Friends in Need

Animals, particularly dogs and cats, are of concern to many members of the expat community. This section is for anything and everything related to animals/pets and veterinarian services.  
Some examples are ads seeking homes for animals, information about animal-related events such as spay/neuter clinics and fundraising events for animal rescue organizations, ads selling equipment for animals, recommendations of veterinarians, pet-sitting/house and pet sitting, grooming, etc.

Screwworm Outbreak Puts Dogs at Risk - July 14, 2023

Costa Rica confirmed the first case of new world screwworm in 23 years near the Paso Canoas (Pacific Panama) border crossing.  Since then, SENASA (the Costa Rican animal health authority) has established periodic checkpoints along the InterAmerican Highway heading North.  If you are traveling with your dog and see a SENASA checkpoint, please do your part and stop to allow Costa Rican veterinarians to quickly evaluate your pet.  These checkpoints are designed to prevent screwworm from spreading and putting additional animals at risk.   
If your dog has open wounds or other indications of screwworm, please contact your veterinarian and / or the local SENASA office immediately.  Please do not transport your animal if you suspect infection.   
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) will permit the importation to the U.S. of pet dogs from Costa Rica as long as they are accompanied by a certificate signed by a veterinary stating that the animal has been inspected for screwworm within 5 days prior to shipment to the United States and the animal is either free from screwworm OR was found to be infested with screwworm, held in quarantine, and treated until free  from screwworm prior to leaving the region. If an accredited veterinarian performs the screwworm examination and issues the certificate, it must be countersigned by a SENASA veterinary official prior to export (please allow up to 2-days for SENASA to countersign). Please note this new requirement does not currently apply to cats or other animals not listed above.   This requirement is in addition to the normal animal health requirements to transport a pet from Costa Rica to the United States.  If you have questions regarding the application of this new requirement to dogs, please consult the APHIS website. - from the US Embassy, July 31, 2023
Got a neighbor with dog issues?  Offer to help them 


Many people would be happy to have their dogs spayed/neutered but cannot get their pets to a clinic or pay for the procedure.
Be part of the solution - offer to help a neighbor!
Spay/Neuter Clinics
These clinics are ongoing and scheduled regularly in our area. The organizations that have the clinics have Facebook pages.
There are also veterinarians in Grecia that do weekly clinics.
You don't have to wait for a monthly clinic to help knock down the problem of pet overpopulation! Most vets offer the service starting at 10 mil ($20US).A recent clinic in San Isidro serviced over 80 animals. The people of the community responded enthusiastically to the opportunity. Don't assume Tico's don't care! This is often a matter of them either not having the money to afford spay/neuter, or not having the ability to get their animal to a clinic if they do not have access to transportation. Offer to help - be the change you want to see in the world!

Animals/Pets/Vet Services

General Dog Information:  A nice site that offers lots of info: focuses on dog
training and the characteristics of different dog breeds.
Great Resource!

Doggie Heimlich Maneuver

Thank you Shawnnah F.  for posting this on FB - This is important info to know in case your 4 legged friend is choking on something.
posted 1/22/2022

Zaguates Rosario - Rescue

Judith Bliss, who some of you may be familiar with as the singer for The Unusual Suspects (the rock/blues band) has a website for the animals that she is helping in her small community of Rosario, which is near Sarchi and Naranjo. She started by helping feed some of the dogs and cats in her neighborhood, and helping some of the residents by taking their animals to the vet who could not afford it themselves. Judith is very committed to helping animals in need, having moved here from New York City where she volunteered at the Animal Care and Control in East Harlem every weekend. Here she does everything from weekly food deliveries to adoption/placement, vet visits for those in need, and works with local vets and spay/neuter clinics.

The website was created about a month ago in the hopes that people who care might help out with donations for the food, medications, vet visits and spaying and neutering. (Judith is on a fixed income like most expats here and her expenses are skyrocketing - the word is out!)
 ANYTHING you can give would be appreciated, and she will respond and let you know how your donation has helped the "zaguates" (street dogs) of Rosario! 
Find Zaguates Rosario on FB Zaguates Rosario | Facebook

