From the Central Bank to the Museum of Goldsmithing, several institutions have welcomed the animals, which act as guardians and receive food and affection in passing.
The Old Havana Goldsmith Museum is home to towering colonial arches, ornately illustrated floors, and five of the luckiest stray dogs in the world. By day, Vladimir, Canela, Aparicio, León, and Cariñoso lie in the grand entrance to the centuries-old stone building. At night, the five patrol the streets with the local police; each one wears a necklace and a plaque with their name, photograph and the words "I live in the Museum of Goldsmithing".
In addition, more than a dozen government institutions have taken the initiative to take in stray dogs, assigning them official identification and a house, in addition to providing them with year-round medical care and protection of the city kennel. Animals now enjoy official status, employed in the name of security. Cuban law allows the presence of guard dogs, and this legal safeguard received a boost when a female dog in a government office in eastern Havana barked a guard awake after she overheard someone trying to remove the air conditioning equipment from the Windows.
"There was a public act where the dog was decorated for having saved the air conditioners," says Nora García, president of the Cuban Association for the Protection of Plants and Animals. And by the way, there are dozens of government restaurants that donate their leftovers for animals. The animal protection society has a list of 21 dogs that live in government institutions, including a Communist Party gas station, offices of the Cuban Journalists Union and a mechanical workshop of the Ministry of Public Health.
"Everybody takes care of them, nobody hits them. They don't bark and they don't bite anybody," says Dalia García, a caretaker in the public bathroom in Havana's Vedado neighborhood. And it is nice to know that, despite the fact that there are still many dogs without a home or decent conditions, there are people willing to give love and care to dogs that appreciate it a lot.