Janina Schan, the founder of Osa Peninsula Rescue in Costa Rica, cried all the way to the veterinary clinic as she carried Lila in her arms.
She later told a friend, fellow animal rescuer Anette Targowski, that Lila’s was the worst case of animal cruelty she’d ever seen. The poor dog had been tied for days in a yard with food and water out of reach.
“Lila was very close to death,” Targowski told The Dodo. “She could not stand. She was very weak. And on top of that, she had horrible mange. She was just skin and bones.”
Not surprisingly, though, despite all the cruelty that had been visited upon her, Lila’s heart was open and loving. Now more than a year past her initial rescue date, she is fully recovered, bouncy and gentle say her caretakers.
Sadly, though, because foster homes are often crowded, Lila has bounced around from home to home while awaiting her forever family. And Costa Rica, says Targowski, is not a hospitable place for mixed-breed dogs.
“Dogs like Lila have a very hard time being adopted because they’re not purebred,” Targowski explains. “If you have a nice Doberman or German shepherd, you’re going to adopt him in no time.
“People in Costa Rica want large dogs. They want pure dogs. And dogs like Lila don’t stand a chance.”
That’s why Targowski, who lives in Canada, has been sharing Lila’s story on social media — hoping to find her a forever home outside Costa Rica — and this week there’s been good news, as several applications have come in from Canadian families.
“We are still in the process of interviewing,” Targowski says.
She’s confident that after a year of searching, Lila will find a home. They just want it to be a perfect one. Maybe even yours. If you’re interested, send a note to [email protected].
And while you’re at it, feel free to “like” Osa Peninsula Rescue on Facebook.