Wednesday, March 22, 2017

On The Ground.

On February 25, 2017 the Spanky Project arrived back in Havana.
World Spay Day 2017 Week
This is, now, an annual event we in inaugurated in 2016.
Interestingly enough after check-in and before security in Toronto 
we were welcomed to Cuba.
What a great feeling to reach the Cuban coastline. 
Havana truly feels like home.
After securing our Cooperation Visas, waiting for us at the airport ... was off to Aduana/Customs.
They were aware of our arrival and cleared us quickly.
Above is a small sample of what we were hauling.

We have a GoFundMe appeal going to help pay for the supplies that have now been positioned in Havana for 2017

After the formalities it was off to Habana Vieja and The Prado.
What a joy to have this bit of down time to take in the Artisans on The Prado.
This is a Saturday tradition and one you should take in if you visit.
The first order of business, for me, was to meet with Claudia- Spanky Project Program Manager.
She is heading up a pilot project in Havana Vieja.
It is called Proyecto Plazas and you will hear more about it very soon.
Then off to HQ!
Well actually Terracotta 4. The workshop / studio of Amelia and Angel.
This is our home in Habana Vieja.
Amelia and Angel tend a colony in a park across from their studio. 
Here, Claudia and Amelia tend to a kitten that was dumped in the park.
Amelia and Angel do great work supporting other colony keepers.
It's a team effort!
 After some late night cat colony surveying it was time to call it a night.
Early morning in Habana Vieja is so peaceful.
Crowded streets by day are deserted and tranquil overnight and into the morning.
After a stroll through the streets it was off to a green oasis in the heart of Havana.
 Our deepest thanks go to Dr.Eusebio Leal and the Oficina del Historiador 
for granting us the use of this space for our activities.
It is a great show of faith and support for the work we carry out in collaboration 
with our Cuban partners.
The Spanky Project is pleased to announce that the pavilion at Quinta de los Molinos is now the permanent home for our sterilization campañas.
And as with any home we personalized it just a little.

 With each of our campañas we strive for constant improvement.
This campaña we had our own autoclave for sterilizing our instruments and supplies.
This improves upon the cold sterilization techniques we have used in the past.
Here Dr.Michael Belovich- Spanky Project's Medical Director, works with Dr.Leyssan Cepero Quinta's Veterinarian to ensure the autoclave is up to working standards.
Dr.Michele Travers once again joined us in Havana.
Her past experience with transportation woes and trying to buy a broom were solved.
She brought her own.
With the surgical area set up ..
....  recuperation area prepared and recovery cages (aka bird cages) assembled.
...our day at "Quinta" was pretty much done.
Dr.Leyssan shares a moment with one of the resident "Quinta" dogs.
There was one thing left to do.
 Promotional material for our World Spay Day Week 
activities was produced and printed in Havana.
 Only the folding of a few hundred was left to be done.
This would turn out to be our best campaña ever.
Education, collaboration, sterilization, deparasitization.
If we are to continue to expand this vital work we need your support.

We have an online site for donations at..
Should you prefer to mail in your support you can find us at..
Spanky Project
Box 6136
Picton ON  K0K 2T0


Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Wishlist Wednesday

Welcome to another
We are happy to say our Spanky Caja program has taken off.

The Spanky Caja is a preloaded box of donated supplied.
Travellers from the USA pay the postage to receive the box.
They then deliver to a designated location in an area they are visiting.
Contact Audrey to get yours.

We are in need of a number of supplies in Havana.

Supplies which do not need advance approvals
Supplies which you could purchase and deliver to convenient locations in Habana Vieja and Vedado.
Flea and tick treatments (like Frontline, NexGuard or Advantix)
De-wormers and Heartworm preventatives like Safe-Guard, Heartgard, Interceptor
Vitamins for dogs and cats – age range from youth to adult to geriatric
Ehrlichiosis testing kits like 4Dx or ELISA test kit
Medication for mange (i.e. Demodex)
Antibiotics like Amoxicillin, Tetracycline or Doxycycline
Antiseptics like Chlorhexidine or Povidone Iodine
Sterile surgical gloves
Latex or Nitrile gloves (non-sterile, usually 100/box)
Milk substitutes for kittens and puppies (powdered is lighter easier to carry)
Old towels and small blankets
Sheets - we have a seamstress that will make trap and cage covers
Medicated shampoos
Nail clippers specifically for dogs and cats
Leashes and collars. Slip leads.  Also harnesses for small dogs.
Flea combs
AAA Batteries (for surgeons headlamps – especially rechargeable)
Duct tape (we use it to mark cages so we don’t mix up animals and their paperwork)
General office supplies - pens, Sharpies, copy paper, clip boards and solar calculators
Cotton Balls
ZipLoc Sandwich Bags
ZipLoc Gallon Bags
Styptic Powder
Large Plastic Tarps
Bungee Cords
Large Trash Bags
Masking Tape
Zip Ties (lighter weight and 4-5” long)
Plastic Bowls

Cotton Roll Non-Sterile 1 Lb
Scalpel Blades Sterile #10    100/Bx
Scalpel Blades Sterile #15   100/Bx
OptixCare Eye Lubricant
1cc Syringes, Sterile  100/Bx

Check out some previous WISHLISTS.

