Author Archives: Mckee Jaco

Presenting the “Golden Paw Award”

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

On May 23, 2013 this award was presented to Catalina Valverde – a young wife and mother who lives with her family in Atenas, but spends at least half of her time here in our county, visiting her family and taking care of the canine and feline population in this area. This is why roughly half of all her rescues come from the Quebrada Ganado/Tarcoles area.

Premio Pata de Oro 2013 2

I first met Catalina in May of 2011, when she contacted me about organizing a spay day in Quebrada Ganado. It was the first clinic held in that location, and I was surprised at how much interest the people showed. While the surgical teams of students and vets from UNA were implementing the procedures, Catalina’s husband Dr. Victor Montenegro – vet and docent at UNA – was offering free consultations for animals with health problems, and most of the patients received not only a complete check up, but also a free blood workup. The day ended up with30 spayed/neutered animals, as well as many others attended by Dr. Montenegro.

Since then, Catalina and myself stay in contact, and this is how I was able to get to know her and her entire family.

With every phone call or Facebook posting regarding an animal in need, Catalina, either alone or with a helper, is already on her way to save another life, and she doesn’t mind driving 100 Kilometers to rescue an animal in danger. The animals she rescues get attended to and treated by her husband Victor, or if their condition requires hospitalization, at the University Clinic in Heredia. They all stay at Catalina’s and Victor’s house until they are 100% healthy, spayed/neutered and ready for their new homes. All this is possible thanks to the incredible involvement of the entire Montenegro-Valverde family, as all 3 children are also involved in this project – they all pitch in and help take care of the animals, not only seeing to their respective treatments but also giving them love and attention, which as we all know is often a key element in the recovery process, especially in the case of abused animals.

Premio Pata de Oro 2013 2

Their house has become a shelter for all kinds of abused, neglected and injured creatures; besides dogs and cats, you’ll also find 2 goats and one pig, all saved from the butcher, a rabbit that was injured by a dog and even an old quail. And there are also different wildlife animals like sloths, macaws, parrots staying there as “short term tenants” who get brought to the wildlife rescue centers after receiving first aid treatments.

Catalina’s life is all about her protégés. Also her husband Victor dedicates every free minute to his wife’s project. This extraordinary family does an incredible job saving animals lives, and all this without being a part of any organization. Sometimes they work together with Animales Atenas, sometimes with us, but for the most part they are on their own, working hard and spending every extra penny for their rescues.

A HUGE Thank You goes out to Catalina and her family, for being such important and active contributors to animal welfare in Costa Rica.

Katja Bader
McKee Jaco

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McKee Jaco kicked off 2013 with one of its most important, ongoing activities: Spaying and neutering of rescued animals and pets belonging to low-income families. Year-to-date, we have managed to spay and neuter 63 animals.  A HUGE thank you goes out to the people who went out of their way to facilitate the spaying and neutering program:Dr. Jose Manuel Jimenez, Carolina Campos, Doris Schluckebier, Silvina Goren, Leo Hogan and Laleña Bennett as well as to all our sponsors – see below.


Great news: Our hard work and persistence is starting to pay off! We’ve managed to have 12 road signs placed in Jaco and Herradura! We’ve already received a lot of positive feedback from visitors and people who live in the area.

Yo freno por los animales

Thanks to the fantastic design of American artist CRYSTAL MCLAUGHLIN from Myrtle Beach, who also donated the designs of the stickers, T-Shirts, and business cards, the road signs are clearly visible and easy to recognize. We are also grateful to LINDA LOOK for sponsoring this entire project and to JACO MUNICIPALITY for granting us the permission to place the signs.

As mentioned before, we’ve calculated that 70% of all animal accidents could be prevented, if only the drivers would use their breaks.

We are certain, that it will make a huge difference once more and more people are made aware of the fact that, with very little effort, they can help reduce the number of injured or killed animals on our roads. All it takes to prevent an animal (and your car) from getting hurt on the road IS HITTING THE BRAKES!

The next important step is to place a big road sign on one of the most notorious spots that we know of in this area: next to the CARARA NATIONAL PARK, just off the Costanera Highway. As we mentioned before, this “death trap” claims the lives of wild animals almost daily and, therefore, we need to take action very soon. In order for the sign to be easily noticeable, it should be 2 meters high and 1 meter wide.The sign will be made using reflective materials so it will be clearly visible day and night. The price of each sign is USD 250. If you’re interested in connecting your business with this wonderful cause, don’t miss out on this perfect opportunity and contact us for more information about how to sponsor a sign!


In the meantime, our mission to have our sticker “Yo freno por los animales” (“I brake for animals”) on each car in Costa Rica is ongoing!If you are an animal lover and don’t have a sticker yet, please order one now and join us in achieving our goal to create more awareness and reduce the number of injured and killed animals on the roads. The attractive, fun design of the sticker also looks great on any other moving vehicle, so make sure to pass it on to non-car owners too! They cost only 500 colones and are available in black and yellow. Contact us and place your order!

