About GAIN

Guam Animals In Need (GAIN), Inc. is a non-profit organization dedicated to the prevention of cruelty to animals, and to the education of the public concerning matters pertaining to animals and their welfare. The GAIN shelter, located in Yigo, has facilities to house and care for dogs, cats and rabbits, and provides food, shelter and medical care.

The organization works to find permanent, loving homes for Guam’s homeless and abused animals. In an effort to help control the island’s pet population, low-cost spay and neuter services are also offered. Additionally, GAIN volunteers conduct school visits to educate Guam’s youth in responsible pet care.


GAIN, Inc. was founded in 1989 by Tambra Maddock and Rebecca Tomzik, Janyce Prall, Val Lisenbee, Jan Benedict and Lowell Nelsen. In August 1990, GAIN and the Guam Department of Public Health and Social Services entered into an agreement allowing GAIN volunteers to provide animal care, food, and supplies at the government-run shelter in Yigo.

With the sponsorship of local business Opus One: Pet Supply Store, GAIN began hosting annual dog shows to raise money for the shelter and volunteers organized additional various fundraisers. Other local businesses also raised money and provided services to assist GAIN.

From 1993 to 1998 GAIN operated a low-cost spay and neuter clinic. However the service was temporarily discontinued when it lost its veterinarian. In 2000 GAIN, in conjunction with Isla Veterinary Clinic and Animal Medical Clinic, was able to hold another low-cost spay and neuter clinic and received a high volume of pets.

Because of the positive response from the community to the prior year’s clinic, in 2001 GAIN joined forces with the Rural Areas Veterinary Services (a non-profit program of the Humane Society of the United States and the Fund for Animals) and offered a five-day low cost and free sterilization clinic. Again this event was successful.

In 2005 GAIN realized a goal to open a cat facility at the shelter. The facility was made possible by donations from Guam’s business community and fund raising by GAIN volunteers.

GAIN continues its annual eight-day Spay Neuter Assistance Program (SNAP) clinic, with the help from off-island veterinarians and technicians. The annual clinics have sterilized thousands of animals.


In 1997, GAIN applied for and received $62,000 of undistributed interest from a case in U.S. District Court; in 2004 Dr. James Griffin donated his sailboat for GAIN to sell as a fundraiser; and, in 2005 GAIN accepted items that had been evidence in a credit card scam. GAIN volunteers, Noah Vaughan and Russ Tufvander, sold these items on e-Bay with a net profit to GAIN of over $60,000. With each of these windfalls, GAIN improved the Yigo shelter to provide better conditions for the animals.

On March 19, 2001, GAIN entered into a six-year contract with the government of Guam giving GAIN full responsibility for the animal shelter.

In April 2004, with donations from Guam’s business community, GAIN members and local organizations, thousands of dollars were raised, and volunteer efforts were put into the construction of a new facility for cats at the Yigo facility.

GAIN’s adoption rate increases annually. The non-profit organization’s volunteers from the local community and military have been instrumental in contributing to GAIN’s successes. GAIN’s motto is “adopt one until there are none.”


Throughout the years, GAIN lobbied the Guam Legislature to review and pass legislation relevant to the welfare for Guam’s animals.

  • In 1993 all laws pertaining to animals were revised.
  • In 2001 legislation was passed allowing the Guam government to privatize the animal shelter.
  • In 2005 a law was passed allowing certified euthanasia technicians to administer euthanasia drugs at the GAIN shelter without a veterinarian present.
  • In 2006 a bill was passed to levy fines upon owners of animals that were impounded and to have funds go toward animal control.

GAIN statistics

6 Year Period200320042005200620072008
Animals Brought to Shelter2,9912,8663,6244,6724,9315,105
Animals Adopted553601667676787834
Animals Euthanized2,4382,2652,9573,9964,1444,271

GAIN membership grew from 191 members in 1991 to 486 in 2008. GAIN has become an affiliate member of the Guam Hotel and Restaurant Association through which it plans to have businesses come together for the purpose of creating goals focused on significantly reducing the euthanasia of healthy and treatable companion animals on Guam.

By Shirley Miller, GAIN

For further reading

Guam Animals In Need. “Guam Animals In Need (GAIN).”