Costa Rica: Staying With the Dogs at Lighthouse Animal Shelter Near Desmontes

We like cheap when we travel. We also like off-the-beaten path.

That’s how we ended up staying at an animal shelter in Atenas Costa Rica for most of our stay.

Our kennel suite was pretty sweet.

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This was our home base for the week. Nancy has always said she wants to be reincarnated as a tall, thin, young, sterile blond. I have decided I want to be reincarnated as a dog rescued by Frances and Bruce Jones at Lighthouse Animal Rescue Shelter.

The impact these two people have made on their community is clear at every turn. When we arrived they were caring for 17 dogs and cats (mostly dogs) that were abused and/or abandoned. When we left, they rescued three more.

For example:

  • Spanky had her ears burned off

Animal Abuse Spanky

  • Smoke had very hot oil or greased poured on him (that’s the black area – all healed up now)

Smoke Abused Dog

Frances documents all her rescues with photos. Neither Nancy or I could bring ourselves to look at all of them. But one that illustrates how dramatic a change is possible is Flaca (Spanish for skinny.) Flaca was nursed back from imminent death by Frances.

France wrote me today

She now lives the life of a princess in Buenos Aires.

This is how Flaca was before Frances love and kindness and care-giving found her. Frances explained that at this point Flaca was in the last hours of her life. Her eyes were sunken and her skin pigment was gone.

Abused Dog
There are many many more success stories like Flaca.

But Frances aims to change the culture and lack of education that leads to such abuse. Every dog in her neighborhood is spayed/neutered. She goes into the classrooms to explain how children are responsible for  not only their pets, but the other dogs and cats they see on the streets.

We saw two examples.

  • One was a boy walking his dog – on a leash! Simple, right? Before Frances Jones, this didn’t happen. The kids didn’t take ownership for the care and safety of their pets.
  • Well fed street dogs. Would it be best that there were no street dogs? Sure. But when there are, they need to at least be fed. Frances has approached butcher shops to toss their scraps to the street dogs and not in the garbage. We saw a cab driver pull over to the curb to toss his left-over fast-food scraps to a street dog.

Frances and Bud Jones are two good people doing good work with the money out of their pockets and donations. One of the ways you can help (aside from a direct donation) is via a contest on Right now the site is messed up, but eventually it will be fixed. You can vote everyday – more if you know how to clear your cookies after every vote – just sayin’

Go to Click on the vertical tab on the far right that says “Shelter Challenge.” Search Costa Rica in the drop down and their name comes up vote and wait for the vote confirmation question which is a picture of an animal that you name. The site is borked when I tried, but if you think about it, give it a shot in a couple days.

UPDATE: Try this link which takes you directly to the page.

France writes:

God bless you,
Frances “Kitten” Jones and all the fuzzbutts

Please visit our blog at
We’re on Facebook!! Just do a friend search for BudBud Jones
Or see our adoptable pets at

If you ever find yourself in Costa Rica and want to tell your friends your spending some time in a kennel, try Lighthouse Animal Shelter. It’s a dog-gone nice place with some purrfectly wonderful people.

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Costa Rica: Staying With the Dogs at Lighthouse Animal Shelter Near Desmontes — 2 Comments