Animal Health & Well-being

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 ?

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 threat 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. 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 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.

WHAT WE DO

  • 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 cost or subsidized for stray animals

WHAT WE DO


  • 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

OUR ACHIEVEMENTS

  • Organized 41 spay and neuter clinics in Taganga and Minca
  • Sterilized a total of 1,827 dogs and cats, 70% of which are 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 the preservation of local species
  • Printed and distributed more than 300 illustrated educational booklets for children

OUR GOALS

  • Sterilize at least 500 animals per year
  • Offer monthly sterilization and health clinics for abandoned animals
  • Provide educational sessions about responsible care of domestic animals
  • Obtain and maintain a veterinary 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 Increase the quality of life of the inhabitants and promote animal welfare.


OUR EVENTS

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.

2019, Health days in Minca

Since the beginning of 2019, two sterilization and three health days have been held in Minca. More than 60 animals have been sterilized and more than 20 animals have received medical attention.

BE PART OF THE CHANGE!

Sterilization provides benefits to pets and environment!

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)

Recommendations

  • 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.

MAKE A DIFFERENCE

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!

BECOME A VOLUNTEER

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