Animal Health & Well-being

Since 2011, 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.


  • 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 de-worming, flea and tick treatment, medical examination, as well as pre-treatment for spay and neuter
  • The availability of clinics at a low or subsidized cost for stray animals


  • Sterilize at least 500 animals per year
  • Offer monthly sterilization and health clinics for abandoned animals
  • Provide educational sessions about the responsible care of domestic animals
  • Obtain and maintain a veterinarian first aid kit to be used in the community
  • Add a permanent veterinarian to our working team (if interested, please see how you can work with us)
  • Improve quality of life and promote animal well-being
  • Make the project financially sustainable


Since 2011, we have:

  • Organized 37 spay and neuter clinics in Taganga and Minca
  • Sterilized a total of 1,506 dogs and cats, 70% of which were abandoned or provided at a subsidized cost
  • Provided medical treatments to more than 1,200 animals
  • Organized community activities involving more than 125 local and international volunteers
  • Held an average of 4 periodic disease control campaigns each year
  • Led 9 educational campaigns in local schools about pet welfare, responsible care and preservation of local species
  • Printed and distributed more than 300 illustrated educational booklets for children


Cats and dogs have been our companions for thousands of years. The bonds that we create with them are strong, but we must acknowledge that these animals come with consequences for our environment.

Cats and dogs play large roles in the extinction of biodiversity; being a major force in the extinction of 44 bird species and posing a significant threat to more than 188 animals in danger of extinction; including mammals, reptiles and frogs.

The Sierra Nevada of Santa Marta is home to over 600 bird species; accounting for 35% of Colombia´s bird biodiversity. Santa Marta contains the single highest concentration of 36 endemic bird species found on the planet and maintains exceptional levels of animal diversity.

According to the Secretary of Health, there are more than 48,000 dogs and cats in Santa Marta and the surrounding areas. In just seven years, one dog can have more than 4,000 descendants, and a cat, more than 420,000. You can guess the harm they can inflict on such a rich ecosystem like the Sierra Nevada. With a high rate of animal abandonment, street animals suffer from poor conditions. The need for animal services is ever increasing, yet we have no veterinary presence or public program in Minca and its surroundings areas apart from Misión Gaia, to control or treat the animal population.

At Misión Gaia, we both love cats and dogs and appreciate the wonders that nature has created. We believe that our pets should be neutered, reducing the negative impact that they make on our biodiverse environment. Along with spray and neuter campaigns, we spread educational awareness about the importance of this familiar and critical issue that shouldn't be overlooked.


Increasing our impact

We work hard to make sterilization a possibility for all animals regardless of their situation. In just one year of administering sterilizations in Minca and the surrounding areas, we can prevent at least 1,060 new births. We continue to improve our infrastructure and facilities each and every day to increase our positive impact in the communities that we support.


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!


We are always looking for volunteers to participate in our projects. Check out our Volunteer page and if you would like to make a difference in the lives of the cats and dogs in the area of Minca contact us!


We are currently collecting for our upcoming sterilization event in Ocotober. If you are interested in donating, please go to our Fundraising Campaign. Even a small donation can make a big difference!