Animal Well-Being

Animal well-being is an important value for Small Change 4 Big Change and in 2018 we were able to open Amor Animal, a low-cost veterinary clinic here at the center, to serve the pets of low-income families and street dogs. We are cultivating a new culture of animal well-being in our town of Santa Catarina Barahona (population 4,000) and our neighboring towns of San Antonio Aguas Calientes (population 12,000), Santiago Zamora (population 800), San Miguel Dueñas (population 14,000) and San Lorenzo el Cubo (population 10,000).


We are thrilled that the local indigenous people are changing their mindset and understanding how important sterilization is and more importantly, animal well-being. People are learning that animals have rights, deserve respect and should have all of their needs met and be comfortable.

Abandoned dogs is a massive problem world-wide, not only in Guatemala. In our community, people prefer male animals, so they don’t have to worry about having a female that gets pregnant. People maintain dogs to protect the house at night, but during the day, dogs are let out in the street to fend for themselves- to find their meals so families don’t have to invest in them and to do their needs so families don’t have to clean up after them. This isn’t good for the dogs or the community. If a female gets pregnant, she will most likely be abandoned in the street, or the puppies will be born and left to die in the street. And the cycle repeats itself all over again. In 2017 we spayed/neutered 162 animals and in 2018 we did over 500. The goal for 2019 is to do 1000 or more this year (partnering with Guaus Y Miaus from Guatemala City).

As in our other programs, we want to be as self-sustainable as possible, and Amor Animal is able to cover the majority of its costs; we charge pet owners a small price ($1.30US for flea treatments, allergy injections or de-worming up to $7US for a spay or neuter surgery). In this way, not only do people learn to invest in their pets and therefore value them more, but we are able to treat far more animals than if we simply gave everything away for free. Charging a little to people who own animals helps us use available funds to continue to treat and sterilize street dogs, too. Dr. Franco’s monthly stipend is paid by a generous individual donor.

All donations to the Amor Animal program go directly to street dogs- to cure them of any illnesses (mange, malnutrition), to vaccinate them against rabies/Parvovirus/Distemper and to de-worm them, to recuperate them, and to spay/neuter them.

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Here is the Powerpoint presentation we use in local schools and also a coloring sheet for children, please feel free to use these materials.

BIENESTAR ANIMAL (Well-being of Animals)



Thank you for your interest in the well-being of animals.