Fifteen dogs rescued from dogfighting and neglect in Costa Rica

Humane Society International assisted the authorities with the dog seizure

Humane Society International

  • The rescued animals will now go through an evaluation, while the authorities determine the adequate course of action in this case. HSI/Amanda Chaves


A raid of a suspected dogfighting ring in Purral, Costa Rica, resulted in the rescue of 15 severely neglected dogs, several of whom showed clear signs of fighting. The Costa Rican National Animal Health Service conducted the seizure, with the help of Humane Society International/Latin America and American Stafford Costa Rica.

As the authorities entered the property, one of the suspects attempted to escape with four dogs. Authorities were able to detain the suspect after a chase. The dogs found in the property, mainly pit bull type dogs, including American Staffordshire terriers, displayed scars and wounds consistent with those resulting from dogfighting. They were kept in enclosures closely resembling those commonly used by dogfighters in the United States. The authorities confiscated nine of these dogs, along with six free roaming dogs found on the property. Two dogs are gestating, indicating a breeding facility that perpetuates the cruel practice of dogfighting.”

Help us continue this life-saving work.

Amanda Chaves, team manager of HSI/Latin America’s animal rescue team, said: “Sadly, situations such as this one are not uncommon. The suffering that these animals have to endure is truly inhumane. We are grateful for the commitment and dedication from both the Costa Rican authorities and our partners at American Stafford Costa Rica to fight this cruel practice, and we look forward to increase our response to cases involving dogfighting, for the sake of the animals.”

The animals will now go through an evaluation, while the authorities determine the adequate course of action in this case. HSI/Latin America will support the government in processing this case legally.


  • HSI/Latin America collaborated with SENASA and American Stafford Costa Rica to draft specific legislation to penalize individuals participating in dogfights. With the passing of the law in 2014, dogfighting became a criminal offense entailing economic sanctions and possible jail time for organizers.  
  • The dogs involved in dogfighting often suffer life-threatening injuries, and due to the illegal and brutal nature of this practice, animals don’t receive necessary medical care.
  • Dogfighting is frequently related to activities such as gambling, drug dealing and illegal gun sales, and it exposes youth to violence and desensitizes them from committing acts of cruelty towards animals.
  • HSI-Latin America’s programs on companion animals and wildlife protection save lives. You can support our work by donating through our website, or directly through our local accounts:

Account Number: 905337655 (USD)
Account Number: 905337663 (Colones)
Account Name: Asociacion Humane Society International Latin America

Media Contact: Raul Arce-Contreras,, 301.721.6440