Last but not least, we have started offering taxi drivers who want to be a part of the project a starter kit. Each kit includes 2 free “I brake for animals T-Shirts”, 100 free business cards with our slogan and the contact details of the driver printed on them. The responses so far have been very positive and we’ll be sure to recommend the participating taxi drivers to locals and visitors to Jaco area. If you wish to be mentioned on our “pet friendly taxi driver” list, or would like to recommend anyone, please do not hesitate to contact us.

As mentioned previously, the t-shirts can also be ordered by non-taxi drivers and make a fun gift for any animal lover! They cost $16 per piece and can be ordered by contacting us.

Once again, we would like to express our deepest gratitude to our friend and supporter of this project LINDA LOOK from the US, who also is sponsoring our education program.


Despite the limited availability of resources, our education project turned out to be a huge success. In cooperation with the Jaco Library, we organised bi-weekly events during January and February filled with quality animal information and lots of fun stuff to do and learn. The program included learning everything about animal rights, arts projects and story time. It was our goal to reach as many children in our community as possible. To ensure this, all the activities took place in the middle of the community, making it very easy for the kids to reach us independently. We were delighted to see that, besides the kids, their brothers, sisters and even their moms attended! We finished the program with a beautiful mural in the kids park in INVU. The kids worked really hard on creating this masterpiece and we’ll be adding the names of all of them involved and some messages soon. A huge thank you goes out to ANGELA MARIA and her husband JOHNNY fromART SCHOOL MIREVEA for volunteering as “art directors” and making it possible to have a unique and ever-lasting reminder of this fantastic project.

¡La educación nunca se detiene!

Unfortunately, education is a costly (yet vital) element of our organization. As a result of the lack of available funds, our education program needs to be adjusted and our activities will be limited to one school only this year. It goes without saying that we’ll continue to help alleviate animal suffering by raising public consciousness. Education is key in helping low-income families become more aware and ensuring that animals receive the respect they so need and deserve. Should you wish to donate to this project, or know of any funding opportunities that could help keep it alive, please don’t hesitate to contact us!

Thank you again, SUE BARTHOLOMEW for sponsoring these activities during the vacation time and LINDA LOOK for supporting this highly important project from the start!


The nominations for the next Golden Paw Award are due by May 15. If you know someone who makes our community a truly better place through the work they do with animals, please fill out the form on our website email us at

Nominations may come from any community member. Please read the nomination guidelines before filling out the form.


Carol BrownWe are deeply saddened by the passing away of our beloved friend Carol Brown. Carol was a big-time animal lover and dedicated volunteer. She was always there when we needed her and even shared her home with one of our vet volunteers from the States who came to Costa Rica to give free castrations.
Her endless support to our group has been invaluable and we are eternally grateful to her.
She will be greatly missed by all of us. Her family, aware of Carol’s love for our project, has decided that memorial donations can be sent to our organization en lieu of flowers. We received donations in memory of Carol Brown from: Kent and Nancy Brockman, Robin Creech, Friends at Environmental Products Inc. Paul Viox Jeff Viox Jimbo Weiler Yvonne Billings, staff at American Metal Fibers, Inc., Richard Hammer, Frenzelit North America – Stephen McFadden, David W Cunningham, Larry Smoot, Dr. Gaye W. Cronin, Mary E Brown and Catherine Smoak, Alpha high performance fabrics, Bonn Industrial Equipment, Melvin & Jo Wright, Warren Environment Inc, Raemon G. Davis, Todd O’Malley – Cher O’Malley, John Callen and Frances Callen, Power Supplies and Services, William Beringer Jr.



And like always, our huge Thank You goes out again to the sponsors of all three programs: Linda Look, Stuart Welch, Leo Plumley, Hotel Mar de Luz, Wishbone Restaurant, Paola Alvarado and Hotel Los Ranchos, for their regular monthly support,as well as to: Dr. Marco Rodriguez,, SASY Costa Rica, Shannon Clarke, Anna Bramani, John Robinson, Yami Gutierrez, Roberto Cambronero, Deborah Crane, Myra Weiger, Stuart Welch, Taffy Tucker, Brook Rochester, Piko Travel, Crystal Curry, Jill Seagren, Gaston – Bijagual, Tina Wallace, Dennis Ward – capt “Never say Never”, Cheryl Mead, Kristen Luke, Norma & Ken Kahn, Tammy Rodriguez, Jane & Lee Swidler, Leo Plumley, Bruce & Shana Matzki, Denise & John Gilbride, Anonymous – @ the fundraiser, Sean Milligan @ GeckoTech, PikoTravel, Nancy Fernández Fedullo, Ray & Suzanna Krueger Koplin, Lilli & Till @ Tortuga del Mar, Adriana Rodriguez Coto, Philipp Edwards @ Club del Mar, Titus Harris, Joe Catalano, Guests at Hotel Club del Mar, Sylvia van Baekel, Dennis Ward, Mary Stompe, Lee Wilson, Stuart Welch, Sarah Reyes Perez for your support in these last 2 months.

