Picture being surrounded by lush green hills, fresh air, and hundreds of canine friends. It’s not just a dog lover’s dream. It’s an actual place that’s opened year round for everyone to enjoy.
Welcome to Territorio De Zaguates or Land of the Strays. Tucked into the Santa Barbera Mountains of Costa Rica, this animal sanctuary is home to about 900 stray dogs. Each doggie taken in by the sanctuary is provided with a name and a unique “breed” based on its characteristics. Some of its residents include a “Fire-Tailed Border Cocker” and a “Chubby-Tailed German Dobernauzer.”
During the day, they roam the hills. At night, they retreat to shelters complete with beds, feeding stations and bathing areas. According to the organization’s Facebook page, the pooches “are given fresh flowing water intermittently over the whole property.”
The privately-funded, volunteer-run sanctuary neuters each dog it takes in. It doesn’t perform euthanasia, a practice illegal for animals in Costa Rica.
According to the Costa Rica Star, the country is home to more than 1 million stray dogs that roam the streets. Land of the Strays hopes to reverse that trend.
The Land of the Strays is opened to the public. You can come in and take a free hike with the dogs throughout the park. If a hound chooses you, you’re allowed to adopt it. You can also schedule a walking hike to choose the right pooch for you (Hundreds to choose from. So be prepared to spend a full day with cuddly pups).
You can also schedule a group hike. Visit the Territorio de Zaguates Official Facebook group for more info.