Who we are
Salvadores de Animales, Inc. is a 501c3 nonprofit corporation based in Florida, USA, and operating in Chiriqui, Panama. We are a diverse, all-volunteer organization made up of people from multiple nations. Our volunteers live in the corridor between Boquete and David. During non-COVID times we hold twice-monthly adoption events at Novey in David, with our partner organizations La Casa de los Animales and SOS Colitas Callejeras (on pause until MINSA gives permission for events to resume). We also hold twice-monthly adoption events at Charlie’s Pet Fashion in Bajo Boquete on Tuesdays, timed to coincide with the Tuesday Markets.
SALDEA’s mission is to provide for the well-being of all companion animals in Chiriqui, Panama, especially those that are homeless, abandoned, rescued, abused, and injured. We provide foster care, medical treatment as needed, find lifelong loving homes through adoptions, and promote the animal/human bond through community service and outreach. We help ensure adopters’ success through coaching, education, and continual support.
SALDEA is dedicated to ensuring that animal abuse, neglect, and suffering are reduced or eradicated by raising public awareness through action, education, and advocacy.
Aspects of our Mission
1. Rescue, Foster, and Adopt Dogs and Cats
SALDEA does not operate a physical shelter - we foster animals in private homes, where future pets learn the rules of household life. Our animals get lots of individual attention from foster parents. Fostering in private homes is also a tremendous cost-saver, because we do not have the financial burden of maintaining a property; thus, donated dollars go directly to the animals and not to operational overhead. All our animals are sterilized prior to adoption, no exceptions! Dogs are vaccinated, and all are provided with the veterinary care they require to be healthy and home-ready. Street dogs and severely abused animals need much longer periods of fostering and veterinary care, and must unlearn dysfunctional behaviors before learning proper social behaviors. We often run fundraisers for animals with extreme needs, because their rehab is costly. We do not make animals available for adoption until they are physically healthy and socially prepared to live successfully in a home.
2. Support for Feral Cat Colonies
SALDEA supports individuals who volunteer to maintain feral cat colonies. We provide Kirkland cat food to the colonies, and use TNR (Trap/Neuter/Release) to sterilize the colony members and return them to their home base. Kittens are fostered and adopted whenever possible. Maintaining healthy, sterile, and well nourished feral colonies is critically important for preserving the biodiversity of bird and small animal species in our area, for preserving soil and water quality, and thus for supporting public health and economic vitality of the region.
3. Community Service
We strongly believe in lending a hand to community members who are also doing the work. There are many local animal helpers who give everything they have, quietly and without fanfare, to help homeless animals. We donate food, provide extermination services, and engage in construction projects for local animal helpers who need some support. Because of COVID-19, we donate food to pet-owning families that are suffering from economic distress. We buy pet food at cost from a distributor in David, and donate it to families that contract us to request assistance.
Through our website and through personal appearances on the radio and at lectures, we educate the public about animal welfare and specific related issues, such as FIV+ cats, the ecology and challenges of street dogs, the ecology and dynamics of homeless cats, and the relationship between animal welfare, environmental sustainability, public health, and economic vitality. We educate potential adopters through 1:1 conversations and through social media. We provide coaching as needed for adoptive families.