I was contacted recently by a Londoner named Jennifer Watts.
Jennifer is involved with helping stray dogs and cats in Cuba get the medical treatment they need.
This is a cause close to my heart; you may remember that the black lab I adopted with M’Lady last year is originally from Taiwan — we adopted Dallas through an organization called Paws United, which is based in Arva; you can visit their website by clicking here.
Jennifer has an event coming up for another organization and wants to get the word out, so I invited her to write a guest post for the blog.
Take it away, Jennifer . . .
In October 2011, while on vacation in Cuba, I met a fellow Canadian from Brampton vacationing at the same resort. Her name is Lynn and since we were both animal lovers, we instantly hit is off. She introduced me to APAC-Varadero.
This Alberta-based organization was incorporated in 2009, under the Societies Act, through the help of Grace Waszkiewicz (in Alberta), along with some very special veterinarians and their families/friends (in Cuba). Lynn explained that it was the APAC-Varadero’s mission to help stop the overpopulation of stray animals, and that she was going to experience a spay/neuter clinic firsthand during her visit.
With the help of supporters and animal lovers globally, the APAC raises money through donations that pay for anesthetics used in spaying/neutering clinics.
In addition to monetary support, donations of collars, kennels, food, leashes, shampoos, flea/tick medicine, nail clippers and so much more are collected through the group from animal-loving tourists.
These products are distributed to the Cuban people (especially children) to give the proper care for their own animals.
In 2011, the APAC assisted with more than 1,100 spaying/neutering surgeries and with every clinic, the word spreads of these amazing doctors, who are volunteering their time, and the people from Canada and around the world, who are stepping up to help; including myself.
Upon my return to Canada, I joined the Facebook group (APAC-Varadero Canadian Branch), and started following the group’s activities. I saw the facilitation of finding homes for dozens of animals in Cuba, Canada and the Netherlands through the assistance of Candi International and AirTransat, as well as the support from other tourists via suitcases filled with supplies.
In December of 2011, the green light was given to import anesthetics and other essential medications from Canada to Cuba. And with a goal of at least 1,000 sterilization surgeries done in 2012, they will need approximately $5,000 in donations to cover the cost of the anesthetics alone.
With the announcement of this, I thought what can I do to help?
Well, do what I do best and plan a party! Through my connections, my incredible friends and the blessing of the APAC, the UNLEASHED Benefit Concert came to life.
On Friday, March 2, we unleash the very talented Sarah Smith to perform an intimate night of music. Complimenting Sarah this evening will be up-and-coming artist, and 98.1 Free FM’s Under The Covers Winner, Sam Taylor, along with the hard-rock trio (going unplugged for Unleashed) Kill Effect.
Tickets are $10 with 100% of the proceeds going to APAC – Varadero. The venue has been generously donated by the Music Box, located at 1472 Dundas Street East (@ First St. in the Eastown Plaza) and there will be lots of prizes to be won, courtesy of Chester Pegg Diamonds, Orchestra London and many more.
If you can’t make it to the event but still want to be involved, you will be able to watch it LIVE, along with our friends in Cuba, through our website, www.unleashedbenefit.com, but please be sure to donate. Check out the website for more information and together we can help control the pet population and find a forever family for all homeless dogs and cats in Cuba.