Tag: Costa Rica

Territtorio de Zaguates

A compelling Netflix documentary.

There is a series on Netflix called Dogs. It consists of a series of 1-hour films showing many different qualities of our special dogs.

Last Monday evening we watched the episode that took the viewer to Costa Rica.

Territorio de Zaguates – Land of the Strays

Territorio de Zaguates is an extraordinary dog shelter located in the mountains above Heredia Costa Rica an hour from downtown San José.

Dog Walk at Territorio Zaguates

It was incredible. Almost too much to put into words.

Firstly, there were the huge number of homeless dogs, in all states of health, that roamed Costa Rica.

Secondly, the dog sanctuary was founded by Lya Battle and Alvaro Saumet who are still hard at it.

Thirdly, they have somewhere between 700 and 1,100 dogs in the sanctuary.

Finally, let me let them say it in their own words.

WE ARE…

A non profit organization, founded by Lya Battle and Alvaro Saumet. During the last eight years we’ve been promoting well-being and respect for animals.
HOW WE DO IT?
Veterinarian: We take care of our mutts with deworming, sterilization and any other care they need. The cost of maintaining a dog healthy is $5 per month.

Shelter: Territorio is home for hundreds of doggies. We give them here a safe place to live, free of maltreatment, and full of love. The cost of providing a home is $11 per month for each of our unique specimens.

Food: Each mont we consume thousands of kilos of dog food, to keep our pack healthy. Giving a full small plate to each mutt cost us $20 per month.

There is much, much more on their website that I encourage you to go to. Here are some photographs of the dogs that they rescue.

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There are a number of videos on YouTube to watch.

Here’s a short one.

And here’s a slightly longer one by National Geographic.

Finally, if you feel so minded here is the donate page. It’s a good cause and, for example, for just $36 you can sponsor one dog. That’s what Jeannie and I did.

Anyway, we hope you can spare something.

 

Saving lives!

Saving the lives of our dogs and their owner/carers!

The Smithsonian website recently featured a dog rescue centre in Costa Rica that has the odd dog or one thousand being cared for!

I kid you not!

This Costa Rican Paradise Shelters Over 1,000 Stray Dogs

A photographer documents scenes from Territorio De Zaguates, a converted farm in the Santa Bárbara mountains that’s giving abandoned dogs a second chance
By Jennifer Billock, smithsonian.com, March 6, 2018

The article also includes a range of incredible photographs. I have ‘borrowed’ a couple to share with you.

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What rescuing a dog means to thousands of gentle-hearted people is no better spoken about than in the words of a poem that Colin published over on his blog A Dog’s Life.

It is republished here with Colin’s very kind permission.

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“A Stray they named Ray”

The following is one of the poems in my book “Just Thinking”, which is available direct from Friesen Press, Amazon, and other on-line book retailers.

https://books.friesenpress.com/store/title/119734000032944229/Colin-Chappell-Just-Thinking

This is such a sweet collection of beautiful thoughts and sentiments and reflections. The people and stories and memories are so real and tangible, easy to connect with, easy to read. For each poem I have read so far, it’s like he is talking about someone I know… or someone I would want to know 🙂 This books explores so many things, takes you on so many journeys.. the good and the bad and the beauty in between. This book was given as a gift, and it’s one I will treasure!” (Amazon review)

 “A Stray they named Ray”

They were found on a farm

Not too far away,

But… where was their home?

Two dogs, frightened, hungry,

So very tired and,

Surviving somehow on their own.

***

The rescue van arrived,

And the crew discussed

How best to capture this pair.

Traps were determined

To be the most humane,

But… so many questions were there.

***

Why were these two dogs

Having to scavenge for food?

Why were they out on their own?

The treats in the traps,

Put an end to all that,

And they were captured, scared… and alone.

***

They had no collars; no tags;

No microchips were found.

They were just two dogs without names.

