Santa Bárbara, Costa Rica — The Land of the Strays is quite possibly the greatest dog shelter in the world. Known as Territorio de Zaguates, which translates to “The Land of the Strays”, the shelter is located on a sun-kissed island in Costa Rica and it looks like heaven on earth for any dog.
With plenty of open space for the dogs to roam and play, the privately-funded animal shelter operates on a no-kill basis, meaning any dog that finds there way here will never be at risk of being euthanized. Volunteers help to run the place, taking the time to help walk and care for the many dogs that remain here while looking for a new home. The shelter carries a very unique message —
“when you adopt a mutt, you adopt a unique breed”
This is because Territorio de Zaguates specializes in caring for and rehousing mix-breed dogs. They want people to think differently about mix-breed dogs, which are often overlooked or even looked down due to the fact they are deemed inferior to purebred dogs. By strongly campaigning in favor of mix-breeds, the shelter hopes that they can make it easier to find new homes for the dogs living at Territorio de Zaguates.
For instance, the dogs are provided with a unique “breed” moniker to help them sound that bit more appealing. So, rather than having a nondescript breed, they are given fantastic names for their breed, such as the brilliant “Alaskan Collie Fluffy” terrier. This is all part of making the dogs feel less ostracized for the simple fact they are mixed-breed.