Things That Matter

There’s a Place In Latin America Where Hundreds Of Stray Dogs Get To Roam Free

Dog lovers, REJOICE! Territorio de Zaguates (Land of Strays) is an amazing little puppy paradise tucked away in central Costa Rica. It is a place where stray dogs get to run free in a massive field while they wait to be adopted by loving humans who find their way there. Basically, we just found you your next vacation spot.

This is what you can expect at Territorio de Zaguates.

16 de enero 2016 #territoriodezaguates #muttsofinstagram #mutt #happydogs

A video posted by Mar (@mar_cw) on

Credit: @mar_cw / Instagram

Did you press play on the video? Look at that long line of dogs! Although there is a small volunteer staff that works to keep the animals fed and cared for, the pups are given free-range around the property to explore, run and play with each other.

Just imagine being able to play and run with those little angels all day.

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Credit: Family Guy / FOX / jet1282 / Tumblr

And, if you ever find yourself in Costa Rica, you can!

Si gente el cielo existe!!! #territoriodezaguates #Costarica

A video posted by Angel García (@angel_instan) on

Credit: @angel_instan / Instagram

The puppy sanctuary is open to the public. People are welcomed to make their way to this canine paradise.

Founder Lya Battle told mitú that she and her husband, Alvaro Saumet, started saving dogs 12 years ago.

#territoriodezaguates #piggysiendocerda #lanuerarobandocámara hahaha

A photo posted by Camilo Torres (@camilo_torresb) on

Credit: @camilo_torresb / Instagram

“I was born with a love for animals that would compel me to save June bugs from drowning in pools, secretly deploy mousetraps, advocate for the protection and non vacuuming of spiderwebs in corners, guard anthills against fellow kindergarteners, and constantly bring bullfrogs home to our backyard,” Battle told mitú via email. “My parents were excellent that way. They taught me to respect and defend all lifeforms, no matter what.”

“We are a temporary home for hundreds of dogs who are looking for a second chance,” Territorio de Zaguates says on its official Facebook.

Credit: @gcwedel / Instagram

“And we are also a permanent home for a lot of other dogs who might possibly never find the right family.” Like, for real though, where is my plane ticket to this paradise.

So why did Battle decide to start Territorio de Zaguates? She didn’t want the dogs she saw on the streets stay on the street or end up in shelters.

#territoriodezaguates #Adoptanocompres ❤️????? 700 perritos esperando un hogar ! No compres adopta

A photo posted by Allison Canet (@allicanet) on

Credit: @allicanet / Instagram

“I would often come across dogs on the way home. Those that looked in need of help I would take home for as long as it took to nurse back to health, sterilize and find families for,” Battle told mitú. “Many were lucky but many adorable dogs were overlooked and turned down because they simply lacked desirable qualities. Too big, too old, to energetic, too lazy, missing a limb, missing an eye. I realized then and there that these wonderful animals had few chances in this world.”

Territorio de Zaguates is currently home to “well over 700 dogs,” according to Battle.

The Land of Stray Dogs, or #TerritoriodeZaguates in Costa Rica is considered one of the best places on the planet for a dog to live. This sprawling refuge allows all of its 900 citizens to range free during the day. They are given fresh flowing water intermittently over the whole property and are given a bed in a sheltered structure where volunteers go to feed and bathe the dogs. This free range sanctuary explores how a free range environment improves health and adoptability. It is a no kill shelter. Each dog is given a name and a unique breed name of their own. If you wish to adopt you can schedule a walking hike on their property, and if any of them choose you, you will be allowed to adopt them. Of course, anyone is welcome to just come for a free hike to hang out with the dogs 🙂 #nokill

A photo posted by Michele (@michsygold) on

Credit: @michsygold / Instagram

The sanctuary is on a farm that Battle had inherited from her grandmother. It was her husband’s idea to use it as a sanctuary for stray and unwanted dogs.

Territorio de Zaguates is not a government funded project, so it relies heavily on donations and volunteer work. Some people pay a monthly amount to sponsor some of the dogs, like this handsome boy.

Credit: @warrenmchase / Instagram

They also offer the option of micro donating at about $1 a day.

A local dog food company helps feed the dogs housed at Territorio de Zaguates.

#territoriodezaguates #voluntariado ¡a COOOMEEEER! XD #ecosocialquercus

A photo posted by lizzie (@liz_ecosocial) on

“A local company, Central Veterinaria, who produces “Super Perro” dog food, stepped up about 3 years ago when we were running out of resources and ideas of how to keep things going,” Battle wrote in her email to mitú. Battle continued: “We had already sacrificed many of our income generating properties on behalf of our puppies. Central Veterinaria promised to give us 1/2 the monthly rations of our dogs’ food. They have been there for us and made this dream possible.”

Look at all the fur babies that just want to love on someone. #Adorable

#territoriodezaguates #perro #perros #zaguate #zaguates #love #amor #canino #costarica

A photo posted by Rubén Sancho Rojas (@sanchorojasruben) on

Credit: @sanchorojasruben / Instagram

BRB. Going to Costa Rica to adopt an adorable puppy.

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Credit: cplu / Tumblr

READ: 7 Hot Latino Celebs That Celebrate #NationalDogDay Everyday

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Mexican Couple Hailed As Heroes For Saving 10 Dogs From Flooding Caused By Hurricane Hanna

Culture

Mexican Couple Hailed As Heroes For Saving 10 Dogs From Flooding Caused By Hurricane Hanna

Betty Vaquera Escandón / Facebook

Hurricane Hanna slammed into Texas and Mexico on July 26 as a Category 1 hurricane. Yet, the most resilient story to come from Mexico is that of a couple who rescued some sweet puppies. Their ingenuity is something that will make every Mexican proud.

