APAC IS A TEAM OF COMPASSIONATE INDIVIDUALS DEDICATED TO IMPROVING THE LIVES AND FUTURE OF ANIMALS IN CUBA
This is a Blog post series from our entire APAC team. Each post will describe who we are, what we do and how we individually started this journey of helping the Cuban animals in need.
How did you get involved with APAC?
In 2017 I was on vacation with my husband in Varadero where we met and fell in love with a homeless dog, who we named Chi Chi. Throughout our vacation we took care of him, making sure he was fed, had water and a safe place to sleep. Once we returned to Canada we couldn’t stop thinking about him, so we started an online search to try and find him help. We got in contact with some people who had previously belonged to a different organization who agreed to help us. I learned a lot along the way, such as there are no animal welfare laws in Cuba and no shelters, and it was decided then that rather than trying to find Chi Chi help in Cuba, we would bring him home to Canada. Heartbreakingly he passed away 27 days after arriving in Canada due to an illness he had contracted as a homeless dog in Cuba – but he opened my eyes to the plight of the homeless and forgotten animals of Cuba and I vowed at that time to continue helping them in his honor.
What made APAC stand out to you?
The kindness, love and commitment I personally witnessed displayed by the team in Cuba. It was shortly after Chi Chi passed away that they lost their contacts in Canada, who had been instrumental in ensuring the success of the team and the work they do. I saw that missing piece and chose to step into it. Social media and the internet are powerful tools, and the team in Cuba never would have been able to manage this piece of our work due to lack of internet access.
In your own words, describe APAC?
APAC is a compassionate team dedicated to rescuing the sick, injured and abandoned animals in Cuba where there are no animal welfare laws for companion animals, and an estimated more than one million homeless animals. We are committed to improving the lives of animals in Cuba through sterilization of homeless animals and pets, vaccinations, free and low cost veterinary services, adoption and education.
What is your role?
I stepped into the role as Director and received approval from Corporations Canada to have us registered as a Canadian Not-For-Profit organization in 2018. More than being a Director I am a team mate to an amazing and passionate team that spans Cuba, Canada and even the US. I handle responding to all messages and emails, organizing flights for animals, organizing supplies going to Cuba, arranging meetings and organizing volunteers with the team in Cuba, adoptions in Canada and ensuring we are always informed about airline policy changes, CBSA and CFIA policy changes and anything that can negatively impact the health and well being of all the animals in our care.
What do you most hope to achieve through your work with APAC?
I hope one day for Cuba to implement animal welfare laws, to improve human-animal relations, and to play a part in reducing the homeless animal population. My dream and goal is to create a better life and future for animals in Cuba.