Dear Sato Supporter,

It is hard to believe 2018 is almost over. This has by far been The Sato Project’s busiest year yet, and December is proving to be more of the same! On Monday I met with The First Lady of Puerto Rico, Beatriz Isabel Rossello, the Mayor of Fajardo, and The Humane Society of the United States to start planning for Round Three of The Spayathon in February, and to discuss our shared vision for addressing Puerto Rico's stray animal crisis once and for all. Meanwhile, we have flights scheduled for every week this month, sending over 60 dogs to their new forever homes, just in time for the holidays.

The seemingly endless stream of dogs in need of our help can feel especially overwhelming at this point in the year. But I have been fueled lately by another steady stream of photos coming to my inbox and on our social channels - those from doting adopters showing our pups enjoying special holiday treats in cozy scenes, living their best life, clearly thriving, healthy, and loved. This is what keeps us all going. Please read on below for just a few stories about some of the many dogs we are helping this month.

Thank you as always for being in our corner. Wishing a very happy holiday season to you and yours. 

-- Chrissy Beckles, President and Founder

64 satos to take their Freedom Flights throughout December
Scenes from Newark Airport: the first satos to arrive in December smile with their new families.
Our first round of lucky satos to fly in December arrived at Newark Airport last Saturday to a very warm welcome from their new families.
December is a busy month for everyone, with the holidays, the end of the year, semester finals for students, etc. It is also, apparently, a busy time for airplanes! With all the extra online shopping and shipping, it has been difficult for us to schedule a cargo plane "Freedom Flight". But true-to-form, we've been hustling to find other ways to get our most recently rescued dogs off the island in time for the holidays. Our team sprung into action and formulated a plan to get as many of our dogs as possible on available commercial flights. Our first batch of eight lucky satos landed last weekend at Newark Airport and we have three more groups of dogs scheduled to fly on commercial flights on December 15, 22, and 29th. But we have so many dogs who are healthy and ready to travel that we've continued searching for an "empty-leg" plane to fly even more of these deserving dogs off the island before the end of the year. Our work paid off when last week we found a small plane and pilot who is able to take on this special cargo load! We're thrilled that 50 more lucky satos are now scheduled for their Freedom Flight on December 23rd - just in time to celebrate the remainder of the holiday season with their new families. Be sure to follow us on social media ( Facebook, Instagram, Twitter) as we share updates on all the dogs who will by flying to their new lives throughout the month.

Senior dogs rescued from elderly couple still looking for their homes for the holidays
Pancho, Brownie, Sacha, and Pinta came to us from an elderly couple in San Sebastian, Puerto Rico. Sadly, the couple was suffering from a number of health issues and, even though they loved their dogs, they could no longer care for them. They asked The Sato Project to help them find loving homes and we couldn't say no. But despite ads on Petfinder and our social media channels, we are still searching for new families for these four. Do you know anyone in the northeast who would like to open their home and hearts to one or more of these grey-muzzled lovelies? These four special pups' lives have been drastically upended through no fault of their own. They range in age from 4 to 7 years old and are all extremely sweet, gentle and friendly. They would make a great addition to any family and are ready get to work keeping some lucky human's couch warm this winter! You can learn more about each of them at bit.ly/findyoursato, or by clicking on the image below.
Clockwise from top left: Pancho, Brownie, Sacha, and Pinta. These special senior satos are still searching for the perfect home to enjoy their golden years. Could it be yours?

Spayathon Success Stories:
Maritza & Mira
Maritza and Mira wait in line to get treated during the Spayathon's Round 2 in Fajardo, where we spayed, neutered, and vaccinated 1,113 pets in one week.
The Sato Project was thrilled to meet hundreds of devoted pet owners at last month's Round 2 of the Spayathon for Puerto Rico, who were willing to wait in line for hours on end to have their animals treated. Take Maritza for example, who already had six dogs in her family and was not looking to add another. But then Mira (short for “Delmira”) showed up at her house at the end of September. She was very skinny, mangey and had parasites. Her teats were extended and she had obviously just had puppies, but Maritza wasn't able to find them despite looking all over her neighborhood. She knew Mira was not well and needed to see a vet, so she took her in to get treated for the parasites and mange. The vet also discovered rocks in Mira's stomach, something that is sadly common for stray dogs in Puerto Rico (many strays will eat rocks out of desperation when they are starving). Maritza has been gradually nursing Mira back to health, and she was very grateful for the Spayathon to help her get Mira spayed and vaccinated at no cost, ensuring that she never has another litter of unwanted puppies. Visit our website to read more stories like Maritza and Mira's and learn more about the Spayathon for Puerto Rico and the incredible impact it is having across the island to address the stray animal crisis. In the meantime, The Sato Project is already hard at work preparing to treat 1,000 more pets like Mira during Round 3 in early February! Stay tuned for more success stories to come.

by signing up for a monthly gift today.
Cascade's Howling Success
Cascade gives a big smile on her way to San Juan to catch her Freedom Flight.
A few months ago Cascade and her puppy, Morning, were found on Guayanes Beach. When we brought them to the Candelero Animal Hospital to begin our thorough veterinary protocols and rehabilitation, the staff fell in love with them immediately. Cascade tested positive for heartworm, as many of the dogs we rescue in Puerto Rico do. We started her on the lengthy and costly treatment protocol to eradicate these deadly parasites. In the meantime, both of these sweet girls were quickly spoken for by adopters who were ready to take them home upon their arrival on the mainland and we arranged to fly them together on last month’s November 17th Freedom Flight. However, despite our hopes that Cascade would be ready in time for the flight, our vet determined that she needed to stay behind a bit longer to finish her heartworm treatment before she would be ready to travel.

This was very disappointing for Cascade’s new family, who couldn't stand to wait another day to welcome her to her new life! So as soon as we started scheduling commercial Freedom Flights for December, we knew which dog was going to be first on the list. Finally, this past Saturday, Cascade landed at Newark Airport where her new mom and dad met her with lots of big hugs and smiles. Now the life of her dreams has officially begun! 

The support we receive throughout the year makes it possible for us to provide the careful veterinary treatment to give dogs like Cascade a second chance at life, despite serious conditions like heartworm. We are thrilled that we could make this beautiful girl's sato dreams come true just in time for her to spend her first holiday season with her new adoring family. 
After a long wait for her to complete her heartworm treatment, Cascade and her new family were finally united last Saturday at Newark Airport.
Still looking for that perfect gift for a dog-lover?
Are you still searching for a holiday present for a special dog-lover in your life? Or a heartfelt Secret Santa present or stocking stuffer? Why not give a gift that also gives back! Help rescue a sato in honor of someone you love by making an honorary gift to The Sato Project. We'll send them a personalized email about their gift, or you can order special sato gift cards to give in person. Visit thesatoproject.org/honorary-gifts to learn more or click on the image below.
The Sato Project is dedicated to rescuing abused and abandoned dogs in Puerto Rico, where there are an estimated 500,000 strays (referred to as "satos" in Puerto Rico). With only nine shelters on the island with over a 90% euthanasia rate, we have rescued over 2,500 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 systemic change on the island through community outreach and a Spay, Neuter, Vaccinate and Microchip Program

The Sato Project is a 501(c)3 organization relying entirely on volunteers and tax-deductible donations for our operations.
"We fight so the dogs of Puerto Rico don't have to."