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Thursday, 17 May 2012

Spring Fever

Long overdue, here is a summary of CCV Matanzas and APAC volunteer activities during the last two months:

Cardenas April 7, 2012
Since the exportation of anesthetics from Canada, "Flying Clinics" started their new season of sterilization clinics serving Matanzas Province companion animals - both pets and homeless.

Veterinary Clinic in Cardenas
The first great spay/neuter campaign took place on April 7, 2012 in Cardenas. The team had a huge task of preparing the town's veterinary clinic for this occasion. They were expecting someone very special to visit.

The team of doctors and volunteers
The campaign was very well organized and professionally prepared by the Cardenas team. Everything went well and all animals recovered quickly and without any complications.

Dr. Barry MacEachern, our guest of honour, talking to a local TV station - with Ingrid as a translator
Dr. Barry, our special guest was quite impressed with the level of professionalism and knowledge of Cuban veterinarians, and very surprised that a hot weather had little impact on everybody's vigor and enthusiasm. It was during this clinic that Dr. Barry and David met our little Morris whom they later adopted.

Matanzas April 14, 2012
The second clinic was organized in City of Matanzas, province's capital, on April 14, 2012. People were anxious to get in, and stood in line since early morning that Saturday.

Signing up for the surgery
Dr Julio with his assistant
Dr. Hanoi performing surgery

Canadian tourists volunteering at the clinic 
Cardenas May 5, 2012
Dr. Zenkov and Dr. Ponce put together another, smaller campaign in Cardenas. Fifteen animals were successfully sterilized. They had with them our Cuba-Canadian volunteer, Yunetsi Garcia, as well as our young helpers: Ingrid's brother and Dr. Ponce's little daughter. We hope that the children will grow up to be caring, loving people, and who knows - they may choose veterinary science or  medicine as their careers.

Unstoppable Dr. Slavik  

Dr. Ponce's little girl, Deleny,  helping in recovery room

Junior assisting Dr. Ponce with the surgery

Yunetsi practicing her skills
The clinics were hugely successful on many levels. They showed the importance of good preparation and organization - the teams  passed this test with the highest grade. The campaigns are hugely popular amongst locals which proves that Cubans are concerned about proper care of their pets and how spaying/neutering their animals has impact on controlling overpopulation of homeless cats and dogs in their neighbourhoods. A growing number of professional volunteers from Canada brings both nations together in a new way - creating understanding of each other's cultures, and forming long lasting relationships and friendships.

The problem Cuba is facing may not be resolved within one generation, therefore children are involved in the campaigns. For kids these events are the lessons in responsibility, caring, working together, and learning new skills. We are very proud of our young helpers.


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