And to all our sponsors of the fundraiser: Beach Club BLU – hosting and welcome drink, CHUPACABRAS – Music, Koko Muruture – Music, Sergio Cordero “CHECHO” – tables, chairs, Icon graphics – Printing, Johnny from copy shop – Printing as well as: Discovery Horseback Tours, Costa Rica Coffee Experience, The Tico Pod Gift Shop, Teatro Jaco, Blackbeard’s Restaurant – Morgan’s Cove Resort, Herradura Divers, Chuck’s W.O.W. Surf Shop, Never Better Salon, Pura Vida Pantry, The Green Room Café, Elliott Easton Surf Lessons, Shoetopia, Marea Brava Hotel Hermosa, Veterinaria YAN Herradura, La Puesta del Sol Restaurante Herradura, Big Bamboo Pizzeria, Sweet Cakes by Kenia, Jimmy T Provisions, Sunrise Breakfast, Lattitude Restaurant – Hotel Cocal, The Patio Bar, Sandra’s Coffee Shop, Children’s Casual Wear Shop, Papas & Burgers, Burro Burritos, Jaco Taco, Lemon Zest, Premier Dental Care, The Backyard Hermosa, Surf Dogs, Taco Bar, Vista Los Suenos Canopy Tour, Kathy Lynn Jewelry, Los Almendros Restaurant, Michal Marchevsky-Acupuncture, Crystal Dental Care, Intuitive Soul – Jeanie Baker, Pacific Tour Travels, Siddharta Mejia, Parrilla Argentina Steak House, Hotel Poseidon for donating to us great prizes for the raffle.

As most of you know by now, we are constantly looking for unique ways to bring attention to animals in desperate need of a home or a sponsor. If you have any suggestions, or wish to be a part of ANY of our projects, please feel free to contact us!

And last but not least: Many thanks to ALL OF YOU out there in the world that care!


Nadzyra Calonius
Asociación Pro Bienestar Animal (McKee Jaco)

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Sponsors needed!


During the 10 years that we have been active in this area, our organization has rescued many animals, and some of them end up with seemingly little chance to ever find a home, as they have needs and/or conditions that make it difficult to properly care for them – too old, too sick or just plain too afraid of people. At this time we have 4 animals that we refer to as very “cost intensive” dogs, who thanks to our efforts pretty much recuperated from the disease they were rescued with, but they still need lifelong special care, which includes special diet, meds, lab costs etc.



Do you remember Duke, the abandoned dog with terminal kidney disease? Here he is, 12 months later, living a very happy life with Doris and Dieter. His disease can be perfectly controlled with a special diet, regular i/v treatments and meds. Duke needs sponsors for his happy, but unfortunately expensive life.The monthly costs of his maintenance are: $67.00 for k/d food, $24.00 for i/v treatments, $24.00  lab costs, $30.00 treatment with a hormone erythropoietin (which is expensive and available only in the human hospital Cima), $15.00 other meds (Omeprazol, Ulcogant, Vitamins). All together we need $157.00 every month for Duke. Please help us maintain this great dog – look at his new pictures, doesn’t he look happy?


This beautiful and furry little lady named Lucky “adopted” Mari from the shop Matis. She followed her all the way from the beach to work, waited there for 8 hours and then followed her home. There was no way Lucky would leave, so Mari offered to be the foster home for her. Unfortunately Lucky has a chronic kidney insufficiency caused by a case of ehrlichiosis that was not properly treated. She has a good quality and happy life, made possible only by the special and very expensive care she receives every month. Her monthly maintenance costs: $50.00 for k/d food, $24.00 for i/v treatments, $24.00 lab costs and $30.00 for treatment with the hormone erythropoietin. So far she doesn’t need any additional meds, which is very unusual. Mari and Paco decided to keep her together with their own dog Zaguate, and she is dearly loved, and even though her life won’t be long it will be very happy. The monthly cost for Lucky is $128.00


CHINO was Jerry Hallstrom’s  (Bubba’s) dog. When Bubba passed away in November 2010, Chino, together with all Bubba’s pets, were adopted. But his life with his new family was short, and a few months later we found him abandoned, wandering on the streets all by himself, emaciated and with a terrible eye infection, so we took him in. Chino is old and has permanent eye problems, and needs a special eye cream for the rest of his life, and this is very expensive. Now, after he suffered from bladder stones, he also needs a special, very expensive diet. Besides this 2 health problems Chino is a very happy guy, and lives with Karin and Adrian Muri from the Big Bamboo restaurant. They gave this guy not just a foster home for life, but also a lot of love and attention. I meet Chino every day on the beach during his daily long walk – he loves the beach and he enjoys the walks. He is one happy guy who deserves to spend the last years of his life in the comfort which only his diet and medication can provide. His monthly maintenance is: $50.00 for s/d food, $22.00 for the lab costs and $44.00 for Cyclosporina eye cream, which comes to a total of $116.00


