Dear Sato Supporter,

Our team on the ground in Puerto Rico has had a very busy month already. After rescuing multiple dogs in need of critical and specialized medical care, we quickly organized a Freedom Flight to get them (plus a few others) off the island as soon as possible. Before that flight even landed in New Jersey, we already started planning our next initiative. On May 1, we will be running our first ever free community vaccine clinic plus pet food pantry. Read more about our recent Freedom Flight and upcoming clinic below, along with some features on a few special satos.

As always, thank you for being a part of our #satostrong community and making our life-saving work possible.

In gratitude,

-- Chrissy Beckles, President & Founder
32 dogs fly to new lives on critical care Freedom Flight
Last Saturday, 32 lucky rescue dogs got to take their Freedom Flight to new lives. These satos included some in need of specialized medical care, like Marvie in the center of the bottom left photo, who has an enlarged right side of her heart.
32 satos have flown! Within the last few months, our team has rescued several dogs in need of specialized care - dogs like Marvie. Marvie (pictured above) was dumped heavily pregnant on Dead Dog Beach in mid-January. She was frightened and skittish and would not let us near her at first. It took two months of gradually gaining her trust before we were finally able to rescue her along with her two beautiful pups. We then discovered that this sweet mum has an enlarged right side of her heart and needed to be evaluated by a specialist. With several more critical cases and others that we wanted to get off the island as soon as possible, we reached out to our friends at Wings of Rescue. Within a few days we organized a special Freedom Flight big enough for all of our critical care cases and several more dogs who were also ready to fly. 

Our teams in Puerto Rico and New York quickly mobilized and early in the morning on April 10th, 32 dogs flew off the island. A few hours later, they arrived to new lives in New Jersey. We are so grateful to all of our volunteers, foster families, and adoptive families who readied themselves with only a few days notice to make these 32 sato dreams come true. Now each one of these dogs is either getting settled with a forever family, staying with a foster family, and/or receiving the specialized care they need. We would also like to thank Oradell Animal Hospital and Guardian Veterinary Specialists for helping us care for our special needs medical cases like Marvie.
Several of the satos onboard this flight went into the arms of their forever families directly at the airport. In the top row are Aisha, Marley, and Iris with their new parents. The two lucky satos at the bottom were adopted by members of our own team! Bottom left is Boomer with her new mum, Kristin, our Volunteer Coordinator. Bottom right is Terra with her mum, Tammy, one of our transport volunteers. Boomer and Marley were rescued from the streets and Aisha, Iris, and Terra were all saved from the euthanasia list of a municipal shelter. Now all of these lucky pups will know nothing but love and comfort forever. 
Free Vaccine Clinic and Pet Food Pantry Planned for May 1st
Our team is excited to announce that we have a free vaccine clinic and pet food pantry planned for May 1st. 

In the spring of 2020, we started organizing periodic free pet food pantries to help pet owners in need care for their pets. With so many people laid off from work due to the COVID-19 pandemic’s stay-at-home orders, we knew there were many pet owners who might be struggling to afford to feed their pets. Since this initiative began, we have distributed nearly 30,000 lbs of dog and cat food directly to the community.

This spring, yet another crisis has surfaced. There have been multiple outbreaks of distemper reported across the island. Distemper is a highly contagious canine viral disease that is incurable and often fatal. We sadly had several cases of distemper turn up within our own rescued dogs and we are determined to get ahead of these outbreaks before they spread any further. So on May 1st, in partnership with our veterinarian, Dr. Brito of Candelero Animal Hospital, we are running a one-day free vaccine clinic in Yabucoa along with another free pet food pantry. In addition to being offered a free bag of food, all local dog owners will be able to bring their dog to get vaccinated for distemper, rabies, parvovirus, and leptospirosis. All four of these diseases are active in Puerto Rico and are becoming a public health crisis, not only to the island's dogs, but also to people. Leptospirosis is a zoonotic disease transferable to humans. Community vaccination efforts are the only way to protect our own dogs, the dogs still living in the streets, and get ahead of this problem before it gets worse. Cat owners will also be welcomed at our clinic and will have access to free rabies vaccinations and cat food.

