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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-so[1]nearby 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.

More Info

For more from Animal Love, follow them on IG @animalloverescue and Facebook facebook.com/animalloverescuecenter,
and visit their website animallove.cr.

VeganLife

The lifestyle magazine written by vegans for vegans.