Check out This Paradise for Stray Dogs in Costa Rica

Posted by Stacey Venzel
All photos via Territorio de Zaguates Oficial/Facebook

900 street dogs find refuge in the rolling tropical hills of Central America.

Situated in the Santa Barbara mountains in Costa Rica’s Heredia province lies a dog’s–and dog lover’s–paradise. Territorio de Zaguates, literally meaning “Land of the Strays,” has 900 dogs roaming its lush scenery.

Costa Rica has an estimated one million dogs on its streets. Since 2003, the Central American country does not allow euthanasia as a form of animal control, instead relying on sterilization programs.

Territorio de Zaguates is certainly doing its part to deal with the street dog situation as humanely as possible. Each of the stray dogs is spayed or neutered upon intake.

Alvari Saumet and his wife started the sanctuary eight years ago. Thousands of abandoned dogs have found refuge since then. While the facility can act as a forever home, all of the canines are up for adoption to find their own loving homes.

Territorio de Zaguates Oficial/Facebook

Interested adoptive parents can schedule a time to walk through the refuge and check out the frolicking pups.

The sanctuary is also open to the public on specified dates for an alternative eco-friendly travel tour. The walk-through is free, but the no-kill shelter relies on donations for operating costs, medical costs, and dog food, because they need a lot!

Territorio de Zaguates Oficial/Facebook

Upon check-in at the no-kill sanctuary, every dog receives vaccines, deworming, and medication along with sterilization. All of the pups also have their own names and unique breeds, even if it means coining a new breed for certain mutts, such as Labrahuskies, German Greyhounds, Schnaufoxes, and Bordercockers.

Territorio de Zaguates Oficial/Facebook

Throughout the day, the small staff medicates, bathes, and feeds the dogs. They also peruse the grounds picking up dog waste.

The dogs are free to roam the 1,000-acre enclosure during the day but have sheltered structures and water available at all times. They are brought in for the night where volunteers provide beds for them. Volunteers also lead the rescue dogs, as well as visitors, along scenic hikes and daily walks in the nearby jungles. They even offer tours of the local coffee plantations.

Territorio de Zaguates Oficial/Facebook

If you’re looking to go to Costa Rica, add this puppy paradise to your list of attractions, but be sure to check the dates they’re open to the public. Follow Territorio de Zaguates on Facebook where you’ll find information on how to make a donation to help the dog shelter and its furry inhabitants.

Territorio de Zaguates is certainly a safe haven for these canines, ensuring that they live a happy life and reminding us why we should #adoptdontshop.

Have you been to a dog sanctuary like this? Are you putting this one on your bucket list? Tell us in the comments below!

All photos via Territorio de Zaguates Oficial/Facebook page

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Check out This Paradise for Stray Dogs in Costa Rica