My name is Helene Wirt and I am originally from Austria.
Since 1991 I have lived in Costa Rica and since 1997 I have been dedicating my life to helping dogs in need. It all started with one street dog – Balduin. He was given to me after my divorce and he saved and changed my life.
I created “Dogland” from my own resources and I have in the moment 244 dogs.
I would like to like to tell my story:
Presence on the Internet:
The name of the Association:
ASOCIACION ELENA – perros que me encontraron
Dogland, San Ramon de Alajuela, Costa Rica, Central America
My date of birth: July 25, 1946
My Phone number: (506) 83 71 38 25
After studying law in the University of Vienna I worked for seven years in the government in financial services. In 1978 I started my own business in Vorarlberg, Austria and led until 1991 a tax consulting firm. In 1991 I left Austria to live in Costa Rica.
I lost my father in 1997, which was very tragic and have been divorced in the same year. Since then I live alone.
In 1997 I got an abandoned dog puppy as gift – Balduin/Baldwin – and this changed my life. Now I saw all the dogs in need.
I cannot explain what was going on inside me. Maybe I felt beloved the first time in my life.
I live especially the last years only for my dogs and I live still alone.
I put all my efforts into.
In the daily work I don’t note it so much and I am not thinking about. I just giving everything I have to help the dogs. I just do it and it occupies me entirely.
I do my try to help gladly, though sometimes it is too much for me. But it fills me with so much joy that I am able to help. I never actually think on myself, there remains little for me, but that’s not important. First the dogs. I also do not think about my health, but I’m healthy living. I never go out and I’m sure that the dogs are keeping me healthy by the feeling of happiness seeing all my dogs doing well. When I can save a dog and he gets healthy and happy this fulfills my life with joy.
I try to find wonderful places for my dogs but when not they stay their whole life with me – always loved and well cared. I am very delicate with adoptions.
But it is really not easy to feed 244 “children” and to give them a home as they deserve.
I feel many times exposed to the fear that it becomes uncontrollable and more unaffordable. Unfortunately, we live in a world of irresponsibility, of cruelty and total selfishness. They forget there is nothing better than to help. But we all should help. And we all should especially show more responsibility. Although it would be absolutely the most beautiful thing if we all live well and no one needs help.
I basically pay everything out of my money. Only a part of the output comes from donations, for which I am eternally grateful. But as I said, they cover only a small part of the costs. To get dogs healthy needs money. I want my dogs to be happy and healthy. I give dogs only to very good places. I cannot sleep if I do it differently. If they find families where they live better than with me, I am willing to let them go. I’m trying to bring to the people´s minds to recognize what mistakes they make by buying dogs. Why not adopt a dog? A dog that is unique and not 100s of other people have the same. Dogs they are often healthier and not already programmed with problems. A breeder does not care if the dog will have problems later in his life. They are only interested in making money. Each profiteering with animals should be rejected. The people don’t have compassion with the dog only used to produce? Where is the love for animals? I mean by the buyer, by the seller for sure it doesn’t exist.
In Costa Rica, many people are illegally reproducing dogs to not have to go work or to have a good additional income. What sane person wants to support such a thing? One who don´t care, one who has no idea and/or one who does not think about it at all. Unfortunately, this is a problem all over the world and it breaks my heart. The victims are the animals.
What I am doing is just a drop in the bucket, but it leads me personally physically, mentally and financially to my limits. I sometimes wonder if my effort for this is not too big. Also knowing that I cannot change the world, but on the other hand the world is changing for the dog I can help. In this sense it is worth everything.
The expenses for the dog food, the vet bills, the salaries and the costs to keep the property in good conditions – all has to be paid. I am also helping many other dogs, bring weekly 5-6 dogs for castration and beyond this unfortunately many dog houses must again be restored, etc., etc. It does not bother me to live simple and to put my whole force, all my time and all my money for the animals, but there unfortunately limits.
In 2009 I founded an Association based on which I can get food donations now and any other donations for the donor are tax deductible.
I have fortunately a very nice team working for me. They all are animal lovers. The salaries are going high and it is hard to find the resources to pay them but due to the number of dogs I need them all. I want to have all the dogs well cared and to be able to heal all the sick animals.
In addition, I make the entire administrative burden answering all emails (trilingual), I dedicate once a week a day for castrations of dogs and cats around us also, I try to get sponsors, give out monthly newsletters to stay in contact with the entire Dogland family. I create and maintain both websites English and Spanish. I decide the adoptions, go to the future parents of my dog and prove everything, often bringing several dogs to the new home so they can decide themselves which dog is the best choice - especially if they have already a dog and are looking for another dog.
I try to get new contacts also in other countries I have adopted dogs in Canada, USA and Europe. I try to stay in touch with all, I get the medicines, etc. for the dog, I have to bring sick dogs to the vet not only dogs of Dogland, also from our village. Together with Alexander, one of my employees, I care about the preservation of Dogland and to provide the necessary structures. I choose and bring the necessary materials.
