This Incredible Sanctuary Gives Hope To Nearly 1000 Abused And Abandoned Dogs

Andrea A.

Territorio de Zaguatesis a very unusual sanctuary. Located in Costa Rica, it is home to 970 dogs, each of which gets a name and space to call their own. The shelter's name, which translates asLand of the Strays, is therefore absolutely perfect.

Source: Dan Giannopoulos

Located about an hour outside San José, the sanctuary takes up around 378 acres of lush mountain land.Dan Giannopoulos, a British photographer who visited to document the happy pooches who live there, toldNational Geographic:

To look out and see hundreds of dogs running across the field was completely breathtaking to me. I’ve never seen anything like it.

Source: Dan Giannopoulos

All of the dogs at the sanctuary are up for adoption, and the unique sanctuary regularly welcomes visitors and volunteers, who come to enjoy the views and play with the hundreds of homeless dogs. They can even bring their own dogs along to join in the fun!The shelter's founders, Lya Battle and her husband Alvaro Saumet, explained that they had started out rescuing dogs from the streets. When the number of dogs grew too big for their back yard, they decided to relocate to farm lands owned by Lya's grandfather.

Source: Dan Giannopoulos

Territorio de Zaguatesis currently in the process of becoming an official non-profit organisation. Feeding the dogs costs an enormous amount (around $600 a day) that they currently cover with donations and their own money.The couple have also had to contend with their neighbor's hostility, as they have been trying to buy land around the sanctuary for several years. 11 of the dogs have been found dead, which Lya thinks is the result of these people trying to give her organisation a bad name.

Source: Dan Giannopoulos

Despite the difficulties they've faced along the way, Lya and Alvaro refuse to abandon their dogs. In their eyes, the heath and well-being of these animals is the priority. Dan Giannopoulos finished:

If I can take pictures and tell their story, and help in some way, then I’ll do that. That’s the most important thing for me.

Source: Dan Giannopoulos

H/t: National Geographic

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