I am sure you all remember BUDDY, the dog from the Turtle Farm who miraculously survived despite the horribly neglected condition we found him in. He works at the library now, and as he loves to always have people around, he also represents both McKee and the library at all the events we attend together. He lives with Liana, who not only is his foster home,  she is his family and he follows her around like a shadow. Buddy, because of his age and because of the car accident he had 2 years ago at the refuge, has problems walking. These problems are controlled with oral meds, but lately it’s not enough, and Buddy now needs the famous (and expensive) miracle medicine called Legend. It works quite well, and he can walk again pain – free and even can play with his brother Charlie. We were never able to take him off the special food, as his kidneys are chronically compromised due to the extremely dehydrated condition that we found him in at the refuge. His monthly expenses are: $50.00 for k/d, $16.00 for vitamins, $20.00 for ArtriTabs, $16.00 for Hympirin, $40.00 for Legend (treatments of 3 injections every 3 months costs $120.00) $24.00 lab costs, which adds up to a monthly tab of $166.00

If you would like to help one of these great guys, please let us know. So far we received help specifically for these animals from: PikoTravel – Herradura, Dennis Ward – Herradura, Nancy Fernandez Fedullo – Jaco. Thank you!

Sponsors needed!

Katja Bader
Asociación Pro Bienestar Animal (McKee Jaco)

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McKee-Jaco Fundraiser Event

Many thanks go out to ALL OF THOSE THAT PARTICIPATED in the fundraising event that was held at the BEACH CLUB JACO BLU on February 27th. Many people were involved in making it such a grand success, and our heartfelt thanks goes to each and every one of you. ABIG THANK YOU goes also to LOS CHUPACABRAS – the band who kept us company for this special event.

McKee-Jaco Fundraiser 2013

The fundraiser was a big success, with over 150 people coming out to support this community event.

We were able to raise $2,820.00 from both the sale of tickets, the raffle and money donations received during the event. From this amount $1,400 will be used to cover our outstanding bills at 2 clinics, $1000 goes toward our education fund and $420 will be used in our castration program.

McKee-Jaco fundraiser event

A special thanks also goes out to all the sponsors of this event, (we will publish the list on our website and in Facebook) and of course, to all of you who joined us at this event – THANKS!

Katja Bader
Asociación Pro Bienestar Animal (McKee Jaco)

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Education never stops!

McKee Jaco and Jaco Library is now bringing half-days of fun and educational activities to our local communities with even fewer resources available. Coming out to the community gives us an advantage of communication not only with the kids, but also with their brothers and sisters and often also moms, who also come and watch the activities. And of course this makes possible the participation of kids whose parents cannot bring them to the library or whatever place where the activity is offered. We come and set up a place for activities in the middle of the community, so all kids can come by themselves without depending on anybody.

Education never stops!

The following activities are implemented:

  • learn about animal rights
  • art projects for the school children (coloring, drawing, collage), all about animals and their rights
  • story time – the nicest animal stories we were able to find

The program is held twice a week, from 9.00 am through 12.00 noon during the months of January and February. We hope to reach as many children and their families in our community as possible.This event is made possible by a generous donation from the BARTHOLOMEW FAMILY of the United States. THANK YOU!

Education program Jan 2013

In February, after the local schools organize their programs, we want to start working at the Escuela Central in Jaco on a daily basis.

This great (and expensive) project will be possible thanks to the generous support of LINDA LOOK from the USA – the same person who years ago sponsored the start of our education program, and has been helping to keep it alive ever since. THANK YOU LINDA, FOR MAKING IT POSSIBLE TO CONTINUE THIS GREAT AND SO VERY IMPORTANT PART OF OUR PROJECT. 

This year we would like to include in this great program another big school from our area – the Herradura school. We will be starting an education fund for this school – more information will be sent in a separate message in the next few days.


We started our spay/neuter program immediately after the New Year’s festivities with a little spay day in Esterillos Oeste and then one here in Jaco on the very next day.

To date (January 12) we’ve been able to spay/neuter 23 animals, all strays or from low income families. We will be continuing with these “small clinics” weekly, or every other week, depends of the demand.

Thank you to Dr. Jose Manuel Jimenez for performing the surgeries for us, and to all the volunteers who assisted him: Elisabeth LubbersDoris Schluckebier, Silvina Goren and Leo Hogan.

Our goal for the year 2013 is to average 70 spayed/neutered animals per month – but this depends of course of the funds available and of the volunteers willing to help in organizing and then assisting at the clinics.


It’s time for our next fundraiser party. We are looking forVOLUNTEERS WITH ENOUGH TIME TO ORGANIZE THIS EVENT. If you could help, please contact me at 2-643-4012 or send me an email at

Volunteers needed


And like always, our huge Thank You goes out again to the sponsors of all three programs in this month of January – Linda Look, Stuart Welch, Leo Plumley, Hotel Mar de Luz, Wishbone Restaurant, Paola Alvarado and Hotel Los Ranchos, for their regular monthly support, as well as to: Arleen & Gregory Wootten, Henry & Eugenia, Ana Pana, Pets y mas, Elena Sanahuja, Tina Wallace, Lee Wilson, Toni Sestak,  Judy Witt, Judith Maria, Kristin Vince Singletary, Mima Lobo, Rossy Quesada – Café del Mar, Nicole Gamboa, Vivian Wolf, Petra Mi, Annemarie, June Beard, Cindy & Drago, Brenda Obando, Yamileth Gutierrez for your support this month.