Their faces were expressionless,

And their fur in poor condition.

Were they siblings? Perhaps their mother was the same?

***

Once back at the shelter

They were caged together,

But then a fight ensued.

Trainers intervened,

And gave them separate cages,

But then had to decide what to do.

***

One (they later named Ray) was not unfriendly,

Although cautious and rather aloof.

He seemed to know he was no longer alone.

He was given a bath and a bowl of food

And, with some loving care (they thought),

He could possibly adapt to a home.

***

He was a sorry sight,

And no doubt a once proud dog.

Clearly a German Shepherd cross,

Just managing to survive,

By eating scraps to stay alive.

To explain him, they were quite at a loss.

***

They tried to find his owners.

They checked the Missing Pets files,

But there only seemed one option.

He now belonged to the shelter

And… as he was neither reported lost, nor stolen,

He would be trained for adoption.

***

Four months later he was ready.

His adoption photo was published,

And all were looking for a sign.

He needed a family,

To love… and be loved by.

This will, hopefully, be his time.

***

Eventually a couple arrived

Who clearly were drawn to him,

And regular walks were arranged.

It was soon to be seen

That his life, as it had been,

Was quickly going to change.

***

His day of adoption came.

The staff all said their farewells.

Smiles, and tears, were all around,

For the life of a stray;

Of a dog they named Ray;

A life almost lost… had been found.

*

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I am finishing today’s post with another photograph from the Costa Rican Paradise Shelter.

Then my final words are those in that Smithsonian article:

Now, more than 1,000 dogs roam the countryside of the Costa Rican estate. They go on daily walks in the mountains and eat roughly 858 pounds of food per day. They’re bathed and treated on-site for illness or injury (though more intense cases go to a specialist vet in San Jose). And most importantly, they’re given a better quality of life than they’d experience on the streets.

“There is a major problem with stray and abandoned dogs in Costa Rica,” Dan Giannopoulos, a photographer who recently visited the shelter, told Smithsonian.com. “The government line on [the] treatment of strays is to destroy them. This is the only shelter of its kind in Costa Rica. It offers a new lease [on] life to the dogs, many of whom have lived terrible lives and have terminal illnesses.”

Read more: https://www.smithsonianmag.com/travel/these-photos-transport-you-dogs-central-american-paradise-180968018/#v9xZpKmRadL5JHeA.99
Give the gift of Smithsonian magazine for only $12! http://bit.ly/1cGUiGv
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In praise of the ‘mutt’.

Welcome to Territorio de Zaguates, or “Land of the Strays”.

When it comes to loving stray dogs I thought that the friends of John Zande and his wife were showing the rest of the world how to do it. For it is my understanding that Sandra and her partner down in Brazil are providing a home for around 300 ex-rescue dogs.

Then I came across this recent item over on Mother Nature News about 700 rescued ‘mutts’ living in a doggie paradise.

Here’s the full article:

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700 rescued mutts live the life at Costa Rica’s ‘Land of the Strays’

Catie Leary

April 13, 2016.
Dogs frolic in a lush green field at the Territorio de Zaguates dog sanctuary in Costa Rica. (Photo: Territorio de Zaguates)
Dogs frolic in a lush green field at the Territorio de Zaguates dog sanctuary in Costa Rica. (Photo: Territorio de Zaguates)

Welcome to Territorio de Zaguates, or “Land of the Strays,” an amazing, privately funded, volunteer-run animal sanctuary in Costa Rica where no mutt is turned away.

Located less than an hour outside the bustling capital city of San José, this doggie safe haven is home to hundreds of abandoned canines that have been given a second chance at life.

This is no ordinary animal sanctuary, though. After all, when you live in a place as beautiful as Costa Rica, you take advantage of what the landscape provides. That’s why volunteers lead the ragtag pack of rescued mutts on scenic hikes through the gorgeous mountains nearly every day. It’s a sight to behold.

