With the holiday season and New Year fast approaching, I’d like to take a moment to share with you the progress GAIN made in 2015, and also present our vision for the coming year.
This past year brought in new board members and a heavy learning curve for everyone. But in the end we came out much better than we began.
We are fortunate to have an amazing and dedicated staff. Time and again, I have been blown away by their commitment to the well being of our island’s animals. And, GAIN employees have on average over 3 years of experience at our shelter. Thanks to their experience and expertise, we have a high standard of care at our shelter.
We also recently hired on an Executive Director (myself) for the GAIN shelter and a much-needed Outreach Coordinator (Faye Varias) to help us advance in areas we haven’t been able to before. And, of course, to provide much needed pay raises, assistance, and relief for the hard working shelter staff.
This year, we also broke ground in further strengthening our island’s animal abuse laws with support from our local Legislature. This has already begun to be evidenced through Guam’s first-ever (and very recent) prosecution of Guam’s felony animal cruelty statute, which was enacted back in 2011.
Our future is very bright. As we continue to provide for the care and treatment to our rescued animals, we plan to expand our educational reach by implementing a service learning curriculum through local schools.
In the coming months we will also officially begin a joint program with Humane Society International (HSI), and dive paws first into our shared goal of sterilizing 75% of the island’s wild dog population. As part of this initiative, we will jointly implement an aggressive island-wide spay & neuter program with mobile surgery unit! While admittedly a large and daunting task, I believe it is a very possible one with the collaborative efforts already established between GAIN, HSI, the Government of Guam, and our entire island community.
Many have expressed to me that the animal situation on Guam seems hopeless – that it’s too daunting to even begin tackling. The truth is that with the right group of people, the right set of tools and skills, and the right mindset, quite a lot is possible. And we are now in a position to make a lot of positive progress.
Please visit our website regularly to learn more about the big changes happening at GAIN. I’m excited about the future, and I’m thrilled to have you join us in this year of greatness.
Guam Animals In Need