Saturday, December 29, 2018

¡Felices Fiestas!

There is a famous saying,
 “Let’s be realists and do the impossible” - Che Guevara
(Seamos realistas y hagamos lo imposible)

As this year draws to a close the Spanky Project has entered our 15th year of 
The Spanky Project is not one, two or ten people .. it is all of us.

It has been a long road and we thank each and every one of you who have been on this path with us.

Each day is a struggle. 
Our rewards come in the faces of the caregivers whose animals we have treated
and messages like the following.
-translated from spanish-

"Hello, I'm Cuban, through a friend who was part of the wonderful project in Trinidad Cuba I found out about Spanky Project, which it has touched my heart so strong and it has brought so many tears from my eyes.

I thought this could be impossible and by reading "let's be realistic and do the impossible" and see all the pictures and what they have done has inspired me so much.

Please let me know how I can help you and be part of you.
 God bless you all and my eternal gratitude for what you have done in my country with the animals. 
We need many people like you in this world."
As the year come to an end we have wonderful memories of all those precious creatures we have helped in so many ways.
Please join the Spanky Project, with your donation, so together we can help many more in 2019.

“Seamos realistas y hagamos lo imposible”
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Wednesday, December 26, 2018

An Expo ... 15 Years In The Making

On December 14 we attended a very special event in our history.
It was the inauguration of ...
"Helping Cubans Help Their Animals - since 2003"
An Exposition 15 Years In The Making"

This exposition would not have been assembled without the love and talents of ...
Lianet Cedeño Vázquez
Noris Arlena
We were given the gallery space of our coordinating Cuba structure to produce this work.
Thanks go to the Oficina del Historidaor ciudad de la Habana
Sociedad Civil Comunidad, Patrimonio y Medio Ambiente.

Seven TV monitors were available to tell our story.

We had some handouts and even a guest book for comments

Words do not have sufficient meaning for the feeling 
when I saw Spanky on the first monitor from the street.

“one moment can change a day, one day can change a life and one life can change the world”

Martha Perez president of SCPCMA opened the Expo.
I had the opportunity to say a few words.

It was such a joy to share this occasion with the Spanky Team friends and collaborators.
Sharing this were friends from the Consejo Cientifico Veterinario de Cuba (CCVC)
The CCVC was the first Cuban structure with which we signed an agreement.
That dates back to 2006.
In 2016 they made me a Miembro de Honor
Dra Beatriz Hugues Presidenta Sociedad Cubana de Clínica y Cirugía Veterinaria.
 Dra Isabel Cabazas  Vicepresidenta del CCVC 

Each slide show on the TV monitors was supported by a descriptive poster.

"Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle,
and the life of the single candle will not be shortened." -Buddha

"First contact by the founder Terry Shewchuk was made with Rafael Oliver.
He made the introduction to a group holding mobile weekend sterilization campañas in various communities.
They would typically sterilize 30 dogs a day.
The Spanky Project's goal was to take surgeries off the kitchen tables and back into the veterinary clinics. Collaboration with Cuban structure was key in making this a reality.
All Spanky Project services are provided free to the public. Activities like mass deparasitizations improve the health of animals and the communities in which they live.
ProFauna in the community.
Each year in February Spanky Project arrives with it's international team.
Typically we will sterilize 300 cats/dogs
Each September we conduct a mass sterilization staffed by an all Cuban team.
Cuban Veterinary Students play a huge role in these campañas.
We are so happy that as they graduate as Veterinarians they come back to work with us.
Sterilization campaigns held in Havana and other locations.

The Expos finishes with a news report from one of our visits  to The Agrarian University of Havana "Fructuoso Rodríguez Pérez" and a
campaña held with students.

We have come a long way in 15 years.
My closing words at the opening were...
"The Spanky Project is not one or two people. 
The Spanky Project is all of us"

Please join us

Donate Now Through!
Please consider setting up a monthly donation of $15
 to celebrate our 
15 years of helping Cuban help their animals.
That would sponsor six sterilization in a year.