 A volunteer at Territorio de Zaguates leads a pack of dogs up a hill. (Photo: Territorio de Zaguates)
A volunteer at Territorio de Zaguates leads a pack of dogs up a hill. (Photo: Territorio de Zaguates)

Aside from the free-range mountain hikes with breathtaking scenery, Territorio de Zaguates functions just like any other animal rescue or sanctuary.

“First thing we do when a new dog gets here is spay/neuter, vaccinate and get rid of parasites,” the organization explains on its Facebook page. “Then we assess if the dog requires any other type of special treatment [and] put them in quarantine if necessary.”

Once this initial processing is completed, the new dog is released into the general population, where it can either be adopted by a loving human or spend the rest of its days frolicking in what is essentially a doggy paradise.

There are all kinds of mutts living at Territorio de Zaguates. (Photo: Territorio de Zaguates)
There are all kinds of mutts living at Territorio de Zaguates. (Photo: Territorio de Zaguates)

What makes Territorio de Zaguates even more special is the creative approach to finding the dogs forever homes.

To encourage adoption, every doggie resident at the sanctuary is not only given a name, but also a customized “breed” name based on the dog’s phenotypic traits. These one-of-a-kind breed monikers include memorable titles like “Alaskan collie fluffy terrier” and the “chubby-tailed German doberschnauzer.”

The resounding message behind this strategy is that when you adopt a mutt, you’re adopting a unique breed. Learn more about this clever campaign in the video below:

 

Caso: Territorio de Zaguates from GARNIER BBDO on Vimeo.

As any animal rescuer will know, maintaining such an massive sanctuary requires an enormous amount of time, money and labor. But thanks to a host of charitable donors and an eager base of volunteers, the sanctuary is a great success.

“We have a very small staff but still we manage to do everything from daily picking up the poo and disposing of it properly, to feeding and medicating the dogs, and everything in between,” a spokesperson for the organization writes.

Continue below for just a glimpse of what life is like for these adorable pups at Territorio de Zaguates:

Mattresses are provided for the dogs to lounge on throughout the day. (Photo: Territorio de Zaguates)
Mattresses are provided for the dogs to lounge on throughout the day. (Photo: Territorio de Zaguates)

Mattresses provide natural lounge spots for the dogs throughout the day.

A pack of rescued dogs take a leisurely walk in the woods with a few of the sanctuary's hard-working volunteers. (Photo: Territorio de Zaguates)
A pack of rescued dogs take a leisurely walk in the woods with a few of the sanctuary’s hard-working volunteers. (Photo: Territorio de Zaguates)

The pack takes a leisurely hike in the woods with a few of the sanctuary’s hard-working volunteers and some prospective dog adopters

Photo: Territorio de Zaguates)

Lunch time at Territorio de Zaguates means serious business, which is why kibble donations are so important!

Cushy bed donations are also very important for the sanctuary. (Photo: Territorio de Zaguates)
Cushy bed donations are also very important for the sanctuary. (Photo: Territorio de Zaguates)

In addition to food, comfy dog beds are also a much welcomed donation item for the sanctuary!

A volunteer leads the pack downhill. (Photo: Territorio de Zaguates)
A volunteer leads the pack downhill. (Photo: Territorio de Zaguates)

A sanctuary volunteer leads the pack downhill during a scenic hike through the mountains.

(Photo: Territorio de Zaguates)
(Photo: Territorio de Zaguates)

In case you were wondering where all those yummy kibble donations went … behold the trough

(Photo: Territorio de Zaguates)
(Photo: Territorio de Zaguates)

A few of the sanctuary’s senior residents rest on the steps of the facility. Even if the pups aren’t adopted out, they’ll always be guaranteed a luxurious forever home at the sanctuary.