The clinic and food pantry will take place on Saturday, May 1st in Yabucoa, Puerto Rico. Please stay tuned to our social media channels (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter) where we will announce the exact location and time soon. All vaccines and food will be offered on a first come, first served basis. If you are in Puerto Rico or know people who are, please help us spread the word! Our goal is to vaccinate at least 500 animals in a single day.
Featured Adoptable Satos:
Bonded Pair Manny and Nala
Father and daughter Manny and Nala were rescued together from the streets of Puerto Rico. Now they are looking for a special home in the Northeast that will allow them to stay together forever.
Manny and Nala were found living as strays near a shopping center in San Lorenzo, Puerto Rico. A kind samaritan in the area started regularly feeding them and keeping an eye on them. One day while she was there, she left her car door open. They both must have decided they were done living in the streets and seized their moment to jump right in her car! She reached out to us for help and we took them into our program.

Community members familiar with the neighborhood’s strays believe Manny and Nala to be father and daughter. Manny is 5 years old and 41 pounds. Nala is 3 years old and 53 pounds. We tried separating them but they clearly missed each other. When reunited, they were so happy that we knew they needed to stay together.

They hitched a ride on our critical care Freedom Flight last weekend and have since been staying with a foster family in New Jersey. Their foster parents describe Nala as a perfect, cuddly ‘land hippo’ who is super easy and loves to follow them around from room to room, staying at their side all day long. Manny is taking a little more time to come out of his shell, but has made wonderful progress in only a few days. Manny and Nala are so attached at the hip that it barely feels like having two dogs. They are also friendly with other dogs and gentle with children. They are both very sweet, incredibly well-behaved, potty-trained, and eager to please. Watching them snuggle together all day is very heartwarming.

It can be hard to find a home for two dogs together, but we know their perfect family is out there somewhere. Could it be you or someone you know? Any prospective adopters can submit an adoption application by clicking hereThank you for helping us keep this special father and daughter pair together. 
It is hard to believe Nala once lived in the streets. This sweet sato loves to cuddle. Here she is giving lots of snuggles to her foster parents, Eric and Jennifer. They describe her as a perfect 'land hippo' who immediately loves everyone she meets. Click here to adopt Nala and Manny together.
Meredith's Howling Success
Left: Meredith is finally in the arms of her teary-eyed mum who had been waiting nearly five months to meet her. Right: Meredith settles into her new life with her very own bed and custom-made pillow.
When we first laid eyes on Meredith back in October, she was huddled in the back of her kennel at the municipal shelter in Ponce. She was heavily pregnant and awaiting her fate on the euthanasia list. She was also suffering from heartworm. We took one look at her sad, terrified eyes and knew we couldn’t leave her behind. Shortly after she arrived at our veterinary clinic, she gave birth to a litter of beautiful puppies and dutifully cared for them while completing her tedious heartworm treatments. Meanwhile, she had a loving family on the mainland who were matched to adopt her. They immediately started counting down the days until she finished her treatments and they could hold their sweet girl in their arms. 

Meredith was originally scheduled to fly on our Freedom Flight on February 13th. However, when that week arrived, poor Meredith was still not completely recovered from heartworm and had to stay behind. Her parents were very disappointed, but never gave up on waiting for her.

Finally, last Saturday, after nearly five months of waiting, their special day arrived. Meredith was finally cleared of heartworm and was able to hitch a ride on our critical care Freedom Flight. Her parents were at the airport waiting. When Meredith came out of the airport hangar, she was immediately greeted by happy tears of love from her new mum. Click here to see a video of their meeting on Instagram. Everyone who witnessed Meredith being passed into the arms of her parents couldn’t help but also be moved to tears. We are so happy that our sweet girl is finally home where she belongs.
Left: Meredith in her kennel at the municipal shelter where we rescued her from the euthanasia list. Right: Meredith takes her first family photo with her new parents at the airport.
The Sato Project is dedicated to rescuing abused and abandoned dogs in Puerto Rico, where there are an estimated 500,000 stray dogs and a combined euthanasia rate of 94% across all municipal shelters. We have rescued over 5,500 dogs, rehabilitated them with the highest standards of veterinary care, and found them loving homes on the mainland U.S.. We are also working to make permanent change on the island through community outreach and a Spay, Neuter, Vaccinate and Microchip Program.
"We fight so the dogs of Puerto Rico don't have to."