Friday, October 26, 2018

Trinidad Here We Come

On May 14, of this year, the Spanky Project was contacted by an individual
 who had been in Trinidad, Cuba.
They had rescued a dog from the street and
he was in the care of a veterinarian awaiting rehoming to Europe.
While awaiting a return to pick up the dog a fund raising effort was launched 
in Europe by the adopter.
Donations were received and supplies collected in support of the street dogs of Trinidad.
The Spanky Project was contacted asking for recommendations on how to best proceed.
Proceed with sterilization and care of street dogs in Trinidad.
The funds available were certainly enough to inaugurate an
 extension of our sterilization campañas to Trinidad.
A "Founding Funder" was in place.
We stated up front that this could take months ,if not years, to get the green lights needed to conduct fully approved campañas in Trinidad.
On May 20th we consulted with the 
Oficina del Historiador de La Ciudad de La Habana (OHCH).
OHCH is our collaborating Cuban structure and the lead in the network of Oficinas del Conservadors.
With them, our work in Havana is a model for export the other historical centres.
OHCH contacted Trinidad about a Spanky Project collaboration.
On May 25th the reply came.
In short YES!!!
There was great interest and we were invited move forward.
Given our years of experience in Cuba, 15 years that is, we never expected such a lighting fast acceptance.
The wheels were in motion.

It was planned that a team from Trinidad come and join us for our September campaña in Havana.
They came to observe our planning, systems and protocols.
Never has such a campaña been held in Trinidad.
It was important to see first hand what needs to be readied in Trinidad.

The first activity in the week long program was a mass deparasitization in the Santo Angel district of Habana Vieja.
Martha is President of 
Sociedad Civil Comunidad, Patrimonio y Medio Ambiente.
 Her office coordinates all our activities.
This includes the importation of all our supplies and visa approvals.
 She arrived with Ernie. He is a "Master Planner" from the Oficina del Conservador Trinidad.
He was very impressed with this event.
Especially impressed with how all ages came out in support of their animals. 
He saw first hand what will be taking place in Trinidad in December.
The next stop for the Team Trinidad was our five day sterilization campaña.
Yes the sign announces four days but..
.. due to popular demand a fifth day was added.
Team Trinidad veterinarians Dr.Armando and Dra.Susana joined us at our Quinta de los Molinos clinic.
They experienced all departments of our clinic.
They will take this experience back to Trinidad to prepare for December.

With all this good news and planning and a December campaña to look forward to comes the bad news.
With just 6 weeks to go ..
the promised funding and support that started the wheels in motion has been withdrawn.
The person who made the offer and agreed to what we proposed did not understand the complexities of launching such a effort in Cuba.
More importantly did not understand how important it is for the Spanky Project to work within the parameters of our "Convenio" and other agreements with Cuban structures.
We cannot circumvent our agreements and risk losing the trust and excellent reputation we have earned in our 15 years of
helping Cubans help their animals.

We now have an unfunded project.
So many have invested so much of themselves. 
Hopes are so high for what can be done in Trinidad ...we cannot let them down.

Cancelation is not an option.
Click to donate
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We have set up a special fund at Canada Helps
"Trinidad, Cuba -Project start up. Urgent funding needed"
the old fashion way

Spanky Project
172 Main St.
Suite 301
Picton ON K0K 2T0

We have planned for 175 sterilization in the first phase of the Trinidad Project.
Half of those in December the rest in a series of mini campañas
Your $30 donation funds one of the 175.

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Light A Candle!

1995 - 2003
“One moment can change a day, one day can change a life and one life can change the world.” 
– Buddha
A few months back I heard cover of Neil Young's
Heart Of Gold.
It was a version by Passenger.
The video was an emotional viewing for me.
I did find my "Heart of Gold".
Fifteen years ago, today, we bade "adios" to Spanky.
It was a day filled with her favourite things...
restaurant patio time and finally eating that tuna sandwich...
pizza at the ballpark...
and a walk on the beach .
September 5, 2003 was not to be the end of her story...

"Thousands of candles can be lit from a single candle,
 and the life of that candle will not be shortened"

.... on December 14, 2003 that first candle was lit.
The Spanky Project was born with the goal of..
"Helping Cubans help their animals"
“Your purpose in life is to find your purpose and give your whole heart and soul to it.” 

... she gave me that purpose!

May Spanky's legacy carry on ... well beyond my years.

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Monday, July 30, 2018

How Your Donation Is Put To Work ... and the bonus!

You may have asked....
"What do they do in Havana?"
 It all begins with a loving caregiver or a colony keeper.
One who brings their cat to our campaña for sterilization.
(We do dogs too!)
Then we get to work ...


...and a consult with the surgeon.
That's what we do...
.. and we need you.
Your donation of $30 sponsors a spay.

And now the bonus.
That one spay over time can prevent over 20,000 births.
In February we sterilized 156 cats.

What a great return on a small investment.

They also come to us by the box load.
$30 sponsors a spay...
 box loads vary!
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