Frequently Asked Questions


What is Guatemala United for Animals, Inc?

Guatemala United for Animals, Inc. is a registered 501c3 tax deductible charity in the US whose sole function is to receive donations to fund the work that UPA does on the ground in Guatemala.

Unidos para los Animales is the legally registered Civil Association that operates our animal welfare programs in Guatemala. It is all volunteer.

Why does Guatemala United for Animals exist?

UPA was established to humanely address the issues of animal overpopulation and free roaming abandoned pets. Poverty, lack of education and societal factors in towns and villages in Guatemala combine and the result is thousands and thousands of unwanted puppies and kittens born to suffer short and brutal lives.

Spaying and neutering is now becoming understood, but access to veterinary care and the cost of sterilizing a dog or cat is far above most families’ means, even if there is a veterinarian in their town. Containing animals in fenced yards is not practical (most villagers don’t have yards to fence), so even well loved pets become pregnant when they come into heat. There simply are not enough homes to adopt this endless flow of dogs and cats.

How can I help?
  • In your home community – spay and neuter your pets!
  • Foster an animal from a local rescue. Providing a temporary home for these animals is extremely rewarding and literally saves lives.
  • Adopt your next pet from an animal rescue group or shelter. Breeders breed dogs (and cats) to sell for financial gain. Period. Buying a dog or cat f rom a pet store (puppy mill), online, or from a breeder perpetuates the cycle.
  • Donate to our spay and neuter clinics.

One un-spayed female cat and its offspring can produce 420,000 cats in only seven years. And in just under sever years, one un-spayed female dog and her offspring can produce 67,000 dogs.

Funding & Donations

How is Unidos para los Animales (UPA) funded?

We do not receive government funding from Guatemala or from the US. We rely on volunteer contributions, donations, and occasional grants. Adopters in the US and Canada who have adopted dogs from us in the past have always been our biggest supporters and donors.

Where do my donations go?

We contract surgical services to a team of skilled local veterinarians who have worked with us for many years. These remarkable doctors travel to the villages we work in with all their supplies and we pay them a per-surgery fee.

Our volunteers handle inscriptions, monitor the animals in recovery, and ensure that guardians understand post surgical care of their animals. Your donations go to pay for our surgeons and for all the supplies (vaccines, medications, flea and tick control, hydration fluids, gauze and bandaging materials, etc.)

How can I make a tax-deductible donation?

You can send a check in by mail. You can make an on-line donation with your credit card through PayPal Giving (fast, easy, and 100% secure). You can join our monthly giving program.

You can leave a bequest to us in your will.

Please visit the Donate page for more information.