Thank you for your time and support.

Katja Bader,
McKee Jaco

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News from the project “I Brake for Animals”

We are still in the middle of the first stage of our new project “I brake for animals”, and the municipality has informed us that we will receive permission to put 12 signs on the roads in Jaco and Herradura. We are now waiting for this permission in its written form, in order to have the signs produced and installed. We also spoke with the administrator of Carara National Park, a place where almost every day we can see dead wild animals on the highway, and asked them for permission to put our signs on the edge of their property – it’s next to the highway, so they will be perfectly visible from the road, but no special permits from MOPT will be necessary.

Yo freno por los animales

The stickers for the cars are already a big hit. More and more people, not only from our area but also from other parts of Costa Rica, are asking for them. We hope that in the future, all  animal lovers will have one on their carIf you still haven’t received one, please order one now, and be a part of this project – SPREADING THIS MESSAGE WILL HELP TO REDUCE THE NUMBER OF INJURED OR KILLED ANIMALS ON OUR ROADS.

Taxi Driver Kit

Now we are starting the second stage of this great project, which is:INCLUDING THOSE WHO SPEND THE MOST TIME DRIVING ON THE ROADS: TAXI DRIVERS. We are offering those cab drivers who wish to be a part of the project a starter kit, with 2 free “I brake for animals T-Shirts” and 100 free business cards with the name of the driver, the number of the dispatch andof his vehicle, his cell number, and of course our slogan. Even though the taxis cannot have any stickers or other advertisements on or in it, just giving the passengers the card and wearing the T-Shirt will help to keep spreading the message. And we know that the drivers who participate, will also make sure to act according to the message they are representing. As a bonus, we are also starting a list of all “pet friendly” taxis which we will be recommending to both locals and tourists in all media.


And here, again, a huge thank you to both: the designer of these wonderful stickers, T-Shirts, signs and business cards – American artist CRYSTAL MCLAUGHLIN, and also to LINDA LOOK, who not only is sponsoring the project, but also helped create it together with us – Linda has always been there with ideas and advice.

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How you can help us to reduce the number of animals injured and killed on our streets

Accidents happen, and animals get killed on the roads, and not only in Costa Rica. But there are more animals killed and injured in accidents in Costa Rica than in the States or in other European countries. This happens for three reasons: first, because there are many strays living on Costa Rican streets. Then, because in the rural areas, some people walk their dogs without a leash, and others just let them free, so they are roaming streets all by themselves with no human control. And then, because there are still so many drivers which don’t brake for them. Maybe it’s not as bad as 10 years ago when one could see motorists hitting animals on purpose, but we’ve calculated THAT 70% OF ALL ANIMAL ACCIDENTS COULD BE PREVENTED, IF ONLY THE DRIVERS WOULD USE THEIR BRAKES.

To change this, we are starting a new project “I BRAKE FOR ANIMALS”. Its first stage is the distribution of bumper stickers for cars, and placing street signs on the roads in our area. We are offering to all car owners a sticker to put on their car. Our goal is having the stickers on all cars in our county, so that the message gets out and is seen every day by everybody, both driversand pedestrians. We’ve also already submitted our request to the municipality for permission to put signs on the roads in Jaco and Herradura. As soon as we receive the permit, we will, for now, produce 12 signs and put them on 6 main streets.

The art for the stickers is donated to us by an American artist CRYSTAL MCLAUGHLIN from Myrtle Beach, and we are very grateful for this awesome design, which makes from these stickers little pieces of art, so attractive that everyone will want at least one of them.

This project is sponsored by our friend and supporter from the US, LINDA LOOK, who is also sponsoring our education program.

I brake for the animals!

Please order your stickers now, and help us to reduce the number of animals injured and killed on our streets!

The stickers are available in black and yellow, the price is 500 colones.

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Pet Festival in Jacó

Another successful activity with the younger members of our community and their parents – Pet Festival – took place on Saturday, September 29 at the Escuela Central in Jaco. The event was open to the public. 49 dogs were entered in 5 different competitions, and they were brought by both the kids and their parents, and we calculated that there were approximately 200 people participating. Winners received great prizes, all donated generously by our sponsors: CALYPSO CRUISES, CANOPY VISTA LOS SUENOS, DISCOVERY HORSEBACK TOURS, TACO BAR JACO, CITI CINEMAS JACO, RESTAURANTE LAS OLAS, RESTAURANTE BIG BAMBOO, CAFÉ DEL MAR, ESCUELA DE ARTE MIREVEA, VETERINARIA PLAZA BOULEVARD, LABORATORIO CLINICO JACO, DAYSTAR JACO, HOTEL MARRIOTT HERRADURA, IMPORTADORA MONGE JACO, JUDY WITT,  MARY STOMPE, ANNA PILZ, LIBRERÍA MAREA BAJA, EL COMITÉ CANTONAL DE DEPORTES. Thank you to all of you! Thank you also to LICORERA JACO for donating refreshments for all our helpers.

