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How dogs live in Costa Rica

How dogs live in Costa Rica

The September Giving Report

Hi Dog Lovers, 

This is Alicia and I am here to give you our September giving report. 

In September, we decided to contribute to an inspiring organization doing great work for the dogs of Costa Rica named DAWG (Domestic Animal Welfare Group). Although this organization is not a part of B1G1, we heard about them through a community member and decided to support their efforts. 

DAWG began in early 2000 with Mike Graeber rescuing some homeless dogs from the beaches of Costa Rica. In 2009, the organization expanded with the help and generosity of Shawnell and Tom Parker, who have been managing, developing and also funding DAWG as needed. 

The mission of DAWG is to ensure all domestic dogs in the region of Costa Ballena have a caring home and to eliminate animal abuse and homelessness in the area.

The structure of DAWG is a little different than what we are used to in North America. It has no traditional animal shelter. Animals are placed in private homes of local foster volunteers, which works much better for the animals than traditional rescue kennels.

Records are kept of all rescues and adoptions and as of the summer of 2016, a thousand animals have been enjoying their new loving homes. 

One of their unique fundraisers is The DAWG Tales Lending Library where people borrow books for a small fee, which goes to DAWG.

This animal rescue group is run entirely by unpaid volunteers, one of which is Kate Barr, our long time community member and friend who has shared the DAWG mission and challenges with us:

DAWG's major expenses are in the rehabilitation of our rescues, along with spay and neuter clinics and charity cases. The charity case work that we do is for animals that have homes but are in grave distress and the owner needs help with paying for veterinary care. Most of these are orthopedic in nature due to injuries by cars, snake bites, C-sections for animals unable to deliver and those with other acute illnesses.

Our population of rescues increases every year despite the number of spay and neuter operations, which also have been increasing year-to-year.

We make our decisions on what we can do on a case-by-case basis, depending on our operating funds. 

This year we ran out of money in April and we ran out of space in August. Although we have never refused an animal, there is a limit to how long we can continue to do our work without significant donations. We are a tiny community and although people donate on a regular basis, they are small individual donations. 

The very generous donation from the Dr. Dobias Healing Foundation will actually pay our veterinary bills for about three weeks. Considering we currently have over 40 animals in care, that is significant.

We are close to completing the process of incorporating as a non-profit and hope that will encourage more significant and consistent donations so we never have to say "We can't help anymore.”

Thank you from our volunteers and all of our babies who can't speak for themselves.”

Kate Barr
DAWG fundraising coordinator

Our thanks to Kate for giving our community a chance to understand more about DAWG and how our dog-loving community can help. The kindness, generosity and dedication that people show in animal rescue organizations is heartwarming and truly inspiring.

“Be kind whenever possible, it is always possible” ~ Dalai Lama. 

For more information about our work with B1G1, please read: 

Why B1G1 may not be what you think it is 

How to be generous without spending any extra money

© Dr. Peter Dobias, DVM

About the author

Dr. Peter Dobias, DVM is an Integrative veterinarian, nutritionist and creator of natural supplements for dogs and people. Helping you and your dog prevent disease, treat nutritional deficiencies, and enjoy happier, healthier, and longer lives together.

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