Monday, March 11, 2019

Three.. for free!

We went over the top with our Havana 500 Campaña
In addition to the 628 spays and neuters we performed
we did a number of special, unplanned surgeries.
Dr.Yoesnay (Yoel) Saiz did many of the outside consultations.

 When we arrived at 8am on Monday, Ana’s “parents” 
were waiting for us, desperate for help. 
Shortly after Ana was born, her mother bit her eye out.
  In addition, she was born with a congenital hole in her throat making eating and drinking a challenge with much of her food and water exiting through her nose. 
Ana had a rough first five months of life.

    It's no surprise that she had little interest in food and was underweight. 
Danna, Viviana and Adrián were at a loss because 
they were not able to to get her the help she needed.

The eye was not going to be a problem. 
The hole in her throat was going to be more of a challenge. We spent a good part of the morning determining if we had the correct instruments and suture to do it, with vets from Canada, Mexico and USA consulting. 
Ultimately, we decided we had to try and asked them to bring Ana back on Wednesday.
 Once again, she was waiting for us before the clinic opened and we were successful in both surgeries.
We had an ophthalmology specialist, Dr. Joe Wolfer, who could clear out the infection, remove any dead tissue and suture the eye closed. 
Dr. Alexandria Murphy (USA) assists Dr.Joe Wolfer (Canada) on the "Orbital Exploration"
As with the many other special cases we see during our campañas 
this became a teaching case.
After the eye surgery the procedure on the throat began.
Dr.Michael Belovich (Canada) repaired the throat with Dra.Leslie Santiago Sánchez (Mexico) assisting.

Repair in progress
... and  while she was under anesthesia, we spayed her.
Three surgeries back to back to back.
 Danna, Viviana and Adrian waited into the night for her to undergo the surgeries and recovery. 
They brought her back for a follow up on Friday and reported that, for the first time in her life, she was able to drink and eat properly. 
She was quite the celebrity that day!
Dra. Anu Nolasco (Mexico) gives Ana a snuggle.
She’s a happy, beautiful little gal who now has a chance at a long, healthy life.
Help us continue .....
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The following post from Facebook was written by Danna,
"mom" to little Ana, the day after her surgery.
This is why we do what we do and what keeps us going day in and day out.

February 28 at 8:16am
Today is a special day. Ana my 5 month old dog recovers formidably from 3 surgeries. She was born with a cleft palate, in 5 months we had never seen her eat and drink without being startled by the possibility of drowning. That's history today, thanks to Spanky Project. Only one word summarizes what they do for us and our pets, it is LOVE. Those of us who have been there see their dealings with the animals and their excessive dedication because no one rests. I have no way of expressing my gratitude, there are no words to express the pleasure of seeing Ana eat and drink well. Thanks to all the veterinarians, both foreigners and Cubans, to all the staff that works with them and fundamentally to Audrey and Terry for making this possible. Spanky Project has a formidable work team.

In the following days Adrian brought in dogs he cares for at his work place to be sterilized.
By North American standards Ana received over $3500 worth of medical treatment.
All provided free thanks to our volunteers and your donations.
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Sunday, February 10, 2019

¡Fiesta por 15 Años!

Notre Dame des Bijoux
Gervasio # 218 between Concordia and Virtudes Centro Havana, Havana Cuba
Played host to our 15th anniversary celebration.
December 14, 2018

We came to know Tommy Reyes as the gentleman who would bring his chihuahuas to our Campañas.
We subsequently found out he is a former dance with the National Ballet of Cuba,
a restauranteur in addition to being"Papa" to several chihuahuas.
His restaurant's roof top location was perfect for our gathering.

This being a special evening we decided to arrive in style from Habana Vieja.
Notre Dame des Bijoux becomes a magical oasis in Centro Habana when the sun goes down.
Justo, a long long time friend and Spanky Team member, was our Maitre 'D for the evening.
He made sure everyone was seated before takeoff.
Once Audrey arrived with the hard stuff the party got started.
 Each guest, once seated ,was offer a plate of appetizers and a beverage.
Many thanks to Chef Jesus Gomez and our server Yanni Panoja.
Also to Daryl Cespedes who slaved away in the kitchen.
Joining us were friends from several Cuban institutions.
The Consejo Cientifico Veterinario de Cuba was represented.
We have worked under the Cuban veterinary council's umbrella since 2006.
As fate would have it the CCVC and Spanky Project share this day as an anniversary.
For the CCVC this was their 110th.
Marta and Dianelys from Sociedad Patrimonio Comunidad y Medio Ambiente along with Darian from International Cooperation.
SPCMA had an overflow table and Spanky Project supporter Raoul joined them.
Some of our core Cuban veterinary team nestled in a corner of the roof top.
Thanks to international team members 
Dr.Byron Maas and Stephanie from the USA.
Dr.Michael Belovich from Canada and Katia from Guantanamo, Cuba.

