Buying puppies from dubious sources

Because by the law all breeders in Costa Rica must now comply with legal requirements and special permits, there is a new, cruel business created by unscrupulous people, which we call “puppy hustlers”. These individuals are usually found in high traffic areas such as near a mall, or they can be found online through their website, which will contain just a few cute pictures of different breeds of puppies, along with some basic information and a phone number. Some may have a Facebook page, following of course the same basic scenario: pictures, phone numbers, yet with no vital info about the animals and/or their lineage. They offer all breeds, and often sell you a puppy which is both much too young to be weaned from the motheras well as never de-wormed or vaccinated.

No puppy hustling!

They will also not supply you with any information on your pet, such as date of birth, date of all treatments received so far, the name of the mother and/or contact info of the owner. You will receive a puppy, and everything else is just hot air. When you bring your new pet home, you could find out that it’s too young to eat solid food, that it has worms and parasites, and that it hasn’t had any shots. If you are lucky, your pet survives. And don’t even consider the state of the animals parents, because you really don’t want to know!

You should also know that the authorities are powerless to stop these individuals, as they are seen only as “intermediaries”, (actually just middle men) so at this time the only way to fight them is to inform the public about them and publish each case of negligence, along with names and phone numbers.  The more people that expose them for what they are, the sooner this situation will be taken seriously and the sooner the authorities will implement laws prohibiting this kind of activity.

As a far better alternative, shelters are full of all kinds of animals deserving a good home. If you are looking for a puppy of a particular breed and cannot find it in the shelter, please find a certified, responsible breeder. Visit his or her home or kennel to see the puppy’s parents and observe the premises – is it clean and odor-free? Are the animales clean and well fed? Are they alert and active? Also, pay attention to how the dogs and puppies interact with the breeder – neither should shy away from him or her. Puppies need ample time to mature and socialize with their mother and litter-mates, and this is why they should not be separated from the mother before a minimum of 6 weeks from birth. Also, don’t leave the premises without any and all appropriate documentation.

…and please NEVER, EVER buy from a puppy hustler – if we don’t support this kind of enterprise, we are just that much closer to its eradication.


We started our spay/neuter program immediately after the New Year’s festivities with our “little spay days” at Plaza Boulevard Clinic.

To date (January 17) we’ve been able to spay/neuter 23 animals, all strays or from low income families. Thank you to Dr. Bernabé Berrocal for performing the surgeries for us, and to the Team at the Clinic Plaza Boulevard for making it possible.

Our goal for the year 2014 is to average 40-60 spayed/neutered animals per month – but this depends of course of the funds available.


Sponsors are needed for the vacation activity “BRINGING EDUCATION TO OUR COMMUNITY”. As we did last year in the INVU in Jaco, we would like to repeat these educational events held in the center of the community in Herradura’s Parcelas, in order to make it easy for the kids to reach us independently. We already got donations from Rossy Quesada at Cafe del Mar, Liz Bar from Taco Bar Jaco, Chris Karrer from Herradura Divers and Taffy Tucker – now we still need $300 in order to start this project next week. If you would like to help us, please let us know – every bit helps!

Sponsors needed - buscamos patrocinadores


Check the horse - revise el caballo

Please, before you buy a tour, make sure that your horse looks to be in good health, (LIFT UP THE BACK OF THE BLANKET TO SEE THAT THE BONES ARE WELL COVERED AND THAT THERE ARE NO WOUNDS) and make sure your horse is alert and not exhausted. And make sure that you book the tour ONLY through a company that has a special permit to run their business, (remember no permit, no insurance) which includes THE HEALTH CERTIFICATE FOR THE HORSES – IN DOING SO, YOU WILL HAVE DONE YOUR PART TO HELP PUT AN END TO ANIMAL ABUSE.

Thank you for your time and support.

Katja Bader,
McKee Jaco

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