We are an organization that operates in Cuba and Canada with the goal of improving the lives and futures of the animals in Cuba, where there are currently no animal protection laws for non-livestock species.
We are a registered Canadian not-for-profit organization that was created in July 2017, though we had operated together for a few years before that. Our team consists solely of unpaid volunteers located in both Cuba and Canada. We are completely dependant on supplies and financial donations from our supporters, mainly located across North America and Europe.
The Animal Refuge, our main facility, is located in Cardenas, near Varadero, in the Cuban province of Matanzas. This facility has a cat room, a main room, and a courtyard with a covered area. At any given time there are roughly 15 Cats and 15 dogs. We care for at least another ten of each that can not be housed there for various reasons.
What we do:
We know that unsterilized animals are a major cause of the high population of strays in Cuba, so our main focus is to sterilize as many animals as we can in hopes of eventually reducing the population. As often as we are able, we hold free campaigns to sterilize strays and pets at no cost to their owners. We also sterilize every rescue that comes through our doors.
Another pillar of our organization is providing healthcare to animals. Through our partner clinics and pop-up clinics, we provide low cost and free healthcare to pets. Our partner vets also provide healthcare to the unhealthy strays we regularly receive, most often brought to us by our supporters. Following treatment and sterilization, these animals are then either released or housed at our Refuge awaiting adoption in Cuba, Canada or Europe, based on their individual needs. None of our animals leave Cuba without a permanent adoptive family as we do not support fostering of our animals outside of Cuba. In total, through sterilization campaigns, clinic visits, and rescues, we have treated an estimated 800 animals in 2018.
We also have Cat Cafes at three hotels in Varadero. A Cat Cafe is the product of an agreement with the hotel, where we provide healthcare, including sterilization and antiparasitics, for each cat, and in exchange, the hotel agrees to feed and keep them safe. This is beneficial to both tourists and hotels as the cats are healthy, thereby posing no health threat to the tourists, and provide rodent control. We often find that tourists choose these hotels over others because of our Cat Cafe program.
We also offer assistance to those who wish to adopt a stray they have met while vacationing in Cuba, by providing medical services including sterilization, assistance with paperwork, organization of flights, and boarding services until the animal is ready to go home.
It takes a community to provide a better future for an animal. We could not operate without our supporters. We thank you for your consideration and hope you will join our community.
USEFUL INFO About Donations:
If you are searched by Aduana (cuban customs) you should say that the donations you have are GIFTS. It is important NOT TO use the word donations because Aduana will tax donations 100% putting any value they choose and if you are unable to pay they will seize the donation.. everything is GIFTS :)
Restricitions (Supplies people CANNOT take to Cuba)
-any medication classified as a narcotic or controlled substance
-no beef, pork or lamb products
If you are traveling to Cuba via a cruise ship you will not be allowed to take anything off the ship with you.