Applaud Free Range No-Kill Dog Shelter

Target: Marcela Castro Wedel, Territorio de Zaguates

Goal: Applaud no-kill shelter that provides open land for dogs to roam.

Territorio de Zaguates or Land of the Strays in Costa Rica is the Holy Grail of no-kill shelters. With 900 dogs in their care, the privately funded and volunteer-run shelter offers a huge property for dogs to explore and play on together. They also have a modern indoor facility with free access to water and cozy beds for their canines.

This sanctuary is open to the public, and people that are interested in adopting can come visit the dogs and go on hikes with them. Land of the Strays offers potential dog owners a stress-free environment to bond with the dog of their choice. It also allows the dogs themselves to socialize and live, rather than struggle with anxiety that often comes with being caged indoors.

As an additional means of attracting buyers and dispelling the myth of purebred superiority, the shelter assigns each dog a unique “breed name.” For example, their Alaskan Collie Furryterrier became extremely popular on social media. Assigning new “breed names” has been met with an extremely positive public response.

Truly, this shelter is a dream shelter. They have set the bar on housing strays in an environment that affords the dogs a better lifestyle while removing them from the streets. As news has claimed, it really is a dog lover’s dream. More than that, it is proof that shelters, as they are today, can evolve. Places such as Land of the Strays can exist and be successful. They are proof that cages that are stuffed into tiny buildings on three or four acres of land can become a thing of the past for animal shelters if only people are willing to make the effort.

Applaud these wonderful people and their amazing and difficult work in making Land of the Strays a success. Congratulate their efforts to improve the lives of stray dogs in Costa Rica.


Dear Marcela Castro Wedel,

Territorio de Zaguates is an amazing place that is truly one of a kind. It is the sort of shelter animal lovers everywhere wish was a standard. It’s almost too good to believe that something so amazing could actually work, especially when it is all too common for organizations to pull back on such risky endeavors.

I cannot imagine the amount of work and stress that must come with operating such a huge facility, but I wish to applaud the work you and your colleagues have done. The efforts made to ensure as many of these dogs as possible go to loving homes is something to be admired. I hope that your efforts at Land of the Strays inspire others to step up and look for ways of turning more shelters into no-kill, free range sanctuaries.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Andrew George

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  1. heidi cervenka says:

    i think it is a wonderful idea, i wish someone would think of this idea in the usa

  2. Thank you, heaven is watching, there are so few people that are humane, please treat them with respect and kindness, HOWEVER–THE IN-HUMANE SHOULD BE TREATED as such

  3. Nothing tells me where I can make a donation?

  4. May there be so much more of this kind of shelters everywhere in the world for stray animals… Thank you to the private funder(s) and volunteers who make this beautiful thing possible!

  5. Margrit Simons says:

    Thank you for caring!

  6. Alice Knight says:

    What an amazing sanctuary! You have shown the world and it’s governments how this healthier, livable shelter can work. Your approach to your shelter will put puppy mills to shame. It would give me great honour to have the opportunity to visit someday and become a shepherd to your enormous flock!
    Thank you for this.
    lilypearl from Canada

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