Mission and values

“Until he extends the circle of his compassion to all living creatures, Man will not find peace.”

These words of the great physician and philanthropist, Albert Schweitzer, are the basis of AWARE’s philosophy.

AWARE believes, in accordance with the principles of Humane Education, that one of the responsibilities of being human is caring for the welfare and development of all other animals. AWARE’S belief is that only by fulfilling these responsibilities will humanity stand a chance of surviving.

VISION: No unwanted domestic animals roaming the streets of Guatemala. All family pets spayed or neutered and vaccinated.

A first-class Humane Education centre focussing on the elimination of cruelty to animals in Guatemala, and on the respect for, and the proper care of, the environment.

MISSION: To reduce the suffering of animals in Guatemala.

VALUES:

  • Responsibility
  • Honesty
  • Compassion
  • Dedication

OBJECTIVES:

To educate people, especially children, about the proper treatment of animals and of the environment.


To rescue and rehabilitate stray, abandoned and injured domestic animals.


To find permanent loving homes for the animals we rescue.


To combat the increase in the number of street animals through the promotion and practice of sterilization.


To provide an accessible sterilization and general veterinary service to the community at large.

STRATEGIES:

  1. Provide people with information about the proper care and treatment of animals, and of the environment.
  2. Conduct spay/neuter campaigns in as many communities throughout the country as we can reach.
  3. Establish professional relationships with businesses, other organizations, and with veterinary clinics.
  4. Seek the collaboration and assistance of veterinarians and of veterinary students in the spay/neuter campaigns we organise.                                                     
  5. Create a Volunteer Recruitment programme to bring in outside help with education and spay/neuter programmes, and with the maintenance of the Shelter.

Our long-term goal is to make a significant and lasting difference in the lives of animals in our service region of Antigua and adjacent communities. We must be large enough to care for a significant number of the animals in need. It is hoped to involve other interested organisations in assuming responsibility for operating discrete programs, under the auspices of  AWARE.

Three inter-related objectives are to provide:

  1. Animal shelter and care
  2. Services to the community
  3. Educational programs, both for the general public and for professionals.

The idea that an animal can be a ‘pet’ or companion is only just beginning to gain ground in Guatemalan culture. At the moment there is a general utilitarian attitude to animals giving rise to a lot of neglect and abuse. AWARE seeks to enable people to understand that there is more to an animal than something to be exploited; that a relationship based on respect and understanding is mutually beneficial; and that every species has its own needs and requirements – rights which need to be recognised as such by humans. AWARE seeks to inculcate an understanding of the inter-dependance of all life-forms, and of the importance of recognising humans’ dependance on the health and survival of planet Earth. AWARE teaches practical skills for the proper care of animals and of the environment, in line with the principles and practices of Humane Education.

It is AWARE’s policy that all animals put up for adoption from the Shelter have been cured of any illness from which they may have been suffering, are completely up to date with vaccinations, have been spay/neutered, and, if necessary, rehabilitated to socialise properly with both humans and others of their species. In the case of puppies and kittens being adopted before they are old enough to be sterilized, the Adopter must be in full agreement with the ‘Spay/Neuter’ clause in the Adoption Contract.

AWARE operates a No-Kill facility. Only those animals too ill or badly damaged to be able to gain more enjoyment than misery from life are to be euthanised. All others are to be kept and cared for, if necessary (i.e. if they are not adopted) for the rest of their lives.

All prospective adopters are to be interviewed and vetted by AWARE staff. Before their application is considered, they must read and complete the ‘Solicitud de Adopción.’ They must also read, complete, and sign the Adoption Contract before an animal is released to them.