The land of the strays or Territorio de Zaguates is located in Costa Rica. It is a dog facility with a no-kill rule. To this date, there are 970 dogs roaming freely around the property. If you are a dog lover, then you will surely fall in love with this place.

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Photographer Dan Giannopoulos visited the shelter recently and had the chance to experience being with the dogs and photographing them. He shared that it was completely breathtaking for him to see hundreds of dogs running across the field.

Territorio de Zaguates has a land area of 378 acres up in the mountains. That is more than enough space for the dogs in their care to roam around freely and for their employees and visitors to stay comfortably.

The place was founded by Lya Battle and Alvaro Saumet. Their journey started as they took in one stray dog after the other at their house. When the dogs reached a hundred, they transferred them to a piece of farmland owned by Lya’s grandfather.

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They are currently working on getting a non-profit status from the government of Costa Rica. The shelter needs 13 bags of dog food that are 66 pounds in weight to cover the dogs’ daily intake.

Recently, 11 dogs were found dead in the property. They are worried that some of the neighbors are putting down the dogs on purpose. They have their suspicion that they are trying to get rid of the shelter and they are willing to do anything that it takes and that includes killing them.

Others may not see the shelter as ideal, but it is the best place for the hundreds of dogs in it. The mountain and its views is a great setting that’s easy to fall in love with.

Giannopoulos decided to share the pictures that he took and spread the story of the land of the strays and its residents. He did this to help the shelter because he said that for him, it is the most important thing.

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Thank you to the dog vibe for sharing this story.

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Chloe Roper
As a little girl living in the country side without many neighbors, my dog Sostee became my best friend. We shared an immense bond and I fell in love with these loving, beautiful and wonderful creatures. I knew from a tender age that I wanted to work with animals. I worked at the Humane Society of Northwest Indiana for a few years, and have experience with a variety of dogs and cats. When I’m not working as semi-retired Assistant Administrator in a Home Health Care Agency in Merrillville Indiana, I am a grandma frolicking with my active grandchildren and my sweet dog, Kresi.


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