(Photo: Territorio de Zaguates)
(Photo: Territorio de Zaguates)

Concrete drainage pipes makes excellent (and sturdy!) makeshift dog houses

(Photo: Territorio de Zaguates)
(Photo: Territorio de Zaguates)

Rescued dogs hang out in the shade of the sanctuary’s many trees

(Photo: Territorio de Zaguates)
(Photo: Territorio de Zaguates)

A nice refreshing dip … in some drinking water

(Photo: Territorio de Zaguates)
(Photo: Territorio de Zaguates)

After a long, fun-filled day of being a dog, there’s nothing like cuddling up with a friend and snoozing before dinner time

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Well it certainly puts our ten dogs in the shade!

In doing a trawl through YouTube I came across this video that I will use to close off today’s post. Chances are that, as with me, you won’t understand the voice-over but it won’t diminish your pleasure at looking at these dogs.

Published on Jul 3, 2014

“Territorio de Zaguates” ubicado en las hermosas montañas de Costa Rica, es un albergue de animales donde se le da casa, comida, atención veterinaria, ejercicio, esparcimiento y cariño a 700 perros callejeros víctimas del maltrato, el abuso, el abandono y la negligencia humana.
–ENGLISH– “Territorio de Zaguates” is a No-kill-shelter in the beautiful mountains of Costa Rica that provides home, food, vet care, exercise, recreation and affection to over 700 stray dogs, victims of neglect, abandonment and abuse.

Actually, let me close off today’s post with these two sets of words from the story above:

Once this initial processing is completed, the new dog is released into the general population, where it can either be adopted by a loving human or spend the rest of its days frolicking in what is essentially a doggy paradise.

“essentially a doggy paradise.”

The resounding message behind this strategy is that when you adopt a mutt, you’re adopting a unique breed.

That is so true! Each and every dog, especially an ex-rescue dog, is a unique breed.

Love thy neighbour the crocodile.

Not quite how you would expect a crocodile to behave!

With thanks to Christine over at 350 or bust who published on Saturday, 30th June.

Then a web search found a more extensive video.

Pocho, the “domesticated” Costa Rican crocodile that gained international attention for a weekly show he performed with owner Gilberto Sheedan, died Tuesday at Finca Las Tilapias in the Caribbean-slope town of Siquirres. Olga Valle, Sheedan’s wife, said the nearly 1,000-pound croc died a natural death at age 50. A funeral will be held for Pocho on Sunday at 1 p.m.

“All of the people in the village have offered their condolences and assistance,” Valle said.

On past Sundays, Pocho and “Chito,” as Sheedan was better known, performed a show for visitors in a 100-square-meter artificial lake at Finca Las Tilapias. Chito, 54, declared the one-eyed crocodile “domesticated.” He could command Pocho to do tricks such as winking its one good eye, lifting its head and tail out of the water, rolling over and permitting Chito to stick his head inside the massive reptile’s maw.

Chito found the 5-meter-long crocodile near death on the shore of the Parismina River, in the Limón province, 17 years ago. The crocodile had been shot in the left eye. Chito and several friends loaded the animal into a boat and took him to Siquirres, where Pocho was nursed back to health. Chito even slept with the crocodile during its recovery.

After an employee saw Chito swimming with Pocho one day, word of the duo’s friendship spread. In July 2000, Costa Rica’s Channel 7 filmed the unusual pair. Chito and Pocho became stars, receiving attention as far as the United States, Chile and the United Kingdom.

The Environment, Energy and Telecommunications Ministry allowed Chito to keep the crocodile as long as they could monitor it. Chito worked with a veterinarian and a biologist and fed Pocho 30 kilograms of fish and chicken a week.

Chito never imagined the fame that would come from the unique friendship. All he wanted was an animal companion. A sign on his ranch emphasized that relationship: “Chito and Pocho are best friends.”

“I just wanted him to feel that someone loved him, that not all humans are bad,” Chito told The Tico Times in 2007. “I love all animals, especially ones that have suffered.”

Love is really the solution to practically every problem in the world!