About Us

Animales de Asis

“For me, rescuing animals is not a hobby, it’s not a fad, its a lifestyle. My purpose for living is to change the lives of animals in need —to give them hope, to give them love, to give them care— to give them the family they so deserve.”

– Karin Hoad, Founder of Animales de Asis Santuario

About Us

Animales de Asis – Costa Rica is a private no kill sanctuary founded in 2000 with the capacity to shelter up to 200 dogs, many of whom have been victims of animal abuse or cruelty, are senior animals or have special needs.

The sanctuary, located in Alto del Roble in Heredia, serves the entire Central Valley, and provides food, shelter, medical treatment, and most importantly, much needed nurturing.

Medical treatment often involves expensive surgeries, testing, medication, as well as extensive follow-up care. Before being placed in adoption, our animals have been dewormed, vaccinated, neutered, microchipped, and socialized, On average, we place some 30-35 animals in their forever homes each month through weekly adoption events and social media postings.

Unlike other shelters that emphasize adoption but euthanize the un-adoptable, the mission of Animales de Asis is to find forever homes for adoptable animals and to provide lifetime care and shelter for those who are unable to be placed. Founder and Director Karin Hoad believes that every dog and cat’s life is worth saving and that every animal deserves a quality of life. Animales de Asis is a Costa Rican nonprofit association funded exclusively by donations.

Friends of Animales de Asis Board Members

We want to CONTRIBUTE to a better future for as many animals as possible!

karin hoad

Karin Hoad, Founder  

Karin was born an animal lover. When in high school she worked for a veterinarian. During her lifetime she has adopted all but one of her pets from animal shelters. She served on the Board of Directors of the Rockford Illinois Humane Society, worked with Ric O’Barry of the Dolphin Project and others to try to release the Navy Dolphins, was President for many years of Project Wildlife in San Diego, California, attended many PETA protests and San Diego Animal Advocate protests bringing along attorneys from her husband’s law office. When seeing all the dogs and cats on the street in Costa Rica she and her husband opened a no-kill shelter in 2000. She spends every minute of her time working for or thinking about the welfare of animals as well as being the largest donor to the organization. She is a vegan because Karin believes that all animals have the right to live.

Our Team

Karolina Benavides

Karolina BenavidEs

Karolina has been a volunteer for many years. She is our rock. There is no place, however dangerous, that she will not go to rescue an animal. Her attention is always on the animals. When an animal returns from the hospital, it is Karolina who makes sure the animal is comfortable and doing okay. She makes sure that the help changes the puppies blankets frequently, that the veterinarian’s instructions as to special diet and medications and baths are followed to the letter. She participates with the specialists during the rehabilitation treatments and continues with the treatment at the sanctuary. Karolina manages our weekly adoption events and has the final say as to whether a potential adoptive family is the right fit for one of our rescues. She knows the right questions to ask and has such an understanding of each of our animals, she knows intuitively if the placement will work.

Orlando Miranda

Orlando came to work for us in 2009. He had no work experience and started out cleaning kennels. Over time we noticed how he was almost a dog whisperer. When he took dogs outside to take a picture for the intake sheets, the dogs posed quietly for him. If there was an altercation between dogs fearless Orlando would break up the fight regardless of the size of the dogs. In all these years he has never been bitten by a dog. When Orlando thinks no one is looking, he can been seen giving a dog a hug or a kiss. When dogs and cats come back from the veterinarian it is Orland who continues with the injections, medications and who cleans and re-bandages the wounds. We call him “Nurse” Orlando and it is a title that fits for all the love and care he gives our rescues.


Diego (volunteer) works  in the graphic design and technology, he keeps our website and social media updated.
He also takes photos of our dogs at the shelter. He hates animal abuse and is happy to collaborate to help many animals to have better conditions and can be adopted.

 “Saving one dog will not change the world, but surely for that one dog, the world will change forever.” … Anonymous.