It is hard to believe, that there’s a place on earth, where sun shines year-round, the average annual temperature is 73°, and over 900 dogs with breed names like “Chubby-Tailed German Dobernauzer” and “Fire-Tailed Border Cocker” roam free across the lush landscape. Well, “The Land of the Strays” could be a perfect title of a low-budget horror movie, but the reality could not be further from the truth. Otherwise well-known as “Territorio de Zaguates”, The Land of the Strays is in fact a heaven, at least for dogs and dog-lovers. Therefore, it is privately funded, volunteer run, no kill animal’s shelter in Costa Rica. When you visit the Land of the Strays there is no pressure to adopt, because dogs are extremely well cared for and happy and it’s hard not to fall in love while hiking with these dazzling, friendly pups through their free-range heaven.
The dogs of “Territorio de Zaguates” spend most of their time basking in the sun and relishing the cool Costa Rican breezes, but they also have access to a modern indoor facility. Therefore, the housing area features cozy bedding for all the pups plus feeding and bathing stations and troughs with fresh flowing water are set all over the property to keep active dogs hydrated. Territorio de Zaguates provides a refuge that is highly uncommon and rare in Central America–well, in the entire world.
So far, so conventional, what makes this shelter exclusive however is its message. Territorio de Zaguates, whose advertising campaign carries the message “when you adopt a mutt, you adopt an exclusive breed”, wants people to think in a different way about mix-breed dogs. At Territorio de Zaguates mutts are celebrated for their one-of-a-kind traits in an effort to dispel the myth that purebreds are somehow more valuable. Moreover, mongrels are often deemed inferior to pure breeds, but the shelter have faith in that championing their mixed status is the key to facilitating them find homes. Each dog for example is given its own exclusive breed, so in its place of being nondescript mutts, the animals become interestingly named rarities.
The popular Costa Rican television show featured numerous artist renderings of “Territorio de Zaguates” “new breeds” the public response was extremely explosive! The Alaskan Collie Fluffyterrier became a Facebook sensation. Billboards and advertisements portraying the dogs appeared in urban areas bearing the message “When you adopt a mutt, you adopt a unique breed.” Soon, interest in visiting and adopting the pups was higher than ever before. The public is welcome to come out to the beautiful, extensive property and meet the dogs in person!