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for the Health of Dogs and Cats in Guatemala


This page has been written and researched by Selaine dÁmbrosi, Director of AYUDA. Please Contact Selaine at to make a donation of medical supplies for the street dogs and cats or pet food. Visit Selaines website AYUDA for more information on how you can help and volunteer.


GENERAL DESCRIPTION: Ayuda is a nonprofit animal welfare program.  We are committed to the health and well being of homeless and roaming dogs and cats.  Our territory is the Lake Atitlan region in the Guatemalan Highlands.


Operating as a team comprised 100% of unpaid volunteers, we work together in the names of compassion and care in a land where animal control has a history of being handled by semi-annual public poisonings.

Ayuda has no overhead nor administrative expenses.  Our work is funded through grants and by people like you who care about the plight of helpless animals.  Everything we receive goes directly to the animals.

DUE DILIGENCE: As an officially registered  Guatemalan non-profit Asociación, the design of the Ayuda program is based on an extreme over-population of street animals, and caring citizens, businessesschools,  local and national government agencies, and other nonprofit organizations which share our philosophies and goals.


Village Clinic  Apr-09

Village Clinic

POPULATION CONTROL: Ayuda enables professional spay/neuter sterilization services for neglected dogs and cats.  As part of our standard treatments, we also provide for vaccinations against deadly local diseases such as Rabies, Parvo, Distemper, and more.

When requested and supported, we facilitate village-wide sterilization and vaccination clinics as special events.

Additionally, Ayuda provides sponsorship funding and support services for clinics which are facilitated by other local non-profit groups who qualify and meet Ayuda standards.

Curly burned

Treating a burn victim in a public area

DAY-TO-DAY ACTIVITIES: On a daily basis,  roaming street dogs and cats are caught, treated, and released to and from their daily habitats.

In addition to sterilizations and vaccinations, we provide daily ad hoc and emergency services for ailments such as machete wounds, mange, broken legs, amputations, burns, and other serious injuries caused by humans.

Generally, our pre/post-op care and treatments are provided hands-on by Ayuda volunteers.  These treatments are typically performed in open public areas.

Through simple but effective health care measures, and with no more confinement than absolutely needed, we have seen remarkable recoveries and positive measurable results in many street animals who were sick and dieing when we first discovered them.

VETERINARIAN  SERVICES AND SUPPLIES: Currently, there is  only one licensed and practicing veterinarian throughout the entire Lake Atitlan region.  Ayuda directly purchases local veterinarian services, medical supplies, food, temporary boarding, and all other daily needs, on a pay-as-you-go basis, as cash and in-kind donations become available.


Starvation and parasite infestation on a public street

Starvation and parasite infestation are seen everyday on our public streets.


FEEDING STATIONS: In addition to population control and general health care treatments, Ayuda maintains numerous daily feeding stations where hungry and pre/post-op animals are fed, monitored, base-lined, and given basic medical treatments and dietary supplements.

Our feeding stations are established in areas which are safe from traffic and other human dangers.  Nutritional supplements and other treatments are recorded,  scheduled, and administered on a per-animal basis.


Humane Classroom Materials

WSPA Classroom Materials

HUMANE EDUCATION: Ayuda is an official Member Society of WSPA (World Society for Protection of Animals).  Through in-country lobbying with  government Ministers and agencies, Ayuda supports and encourages the inclusion of WSPA’s Humane Education programs into Guatemalan school curriculums as new standards.

We have led classroom sessions in which the young are taught about the issues of over-population, cruelty, compassion, and survey techniques.

Through our daily work, Ayuda volunteers are familiar faces inside the neighborhoods.  We often educate curious passerbys (especially children) about the purpose of the hands-on humane things we do with the animals on their streets and sidewalks.


Foster care in the homes of volunteers

FOSTERING AND ADOPTIONS: Our volunteers provide in-home fostering for animals requiring extended health care treatments, such as chemotherapy, as well as pre-adoption services for special cases, until homes can be found with responsible humans.




VOLUNTEERS: We eagerly and gratefully welcome volunteers (especially vets and vet students), as well as  in-kind donations of supplies brought to us by visitors, and all other locals and visitors who care to help the plight of an over-population of neglected street animals.

We are equipped to provide surgery facilities, proper and secure storage for vaccines and medicines, and lodging for visiting professionals.



"Thank You for helping me", Xela

MUCHAS GRACIAS: The daily lives we experience in impoverished communities overwrought with health issues have lead us to taking stands of commitment for animals and humans alike–but especially in the names of civility and compassion for helpless animals.   The Guatemalan Highlands have a very high population of homeless, starving, and endangered dogs and cats.  We do what we can to prevent their deaths, and offer them health care and human kindness.  And we need help.

In Spanish, ayuda means “help”.

Thank you for helping Ayuda to continue its help for the helpless.

This page has been written and researched by Selaine dÁmbrosi, Director of AYUDA. Please Contact Selaine at to make a donation of medical supplies for the street dogs and cats or pet food. Visit Selaines website AYUDA for more information on how you can help and volunteer.


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