For stray dogs, finding a home can mean the difference between life and death. For the dogs of the Costa Rican Territorio de Zaguates, home provides not only a healthy life, it’s paradise.
The Land of the Stray Dogs is a no-kill refuge located outside the hills of Costa Rica’s capitol, San Jose. It’s home to nearly 1,000 dogs who are given food, water, and shelter by the volunteers who work there. Water troughs line hiking routes so the dogs don’t get dehydrated, and anyone can schedule a hike with a dog, all which are adoptable.
“Our mission is to find a home for all dogs that are in our care,” Territorio de Zaguates writes on Facebook. “We are a temporary home for hundreds of dogs looking for a second chance, and we are also the permanent home of many others who may never find their own family.”
For some time, Territorio de Zaguates found it rough adopting out its dogs. A major problem was that 94 percent of the dogs there were mixed breeds and not as sought after. With the “Razas Unicas” campaign, Territorio de Zaguates was able to market the dogs as “unique breeds” and raise awareness through community outreach, social media, special events, a National art exhibit and television ads.
Thanks to Razas Unicas, Costa Rica is now home to several new dog breeds, including Fire-tailed Bordercockers, Shaggy Shepherd Dachspaniels, Furrychest Jack Beagle Terriers, and Eye-patched Australian Dalmapointers.
For the dogs of Territorio de Zaguates, food, shelter, and warmth aren’t hard to find. Unfortunately that isn’t the case for many other dogs in the U.S. Providing food, vaccinations, bedding, and enrichment needs for dogs is a costly endeavor for animal shelters across the country. Due to the high cost of these basic necessities, shelters often have to limit the number of dogs that they can save and provide homes for.
A warm bed and a full belly can go a long way for the well-being of shelter dogs and puppies. Animals that are healthy, happy, and well fed stand a much better chance of being adopted. If you’re interested in helping, you can provide healthy meals, warm beds, and the proper vaccines to dogs with a care package from the Animal Rescue Site.
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