Due to the amount of abused and neglected animals in Costa Rica, rescue sanctuaries are an absolute necessity.

A few years ago, the Costa Rican Animal Health Service and the Humane Society International (HSI) signed an agreement on Animal Welfare that has proven to be been groundbreaking. This formalized and strengthening collaboration marked the making of a new era of improved animal welfare. It was implemented through awareness campaigns, training with international experts on topics such as responsible pet ownership, animal cruelty report management and welfare of production animals.

Although Costa Rica is considered one of the “World’s 10 Best Ethical Destinations”, it is not yet free from horrific cases of animal abuse such as the recent savage beating of a Toucan that sent social media sites up in flames. The beautiful bird was very tame and so was not discouraged when approached by teenagers armed with a stick. They proceeded to hit the bird until more than half of its upper beak was entirely missing. President Luis Guillermo Solís has spoken about the revived urgency to pass an animal cruelty bill that would increase fines and authorize prison sentences between one and six years for the intentional harming, torture or killing of an animal. He then went on to say that “These acts go against the respectful and peaceful society that characterizes Costa Rica.”

An Indiegogo campaign raised $6,459 to fund a prosthetic beak for the bird, reaching its $5,000 goal in less than 48 hours using the hashtag #savethetoucan on social media.

Costa Rican animal rights laws, though existent, are currently out of date. Many organisations, as well as the public, would like this amended, however, if it were to be updated most livestock farmers would be imprisoned, so industry leaders have been rejecting any proposals to change the laws, resulting in further abuse and neglect and preventing progress. The laws in place at this time are also difficult to change as they must all be checked accordingly. Hunting for sport, Poaching, Exotic species smuggling, Performance by caged circus animals, Keeping certain wildlife species as pets, Dog fighting, Cockfights, Neglecting domestic are all things that must be looked over.

Last week, animal welfare group Rescate Animal posted images of abused dogs recently rescued. Two of the dogs survived following care provided at the group’s facilities, whereas a third dog died after defending his owner from an attack. This resparked the importance of passing a bill because if the bill had been in place, this shocking brutality could have been avoided.

In conclusion, the rescue centres that provide medical treatment and sanctuary for the creatures that cannot find safety and have been thrust into a world of cruelty need assistance. They are mostly run by volunteers and in June I am proud to become one of them. Though my time out there will be comparatively short, I hope to make a great difference. The project does come at a cost, however the money needed is largely put toward keeping these centres running and purchasing food and equipment for the animals in their care.

I have set up a fundraising page that is growing day by day thanks to the good nature of my fellow humans! If you’d like to help me achieve a huge dream of mine as well as help some animals, then even the smallest penny would be appreciated! Further information on why I’ve chosen to do it is also can also be read here.

Image by Andy Morffew

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