Nearly 70 animals rescued from cruelty and neglect situation in San Jose, Costa Rica

Rescuers took the dogs and cats, all living in filth, to receive veterinary evaluation and grooming; they will be spayed/neutered and put up for adoption

Humane Society International

  • Two of the dogs found on the property. Amanda Chaves/HSI

  • A group of dogs being removed from the property. Amanda Chaves/HSI

  • A group of cats found on the property. Amanda Chaves/HSI

  • One of the rescued dogs, now groomed and happy for a new life. Amanda Chaves/HSI


Humane Society International/Latin America assisted the Costa Rica’s Animal Health Department, known as SENASA, and the Judicial Investigation Agency in the rescue of 68 dogs and cats from a suspected cruelty and neglect situation in Montes de Oca, San Jose. The owner voluntarily surrendered all the animals to officials with SENASA and the Judicial Investigation Agency, who acted together for the first time in accordance with the new mandate Law No. 9458 approved last June.

Most of the animals showed signs of malnutrition, with severe skin problems, extreme knots in their fur and long nails. A number of the dogs and cats had health problems that required immediate specialized attention. Once removed from the property, the rescuers transported the animals to the Humanitarian Association for Animal Protection, where a veterinarian checked and treated each animal. The rescued animals also received teeth cleaning, grooming services, vaccination, deworming and treatment for the severe skin problems.

Andrea Borel, executive director of HSI/LA, said: “Unfortunately, neglect situations like this one are common. Well-intentioned people try to help stray animals by taking them in, without considering the real implications of this action. They soon find themselves in an unmanageable situation that descends into animal suffering. We found these cats and dogs living in their own filth, with untreated medical conditions and inadequate food and water. Thanks to the joint efforts of SENASA and the Judicial Investigation Agency, and timely action afforded by Costa Rica’s new animal protection law, these animals will have a second chance.”

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The animals will be sterilized and then placed in foster homes. HSI/LA will cover the cost of sterilization and their recovery, and will follow up on the adoption process.

Media contacts:
In Costa Rica: Amanda Chaves,, (506) 22 33 03 03
In the USA: Raúl Arce-Contreras,, +1 (301) 721-6440

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