Costa Rica’s incredible “Territorio de Zaguates,” or Land of the Stray Dogs, is an outdoor sanctuary home to nearly 1000 stray dogs. We first covered this sanctuary last year, and have updated this post thanks to new coverage from National Geographic and accompanying photos by British photographer Dan Giannopoulos.

The Land of the Stray Dogs should be on every dog person’s bucket list! See their Facebook page for updates, ways to support them, and great adoption stories.

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Founded by Lya Battle and privately funded, the Territorio is a popular destination hosted on Battle’s mother’s sprawling family farm in the mountains of central Costa Rica. They’ve nearly reached official nonprofit status in their home country, and continue to work to raise awareness. See their website here. You can donate directly via PayPal, and if you happen to be in the country, they need supplies, medicines, and volunteers.

The dogs are given fresh water and beds in a sheltered structure. Employees and volunteers help to feed and bathe them. It takes thirteen 66-pound bags of dog food every day to feed the resident pups.

The sanctuary is open to the public; visitors can hike, play, and interact with the dogs in the beautiful natural setting. Most of the dogs there are available for adoption!

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The folks at Territorio de Zaguates could use your help! Visit them on social media or in person, and spread the word. This is their official donation page.

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To visit, you’ll have to go to Costa Rica, then drive about an hour outside of San Jose. It’s a good idea to call ahead.

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Total dream vacation destination.

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Images via Territorio de Zaguates Facebook page.


This post is presented by Rover. Rover is the nation’s largest online network of 5-star pet care providers. Go to Rover.com or download the mobile app to find and book dog boarding, house sitting, drop-in visits, doggy day care, or dog walking services!