250 Dogs at Shelter in Aserrí, Costa Rica Need Families, and Food

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A husband-and-wife veterinarian team has transformed their farm in Tarbaca de Aserrí, in the hills south of San José, into a refuge for abandoned and injured animals.

When their good intentions of helping a few stray animals started to burgeon into a serious undertaking they formed a non-profit association called the Costa Rican Association for Animal Welfare (Acoproba, in Spanish).

With the 250 dogs and 45 cats consuming large quantities of food concentrate, the shelter is seeking donations, either in-kind or cash.

The refuge’s 10 horses and goat have plenty of space to roam, and greenery to graze on.

Melissa Álvarez, president of Acoproba, said in an interview with CRHoy.com that she and her husband and sister started the project in 2013, and it has steadily grown.

“We have a farm that we use to provide shelter for stray, ill-treated, street animals that have been run over … My husband and I are veterinarians so we started giving them the medical attention, and the idea was to take them to the farm and later to find them homes. We already have quite a large population, especially large dogs and old ones, who are harder to adopt and will probably stay,” said Álvarez.

At this time, the shelter said they can not receive more animals due to space and budgetary limitations.

The couple fund the shelter with proceeds from their veterinary practice, but the costs have become very high recently, and they are struggling to make ends meet.

Álvarez said the shelter is in need of dog food, and also washing machines to use to clean the animals’ bedding.

When the animals arrive at the rehabilitation center they are vaccinated and dewormed, according to Álvarez, who encourages people to adopt one of these healthy animals from the shelter.

“If we can give animals in adoption, we can receive other animals that require attention,” she added.

Several local veterinarians have offered to serve as collection centers. For more information about these sites, and to coordinate donations, you can email <[email protected]>, call 8712-7755, or visit the Acoproba Facebook page.

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