Have you ever wanted to spend the day hanging out with hundreds of happy, playful pups? Territorio de Zaguates is the place for you!
Territorio de Zaguates, which translates to ‘Land of the Strays,’ is located on an island in Costa Rica. This no-kill sanctuary looks after about 900 dogs who have nowhere else to go.
The sanctuary was founded by Lya Battle and her husband Alvaro Samuet. The animal-loving couple wanted to do something to help all the stray dogs they saw struggling on the streets in Costa Rica.
Lya began taking sick street dogs home, where she would nurse them back to health before putting them up for adoption. But many people wouldn’t adopt the dogs because they ‘didn’t have desirable qualities.’ Soon, Lya and her husband were caring for over 100 dogs on their farm.
Lya knew she had to do something to help these dogs. And so, she and her husband opened Territorio de Zaguates.
Over the next few years, Territorio de Zaguates grew and grew. Before long, Lya was caring for over 400 dogs!
“I have lost material things, friends and liberties that I once enjoyed very much, but I’ve been okay and I would do it again a thousand times, because if I’m able to change the life of an animal, any headache will be worth it,” Lya wrote on Territorio de Zaguates’ webpage.
Lya has now been running Territorio de Zaguates for about eight years, and she currently cares for around 900 dogs!
In their mission statement, Territorio de Zaguates says:
“Territorio de Zaguates is a ‘No-Kill Shelter’, a dog sanctuary where we do not believe in euthanasia as a solution to the problem of abandoned dogs in Costa Rica. Our mission is to find a home for all the dogs that are in our care. We are a temporary home for hundreds of puppies looking for a second chance, and we are also the permanent home of many others who may never find their own family.”
People from around the world have visited Territorio de Zaguates. Many of Territorio de Zaguates’ dogs have also been adopted out internationally.
On their Facebook page, Territorio de Zaguates often shares updates about their adopted dogs. One sweet pup, Penelope, found a home in the United States.
Another adorable pup, Leoncio, found a great home with a mom and sister who love him more than anything!
Lya loves taking care of all her ‘fur-children,’ and she couldn’t imagine doing anything else.
“These dogs are survivors, champions of life and streets… These dogs are unique. No one would ever shun them again in this place. It’s their farm, their mountain, a piece of land that belongs to them, and where they will feel comfortable,” Lya said.
Territorio de Zaguates is an incredible place where stray dogs can roam free and enjoy their lives. If you’d like to help Territorio de Zaguates with their lifesaving work, consider donating to their organization.
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