Help Cubans help their animals.
Set a little space aside in your baggage for much needed supplies

 We also have a GoFundMe appeal ongoing.
Supplies have been prepositioned for 2017.
The bills are in!!!!
Helps us where you can.

Spanky Project
Box 6136
Picton ON  K0K 2T0

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Boxing Day!

The Spanky Project is a 
Federally Incorporated Not For Profit 
We are based in Canada and have been helping Cubans help their animals since 2003.

Medical supplies are required in order for us to do our work in Cuba! 

We conduct high volume sterilization clinics twice each year. 
Also, we hold mini-campañas monthly.
 Pets and street animals are given a health check,spayed or neutered and given rabies vaccines as well as anti-parasite medication.  

This is of course free to a community that otherwise would not have access to these services either due to cost or availability of supplies.

The supplies we need are either not available at all in Cuba or very hard to come by. So…..we bring them with us.  You should see us at the airport, lugging around heavy suitcases loaded with supplies.  

There is one problem ... but a good one to have.  
One of our core members, in the USA, has many contacts in the world of healthcare and surgery who are very generous in donating supplies.  
So generous, in fact, that we need help getting all of them to Cuba 
in between the campaigns. 
This is where you can help!
If you are planning a trip to Cuba... or know someone who is ... it would be great if you could take some of our supplies. 

We'll ship you a "caja".
Caja is spanish for "box".
Oh and the "j" is pronounced like an "h".
Repeat after me "Caja"

We can fit quite a lot of essential supplies into a "Spanky Caja"....
... that is 12"x12"x6" 
The only catch is we’d like you to pay for the postage to help us keep our costs down.  
The cost is $15.00 for a USPS large flat rate box.  
... or ...

..... WAIT ....
 If you are in the Los Angeles area, we can arrange a meeting place to deliver them to you.
Contact us and we’ll make arrangements to get a box to you and a place to drop the supplies off once you are in Havana .  
Join us and our team to help Cubans help their animals.
These boxes contain no pharmaceuticals, medications, drugs, liquids.

A typical box may have suture, gauze, gloves, needles/syringes, surgical drapes.

Our focus is in Havana but if you are headed to Pinar Del Rio or Trinidad we collaborate with groups in these locations.
They, too, do great work and we support each other whenever we can.
Thank you for taking the time to consider this effort.
Cuba's animals await you.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

From Our Family To Yours

Our Spanky Project Family wishes you and yours all the best during this festive season.
No matter what your faith or persuasion let's all be united in making this a better world
for all living creatures.

Check back on Christmas Day as we unwrap a new program.

Here's a hint....
It is going to be Boxing Day all year round in Havana.
..... those of you in the USA will, especially, want to check back.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Follow Your Dreams.

In 2006 the Spanky Project signed a Carta de Intencion with the 
Consejo Cientifico Veterinario de Cuba (CCVC).
It is under their umbrella we work.
Created in 1908 the CCVC is a national NGO representing over a dozen aspects of 
Cuban Veterinary medicine.
Dr. Fermín Manuel Palazuelos - President CCVC 2006

In 2011 the Spanky Project made a more formal pact with the CCVC.
It was Dra.Amaro, widow of the late Dr.Fermin,  who facilitated the 
Convenio de Colaboración.

On December 14, 2016, the 108th anniversary of the CCVC, a great honour was bestowed upon me.

That being made an...
Honourary Member
Dra.Betty Amaro - President CCVC

I took this opportunity to say a few words...
and in Spanish.
My heartfelt thanks to the Consejo for this wonderful honour. 
As Betty knows I have resisted this moment for years. 
The Spanky Project has never been about me. 

By virtue of it’s guiding spirit it is about …. 

It is about …
the hopes and dreams of those who want to better the lives of animals. 

It is about..
the animals. 

So, I accept this honour in the name of the Spanky Project and of those who go after their dreams to make them reality. 

The Spanky Project has been helping Cubans help their animals since 2003. 
The project was born out of the love for a furry friend, my four-legged soul mate, my dog Spanky. 

In 2006 the Consejo, under then President Dr. Fermín Manuel Palazuelos Tuset., signed a Carta de Intención with the Spanky Project.
In 2011 we this turned into a more formal Convenio de Colaboración.

The Consejo gave us a foundation to build upon and I am forever grateful to Fermin, to Dra.Betty Amaro and to the Consejo in general for seeing the value of our work and to share our dream. 

Dreams are easier to achieve with help and friends by your side. 

If you want to go fast go alone

If you want to go far…. go together

Let us go together.

As Che so wisely said: Seamos realistas y hagamos lo imposible.
                                            (Let's be realists and do the impossible)

With all my heart I thank you all.
The road is long and I am grateful you are on it with us.
I encourage all of you to follow that dream you have.

Follow your dream and amazing happens.