The McKee Project is a non-profit, animal welfare organization based in Costa Rica and the U.S., founded in 1999. The McKee Project U.S. was established as a 501c3 non-profit in 1999, and is the financial headquarters of McKee. The McKee Foundation, Costa Rica, is the executive headquarters, planning and implementing McKee’s programs in Latin America and the Caribbean.
The organization is governed by an Executive Board of Directors of eleven members. Current McKee Foundation President, Dr. Yayo Vicente, is a former President of the Veterinary Licensing Board of Costa Rica, former Chief Veterinary Officer of Costa Rica (National Animal Health Service, and Ministry of Agriculture), and is currently Chief Veterinary Officer for the Ministry of Health of Costa Rica. Ms. Christine Crawford, founder of the McKee Project U.S. also sits on the Board of Directors of the McKee Foundation.
The McKee Foundation’s programs in Latin America currently operate under two core areas: High Volume/High Quality Spay and Neuter, Community Outreach.
The McKee Foundation has been able to implement programs or teach high volume low impact spay neuter surgery in Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Belize, Guatemala, Panamá, Peru, Dominican Republic, Argentina, and Mexico.
The US McKee bank accounts are administered by Mr. Ben Watkins, member of the Board of Directors, who is also in charge of The McKee Project’s 501c3 US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) annual reporting. The McKee Foundation Costa Rica bank account is administered by Ms. Connie Watson.
The McKee Project Methodology
Over the past 14 years, The McKee Project/McKee Foundation has developed and taught spay and neuter techniques to 800 plus veterinarians in 9 Latin American countries. The McKee Foundation is invited by governments to help them change from trap/kill to spay neuter as a humane population control strategy. The McKee Foundation is invited by NGOs teach their shelter vets the McKee s/n surgery technique.
The reason McKee believes this teaching is critical is that the majority of veterinary schools in Latin America do not teach how to spay and neuter companion animals, as they do not believe it is a commercially viable practice and more importantly, a humane strategy to control overpopulation. (Government population control strategies in Latin America consist of poisoning or worse.)
Traditionally veterinarians in Latin America are trained for agricultural animals or for food supply safety. Veterinary care for dogs and cats is not even a consideration.
The McKee Spay Technique takes minutes, utilizing a spay hook, and makes incision of about one inch – this is less invasive procedure, quicker, less traumatic to the animal, and approximately 60% more cost-effective. Instead of a veterinarian providing 3 to 4 spays per day, a practiced McKee trained veterinarian can provide as many as 20, safely. ( McKee Vet’s whose focus is spay neuter can spay many more than 20 per day ). Besides “in clinic surgery”, McKee teaches its technique for rural settings where veterinarians are not located, thus reaching thousands if not millions of animals which would not otherwise receive s/n service, thus improving animal welfare generally.
Bottom line, s/n brings down the number of street animals thus reducing trapping, sheltering, and most importantly mass killings by government health officials.
Besides spay neuter training for vets and their communities, McKee believes that pet “owners” need to be trained to invest in their animals as well. There is a cost associated with spay and neuter based on each veterinarians cost & owner’s ability to pay. Initially assessed by owner resources, the cost is minimal.
In 2013/2014 McKee has been invited to assist state governments in Mexico to alter their trap/kill practices to the McKee Strategy. McKee trained 65 government & NGO veterinarians in strategy, and 60 in s/n the McKee surgery technique, in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico in October 2013.
To ensure this training continues, McKee is in the grant writing process currently. McKee has received 14 requests from Mexico alone.
Thank you for your interest in our work and your support of Mckee.