Donations can be made via Paypal to

updated 7/30/2023

Pet Customs and Immigration Services

Dr. Cesar Seco, veterinarian, formerly practicing and recommended in Grecia. Now specializing in pet customs and immigration. Located at Juan Santamaria Airport freight center. Phone: 8830-9312.
A testimonial from his days as a practicing vet....
by Cheryl Cantrell
For all the animal lovers out there I would highly recommend Cesar Seco, who makes home visits. Cesar speaks English and is the most compassionate, understanding, animal whisperer that I have ever met. His wife is also a Vet who works with Cesar and they have little schnauzer name Tami. Although their clinic is in San Ramon de San Jose, Cesar has always come to my house and has all the necessary medical supplies at his fingertips. I know many ex-pats that live in Grecia that use Cesar and he is always there when needed.
Cesar has known my dogs since I have been in Costa Rica, 8 years. He recently helped me with the death of one of my dogs due to heart failure. Before Truman died, he had bacteria in his lungs among other things. Cesar came to the house, put an iv in him for his dehydration, took him to his clinic and kept me informed on how he was doing. He did not candy coat the diagnosis but told me the truth. I must have received 3-4 texts a day on his condition. They had to perform surgery for a blockage in his throat and Cesar was there at night with him after the surgery. Then he took Truman to his house so he could be out of the cage and I got to visit with him the day he died. Cesar called me in tears as he knew Truman was a family member not just a dog. He then had his body cremated for me, brought me the ashes and cried with me.
I have never had a Vet this kind and compassionate. I have nicknamed him Cesar the Magnificent and I know Truman was in good hands.  Contact: - 8830 9312
Veterinary Clinic - Sarchi

Dra. Melissa Alfaro Ledezma, CMV #1509   ✔✔✔

by Don Davis

I can highly recommend Melissa for your dogs and cats in the Sarchi area. Bright, energetic, genuinely sympathetic and knowledgeable and Melissa speaks English. Melissa maintains extended office hours and is open during the lunch hour.

M-F  8AM-6PM
Sat. 8AM-4PM2454-2401 (o)
8514-6517 (c)
Santa Gertrudis Norte - Veterinarian Clinic - 24/7 Emergency

La Isla Vet Center and Pet Hotel   ✔✔✔

Full service, 24/7 emergency vet clinic. English spoken. Pet hotel that really cares for the animals! There is now a huge covered area in front of the clinic - they come out to get your pet, you don't even have to leave your car. Follow-up calls, attentive service. 
Located in Santa Gertrudis Norte, we've heard nothing but GREAT things about this place!
Full consulting services: Surgery, X ray, Onsite lab.

Hotel offers large fenced grassy and secure area, personal attention, plus pet training. 
Open 365 days a year!

Monday - Friday 7am - 7pm
Saturday 8-5
Sunday 9-5
Located in the countryside, find more info and directions through their Facebook page.

Veterinaria MEMO

Located in the block just before the Grecia hospital (leaving downtown), on your left. 
Veterinary services, medications and pet foods.
posted 8/7/2022

Moralva Clinica Veterinaria   ✔✔✔

by Dawna & Lou Winegrad
Shortly after moving to Costa Rica we learned of two golden retrievers in who were in urgent need of a home. Thus began our relationship with Drs. Alonso Mora and Daniel Quesada and the staff at Moralva Clínica Veterinaria located on Calle 7 heading out of Grecia towards Coope Victoria.
We say relationship because the entire staff has become like family to us. Not just because of the frequency of our visits, of which there have been many, but because of the genuine care, compassion, and professionalism they have consistently shown with all of our pets as well as various rescues and neighbors’ pets we’ve entrusted to their care.
Ehrlichiosis, dog fight wounds, neutering, ear infections, parasites and their treatments have all been thoroughly explained in English. Medical records are computerized for permanent reference and lab tests are performed in the office during your visit.
We were heartbroken when we learned that Mike, our 8 year old golden, was diagnosed with a particularly malignant tumor. Dr. Alonso was out sick the day of the diagnosis so it was arranged for us to return with Mike the next day so that Dr. Alonso could further evaluate the situation. That night we spent hours online researching the type of tumor and all available information indicated that it was almost always inoperable and highly fatal. The next morning we loaded Mike into the car, along with a shovel, as we fully expected that Mike would need to be put to sleep. Dr. Alonso did a comprehensive examination, including an ultrasound, during which he thoroughly explained Mike’s situation. He then told us how he had performed surgeries twice before on dogs with this form of tumor and that both were still alive and thriving. He even pulled out his iPad to show us photos of both dogs’ surgeries to make sure we completely understood what was involved. With his sincere assurances that he would not allow our dog to suffer under any circumstances, we opted to give surgery a try and scheduled it for the following day. The surgery went perfectly; Mike was up and walking around later that same day, and almost a year later Mike is the picture of health.
Back in the States we would go to great lengths to ensure that our pets received the best care available. We would unequivocally assert that never have our pets received the level of care that we’ve found at Moralva Clínica Veterinaria.  
Their numbers are 2494-7777 or 2494-7771 and cell number is 8351-8715.
More on Moralva Veterinaria
by Leane Hepburn
I had a wonderful experience at Clínica Veterinaria Moralva two weeks ago (May 2017) and again today. Dr. Daniel Quesada speaks beautiful English and was so good to my two dogs and me yesterday. He and his whole office staff was kind and priced reasonably. 
 My dogs each received thorough exams and blood tests with results given within 10 minutes. The doctor explained the results very clearly and had an excellent manner with my nervous dogs. He even showed me pictures and evidence in a medical journal. 
I highly recommend this establishment!   
posted 5/27/2017
Veterinary Clinic 4 blocks southwest of downtown Grecia

