Nosara Dog Rescue
It’s been estimated that over one million stray dogs roam the streets of Costa Rica. Although that’s a huge number not all of them are strays. In fact, a large portion of these are pets whose owners allosw them to roam the neighborhood, or in some cases, community dogs, who are happy to live out on the street safe in the knowledge that their local community members will feed and care for them. Sadly, this is not always the case, the result being many animals with no home who are in obvious distress. Nosara and Playa Guiones are no exception to this. If you find a dog on the street, you should be able to tell by its condition if it’s lost or abandoned. If you’re the compassionate type who wishes to help any dog in distress, the following is a rough guide to how to approach the situation.
Due to the fact they likely come from a caring envoronment, lost dogs are often far more likely to trust people. They probably feel comfortable either approaching people or being approached. Nevertheless, the safest bet is to assume nothing. First of all it may be best to wait for the dog to approach you.
Using a calm voice, submissive, gentle body language, and avoiding any rapid movements usher the dog towards you. At this point you should still be wary about trying to pick the dog up. Having a leash will help. Alternatively, a belt or piece of rope should suffice.
The first thing to do is check if it’s wearing a colar. If so, this may likely have names and numbers for the dogs owners attached.
If there’s no collar it’s less likely, but entirely possible that the dog may have an electric chip. To find this take the dog to a local vet. Nowadays, nearly all vets have chip scanning devices they can use to check. This is usually free.
Outside of the cities, many Costa Rica towns are small intimate communities where everyone knows everyone, and will most likely be able to recognize their neighbors dog. Nosara and Playa Guiones are good examples of such places. Most of these places, including Nosara, have dedicated social media groups to resolving these type of issues. Therefore, your best option is to get some photos of the dog and post them in these groups. The best case scenario, which often happens, would be that you get a response either from the owner or the owners friends immediately. Problem solved!
Although the above solution often works, it should be remembered that some people, often older locals are unfamiliar with social media. The only solution available is to get busy with a guerilla advertising campaign. This involves a little more effort but will hopefully get the dog safe and sound back to their distressed owner. First, take the pics you took and print them off onto a poster, along with a description and your contact details. Print off as many copies as you think necessary to cover the local area, and then place them anywhere and everywhere that people are likely to see them including notice boards, bus stops, mini supers, and around the area where you found the dog. Then just wait and hope for the best.
Homeless or abandoned strays
These guys come in all shapes and sizes from old to young, and in varying conditions from sick and injured to fit as a fiddle. If you decide to help one of these dogs know that it may involve more commitment than for lost dogs.
First off, it’s crucial to remember that these animals are often either undomesticated, or that life on skid row has brought out their animal instincts, one of which involves aggression, particularly if the dog comes from a history of abuse, maltreatment or neglect. Amazingly, it often requires no more than a little care and compassion to bring these animals back to a place of trust. However, at first it’s best to assume the worst, and approach the situation with caution. Dog food, a calm voice and manner and definitely a leash are things you should consider.
Once you’ve accepted the challenge the first stop should be the local vet. In many cases the dog may be suffering from the slings and arrows of street life. Even if it shows no obvious signs of problems it may wel be suffering from less obvious problems such as ticks, erlichia, distemper and more.
Next up, take some pics showing your new four legged friend off in the best light possible, and in a way that will tug at the heartstrings of those who see him. Post these pics on social media along with a bio. Talk about the dogs traits and character, and why you think it would make a great companion. If you have the financial means offer to pay for any treatments the dog may need such as neutering. Post it, and hope for the best. If all goes well you’ll have found a home for the dog in a short time.
If all else fails, and you’re not in a position to take the dog on yourself, then the final port of call should be a local organization set up to deal with these issues. The most prominent of these local organizations is Nosara Animal Care, which is staffed by a team of volunteers dedicated to animal welfare.