interest, until 1976 the veterinary school was located across from Quinta de los Molinos .
After overcoming car issues with Cuban ingenuity and 
Claudia's "encouragement"
we were back on the road.
A 30km drive brought us to the Province of Mayabeque 
and it capital San Jose de las Lajas.
Here, we were met by students of the 
Facultad de Medicina VeterinariaUniversidad Agraria de La Habana
and the student group... 
Veterinarios for la Protección y Bienestar Animal

VESPA

In their own words....
The VESPA group is based at the Agrarian University of Havana (UNAH) and is made up of students and professors who advocate for Animal Welfare. We carry out mass sterilization campaigns and free deparisitizations  in different locations in the Mayabeque province. We have a shelter in which we welcome a limited number of animals due to the characteristics of the building of the place, among other limitations. With some of these dogs we perform assisted therapy for children with special needs in a school in San José, this activity is recognized nationally.
Our main task is to educate the community in general about Animal Welfare and the importance of this for sustainable development. And try to change the world of more than one animal, we speak for those who have no voice, but who like us suffer and feel.
All of our sterilization campañas have the participation of veterinary students.
They are the future and we are honoured to work with them on their home turf.
With limited supplies available in Cuba teaching opportunities like this have been limited.
Until recently veterinary schools had focused on beasts of burden and food production.
Still much of the practical, small and companion animal, education takes place outside of the curriculum.
In mini campaña like this and our mass campañas in Havana.

This mini-campaña was held outdoors at an athletic complex.
From the intake exam..
through surgery..
.. to recovery this was a student run campaña.
A big thank you to Dr.Slavik Zenkov (left) and
Dr.Rayko Calimano (red).
They both work with VESPA on an ongoing basis.
Both join in on our campañas in Havana.
Note: Blandine and Claudia (on the left) with their new scrub tops thanks to Audrey (right).
Stylin' the scrub!
Dr.Natacha Nuñez, Vice Dean, holds court with the local media.
Here is a news report from our visit in 2011.

In 2003 the Spanky Project was born. 
The first Cuban veterinarian we met was Dr.Joemel Betancourt.
He is a graduate of the veterinary school in San Jose.
Now living In Qatar,  and as good fortune would have it,  in Cuba during our September campaña.
He joined us and the veterinary students.
It was great to reunite with "Dr.Joe".
We are increasing our support for the VESPA group.
On March 3 we will be back in San Jose.
At that time will share some exciting news with them.
When we return we will share it with you.

Help us help them.

The future is now!
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