And much more.
I could live a leisurely and also very comfortable life, if I had to just take care of me. But I do not know how I would live luckier. I would certainly have a lot less joy and satisfaction. I give my life a meaning. But the thought of how I could live better is unnecessary. I would never let my dogs down.
With my dogs, I also meet a lot of very nice, likeminded people.
Costa Rica as a small country with unique things in the world is fascinating to me because of his climate and its variety of animals and nature conservation in the creation of national parks. But I am worried about so many homeless or not well treated dogs.
I love my country Austria for its beauty and culture, but Costa Rica is now my country, where I have 244 “children”. I never had a dog in the first 50 years of my life. It was never my idea to create a shelter, but over the years I always had more dogs. I never asked for help, and I gave all my money for my dogs. But everything has its limits. Balduin made me see all the dogs they needed me. I see a dog in need and my brain turns off and only my heart speaks and I do not hesitate a second and take the dog with me. I cannot believe what is happening to me. Why do I have so much compassion and others do not throw even a sight to the animal. But to see, like a sick dog is every day going healthier and begins to play and to be happy, that’s a wonderful thing that makes everything worth it.
I personally have the experience that each depression disappears when a happy dog is running around and pressuring on me to show me his gratitude.
These animals have the great ability to heal us and make us happy. Many people in Costa Rica bring me their dog to heal him and to pay for the dog when they cannot afford a Vet or to bring him to the Vet for castration/sterilization.
Castration/sterilization is one of the main concerns and most important things to do. There is a lot of pressure and responsibility, and it seems to have no end. My fear is that I’m still not doing enough to really change the situation. My love for these animals is so strong that sometimes I have the feeling that something is driving me, and I will not give up until I have helped the animal. I still believe that a person can change a lot. And I have so many wonderful moments and kiss every day so many dogs that my heart is filled with joy. I still see all the dogs as my dogs. I do not seek adoptions. Only in case someone opens his doors to one of my beloved dogs so he can live better than with I can make up my mind to let him go.
All I pay from my money that I have saved over the course of my life. The only revenues are coming from my sponsorship program.
A dog helps us to have a healthy and happy life. He is the best friend and the best antidepressant. Many people have the misconception that a mixed breed dog is a second class dog. I think that these special dogs coming out through the blends of the races of the world are unique. Dogs that not hundreds of other people have the same. What’s so desirable to have the same dog? Is it a lack of confidence that leads to feel more comfortable with a special dog breed?
The mixture of races leads to dogs with a unique beauty and variety that only God can create.
Will you contribute to saving the life of a dog who needs help so he can continue to heal someone’s life?
I cannot understand people breeding dogs and make a terrible situation for so many. I also cannot understand how people can buy dogs meanwhile so many are living without love and in bad conditions. It breaks my heart. I wish I could talk to more people and find somebody who is able to help me with this.
Many people bring me their dogs to heal them when they cannot afford the cost of a Veterinarian. Or I pay the Vet when I am not able to help and the dog needs surgery etc. I have five acres of land where I created DOGLAND.
Everybody who visits us says that Dogland is the most beautiful land for dogs and the dogs they found me can live here healthy and happy.
But so much more could be done. Costa Rica has one million abandoned dogs. We need education programs to help people understand the importance of and to perform spay/neuter programs. As well as, support for sick and injured dogs, information about the truth behind the sale of puppies, respect for animals which will open hearts to get a change in this world and much more. I believe that our way to be better human beings, at a higher level, can only happen by not hurting animals. GO VEGAN!
Asociación Elena – perros que me encontraron
Association Elena – dogs they found me
Our mailing address is: Apartado 191, 20201 San Ramon de Alajuela (CR-20201)
Our phone number is: (00506) 84520929
Our presence on the Internet: www.meetyourdog.net
To see all my beloved dogs please take a look at Photos of our dogs
BANCO NACIONAL COSTA RICA (Bank account in dollars)
Legal Number: 3-002-589199
Remember that if you adopt, you are saving the life of a friend you did not know you had and who will be with you until the last drop of his life.
What we think or what we know or what we believe on the end it is of little consequence, the only consequence is what we do.
Until you have loved an animal, part of your soul will be asleep.
Animals forgive and forget so quickly. Maybe God did give them to us to teach us love like we have never known. The look of your dog is the best mirror where you can see the greatness of your soul. They live less because they are born knowing love in a way that took us a lifetime trying to learn.
Before you offer a dog a loving home please consider not to buy a dog. You are supporting people doing business with animals. Please do the right thing and adopt a dog. Nothing brings more happiness in your life than adopt a dog of a unique race!
Please castrate your dog before he gets to seven months!
“Who has not owned a dog does not know what is love and be loved” (Arthur Schopenhauer)
Do not Breed or Buy While Homeless Die
ADOPTION – SPONSOR – DONATION