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Over 1,000 Rescues Run Free In This Costa Rican Dog Utopia "Territorio de Zaguates," Land of the Mutts

Culture & Community By O. DELGADO98 views
Over 1,000 Rescues Run Free In This Costa Rican Dog Utopia "Territorio de Zaguates," Land of the Mutts

There is a dog utopia in the middle of the Costa Rican jungle.

"We take lost causes...the ugliest, sickest dogs, the uglier the better."

Just under 1300 dogs, many of whom have been abused, tortured, and abandoned, run freely across the green acres of Territorio de Zaguates, "Territory of the Mutts," playing with each other, volunteers, and visitors, or digging holes to curl up in. 

The ranch, located in Costa Rica's Heredia Province, is a temporary home for strays and rescues waiting to be adopted by visitors, and a permanent home for dogs who will never find another family. 

Families with their adopted pups!

"In Costa Rica, a zaguate is a mutt," explains Lya Battle, who, along with Alvaro Saumet, founded Territorio de Zaguates. "It means you're nothing. [But], to me, a zaguate is the strongest, the most intelligent, he comes from a line of survivors. I'm inspired by them, their resilience." 

"It's very easy to say 'I love dogs,' when you're talking about fluffy perfect dogs," she says. "When you're able to love a dog that doesn't necessarily look beautiful, then, you love a dog."

Some of the ranch's disabled pups...

Recently, the ranch has been threatened by neighbors who want the land for themselves.  Some have even gone so far as to shoot chunks of poisoned meat into the territory, killing eleven dogs.  "If they're trying to scare us out of here, they're not going to be able to do it," says Lya. "I don't scare easy."

I costs $11 a day to keep the dogs fed, vaccinated, and cared for. If you're interested in visiting or donating CLICK HERE.

 

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