Animal Health & Welfare

Misión Gaia has been involved in a number of projects aimed at increasing the quality of life for animals suffering on the streets. These include efforts to help reduce illness, provide low-cost sterilization clinics and educate the community about the responsible care of pets.

WHY is this important ?

  • Protect the biodiversity of endangered species
  • Maintain the well-being of the ecosystem
  • Public health
  • Animal health and welfare

The Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta is home to more than 600 species of birds: 35% of the bird biodiversity of Colombia. Santa Marta contains the highest concentration of 36 endemic bird species found on the planet.

According to the Secretariat of Health of Santa Marta, there are more than 55,000 dogs and cats in Santa Marta and the surrounding areas. We must recognize that these animals have impacts on our environment; they constitute one of the greatest threats to biodiversity.

Abandoned animals live in poor condition. Public intervention is urgent in order to control or treat the animal population. Therefore, we believe that our pets should be sterilized, reducing the negative impact that they not only cause in our environment but also for themselves.


  • Low-cost or free sterilizations and health clinics for dogs and cats in Minca and Taganga
  • Educational campaigns for the responsible care of domestic animals
  • Campaigns to increase the health and well-being of stray animals
  • Veterinary services; including deworming, flea and tick treatments, medical examinations, as well as pre-treatment for spay and neuter
  • The availability of clinics at a low or subsidized cost for stray animals


  • We have organized 45 spay and neuter clinics in Taganga and Minca
  • We have sterilized a total of 1,9477 dogs and cats, 70% of which were abandoned or lived in the streets.
  • We have provided medical treatments to more than 1,200 animals
  • We have organized community activities involving more than 125 local and international volunteers
  • We have held an average of 4 periodic annual campaigns for disease control
  • We have led 9 educational campaigns in local schools about pet welfare, responsible care and the preservation of local species
  • We have printed and distributed more than 300 illustrated educational booklets for children


  • Sterilize at least 800 animals per year. Offer monthly sterilization and health clinics for abandoned animals
  • Develop educational sessions on responsible care of domestic animals
  • Obtain and maintain a veterinary first aid kit to be used in the community
  • Have a permanent veterinarian in our work team (if you are interested, find out how to work with us)
  • Improve the quality of life of the inhabitants and promote animal welfare


Educative activities with local school in Taganga

2018, Health Day in Taganga

With the participation of government institutions and local volunteers, Gaia Mission organized a comprehensive health and sterilization day in Taganga, from September to October 2018. During this event, 669 animals received some form of veterinary care, 232 animals were sterilized and at least 1600 births were avoided. We made presentations at schools on responsible care of pets, 190 children were sensitized. The event benefits more than 150 families, the Taganga community and the tourism sector by increasing the quality of life of the animals.

Spay and Neuter clinics in Minca & Taganga cancelled until 2021

Due to current pandemic, we are not developing animal clinics in Taganga or Minca. With a group of volunteers we are identifying stray animals that need surgery focusing on females. If you identify animals under this condition and like to support a low cost operation we can cooperate. Contact us at



This program's activities for 2020- 2021 are focused on getting financial and human resources in order to have a mobile unit by 2022 that allows developing sterilization and veterinary days in different communities of the Sierra Nevada and it's foothills permanently f.

Sterilization provides benefits to pets and environment!

Would you like to support this project? Contact us!

Overpopulation of dogs and cats causes an alarming increase in the number of abandoned animals and a worsening of living conditions and quality of life. So, in order to increase the quality of life of the animals that suffer on our streets, we invite you to learn about our work and to support it!

Sterilization Requirements

  • Animals must be in good health
  • Not in heat or pregnant (if pregnant not more than three weeks gestation)


  • Clean the animal the day before surgery
  • Do not give food for at least 12 hours before surgery , or water 8 hours before surgery.
  • We recommend that the last meal be served 12 hours before surgery (at 8 p.m. the day before surgery).
  • Leave your cats inside a locked room/bathroom the night before to make sure they don't hunt during the night.
  • Please bring your cat in a pet box or pillowcase as it is more comfortable and avoids the stress of seeing other animals.
  • Dogs should be with their owner, wear collar and leash.
  • Make sure you have time to care for the animal after surgery.
  • We recommend that the animal be dewormed and vaccinated at least 1 month prior to surgery. It is recommendable to do the pre-surgical examinations.


We are currently looking for a veterinarian who wants to support our team! If you have experience, are open for a unique challenge and want to help make a real impact in the lives of the local animals, please send us your resume to work on Taganga and Minca during 2021!


We are always looking for volunteers to participate in our projects. For now we are only receiving applications to volunteer online. Check out our Volunteer page and make a difference in the lives of the cats and dogs in the area of Minca. Contact us!