2003-2023 and beyond / SPANKY PROJECT CELEBRATES 20 AÑOS

Our work

Aid animals to build a better place for all living beings.

One world one health

Dedicated to promoting kindness towards animals, the Spanky Project is a place where information can be shared, resources can be found, and connections can be made for a better place for all the living beings.

What we do

The Spanky Project, authorized by the Cuban government, aids animals and their caregivers by offering mass sterilization clinics two to three times per year.

Our annual February World Spay Day week campañas now see us sterilizing over 500 dogs/cats.

During our February 2019 campaña we celebrated Havana’s 500th Anniversary with the goal of 500 sterilizations in one week. We blew past our goal with an amazing 628.

We had never done over 300 in a week. Frankly the Cubans did not think we could do it.

Why is it important

  • Make dogs and cats happier. Make dogs and cats stronger.

  • Provide many more educational opportunities for Cuba’s veterinary students.

  • Provide more opportunities for international collaboration and exchanges of knowledge.

  • Provide specialized surgeries otherwise impossible due to shortages of necessary supplies and lack of training.

  • Parasite treatments, sterilization and preventive care are costly and veterinarian medicines are scares or non-existent.

How we do it

In Canada

  • Determine desired dates and what supplies and medications are going to be required.

  • Send documents to various ministries requesting permits to enter Cuba with all of the supplies and medications. We have to bring everything we will need, which means our core team members will each carry 100 to 150 pounds of supplies as luggage.

  • Notify our international veterinarians of dates to see who is available. All international team members pay for their own travel expenses.

  • Apply for Cooperation visas for the international team members.

  • Buy medications and supplies (after permits are issued).

  • Collect donated goods from supporting veterinary clinics, suppliers and institutions.

  • Arrange lodging and transportation if working outside of Havana.

In Cuba

  • Coordinate participants including veterinarians and arrange for veterinary students to participate.

  • Reserve the workspace for the campaign.

  • Borrow surgical tables, room dividers, etc.

  • Create a poster announcing the campaign details and upload it to social media. A set limit of reservations are taken. In 2019, the 500 time slots were filled within a matter of hours.

How the cats and dogs come to us

  • Owners get their pets to us any way they can : on a leash, in a shopping cart, carried in their arms, carried in a backpack, carried in a box or some other makeshift method.

  • The Cuban team works with the various colony keepers to coordinate TNR (Trap Neuter Return) of the street cats they feed and care for.

  • Often, the likes of parking lot attendants and building security guards bring dogs from those locations.

How we do it

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: