A Note about Rescue and Adoption outside of Cuba

Refuge & Rescue 

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This is Pablo.  BEFORE, being fed on the streets of Cuba by Nora García/ANIPLANT, and AFTER, riding shot gun with rescuer Amanda Crumley.  Pablo had a great couple of years in the USA. Sadly, he passed away in 2016 due to complications from a tick bite.

We receive pleas daily from travelers who want to help individual street dogs and cats they've seen in Cuba. Unfortunately, there is no animal shelter system in Cuba. When veterinarians are called on to help a dog or cat, they first must find a place for the animal to live after receiving help--to make sure the animal stays safe and cared for. If there is no home to keep the animal, it may be impossible for veterinarians in Cuba to help.

Sometimes, we receive requests for adoptions of dogs or cats out of Cuba. TAP Animal Project encourages adoptions from your local shelter, because shelters in every civilized community in the world kill healthy and beautiful companion animals every day. Last year alone, more than 3 million dogs were killed in shelters in the USA. Please visit your local shelter! You'll find a wide selection of every conceivable size, shape, color, and breed of very-deserving cats and dogs who desperately need loving homes. And the timing and cost will be quite small compared to attempts to rescue one from Cuba. Unfortunately, TAP Animal Project cannot facilitate adoptions.  Our resources are limited and dedicated to the long-term goal of  preventing homeless dogs and cats.

Despite all this, if you are traveling to Cuba, and think you may be moved to bring home an orphaned animal, we suggest you take along a carrier, fill the carrier with a collar and leash, flea and mange medicines, dog food and bedding, and then plan to spend the 3-4 months necessary to get the animal healthy and to get veterinary clearance to take the animal out of Cuba and into your own country. You will also need to work with the veterinarian in Cuba to find a place for the animal to live until deemed healthy and ready-for-travel.

It can be difficult and expensive to adopt a dog or cat from Cuba. If you have your heart set on bringing home a Cuban companion animal, please first learn all the rules and regulations of your airline(s) and the Customs agents of the countries you are flying through and of your final destination. You do not want the poor dog or cat to be stranded in a foreign country, subjected to hours of fear, and possibly deported or destroyed if you do not have the proper paperwork.

Finally, a note about the dogs of Cuba:  these dogs have lived on the streets, they speak Spanish and they are accustomed to Caribbean temperatures. Many years of economic deprivation have had an evolutionary effect on companion animals, and the average weight of a dog is only about 15-20 pounds. Cuban street dogs often have mange or parasites or worms--or all three. They may have been bitten by ticks and may be carrying a bacteria that doesn't show up for a year. And it is very likely they will have food issues because they've never had enough of it. You should be prepared to provide your new Cuban dog or cat with all the veterinary care he/she needs--and it may be frequent and expensive. You are committing to this dog for his/her life. The dog will likely need training, a lot of attention, and a ton of you/your family's patience. It would be grossly unfair to bring a Cuban dog away from the island, only to abandon him/her in a foreign shelter when things get hard to manage. PLEASE, think carefully before bringing a dog or cat out of Cuba. It is a lifetime commitment.  

If you are prepared to make that commitment, please write to Cuban Dog Tales / Danielle Speirs at cubandogtales@gmail.com.  Danielle lives in Canada, and she is an expert on the subject of adopting a dog/cat from Cuba.   She has adopted a dog (named Nia) from Cuba.  Danielle is a long-time friend of ANIPLANT and TAP Animal Project.   

Write to us at:
TAP Animal Project

P.O. Box 256792

Chicago, IL  60625