This is one of the most touching moments from Hurrican Hanna.

Mis papás perdieron todo… pero lograron sacar sus bebés 😭

Posted by Betty Vaquera Escandón on Sunday, July 26, 2020

That’s right. Those sweet puppies owe it all to the loving couple who took them into their bucket and rescued them. We have seen so many heartbreaking images over the years of animals abandoned to die when places flood during hurricanes.

The videos, posted by the couple’s daughter, is being accepted with so much love and excitement.

This is a fact. These people are some of the most compassionate people by saving these puppies. Who wouldn’t want to take the time to make sure that their furbabies are okay?

She posted a follow up live video when the flooding subsided to show just how damaging it was.

Posted by Betty Vaquera Escandón on Monday, July 27, 2020

The storm dropped 18 inches of rain on southern Texas and northern Mexico. The video shows damage throughout the couple’s home and the daughter was there to document it all for them. It is clear from the level of the water that there was nothing else that could have bee done to protect these little puppies.

They did another follow up just to thank everyone.

Posted by Betty Vaquera Escandón on Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Just like any good Latino couple, they thanked everyone who has reached out to them. It is truly such a sweet and wonderful story. We will forever keep this couple in our hearts because of everything they did.

Tbh, it would be so hard not to protect these angels.

Mi antidepresivo 🐶🐶🥰💕 #Elmilaneso

Posted by Betty Vaquera Escandón on Friday, July 10, 2020

We can only hope to be as selfless and important as this couple.

READ: Hurricane Hanna Battered Texas But Did It Actually Knock Over Part Of Trump’s Border Wall?

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Videos Show That Bears In This Mexican Park Are Getting Way Too Close For Comfort

Culture

Videos Show That Bears In This Mexican Park Are Getting Way Too Close For Comfort

@lzaroRos5 / Twitter

Imagine you’re out taking a stroll in nature, trying to get some fresh air amid all of this chaos. You feel something brush your back and you turn to look behind you and there’s a massive bear.

Well that’s exactly what’s happened on at least two occasions (both of which have been caught on video) in a park outside of Monterrey, Mexico. Groups of hikers are coming into increased contact with Black Bears as they enter more populated areas to search for food and water.

Although the videos look amazing and have quickly gone viral, this bear is getting way too close for comfort.

It all started when a video went viral showing a Black Bear standing up and smelling a woman’s hair.

A series of videos have gone viral on Mexican Twitter as they show a Black Bear getting way too close for comfort to hikers outside Monterrey. The first video showed a group of women hiking the trails of Monterrey’s Chipinque Ecological Park when they got some unwanted attention from a highly curious Black Bear.

The medium-sized bear, captured on a 59-second video, can be seen sniffing the women’s legs and torsos and in one case, getting up on its hind legs and placing its front paws on a woman’s shoulders as it sniffs her hair.

The women in the video appear to do a good job at following the advice from experts to protect themselves from any aggressive behavior. They remained calm and still and waited until the bear left to begin to move. However, the video does also show one of the women attempting to take a selfie as the bear sniffs her hair – not sure how she remained so calm?!

It turns out, the bear has approached another hiker in the same area.

Then, just a few days later, the same bear (identified by a marker on its ear) had another close encounter with another woman at the same park – where such interactions with humans are occurring on an increasingly frequent basis. 

In a video clip of Tuesday’s incident, a woman is approached by the medium-sized bear who sniffs her and lightly paws at her while her husband films the scene, urging her to stay calm. “What should I do?” the woman asks the man, who replies, “Don’t move, stay there.” 

The man remarks that the bear appears very playful, but the tension in his voice escalates as the bear grabs the woman’s leg with its paw. “Bear, bear, come here,” the man says before the clip ends.

Park officials are concerned and say this isn’t natural behavior.

Credit: Paul Farrower / Getty Images

Bears are typically terrified of people. Attacks are very rare. So this type of approach by the Black Bear is considered abnormal behavior caused by human beings. Park representatives said in a statement that “the interaction shown in the video should have been avoided; what is recommended is to move away when detecting the presence of the bear and not approach.”

The bear in question has already been captured twice and released at the request of neighbors, the park said, but as the animal appears to have lost all fear of humans, it will need to be recaptured and sent either to a zoo or an area less populated by people. 

Gustavo Treviño, general director of Parks and Wildlife in Nuevo León, told the newspaper Milenio that 26 bear sightings have been reported in the municipalities of San Pedro, Santa Catarina and Monterrey. He urged citizens to avoid all contact with them and not to feed them or take photos.

The incidents took place outside Monterrey and officials say bears are quite common in the area.

Credit: Humane Society of U.S.

Bear sightings are quite common in this part of Mexico. The two incidents took place in Chipinque Park, which is part of the larger Cumbres de Monterrey National Park in the eastern Sierra Madre mountains.

According to experts, this type of sighting is not unusual in the park during certain times of the year, when bears come down from the mountains in search of food and water. The bears even appear in residential areas.

Black bears are considered to be an endangered species in Mexico, due to the destruction of their habitat and illegal hunting. However, its only protected population is in Sierra del Burro, part of the eastern Sierra Madre mountain range which lies in the state of Coahuila.

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