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    The city intends to invest over 140 thousand dollars to house strays and prepare them for adoptions.

    Carthage has long been known as a pilgrim site for Catholics wishing to honor Costa Rica’s patron mother, La Virgen de Los Angeles — a.k.a. “La Negrita.” Unfortunately, this tradition has left Cartago with another, less favorable reputation.

    A Stray Dog for Every Street

    Each year thousands of pilgrims flock to the Cathedral in Cartago in August, some of whom are followed by their loyal pets. Yet when it comes time to return home, many of these furry companions are left behind. Following the 2014 romaria, 70 new street dogs appeared on Cartago’s streets.

    While it can’t be said for certain the reasons these pups didn’t go back with their owners, their presence remains an issue to be reckoned with.

    A Temporary Home

    As it turns out, Cartago is a rather friendly place to be if you’re a four-legged creature. Earlier this year the city hosted a march asking lawmakers to pass tougher penalties for those who commit animal abuse. Now Mayor Rolando Rodriguez Brenes plans to take things even further.

    The City of Cartago plans to invest ‎₡75 million CRC (roughly $141,000 USD) in a new education center for stray dogs and the community. The location — to be build on city property in Coris — will house 120 animals, providing each medical attention, castration and preparation for adoption. After all, the ultimate goal of the center will be to find the dogs new forever homes with responsible families.

    [quote_center]”It will be a pioneer in this field, attended by a veterinarian and volunteers. Plus we’ll have someone in charge of giving training talks, especially to children, on how they should treat these animals.”[/quote_center]

    Construction begins this month. The center is expected to open next February.

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