Imagine going outside everyday and being surrounded by dogs in a lush and tropical mountainside with a beautiful view.
Sound like a dream? Well, it is actually a reality.
Territorio de Zaguates (which translates to Land of the Strays) is a no-kill dog shelter located about an hour away from San José, the capital of Costa Rica. It is located on a 378-acre piece of land in the mountains, and the approximately 970 dogs are free to stroll, frolic, and play alongside human visitors, volunteers, and employees. Most of the animals there are up for adoption.
It all started 13 years ago when founders Lya Battle and Alvaro Saumet began taking in street dogs into their home. As more and more dogs came, the couple were forced to move their unofficial shelter to a farm owned by Battle’s grandfather.
There are many struggles too. Running the facility is very expensive, with dog food alone costing over $600 a day. After eleven dogs were found dead, Battle is also worried that neighbors who want the land will turn to evil ways to kick the shelter out.
But for the dogs, the shelter has provided them with a safe and loving home away from their lives of neglect and abuse. It has brought happiness and satisfaction to not just the dogs, but also to the humans who enjoy their company, making all the struggle worth it!