Q: Is Ayuda some kind of animal shelter?
A: Operating a traditional animal shelter is not within the scope of our mission and strategies. In concept, Ayuda perceives the scope of its work to be as an open no-walls sanctuary of care for the homeless. If and when we encounter animals requiring traditional shelter services which we do not provide, we then look to relationships with trusted partners in Guatemala.
Q: Is Ayuda some kind of animal rescue group?
A: Webster’s defines the word rescue as “to free from confinement, danger, or evil”. Ayuda’s interpretation of the term “animal rescue” largely comes from Webster’s definition. We feel that our approach of CTRM (Catch, Treat, Release, Maintain) is an effective preventative against future dangers which can otherwise come from diseases. Similarly, we practice CTRM (Catch, Treat, Release, Maintain) for cases we discover where a homeless animal’s life is in imminent danger. CTRM is applied in cases of life threatening diseases such as cancer and distemper, as well as dangers with potentially mortal injuries caused by humans. However, confinement for treatment is generally limited to the more dangerous cases. Many diseased animals whose lives are not in imminent danger are fully treated in their natural habitats. For example, many cases of suspected mange are corrected by flea treatments done right on the street, as is worming, etc.. Temporary boarding or foster care may sometimes be necessary for endangered animals requiring extended treatments. For cases which absolutely require longer term care-giving confinement, we look to our community of volunteers and supporters to provide appropriate housing while our veterinarian and interns provide veterinary care. We also look to our relationships with larger international animal welfare groups specializing in the modern practices of animal rescue to help for any local natural disasters which might occur.
Q: What makes Ayuda different from other animal welfare efforts in your area?
A: Rather than having many diversified types of causes and projects, Ayuda is exclusively about the animals. We place special emphasis and priority on the homeless. Most of our work is in natural habitat surroundings and minimal confinements. For all street animals which we have sterilized, we ensure that they are also vaccinated against the common local deadly diseases before they are released. We try to keep things manageable by taking simple and low cost approaches for the real world conditions which surround us. Our staff is made up entirely of unpaid volunteers. For the free roaming homeless, we feel that a healthy and comfortable quality of life can be had through a virtual public sanctuary which provides nutrition, health care, and friendly surveillance by a caring society.
Q: How much of your donations goes towards administration and overhead?
A: 4% of donations received go towards administrative overhead. This covers the cost of our required independent CPA along with office supplies. The remainder goes directly towards animal care.
Q: Why is Ayuda being recognized as a formal nonprofit group only in Guatemala? Are you planning to acquire a US IRS 501.c.3 classification?
A: At this time, we are limiting the use of our modest assets to be spent only within Guatemala. We hope to one day see a sustainable program which is enabled 100% through Guatemalan collaborations between its public health agencies, schools, businesses, and citizens.
Q: Are donations tax deductible?
A: We recognize that the subject of tax deductions for donations is very personal and varies by country and individual’s circumstances. We suggest that contributors consult with whoever it is that prepares their tax filings. Partnerships are underway to provide contributors with formal receipts for residents of Guatemala, USA, England, and other parts of Europe.
Q: Why should I care about animals when there are so many poor people in Guatemala?
We have nothing but respect and love for the people of Guatemala. And we especially respect the culture of the indigenous Maya, of which the vast majority live below the lowest poverty indexes on the planet. We are not un-sympathetic, nor unaware, nor uncaring about conditions and circumstances with which we have physical contact everyday of our lives. Yet, we are fortunate that there are many nonprofit, religious, visiting volunteer groups, and government efforts in our area and throughout Guatemala which provide health care, food, clothing, housing assistance, education, and other social and community services to people in need. As we encounter people asking for help (and we often do) we refer them to appropriate organizations or visiting groups of professionals. However, Ayuda focuses its energy, resources and efforts on the growing population of homeless animals. Because otherwise, if no one else makes the commitment, then abandoned, homeless, and family animals are all at risk of being murdered by poison or other inhumane methods. Plus, there would be even higher risks of health hazards to both humans and animals. In addition, defenseless animals might continue to be abused and mis-treated. Imagine, the population of starving, sick, and homeless animals would grow exponentially across the streets of our communities. Animal lovers worldwide understand the love and benefits a pet can bring to a child, family, or adult. We believe that by specializing on the needs of the truly lowest class citizens of our communities (the animals), we will be able to raise enough interest and support to make a positive difference in the lives of every person and animal who lives here.
Q: Is Ayuda some kind of animal adoption service?
A: We know many homeless dogs and cats who would love to have a home with caring humans. If you have fallen in love with one of our many roamers while visiting, we are happy to help you take your new loved one home with you! We are experienced with government and airline processing regulations and have worked with airline employees.