Marycruz and Odontopet - Veterinarian Services   ✔✔✔

by Deborah Taylor
If you own (or are owned by) a pet, you know that there can be vast differences in both the quality of medical care and the degree of concern that the veterinarian shows for those important members of your family.  Marycruz, at OdontoPet, not only offers excellent medical care, she will take that extra, or even extraordinary, step to help and protect your pet.
A case in point:  Larry and I feed two feral cats that live in and around our yard.  One of the cats recently had a litter of four kittens.  When the kittens were about 2 days old, the mother cat abandoned one of them.  When we found the kitten, she had been alone and unfed for at least overnight.  She was cold and crying and blindly trying to find her littermates and her mother.  She could not have survived much longer. We searched but could not find the mother cat and the other three kittens.  We were distraught and called Marycruz, who asked us to bring the kitten to her immediately.  She had no kitten replacement formula in the office, so she made up her own formula using lactose-free cow’s milk, an egg yolk and sugar and immediately bottle fed the tiny, still blind, kitten.  She then managed to find a nursing mother cat who accepted, and began nursing, our kitten.  Marycruz has kept us updated with pictures and video of our kitten happily nursing, growing and thriving.  The kitten will be returned to us when she can be weaned.  Marycruz is a terrific vet and, even more importantly, a truly kind and caring person.  Larry and I highly recommend her for your veterinary needs.  
To make an appointment with Dra. Marycruz, call 2494 6952 or Emergencies 8314 7245 (whatsapp). Her email address is or on fb under odontopetvet
The office is located on the south side of Plaza Pinos on the west side of town. 
Hours are 8-12 and 1:30 – 6, Monday through Saturday.  
Marycruz also makes housecalls.
posted 5/2/2018

By Walt Clayton
The previous review of this wonderful veterinary clinic is right on. 
Dra. Marycruz has moved into a private home and converted it to a clinic. It is spacious, well-ventilated and immaculate, and populated by various cats and dogs -- all friendly, some permanently handicapped -- to greet you. She can handle any medical need your pet  may need, and she also provides a vast array of pet products, from food to treats to leashes.
Marycruz has done several spayings and neuterings of abandoned cats and dogs for me. She is highly professional and very caring -- it's obvious that she loves her patients. I recommend her without reservation. Take your pet in for a visit sometime!

posted 11/1/2019
Full Service Vet in Escazu

Hospital Veterinario Agromedica

Very high marks 
Hospital Veterinario Agromédica in Escazu has a 24-hour emergency, full-service veterinary hospital and that is part of MediSmart’s “PetSmart” plan. (Read about MediSmart here – in short, you can add your pet to your MediSmart package for $2/month).
Bloggers Paul and Gloria Yeatman “can’t say enough positive things about the vets and staff at Hospital Veterinario Agromédica. They were wonderful, caring, and more-than-willing to confer with our friend, the emergency vet from the States [concerning their very ill cat – Ed.]. That gave us a sense of trust in the diagnosis, as difficult as it was [terminal]. Their lab is in-house and much more accurate for animal care than a “human lab.” Plus, they could perform other tests like the ultrasound and, if needed, surgeries.2289-4101 or 7131-2343.

From the July 20, 2019 blog entry at
House/Pet Sitting - Grecia area

Ernesto Tansey - House and Pet Sitting   ✔✔✔

Ernesto Tansey has been house and pet sitting in the Grecia área for several years. His rates are economical, at only 10 mil/day with pets. He has experience with dogs large and small, including medication administration. Also cats, birds, and fish.

What a relief to come home from vacation to happy pets and a secure home!
Call Ernesto at 6050-4170 or
By Jon Graham 7055-6968,
posted 10/9/2019