Monday, August 13, 2007

Cuba Day 4 Havana

Friday July 27

As you will see from the group shot this meeting was well attended. Not only were three veterinarians in attendance we also had a lawyer, professors and a representative of another animal rescue group working in Havana.

Attention was focused on organizing a spay/neuter campaign with quantifiable results. To this end a sector by sector approach was adopted. Centro Havana will be divide using the Malecon and major streets as boundaries. In these areas a census of the animals in the area will be conducted with the help of local committees. In order to more accurately measure the number of animals in the sector it will be requested that Zoonosis (aka dog catcher) not pick up animals in the sector where campaigns are being conducted.

Zoonosis is a branch of the government called Salud Publica. Zoonosis collects dogs in the streets and takes them to a location on the edge of Havana. If a dog is not claimed within three days it is “sacrificed”, there term for euthanized. Approximately 150 dogs are “sacrificed” each week. The method used to end the lives of these creatures is poisoning by strychnine. Not a humane way to end a life.
With a population control campaign based on a spay and neuter program it is the the groups goal that the number of animals collected and “sacrificed" by Zoonosis will decline. Also a more humane method of euthanasia will be put forward.

What a happy threesome.
On the left Amparo, head of the Dulce Maria Loynaz group, is holding 500ml of IVOMEC generously donated by Merial Canada.
In the middle Elvira inspects a bottle of PYRAQUANTAL , an allwormer. Elvira is a profesora at the Universidad de La Habana and she supports the efforts of the university garage workers to protect resident dogs. Have a look at a visit to the garage on my Flickr
Finally we have Juliet she is the groups Informatics person. She is putting together the database to track dogs and cats and campaign statistics.

A mini campaign is to be held on Sunday.


Twexy said...

Is there anywhere in Havana Cuba that you can take a sick stray dog if you find one? Or are they all sacrificed if taken to a shelter?

Mónica Ferrer said...

Are there several rescue groups in Cuba? Are there any US based groups that provide help with this mission?

Los Perros said...


Picking up sick dogs on the streets in Havana is problematic.
For starts it would be best if you could ask the locals if anyone knows where the dog lives.
If you could locate the dog’s “home” and “caregiver” you could perhaps pay for veterinary care.

Failing that you could ask if the is a local “Protectora”. These people are the backbone of animal welfare. They take animals into their homes a nurse them to health or provide care for them in the streets.

If you take a dog to a veterinarian you will have to remain with and then take the dog with you.

There are no “animal shelters” to speak of.
A few years ago I visited, what was to be, a shelter operated by ANIPLANT. I do not know if it is operating or whether they would accept walk ins.
I can send you the contact for ANIPLANT if you like.

What area of Havana do you stay in on your visits? Perhaps I could locate the closest Protectora so you are prepared for the future.

Unknown said...

I visit Cuba regularly and the plight of the stray and sick dogs and cats is something I cannot ignore. I was shocked to read what happens to these dogs on a weekly basis, and in such a barbaric way. We have to do something!!

Anonymous said...

We visited Cuba in November 2010 for two weeks and I was very upset by the condition of the dogs that we saw on the Streets. The worst cases that I saw were in Vinales, this was worse than Havana. I was wondering if there are any groups which visit other towns in Cuba, or Vinales in particular?
Thank you,

Los Perros said...

Hi Sarah,

I will be in Havana later this month. I am going to investigate a start up project in the Viñales region.
Keep an eye out here for some,hopefully, good news.


Los Perros said...

Sarah ... A Pinar del Rion project is in the planning stage. said...

Hi, I was just in Havana Thur Mar 30,2011 and in the middle of the tour in Old Havana in the square by the cafe and Hemingways bar a little female dog walked up to us and stood next to me. OMG
she was raw from nose to tail, all pink raw skin and bleeding, obviously infested. I watched her walk on looking in doorways being shooed away and didn't know what to do it was heartbreaking. Is there any one in that area that looks around for animals in that condition that obviously don't belong to anyone that need medical attention. She haunts me every day, that she will die a slow painful death.

thanks for listening

Los Perros said...

Hi Debbie,

Thanks for caring. Good news is there is a wonderful program in Old Havana. Strays are picked up ... nursed to health sterilized then rehomed. They have a 100% placement rate of over 200 dogs in just two years.
All these dogs are placed locally. No international adoptions.
Sad to say that not all dogs have been rescued but the difference being made is significant.

Karen said...


I am a final year Canadian vet student and would really like to do a placement with the program you mentioned that sterilizes/re-homes strays in old Havana. If you have any contact information so I can reach them that would be wonderful! You can contact me at