The Aniplant Project
P.O. Box 256792
Chicago, IL 60625-9998
Puppy makes journey from Cuba to new home in Oshawa
Local woman worked with rescue groups to adopt dog against all odds
Dec 23, 2010
OSHAWA -- After hundreds of e-mails and thousands of miles, the newest member of Ashley Sayers' family is finally home just in time for Christmas.
On Dec. 12, the Oshawa woman was waiting with open arms at Pearson International Airport as a two-month old puppy named Cuba touched down after a long journey from -- you guessed it -- Cuba.
Ms. Sayers, 27, and the two-month old canine became fast friends when she and her partner were vacationing on the Caribbean island in early November. The country is known for having a large number of stray "street dogs," many of which struggle for survival.
Ms. Sayers' canine friend, which appears to be part German shepherd, was part of a litter of six puppies born at a makeshift zoo. When she first laid eyes on him, he hadn't eaten for days.
"I just loved him right away, we even had him in our hotel room for a couple of days," she said. â?¨ The local woman spent hours of her vacation tracking down a veterinary clinic and arranging shots for the puppy, so he could leave the country. But there wasn't enough time to complete the requisite waiting period after the shots. She left empty handed, but he was never far from her thoughts.
"I couldn't stop thinking about him every night," Ms. Sayers said.
She sprang into action, sending hundreds of e-mails back and forth through a translator to the Cuban animal rescue group Aniplant. Volunteers on the island spent hours tracking down the puppy, e-mailing Ms. Sayers photos in an effort to match her with Cuba.
Once they found him, he got his shots and his health was monitored before he was loaded onto an Air Transat flight bound for Toronto. The airline partners with Cats and Dogs International to fly rescued pets from southern sun destinations to new homes in Canada, free of charge.
Ms. Sayers said Cuba is now settling in nicely -- although he isn't sure what to think of the snow.
"I'm so happy he's here. I felt so bad for all those dogs living on the street and I know I can't help all of them," Ms. Sayers said. "But I could help this one."
little Cuba all grown up
and loving his wonderful life