Animal AWARE (Animal Welfare Association - Rescue/Education) is a non-profit, non-governmental charitable organization for the rescue and welfare of abandoned or abused animals. It was founded in 1998 in Guatemala by Xenii Nielsen (USA), Gina Illescas (Guatemala), and Pamela Hirst- Prins (England).

Our mission:

Our mission is to reduce the suffering and improve the lives of domestic animals in Guatemala.

We believe that, as well as being a direct benefit to the animals, enabling people to understand their pets and improve the way they look after them will bring about very positive social and cultural improvements for Guatemalan society in general.

Animal AWARE Stories

Nikki´s Happy Ending

Nikki (originally called Mishanga) is a beautiful silver-grey tabby cat. She came to the shelter earlier this year, at two years old. She had been a family pet with a home but was surrendered to the shelter when the family could no longer afford to look after her. It’s a sad story […]

Helping Hands

Recently we have been fortunate to have the help of several brilliant international volunteers, day volunteers from Antigua and Guatemala City, and also two groups of students from Antigua International School (AIS). The extra hands are so important in the Clinic and for providing that extra attention to the animals. […]


We didn’t weigh Cariñitono when he first arrived at Hound Heights because we weren’t sure our scales would be robust enough. Yes, the poor old guy was quite unbelievably overweight, maybe 100lbs, maybe more. He probably loved and worshipped his owner, who fed him a normal dog-food diet – plus […]

Adoption delight at Hound Heights

Seeing a cat or dog find a family and happily go to their new loving home is one of my favourite parts of working at AWARE. The excited wagging tail or purrs and look of happiness when they connect with a person is beautiful. It is hard to say goodbye but […]


Thank You for Giving!

We want to thank everyone who gave on GivingTuesday and supported us. We are delighted to announce that thanks to everyone who took part in our #GivingTuesday campaign and joined the global good will movement we raised $1,380. Though we did not quite reach our goal it is still a great […]

Better Living Quarters for the Dogs

World Animal Day Funds Improve Dog Pens! Thanks to all the generous donations we received for our World Animal day campaign on Causevox and at the Event, we were able to buy the materials to repair the dog pens.  The walls between pens have started going up, replacing the fencing […]

Update From Hound Heights

A lot has been happening at the Shelter recently! We would like to acknowledge and thank the wonderful people who have volunteered or contributed to help us continue running the shelter and promote animal welfare. We hosted a group of international students who came to volunteer. They were part of […]

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