how it all began...
Animal Balance was founded in 2004, in response to an escalating situation on the Galapagos Islands. This fragile, unique environment, host to many species found nowhere else on the planet, was struggling to maintain a balance between its incredible resident wildlife and newly arrived species, predominantly cats and dogs, which had been introduced by humans.
The response to the growing problem, was to employ rat poison in an attempt to lethally control the dog and cat populations. Emma Clifford, founder and Executive Director of Animal Balance, was convinced there was a better way, and that by sterilizing the cat and dog population, it could be reduced in a more humane way. After a year of emailing the local authorities, Emma finally received a response from the Director of the Galapagos National Park Service and through working with him and the municipality, a pilot sterilization program on the island of Isabela, and along with it Animal Balance itself was born.
By 2008, more than 80% of the cat and dog populations on Santa Cruz, San Cristobal, Isabela and Floreana Islands had been sterilized using a high-volume, high-quality, MASH (Mobile Animal Sterilization Hospital) model. At the same time, island residents were provided with the tools and information needed to care for cats and dogs as pets kept within the confines of homes and yards, which in turn meant that the delicate native species on the islands were protected. 13 years later, Animal Balance is still working with the Agencia de Regulación y Control de la Bioseguridad y Cuarantena para Galápagos (ABG – the protectors of bio-security) to continue this program. This partnership has culminated in 2018 with ABG building the first ever stationary spay/neuter clinic, proving nothing is impossible.
Our successful program in the Galapagos Islands became our blueprint, the model that allows us to expand our services into other islands globally. To date, Animal Balance has assisted communities on The Galapagos, American Samoa, Independent Samoa, Antigua and Barbuda, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, the Bahamas, Cabo Verde, Cuba, Aruba, Saipan, and the Hawaiian Islands of Maui, Kauai, Molokai and Hawaii.