In Costa Rica, Abandoned Dogs Find Paradise in the 'Land of the Strays'

It's time to book a ticket to Costa Rica! The country plays host to a place called Territorio de Zaguates, which translates to "land of the mutts and strays," and is exactly what it sounds like: dog heaven!

Husband and wife partners Lya Battle and Alvaro Saumet run Territorio de Zaguates together, caring for more than 1,000 dogs on a 375-acre farm. But the project started very small. In 2006, Lya and Alvaro adopted a few of the numerous stray dogs in Costa Rica and brought them home with them.

It wasn't long before the two animal lovers decided to open up their small puppy family to welcome any stray or abandoned dog in need of a home. They moved to the farm that Lya had inherited from her grandfather, and started accepting dogs who were too sick, old, or hard to handle to get adopted.

Territorio de Zaguates has a staff who help greet new dogs and keep them company during the day. The group who works at the sanctuary hope to raise awareness of the need for neutering and spaying in Costa Rica, so that in the future there won't be such a sizable population of dogs without homes.

Lya has found true purpose in her work with this group of dogs, and they have impacted her outlook on life. "Working with these animals reminds us on a daily basis that the only moment that counts is the present," she says, "that forgiving and letting go is the first step on the way to happiness."

Territorio de Zaguates runs entirely on donations. If you'd like to learn more or contribute, stop by their website.

Photos via MSN. To read more stories about man's best friend, check out the Heartwarming Animals YouTube Channel, part of the HooplaHa Network.

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