Animal Love in Costa Rica
Nestled in the gorgeous Costa Rican jungle, you'll find the Animal Love Rescue Centre, a saviour and sanctuary to all animals in need
In the UK, we are so fortunate to have hundreds of hardworking animal rescue centres and organisations, but how does the rest of the world fair? On the other side of the planet, in the topical country of Costa Rica, one incredible sanctuary is setting a fantastic example for other animal-loving organisations to follow - Animal Love Rescue Centre. We catch up with team member, Assaf Slosberg, to learn more about the work the wonderful organisation does for creatures in need.
Hey, Assaf! Tell us about the Animal Love shelter. How did it come to be?
Animal Love shelter hosts more than 1,000 animals, mainly dogs (more than 450) and cats (more than 350) but does not reject any animals in need like farm animals (horses, sheep, goats, chickens, geese, ducks, rabbits, etc.) - all are welcome. We are 16 life-long friends, all vegan and animal lovers, who moved to Costa Rica in 2005 with our dogs and cats. In Costa Rica, we established an animal rescue center called Animal Love as a home and shelter for abandoned, injured and sick animals. In January 2014, we registered as a nonprofit, no-kill charitable organisation named Animal Love, founded on the belief that all animals deserve respectful loving treatment and protection by humans and by law. Our mission is to save lives and rescue animals in need, prevent cruelty, educate the community and organise adoptions into good forever homes.
Tell us about the work you do rescuing animals.
Whenever we come across abused, abandoned, sick or injured animals, we immediately act to prevent further suffering, provide safe and proper accommodations, medical care, and rehabilitation. We are acting to advance the vision that all animals deserve a life free of cruelty and suffering and, of course, a lot of love. We also work promoting and encouraging neutering of dogs and cats in the surrounding communities. We have dogs and cats for adoption looking for permanent loving homes. Our staff are always ready to guide and help adopters in the adoption process with a full escort.
Talk us through the process of rescue and rehabilitation.
After rescue, first we check over and clean an animal, take them for a veterinary examination and vaccination, then it's onto matching accommodation and social media publication for adoption. Those who are unable to be adopted live with us for the rest of their lives.
How successful has the animal shelter project been so far?
Our 16 years of existence speaks for itself. If they could talk, the 1,200 animals living with us and the 600 that we have helped become adopted over the years would tell you - we have been very successful!
Why are there so many stray dogs and cats in Costa Rica?
Most Costa Ricans have very low income, though they are animal lovers who easily take in puppies and kittens. As soon as they grow up and the cost grows too, they abandon them. The COVID-19 crisis brought economic downfall and produces even more abandoned animals.
What are some of your greatest animal save achievements?
Please head to our YouTube channel, Animal Love Rescue Centre, where videos describe some of our successful rescuing achievements
How do you work with local communities?
Our animals come from nearby and not-sonearby communities (more than 300,000 residents) and live with us for the rest of their lives or until they are rehomed. The rescue centre supports small shelters, animal activists, and concerned residents to rescue stray animals with food, rehabilitation, medical care, donations and knowledge. The same help is provided to animal owners who cannot keep their dogs and cats.
How do you educate people about veganism and spread awareness of animal cruelty?
As vegans, our way of life and our love and care for animals set an example for appreciation of life. The established close connection with the nearby communities initiates a line of information showing how the vegan way creates a stronger bond with the animals. The shelter is open to the public visits and organised, guided educational visits to schools, students, families, animal companions and animal owners. Our call centre is always available for any questions.
How can people at home help?
As a nonprofit charitable organisation, we depend on people's generosity, especially now, because our Lands in Love Hotel and Resort (landsinlove.com) (our vegan hotel), which provided us with financial support, has been closed from the middle of March 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 world crisis, leaving the shelter without the funds needed for its operation.
What is in store for the future of Animal Love and your animal rescue projects?
We are here, and here we will stay forever for the people and the animals.