Pet Festival 2012

This event was one of the most entertaining festivals we’ve ever organized. There were dogs which could do tricks I’ve never seen before – a one-eyed mutt was riding a skateboard, climbing a ladder, carrying trash bags and putting them in the trash cans. This dog had sunglasses on and loved the show, and anyone could see that she had at least as much fun as we did. There was a singing Chihuahua – the funniest Chihuahua I’ve ever seen – who is a very smart dog with so many tricks that it was hilarious. And there was dog (the same one that won the “Most Mutty Mutt” contest) who could play soccer with the kids.  All entrants were very well taken care of, and their owners were very proud of them and one could see that they really loved them. The decorations were great as well. with different animals cut out of cardboard (pets and wildlife) and their respective rights – each animal had a sign with one of their rights: right to be taken care of, right to live and die in dignity, right to be healthy, right to be free, as well as the right to live unmolested in the natural environment for wildlife. There was an exhibition of the artwork which illustrates animal rights, and there was also an exhibition of the best animal stories – all created by the students in our education program. Both parents and the public alike were very interested in this, and I saw lines in front of these exhibitions.

Pet Festival in Jacó

The message of this activity was repeated in all our presentations and decorations: all animals have rights, and it is the responsibility of the entire community to make sure that these rights are respected. Once this happens, Jaco will become a better place to live for all: humans, pets and wildlife animals.

A huge THANK YOU goes to everyone who helped us to make this activity such a big success: the director of Escuela Central Vera Alpizar and all teachers participating in the event, especially professor Asdrubal Moya Orozco, who manned the microphone during the entire event, and toGuillermo Rios from the Red Cross, housewifeFlor Morales Jimenez, and Lineth Aguilar Carmona, a college student – all 3 of them worked as a jury for the entire event. Thanks also to Angela Maria Lozano, who is in charge of the education program in our organization, her husband Johnny, who helped with the decoration and organization, all the donors mentioned above, and to everybody who was there to share this great adventure with us.


September was also a busy month for our spay/neuter program. We had our spay days with DR. JOSE MANUEL JIMÉNEZ in Jaco and in Esterillos. Thanks to Leo Hogan and Doris Schluckebier who assisted Dr. Jimenez with the surgeries, and also to Silvina Rogers for being there and taking care of the patients, both pre and post-op. And a special thanks also to Laleña Bennett for offering us her home to hold our clinics – having this great place, located so close to everyone involved and set up so perfectly for our needs, makes it so much easier to make these spay days happen! Also in the Jaco clinic, DRA. WENDY VILLALOBOS provides low-cost castrations for our rescues, as well as for pets belonging to low income families who cannot afford the regular price. During the month of September we were able to spay/neuter 53 animals!


8 months after we rescued Duke (see pictures below), the abandoned dog with a terminal kidney disease, he’s still alive and kicking! Originally he was supposed to go to the farm and live out the last few weeks of his life, yet this guy is still with us and doing better than ever. His blood work is, considering his condition, good enough to live a comfortable life at Doris and Dieter’s place. His kidney disease didn’t disappear of course, but it is 100% controllable. Thanks to Doris, who gave this animal so much love and care, Duke is today one happy dog with a good quality of life. Thank you to all his sponsors: Sue BartholomewRonald Meltzer, Mary Stompe, Mimi Arandjelovic andAnnie Forget for helping with his treatments and special k/d food. To Dr. Marco Rodriguez fromLaboratorio Clinico Jaco for helping us with Duke’s blood work, and to Dr. Wendy Villalobosfor being there for Duke when he needed permanent care, and for always believing that he would survive.

Duke 2012

2 months after we rescued Buddy (known also as Pinto, from the Turtle Refugio in Hermosa) – see the collage below – who miraculously survived despite the horribly neglected condition we found him in, has recuperated so well that considering his advanced age, neither we nor the vet can believe the incredibly fast recuperation this animal has shown. He spends his mornings mostly on the beach, watching the waves, (and Liana surfing them!) then he goes to the library where he rests and plays with the children, all of whom love and spoil him a lot. His condition is very stable but he still needs special k/d diet. We hope that after some more time he will be able to eat regular “senior” chow. Buddy had so many sponsors, that we were able to not only pay his bills at the University clinic, but we also had enough for his emergency care and hospitalization at the clinic in Herradura, all his tests, meds and even his special food. Thank you to all his sponsors: Galeria Murillo,, Cheryl Kern, Dennis Ward – Capitan of  “Never say never”, Anonymous, Julie Textor, Douglas Giampapa, Marcia Briceño Valverde, Sue Bartholomew, Stuart Welch, Leo Plumley, Enid Alejandra Retana, Mary Stompe, Melisa from M’s Fashion Store, Family of Bubba Hallstrom – (in memory of Bubba), Lighthouse Rescue Faro Rescate Animal, Nancy Lebo, Ghogha Amon, Tina Wallace, Bruce Carl Ertmann, Lois and Robert Newman, Deborah Gauthier, Henry & Eugenia Balke, Frances Jones and Roberto Mariaca, who from time to time visits this old guy at the library and who just offered us a regular contribution to Buddy’s medical care in the future. Thank you for being Buddy’s heroes!

