Hola Taco!

December 21, 2011

We are super excited to introduce you all to our newest little amiga, Taco!  She hails from Cuba and frankly, when she landed at the Calgary airport she didn’t know what hit her!

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Taco was rescued from a tough life as a Cuban street dog, a fate that way too many dogs in Cuba have to suffer.  She owes her life to Ingrid, Dr. Zenkov and Grace from APAC – Varadero who pulled her from the streets as a puppy, spayed and vaccinated her and taught her all the manners she needs to be a very, very welcome member of a family.  One of our volunteers was travelling to Cuba on vacation when she stumbled across APAC while looking for a place to volunteer for a day.  We had originally planned to bring home a handsome boy named Nilo, who fought for his life after nearly starving to death then having his neck slit open by an angry man with a machete.  Unfortunately, just days before Nilo was set to travel, he was diagnosed with cancer.  Keep him in your thoughts as he fights his way through chemotherapy treatments – we still have high hopes that he will be joining us in Canada in a couple short months.
nilo Hola Taco!

Finger crossed for Nilo - be strong!

So, in his place came Taco and we couldn’t be happier to have her!
taco airport Hola Taco!
Taco is around a year old, give or take a few months and is healthy as a horse.  She is a brave little soul and is trying so hard to settle into her new Canadian life.  There’s lots to get used to and she’s been through quite the journey so far – bus rides and flights, airports and snow…she’s a total champ!  Dr. Slavik and Ingrid have done an incredible job teaching Taco how to be obedient – she’s putting the Canadian dogs to shame!  Taco is 100% snuggle buddy at home and loves to bury under the covers, but is ready to roll if you want to venture outside for a bike ride (not in our weather!) or a good play with her dog buddies.  She is housebroken, has lived with cats and is gentle with children.
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Now we realise, and have already encountered, some folks who might want to criticize our decision to bring a dog in from another country when we have so many needing help here at home.  We see your point!  But if you knew of the devastating situation that Cuba faces with their homeless animals, we truly feel like we have the space and resources to help a little where we can.  Our new friends at APAC face challenges that make us feel so fortunate to be able to do what we do here in Canada.  They have no money, no resources, nearly non-existent veterinary supplies, an uneducated community, lack of transportation and major governmental barriers when it comes to importing supplies.  We flew a crate down there because even if they had the money to buy one, they are no where to be found in Cuba.  Disease and mange run rampant on the streets, and although Dr. Slavik offers spay and neuters for $1.00, yes $1.00!!! owners still cannot be convinced to sterilize their pets.  He works for free every Wednesday doing spay/neuter surgeries to try to make a difference in the stray animal population.  On top of the heartbreak of seeing sick and starving animals, is knowing that every so often, they spread poison along the beaches to take care of the “problem”.
So we thank APAC for fighting against the odds and making such a great difference in the lives of the animals they help.  Most of their focus is on operating free spay and neuter clinics around Cuba, and recently they pulled off an amazing de-worming campaign that helped 106 animals.  And another big thanks to CANDi (Cats And Dogs International) and to Air Transat for their partnership and care that allowed us to fly Taco to Calgary, free of charge.
We welcome Taco to Lethbridge with the promise of a wonderful life ahead.  You’re already so loved, little girl.
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Note:  we are now accepting applications on Taco, but no visits or meetings will be arranged until after New Years – she needs a little time to settle and we need a holiday!!!

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