From ANIMAL PEOPLE, June 2000:
ALAJUELA, Costa Rica––Dawn and Sid Scott, immigrants to Costa Rica from Chicago, have seen the tough side of Guanacaste from ground level, traveling the poorly maintained roads of this northwestern province to round up dogs for veterinary care at frequent intervals since mid-1998. They have sterilized more than 225 dogs at their own expense, paying about $20 U.S. per surgery.
Most dogs they meet belong to human families but live outside. Though Costa Rica has had no canine rabies since 1987, dogs commonly suffer from mange, internal parasites, and distemper. National veterinary licensing board member Gerardo Vicente, DVM, estimates that only about a third of the half million dogs in Costa Rica are given proper medical care. Most receive food but little else.