In Havana we have a team who keep the wheels greased and ready for our return.
Justo, Lianet and Noris.
Lianet and Noris produced the "15 Anniversary Expo" 
which opened on this day (December 14) in Habana Vieja.
Some of the final components arrived with Lianet to the party.
I had the opportunity to show them off.
As always it is wonderful to be surrounded by the next generation of veterinarians.
Dra.Indira on the left is a recent graduate and Patricia graduates this year.
Indira presented Audrey and I each with a gift.
 Very Cuban, as it is a miniature of
the corner stone street markers on Havana streets.
Earlier Audrey had gifted us with some "Spayer" Ts.
Where is the cake you say.
Thank you to all those who attended our fiesta.
Thank you to all who have worked with us 
or supported our work over the 15 years.
This was the 15th anniversary
 of my first step into the Cuban animal welfare world.
This celebrates the beginnings of the Spanky Project.
15 years of helping Cubans help their animals.

The Spanky Project is not one, two or ten people.
The Spanky Project is all of us.
Together we sterilized 513 in 2018 
and expanded to Trinidad, Cuba

Please join Team Spanky with a donation.

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On a closing note... 
none of your donations funded this gathering.
It was my treat!
-Terry Shewchuk

Monday, January 28, 2019

Havana 500


But not all births are happy ones....
As our way of honouring Havana's anniversary,
 the Spanky Project plans to perform 
500 spays/neuters in February
This in support our ongoing effort to humanely reduce the number of unwanted street animals.
 We have enough supplies in storage in Havana for 375 sterilizations.
We need to buy and transport enough for another 125 surgeries. 
At a cost of $30 per surgery, that's $3750 that we need to spend NOW. 

Can you help....NOW?
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For our American supporters
Spanky Project USA
 has a FaceBook appeal.
or via

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Trinidad - Thanks You!

Our first step into Trinidad was a great success.

Thanks go to many, but firstly to those who answered our
 appeal back in October 2018. 
Thanks to you we accomplished..
60 sterilizations
367 dog/cat deparasitizations and 
21 horse deworming.

During the set up day our welcome to Trinidad was made "official"
 as were we summoned to the assembly hall of the municipal government.
The Oficina de Conservador de Trinidad y el Valle de los Ingenios (OCCTVI) under the directorship of Duznel Zerquera Amador were our lead organization in Trinidad.
Duznel (left) and Vice Chairman of the municipal assembly
warmly greeted us and gave us their full support.

We were provided an excellent space to hold our campaña.
Across the street from Parque Cespedes
Each morning we were greeted by dogs, cats and their caregivers.
Joining our Havana Team were Veterinary students
 from Sancti Spiritus, the Provincial Capital.
To put on a mass campaña takes a big effort.
We thank you all!

Martha Oneida Pérez Cortés             (SCPCMA – La Habana)
Yamila García Calero                       (SCPCMA – La Habana)
Terry Shewchuk                             (Spanky Project Canadá)
Audrey Mabie                                     (Spanky Project USA)
 Katia                                           (Spanky Project en Cuba)
Justo                                           (Spanky Project en Cuba)
Lianet                                         (Spanky Project en Cuba)
           Anaelys Barbara Batista Gravie          (Protectora en Trinidad)  
Médicos veterinarios:
Leyssan   Cepero Fiallo                                 (La Habana)
Yanaisy Pino Quintana                                   (La Habana)
Yoesnay Saíz Guerra                                     (La Habana)
Luís Antonio Picallo Royero                           (La Habana)
Daniel Octavio Hernández Lima                     (La Habana)
Gabriela de la Caridad Morales Valencia        (La Habana)
Viacheslav Ediardovich Zenckov                        (Matanzas)
Michael Timothy Belovich                        (Spanky Canadá)
Byron Scott Mass (                                  (Spanky EE.UU.)
Stefanie Broman Valido                           (Spanky EE.UU.) 
Susana Beatriz Alonso Ponce                             (Trinidad)
Armando Lopez Bravo                                        (Trinidad)
Ibrahim Calero Herrera                      (Profesor S. Spíritus)
Erasmo Hurtado Sosa                        (Profesor S. Spíritus)
Juan Carlos Couso Mas                     (Profesor S. Spíritus)
María Luz Ledesma                          (Profesora S. Spíritus)
Ángel Oentón                                    (Profesor S. Spíritus)
Especialistas OCCTVI Trinidad:
Yamilka Álvarez Martínez                   Directora Técnica OCCTVI
Erni H. Alvarez González     Especialista encargado organización 
Yaney Puerta Padrón                          personal de apoyo (Bióloga)
Daymaris Rodríguez Balmaceda      personal de apoyo (Socióloga)
Yanisleidy Rodríguez Lara               personal de apoyo (Socióloga)

Estudiantes Universitarios de 4 años: 
Yanay Fernández Cedré                              (S. Spíritus)
 Beatriz González Obregón                          (S. Spíritus)
 Oscar Jaime López                                      (S. Spíritus)
 Delveis Leira Jimenéz                                 (S. Spíritus)
 Dailen Rumayor Díaz                                  (S. Spíritus)
Yaíma Hernández Obregón                         (S. Spíritus)
Anabela Siluma                                           (Argentina)
 Micaela Vechete                                          (Argentina)

Alberto Bazo                                        (Chofer Univ. S. S.)
Yoandry  González Matos                          (Chofer OCCTVI)
Norberto                                                  (Chofer OCCTVI)
We are a third of the way to completing our planned 
first phase of 175 sterilizations.
Your donation is crucial to bringing humane population control to Trinidad
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Trinidad was a "journey" ... we made it.. and will return.