June 19, 2006
In 2002, Humane Society International proudly presented the Animal Advocate award to Fundación Humanitás, one of four groups to receive the honor that year. The organization is located in Bethania, just outside Panamá City in Panamá.
Fundación Humanitás is a small group with a big heart. Since 1999, they have had a constant presence at The HSUS's annual Animal Care Expo and have worked with HSI on numerous projects.
The largest was in September 2003, when Fundación Humanitás hosted an HSI presentation of the HSUS First Strike program [PDF], which documents the close connection between human violence and animal cruelty. More than 50 people attended the seminar, including representatives from the Panamá Department of Health, Department of Education, and Department of Youth, Women and Children; district attorneys representing victims of domestic violence; criminologists; veterinarians; and the dean of the local veterinary school. The seminar was made possible following meetings between the Department of Health, the local veterinary school and the mayor of Panamá City and Fundación Humanitás.
The organization also works with local veterinarians to run sterilization clinics and strengthen rescue and spay/neuters programs, which include the successful implementation of T-N-R (Trap-Neuter-Return) for both cats and dogs. Fundación Humanitás has an agreement with the University of Panamá that all animals they rescue are kept safely in the veterinary school there until they are successfully adopted.
In addition, Fundación Humanitás stresses community outreach and humane education as part of a holistic approach to animal welfare in the region. The organization hosts an international radio program which airs every Saturday, and covers many animal welfare issues in Panamá.
Fundación Humanitás is comprised entirely of volunteers.