If you are an ardent dog-lover, no place holds great charm than Territorio de Zaguates or the “Land of the Strays”. Located in Costa Rica, this incredible refuge, run by a privately-funded organization, is home to as many as 900 adorable dogs that are allowed to roam the length and breadth of the lush, sprawling landscape.
The volunteer-based organization is responsible for feeding and bathing all 900 dogs, and also taking them on walking tours round the area. This scenic haven, at the heart of the Central American country, is open to the public, especially families that are looking to adopt pets. However, people are free to come and play with the dogs, without any pressure to adopt.
According to the owners, this no-kill shelter is quite possibly the happiest place on Earth for a dog to live. In addition to the gently rolling, verdant landscape, the area is blessed with a wonderful climate, where the sun shines all throughout the year, and the average annual temperature is a comfy 73 degrees.
The shelter’s 900 residents spend most of their time running round and reveling in the cool Costa Rican breezes. The facility’s indoor area features well-equipped feeding and bathing stations, as well as clean, comfortable bedding for the dogs to relax. To ensure that the more agile ones remain hydrated at all times, large containers filled with fresh water are present all across the property.
Unlike conventional shelters, where dogs are usually kept locked in their cages with very little outdoor time, the unrestricted, stress-free environment of the Land of the Strays actually facilitates proper growth and development of pups, keeping them healthy and their movements uncurbed. The refuge welcomes potential adopters, who can come and interact with the dogs in person.
Here, dogs of the same breed are given cute names, based on their mixed status. This, the owners believe, makes them all the more appealing to adopters. In fact, the refuge first came into the limelight when a popular Costa Rican TV show showcased a number of artistic renderings of the new breeds found at Territorio de Zaguates.
So, you have the “Chubby Tailed German Dobernauzer”, “Fire-Tailed Border Cocker” and the adorable “Alaskan Collie Fluffyterrier”, which actually became an internet sensation. To learn more about this one-of-a-kind dog shelter and any upcoming public hike, head over to the Land of the Strays’ Facebook page.