San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Animales de Asís founder wins Golden Paw Award

Karin Hoad, founder and director of the nonprofit Animales de Asís association, won this year’s Golden Paw award for her dedication and help to animals in need. The award is given by the McKee Jacó group in collaboration with Pets y Más magazine. This is the first time the prize, a plaque stamped with a paw print and a financial contribution, have been awarded to someone outside the Jacó area.

Karin was nominated and chosen for the award for her rescue and adoption work, which includes having taken in hundreds of dogs and cats abandoned in slum clearance projects and as a result of natural disasters such as the Cinchona earthquake in 2009. She has also taken care of injured and physically impaired animals. She sees that all rescued animals are spayed, neutered and in good health and offers them for adoption at weekly adoption sites and through Facebook.

Karin hails from the Chicago area and moved to Costa Rica with her husband, Robert, in 1995. She began helping animals here right away. Her home and animal shelter are near San José de la Montaña in Heredia, north of San José.

The Golden Paw award is given to volunteers who have “demonstrated extra special compassion and service to animals, in recognition for their contribution to the community,” says Katja Bader of McKee Jacó, which organizes spay-neuter clinics and educational programs on pet care, cares for injured and sick animals and arranges adoptions. The first Golden Paw award was given to teen Maudy Cordero in 2009 for adopting and caring for numerous street animals. Rossy Quesada and Shirleen Chinchilla were subsequent winners.

Last year, the Jacó group began working with Christine Bork of Pets y Más to promote the award, as well as encourage people to help care for abandoned and injured animals and to include all of Costa Rica in the award.

To learn more about Animales de Asís and Karin’s work, look up Asociación Animales de Asís on Facebook or email

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