Friday, March 6, 2015

Profile of a Cuban Animal Advocate

The face of a dog lover registers concern for the street dog with his syphilitic prick waving in the air while he rolls, scratching his back, her eyes narrow, and her breath comes out in a sigh. He is on her mental list of animals needing help, but the list is long.

Moments later this dog lover questions two teenagers about neutering the pitbulls they each have on leashes. The boys are resistant, but the grandmother speaks to them so kindly that they lower their heads before her.

A word of encouragement or instruction to all they see with animals is the hallmark of the dedicated animal advocate.

Maylin Carretero, the most spiritual woman, who was my host and guide to some of the animals of Cuba, leads with her heart for all things animal.

Off to ANIPLANT we would go taking public transportation all the way. ANIPLANT is the Association for the Protection of Plants and Animals, in Cuba this is it for animal advocacy.

ANIPLANT President Nora Garcia and Vice President Maylin Careterro work hard for the animals of Cuba. I visited the busy clinic at ANIPLANT headquarters, during which a young couple brought in a sweet yellow dog they had found in a bag, legs tied and mouth bound.

After a long day at ANIPLANT Headquarters on the walk home from the bus stop. Maylin said to me when she saw the manager of the local store, “I have been trying for weeks to talk to him about treating the dogs that live by the store for mange. I need his help and there he is!”

Around eleven o’clock one night someone dumped a four week old puppy in her yard. You can imagine the ruckus that set off with her dogs. Let me tell you that woman is fast. As I got to the door she shined the light under bush to find the crying puppy, while verbally keeping her dogs out of the way, most impressive.

While still clutching the puppy to her breast, the true heart of a dog lover goes searching for a box to line with bedding for the tiny life.

If more Cuban American animal lovers knew about the good work these volunteers do, I’m certain they would see more support.  

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