Buddy 2012


And like always, our huge Thank You goes out again to the sponsors of all three programs in this month of September – Linda Look, Stuart Welch, Liz from Taco Bar, Leo Plumley, Hotel Mar de Luz, Cathi Brennan, Wishbone Restaurant, Paola Alvarado, Hotel Los Ranchos, and Gabriela Contreras Cordero for their regular monthly support, as well as to:Crystal McLaughlinShannon Clarke, Damion Silvey, Rossy Quesada – Café del Mar, Annie Forget, Dennis Ward – Capitan of “Never say never”, Sarah Jones, Julia Johnson, Ayurveda Centroamericana, Economedica Internacional, Bridget Hatch, Marco Rodriguez – Laboratorio Clinico Jaco, Mary Stompe, Vivian Calvo, Roberto Mariaca.

Thank you for your time.

Katja Bader
Asociación Pro Bienestar Animal (McKee Jaco)

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Indifference killed Tarzan

Albert Einstein once said: “The world is a dangerous place. Not because of bad people, because of those that are indifferent.”

…and there is not one day that this quote doesn’t come to my mind, not one day that I don’t see the indifference around me. First I thought that it’s cruelty. Then I thought that it’s ignorance. And then, one day I realized that it’s mostly the indifference. Indifference of those nice and always friendly people who would watch their pets slowly die over a period of weeks without doing anything to help them.

The same pets they took in, gave them names and called them “their” pet. The same pets who loved them with the unconditional love only an animal can give. The same pets who protected them and their homes. Some time ago I wrote a brief story about Osa, a loyal family dog, very smart, protective and loving, who after she got sick was put on the street to  spend her last weeks of life slowly dying just a few meters away from “her family’s” house.

Well, situations like this one are not that unusual here, and there’s not a week that goes by when we don’t hear of a similar case. But what concerns us the most is that it happens in the families we know, whom we’ve already helped with their pets, who have our phone numbers and know that we will never refuse to help them. Like Osa, who was spayed in one of our clinics, and who’s orthopedic surgery we took care of after she was hit by a car.

Indifference kills

And like TARZAN, a great and loyal dog, famous in his neighborhood as the best looking, funniest three – legged pet around. Three – legged because in the past he’d been in a car accident, and his family contacted us too late to have his leg saved. His family knows very well that we ALWAYS will help them, they have all our phone numbers and they even have permission to bring the dog directly to the clinic if for some reason they cannot reach us first to get the authorization. So I will never understand why they did nothing when they saw that he was sick and wouldn’t eat for days. When we were finally informed, (which happened 20 days after he stopped eating!) he’d gone from a 18 Kilo dog to a 9 Kilo bundle of skin and bones that still, even in his advanced condition, managed to wag his tail a little when he saw Leo coming. Our help came too late though, as the advanced ehrlichiosis affected his kidney and his liver to the point where his blood work was one of a dead dog, and he did in fact die the same day in the clinic.

A heartbroken Leo, who for years has worked so hard in the very same area Tarzan came from, brought his body back to his family. All of the family members and neighbors were there when she tearfully explained to them that their dog didn’t need to die, that the disease was totally treatable and that this was solely their fault. She made sure that they buried him and left hoping that maybe, just maybe this sad moment will make them learn something for the future.

And now we all, heartbroken and hurt, sit around and discuss how it is possible that after all these years teaching kids at school (the same school the kids from Tarzan’s area go) all about being a responsible pet owner, about respect and care for our animals and about animal rights, how is it possible that they are still so indifferent. Every day, 5 hours a day, with different groups we teach them that animals have a right to be free, to be fed, to be healthy and to live and die in dignity. The kids paint pictures about all those rights, they write stories about them, and they bring their artwork and their stories home, so how is it possible that there are still cases like Osa and Tarzan and many, many more we even don’t know about? Is all this time and money spent on the education program for nothing, or is it just such a slow process that we will probably not see a change in our lifetime?

Katja Bader
Asociación Pro Bienestar Animal (McKee Jaco)

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Buddy/Pinto – Retired from the turtle refuge

I am sure you all remember Buddy, the dog at the Turtle Refuge for who’s surgery we were just raising money. Many of you responded and offered your help – thank you to all of you for your big heart and your desire to help this old guy.

Buddy / Pinto retires

When I went to the refuge to take Buddy’s new pictures, I found him sick and anemic, and his prognosis didn’t look good. We first took him home, and then to the clinic where he spent 3 days on i/v fighting for his life. But Buddy is indeed a fighter, and after being stabilized he was picked up by Liana, who also offered to keep him for the rest of his life, as he cannot get the necessary treatment and meds at the turtle place anymore. So Buddy retired from his work at the refuge, but instead of enjoying his pension and laying around the house doing nothing, he’s already got himself a new jobHe is now the new library dog, and can be seen there Tuesday thru Saturday, teaching the kids and their parents love and respect for older pets. The donations collected for Buddy will cover his UNA bill, the transportation costs to UNA of $70 and also the new bill of $175 generated at the Herradura clinic. Thank you to everybody who helped us with it – see the list below.


