San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Beach Dog News:

On a smaller than three square kilometer piece of paradise called CornIsland exists a living contradiction. The Island is Eden to the tourists that visit. But it’s hell for dogs.

Amid the pristine shoreline of the CaribbeanCoast live countless mongrels with countable ribs, lacking energy as they wander aimlessly about the Island in a constant state of hunger. For the most part, the Islanders are poor. Most make a marginal living by diving for lobster or catering to sun-worshipping tourists. Others wish they could make a living.

Health care for their dogs is way down the list of life’s priorities. Besides, there are no vets on CornIsland, so animal healthcare is wishful thinking, if it’s thought about at all.

When Casa Lupita committed to an invitation last year hold a spay and neuter clinic on the Island, we realized that we would be entering a region where few veterinarians had ventured before.

The sad state of the animals because of over-population, disease and malnutrition defied description. It was deplorable enough to shock even our seasoned veterinary team, most of them veterans of various animal care missions in developing countries.

But that didn’t stop the dedicated volunteer team from sterilizing more than 200 animals that week, reducing the future animal population immensely while improving the quality of life for everyone on the Island.

We promised we’d return next year, and now “next year” is here! So we are assembling and organizing a group of 13 eager participants, including veterinarians, vet techs and coordinators.

Once again, the mission will be led by Casa Lupita’s Dr. Tom Parker, DVM. Tom has participated in many missions in developing countries as well as continuing his support here in Nicaragua.

Once again we are grateful for free lodging at Casa Iguana, a guest house on the island. Scott and Christine Smyth, U.S. citizens who are constructing an ecolodge on the island, are donating half the cost of our airfare bill – a gigantic help in reducing our costs.

We estimate the cost of $25 -30 for performing one sterilization surgery. This year we hope to exceed our last year’s total of 200 spay and neuter surgeries. This is where we need readers’ help.

We hope that those of you who realize the immense value of this project will offer a contribution for one sterilization (or more). Your contribution will be a giant step toward creating a healthier environment for the people of Little Corn Island and for their animals.

Donations can be made by mailing your check to BUILDING NEW HOPE (

106 Overton Lane, Pittsburgh, PA15217

, 412-421-16212), or by PayPal on our Website The contact on CornIsland is Lilly Filipow, tel. 8833-4352.

–Donna Tabor


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