Animals, Costa Rica, Volunteering

Hanging out with Rescue Dogs In Costa Rica


After our latest family member joined our life (Waffle-our big golden doodle) we have become massive dog fans. I have officially become that person who spends a lot of my life talking about dogs!

Searching for the best activities to do while we were in Costa Rica, we were pretty excited to find the Costa Rica Dog Rescue nearby where you could spend time volunteering.


I contacted the rescue straight away on Facebook and arranged a date for us to go. There were two options to choose from, $30 per person which includes 2 hours of volunteering, transport from La Fortuna and a smoothie, or a $60 option which includes the above plus lunch and a t-shirt. We choose the $60 option.

Our meeting point was the Lava Lounge in La Fortuna. We arrived and had a drink while waiting. As we looked around we could see this was certainly a place that loved dogs. The owner of the lava lounge also runs the dog rescue and a percentage of the profit went straight to helping the dogs.


A taxi collected us to take us to the rescue about 5 minutes away. We arrived at a restaurant looking place with a couple of dogs bathing in the sun outside. The lady (Sophie) who come out to greet us was our host throughout. She was so lovely and friendly and told us lots about each dog and there rescue story during the day.

We walked into the back yard and were surrounded by puppies! Literally so many puppies of all different shapes and sizes!

At first we spent some time with these, stroking, cuddling and having our faces licked- alot! Sophie showed around the rescue centre looking at all the enclosures and at the current building work that will eventually provide new accomodation for the dogs.

It was then time for walkies! We took 4 adult dogs. I had the super hyperactive springy one, and the kids each had a more chilled dog . We took a walk, just us and the dogs, up the lane and onto a trail at the base of the volcano. It was so sweet. For my littlest who had been asking in the lead up, if she will get to walk her own dog (which I couldn’t answer as I didn’t actually know) it was so perfect. The dog she was matched with just gently strolled along next to her, never once pulling. We walked for around 20 minutes at which point we were melting (as in a year’s worth of sweat…sitting on my face) so we turned back to head for a shop we had seen to get drinks and let the dogs sit down.


It was such a treat to be able to walk in such a beautiful place, let alone with a rescue dog each. We were in actual doggy heaven!

Heading back to the rescue, we were greeted with massive freshly made, ice cold smoothies. The man who served us was really friendly and sweet.

We could have walked another set of dogs at this point but the girls were really flagging. Instead, we headed in for more time to play with the puppies and young dogs.

I can’t even say how much this warmed my heart. So many excited little dogs, all running and playing and having belly rubs and getting loads of attention. The staff were amazing. You could literally feel the outpouring of love they had for each of the dogs. The way they knew their names, their personalities, their stories, was so beautiful.

This has been a major highlight of not only this trip, but of all of our trips. Something that is so simple as playing with dogs yet so enjoyable.


We played and chatted for about 2 hours and then we started saying our goodbyes. We had said we wouldn’t get attached but that was pretty dam impossible. My littlest cried for leaving one dog in particular, Caramel with a cute overbite and beautiful eyes. We had completely fallen in love with her funny face and gentle character.

Coming away from the dogs, we were given lunch menus and ordered some delicious tacos, nachos and quesadillas. The portions were huge and the food was fresh.

It was then time to head home so the rescue called us a taxi and headed back to our hotel.

To see a rescue home managing with what they have and working to do the best for street dogs was a real treat. We will definitely be recommending this place to anyone coming to the area.

If you are interested in rescuing one of their many puppies or dogs, or if you can make a donation, please please visit the rescue at:




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