July is always a busy month for everybody down here. Jaco is full of both national and international tourists, and the majority of our members are on vacation, so the castration figures are generally lower than those of all other months. So far we’ve been able to spay/neuter 43 animals on our small spay days with Dr. Jose Manuel Jimenez at “Casa Lalena”, and in the Jaco clinic with Dr. Wendy Villalobos. This number represents only the animals we financed, (both fully and partially) and it doesn’t include those when the owners pay for the low cost castration by themselves. Our THANK YOU goes to both vets, their assistants Elisabeth Lubbers and Silvina Goren and of course to Lalena Bennett for providing her house every week for these clinics.


Education Program August 2012

Our EDUCATION PROGRAM “Sharing the world with the animals” has been a huge success during the last two months, as we concentrated our efforts on Escuela Central de Jaco (Kindergarden to 6th grade) with 750 students. We were able to reach all the students with many different presentations and events, and here are some of the subjects we covered: 


Special Thanks to Angela Maria Lozano Lorza, who does an excellent job in teaching our young people everything they need to know about animals, their needs and feelings and about how to be a responsible pet owner. Also a huge THANK YOU goes to the school principal Vera Virginia Alpizar and to all the other teachers for their support and cooperation. And, of course, to Linda Look for sponsoring this great project.


The month of July started for us with two very generous donations containing different meds, all of which are so needed in our rescue and adoption program. Leo Hogan brought us many different medications, all of which were donated to us by her friends from Irvine Animal Care Center in California: Dr. Karen Moreland, Emma Cusack and Mila Rihter.

And right after that, Dr. Karen Bolt from the USA also brought us bags full of meds and supplies! We were still logging these meds into our inventory when Kristen Hascall, a young vet student came to visit and brought us another huge donation from Dr. Littlehale and staff at Santa Clara Pet Hospital in California.

We are now taking inventory of all the above mentioned meds, and will be distributing them to our local vet clinics, as well as to other vets who work with both us and with other associations that are known supporters of animal organizations in Costa Rica. Kristen also organized for us a little fundraiser at home in California, and brought us a cash donation, in addition to the meds. In our own name and in the name of all those who will benefit from these so generous donations, a HUGE THANK YOU!


A huge Thank You goes out again to the sponsors of all three programs in this month of June –Linda Look, Stuart Welch, Liz from Taco Bar, Leo Plumley, Hotel Mar de Luz, Cathi Brennan, Wishbone Restaurant, Paola Alvarado, Hotel Los Ranchos, and Gabriela Contreras Cordero for their regular monthly support, as well as to  Henry & Eugenia Balke, Fundación Natz de la India, ANPA Costa Rica, Pets y Mas,, Economedica Internacional, Cheryl Kern, Dr. Karen Bolt, Pat Huntley, Dr. Karen Moreland – Irvine Animal Care Center, Emma Cusack – Irvine Animal Care Center, Mila Rihter – Irvine Animal Care Center, Marina Imatova, SEANDA S.A. – Daniel Madrigal, Fiorella Pugliese, Olga Ureña, Lori Shaffer, Darien Zuniga, Joy Flunch, Sha Rojas, Valerie Hopson, Marco Rodroguez – Laboratorio Clinico Jaco, Annie Forget, Judy Witt, The Bartholomew Family, Kristy Stockwell, Donna Nicholson, Miriam Baird, Mimi Arandjelovic, Galeria Murillo, Piko, Cheryl Kern, Dennis Ward – Capitan of “Never say never”, Anonymous, Julie Textor, Discovery Horsetours, Kelly Limehouse, Bridget Hatch, Douglas Giampapa, Marcia Briceño Valverde, Sue Bartholomew, Stuart Welch, Leo Plumley, Enid Alejandra Retana, Mary Stompe, M’s Fashion Store, Family of Bubba Hallstrom – (in memory of Bubba), Lighthouse Rescue Faro Rescate Animal, Nancy Lebo, Ghogha Amon, Dr. Littlehale and Santa Clara Pet Hospital, Kevin and Linda Haynes, Sandy and Pat Hascall, Nancy Newlin, Lauren Jones, Maggie Christensen, Kristen Hascall, Tina Wallace, Bruce Carl Ertmann, Lic. Alba Sofia – CR Legal Group, Lili & Till – Hotel Tortuga del Mar, Marga Hanks – Apartamentos Iguanas and Lois and Robert Newman, for their support this month.


Lucas is a cocker spaniel mix owned by a Nicaraguan family in Herradura. He got into a serious car accident, and his back leg couldn’t be saved, so it was amputated at the University Clinic in Heredia, where he was also diagnosed with severe ehrlichiosis, which required (besides the regular treatment) an emergency blood transfusion. We have an outstanding bill of $500. Ninoshka Pardo is contributing $200, yet we still need $300. If somebody could help us to pay for his surgery, it would be great, as though they really love him and take care of him, his owners simply cannot afford to pay anything.

If you would like more information about these projects, please contact Katja at

Thank you for your time and support!

Katja Bader

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