THE “GOLDEN PAW AWARD  is presented twice a year by both OUR ORGANIZATION and by the magazine “PETS Y MAS”, and it’s purpose is to honor local people in our communities for their selfless compassion and service toward animals.

On June 23, 2015  this award was presented to PATRICIA HOLMER, a Canadian expat and big – time animal lover who arrived in Costa Rica with her husband TONNY and 2 dogs and a cat in 1997 with a plan to retire. It didn’t take long for the family to start growing, with more and more 4 – legged members rescued from a miserable life with irresponsible owners or from the streets.

I first met Patri back in 2001, and we immediately saw that we shared the same passion in our lives, that being helping homeless animals and fighting the overpopulation through spay and neuter campaigns. Since then, our organization and Patri work together and help each other wherever we can. Today Patricia is taking care of 28 dogs and 22 cats and her home has become a shelter for all kinds of abused, neglected and injured creatures.

They all live in good conditions on Patri’s property or in a few foster homes, receiving both medical treatment and lots of love and attention, something most of them don’t know from their previous lives. Once they are healthy and have received their shots, they get spayed or neutered and prepared for their new homes. Unfortunately, the placement of adult, non pure-bred dogs and cats isn’t that easy in our area, so some of them never find a home. In these cases the only option is to become a permanent member of Patri’s family.

Since Patri’s husband Tonny passed away last year, she is now left alone with all the responsibility, counting on just a few volunteers in the area: SANTOS MONTENEGRO LOPEZ, DALIA RAQUEL MEJIA OROZCO and ARON ESQUIVEL. All of the financial burden must be paid from the little money Patricia has for herself, as she is not receiving regular funding from any institution or organization. She struggles, but she never leaves any creature in need or without help.

Thanks to this extraordinary woman, countless animals have had a chance for a new, better life, and we can only hope that more and more people will follow her example and help us to eliminate needless animal suffering in our community.

A HUGE thank you from all of us goes out to PATRICIA for being such an important and active contributor to animal welfare in Costa Rica.

He was definitely one of the most difficult rescues we ever had. If it wasn’t for persistence and patience of DORIS and DIETER we would never be able to get him in the first place. They called him NIGHT – short for Nightmare – which is what this dog was for the people living in Opera Salvaje and for DORIS and DIETER for almost 2 months.

It’s an incredible rescue story and you can read it on our website under Night-mare at


Since his rescue in 2008 NIGHT, this giant with scary looks and a big heart, was living with DORIS and DIETER, who gave him what he never had in his sad life – a home and

a big family, consisting of both humans and doggie and kitty brothers and sisters. He loved other dogs and cats and he loved DORIS and DIETER. He didn’t trust other people, at least not immediately, probably after his experience when he was living all by himself for over 2 years. As soon as he got healthy and recuperated after his rescue, NIGHT immediately started helping to save other dogs. Due to both: his big size and good health condition, NIGHT was the first choice as a blood donor in our area. His blood has saved more than 20 dogs, all of them treated in the Jaco and Herradura clinics with a transfusion containing his blood.

NIGHT did have a long life – he was with DORIS and DIETER for another 7 years – and these were wonderful years for him, the human family he lived with and for all his furry brothers and sisters. Doris and Dieter are heartbroken and they will miss him a lot. RIP Night, you were one of the greatest dogs we had pleasure to rescue.


ASSISTANCE DOGS are specifically trained to help people who have disabilities. Service animals HAVE TO BE ALLOWED to accompany people with disabilities IN ALL AREAS OF THE FACILITY WHERE THE PUBLIC IS NORMALLY ALLOWED TO GO.

Please respect that!

Thank you for your time and support.

Katja Bader

Asociacion Pro Bienestar Animal (McKee Jaco)

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