If you are a dog or a dog-lover, welcome to paradise. In Costa Rica, you will find a privately-funded, no-kill animal shelter, that is run by volunteers called the Land of the Strays (Territorio de Zagyuates). The animal sanctuary does not turn away dogs and does not give them a deadline in which they need to be adopted by- which gives every dog a chance at finding a loving family while waiting in an animal paradise.
The Land of the Strays was founded by Lya Battle, an amazing woman with a heart made of gold. She came up with the idea for the animal shelter because she often was coming across stray dogs that needed care- which she would take in and nurse back to health. Once the dogs were healthy, she would try to find them a good family. The more dogs she came across, Lya knew she had to do something bigger- resulting in the Land of the Strays.
In a world that seems to be somewhat obsessed with purebred dogs, the Land of the Strays shelter focuses on the uniqueness of each dog. Instead of the dogs being referred to as mutts, the dogs are given their own exotic names that highlight the dog’s breed mix and attributes, like Chubby-Tailed German Dobernauzer or Alaskan Collie Fluffy Terrier. Their marketing strategy has paid off, with great public interest in the sanctuary and more importantly, the dogs that are available for adoption. The dogs are completely one-of-a-kind in looks and personality. The shelter knows that every dog is worthy of love, and tries its very best to get the dogs adopted out to loving homes. Their message to potential adopters is “When you adopt a mutt, you adopt a unique breed”.
The shelter is open to the public to come explore the gorgeous grounds and meet the pooches that are available for adoption. Visitors will be blown away by the sheer number of friendly dogs on the sprawling property. The amount of dogs at the shelter varies, but is often over 700 dogs (or more). The shelter allows the dogs to spend their time running, playing, basking in the sun, or cooling off in the shade on the beautiful property. All over the property you will find water stations with fresh flowing water to keep the dogs hydrated and cool. Not only do the dogs get to explore and enjoy the Costa Rican landscape, they also have access to a comfortable indoor facility. Inside the shelter the dogs can make themselves comfy on the cozy bedding, eat good meals, have a bath and relax.
The Land of the Strays is unique in many different aspects, including the fact that it doesn’t pressure visitors to adopt. They want the dogs to go to the right home, and the dogs can live there happily until that happens. The dogs at the shelter can roam free and live like a dog should, which isn’t the case at many other shelters. The dogs also exercise and play with the volunteers- including daily hikes- allowing the dogs to become more comfortable around humans.
This wonderful sanctuary lets you visit the dogs in a setting that they are comfortable in, allowing you to interact, bond, and get to know the dogs in a relaxed environment. If you are interested in adopting a new four-legged best friend the setting at the Land of the Strays is just right to meet the dog that is perfect for you!
To find out more about the incredible Land of the Strays click here!