As we look back over the year, we’re rounding up some of our favorite dog stories—and this one definitely made the list! Some dog lovers in Costa Rica have come up with a unique solution to their country’s stray dog population. “Territorio de Zaguates,” or Land of the Stray Dogs, is a gorgeous outdoor sanctuary that’s home to over 900 dogs.
Privately funded and volunteer-run, it’s become a popular destination for dog lovers—and rightly so. After all, where else can you find 900 dogs together and ready to play in a setting that’s pretty much paradise?
The dogs are given fresh flowing water and beds in a sheltered structure. Volunteers come to feed and bathe them. The sanctuary is open to the public; visitors can hike, play, and interact with the dogs in the beautiful natural setting. Adoption is welcome, though not required.
Costa Rica has been proactive in tackling its stray dog problem in a humane manner. In fact, this tiny Central American country outlawed animal euthanasia in 2003. The folks at Territorio de Zaguates are contributing to the effort to get more dogs adopted by giving them each a name and a unique breed identity to encourage adoption. You can see some of those clever designations here.
All you have to do is call ahead to schedule a visit and a hike with the dogs. Can you say “bucket list”?