Animal Rescue Centers Volunteers

Photo by Pranidchakan Boonrom on

I grew up in Brooklyn, New York but I now live in a small town in a tropical Central American country. The contrast is really quite immense in most things. The cultures couldn’t be more different. I love both places but the weather in Costa Rica keeps me here. I used to take for granted the fact that I could visit New York whenever I wanted to, nothing will ever be taken for granted by me again after this year’s experience with Covid-19!

The domestic animal owning culture is completely different in Costa Rica than in the U.S. We don’t need licenses for our pets, most people keep their pets outdoors and let them bark all day. There are regulations for vaccines, poop pick up and leashes but since there are not enough personnel to enforce them, people are pretty much left to their own devices. It makes me sad and embarrassed when I see the behavior of some owners with pets.

Animal rescues and foster homes have sprung up, mostly due to the initiative of expats or citizens who lived abroad and came back with different ideas of what pet ownership should be. Our family has taken in 4 dogs in the last 20 years and they have been faithful companions for us. Now that we are older and empty nesters, and our Lila is 10, we feel that we should probably not add another pet to our household but it is not something that is written in stone. In the meantime, we enjoy donating to local efforts and do so as often as we can.

One thing I know for sure, though, is that the people in our small town who devote themselves wholeheartedly to the difficult and often heartbreaking task of rescuing animals that have been abandoned, hurt, or abused have earned their place in a sanctuary reserved just for them. Where would we be without these generous souls. Thank goodness they exist.

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