Land of Strays

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Imagine a place where all dogs are welcome. Imagine a place where they can relax and enjoy free, open spaces; where they have plenty of socialization and access to clean water and food. 


Sounds like a Canine Utopia and it absolutely exists for the strays of Costa Rica. Rather than cram poor, half-starved puppies and dogs in overcrowded shelters in urban areas where the pup’s time has an expiration date, Costa Rican strays have the opportunity to live in a “kill-free” shelter in the mountains about an hour away from Costa Rica’s capital city, San Jose.

stray animal shelter

The shelter, called Territorio de Zaguates, means Land of the Strays in Spanish. It is a privately funded and is an all-volunteer run operation.

Prospective dog parents can hike and hang out with the pack, currently 900 dogs strong. The farm is closed to the general public, but you can schedule a time to hike with the dogs.

stray dogs rescue

The shelter is a unique experience for people and the dogs, and the goal of it is to get each dog adopted and in a forever home. To promote sustainability, every dog is spayed or neutered and receives proper care and handling when at the sanctuary.

One of the allures of the shelter is that each dog is 100% unique and not limited by any one breed label. To exemplify this truth, each dog is named and listed for adoption using their supposed breed heritages like Alaskan Collie Fluffy Terrier or the Black-Tailed Jackadordoodle.

stray animal rescue

They have a veterinary care for 24×7. Some of the dogs are even adopted.

Who wouldn’t mind introducing their new family member as a real live Jackadordoodle, which sounds like some fantastic beast right out of a fairy tale?

Our four-legged friends have long been an important part of our lives. We are their custodians, their guardians of love and compassion. As such, we need more places like the Territorio de Zaguates. The Land of the Strays is a magical place for both them and us.