Most of my days in Puerto Rico are spent facing the harsh realities of life on this island, including rescuing starving puppies at the beach, taking in dogs from cruelty cases, or picking up dogs with untreated medical conditions. But at The Sato Social in NY on May 10, I was able to witness firsthand the magnitude of the support that has rallied behind this work, behind our team and the dogs we are trying to help. You can read more about the successful evening below, but I want to personally to thank everyone who helped make the night possible. Your unwavering support for the animals of Puerto Rico is inspiring, and the night gave us fuel in more ways than one to carry on our work in the days and months to come. 

Our Freedom Flight last weekend was another inspiring rally. When the flight faced a last minute re-route due to bad weather (full story below), my initial fear gave way to tremendous admiration and gratitude for the dedication of our incredible New York team which went above and beyond to ensure the well-being of these 70 dogs. It was the epitome of #satostrong. 

My team and I are now working full steam ahead to prepare for an historic coalition effort that is about to launch on June 1: The Spayathon for Puerto Rico. It is hard to put my excitement over this into words. This first-of-its-kind coalition is going to bring lasting change to the people and pets of the island, and being a part of this has given me a renewed sense of hope. Please read on for more info and stay tuned as we share daily updates in early June!

-- Chrissy Beckles, President and Founder
Freedom Flight with Nearly 70 Dogs on Board Faces Emergency Flight Plan Change Due to Bad Weather
After our team of staff and volunteers in Puerto Rico worked through the night getting all the dogs ready, our most recent Freedom Flight took off last Saturday morning under a sunny sky with nearly 70 dogs on board. On its way, the plane made a stop in Florida at 3pm to drop off an owned dog to be reunited with its owner under our No Dog Left Behind program and refueled before continuing its journey north. The plane was scheduled to arrive in Morristown, NJ at 8pm, where our New York team was ready to welcome these special sato travelers.  However, a few hours before the plane was due to land, our Founder and President Chrissy Beckles received a dreaded call from the pilot Ric Browde. Bad weather was moving down the east coast and he was no longer able to land in Morristown. The two quickly researched alternative airports before finally confirming that he could land in Harrisburg, PA. 

Our Adoption Coordinator, Samantha, quickly wrangled as many people and vehicles as she could to make the sudden four hour drive to Harrisburg.  It was an incredibly long night, with most of the dogs not reaching their destinations until 4-5am. Our Transport Coordinator, Esther, drove four dogs to destinations in New England and didn't end up making it home until Sunday afternoon. We are so thankful for our incredibly dedicated and mighty team! Thanks to their hard work and the quick thinking of our Wings of Rescue pilot, Ric, all dogs are now safe and sound and happily beginning their new lives. We are also grateful to our Volunteer Coordinator, Nicole, her sister Victoria, our other amazing transporters, Marjie, Kristina, and Stephen, the Bloomberg Hangar staff, and all of the adopters and fosters who came out to help. Their willingness to stay up late, clean up lots of puppy poop, and stay positive for our dogs is what made it possible. Here's to seventy more satos sleeping peacefully tonight and every night, thanks to their hard work and dedication.


Round One of the Spayathon for  Puerto Rico to Begin June 3rd

After months of preparation, the Spayathon for Puerto Rico is finally here. Under the leadership of The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), the Spayathon for Puerto Rico is a historic coalition of 23 local, national, and international organizations that are banding together to create lasting change for the people and pets of Puerto Rico.
Together, the coalition will be conducting four week-long rounds of High Quality, High Volume Volume Spay/Neuter (HQHVSNV) services for dogs and cats in multiple sectors across the island. Veterinary services will be offered to pet owners at no cost and will include spaying and neutering, rabies and leptospirosis vaccines and others. By the fourth round of HQHVSNV, the target goal is to have treated 25,000 animals. This goal is huge. If accomplished, it will bring systemic change to the amount of animals suffering in the streets of the island. And it all begins on June 3rd. The Sato Project has been put in charge of one sector of the island and our ground team has been hard at work gathering supplies, volunteers, and organizing logistics to make sure we are prepared and capable of covering our section as efficiently as possible and treating as many animals as we can.  We are incredibly proud to be a part of this effort and are looking forward to ensuring this round is a success. You can read the official announcement of the HSUS Spayathon here or by clicking on the image above. And please stay tuned to our social media accounts in early June for daily updates on our progress! If you don't already, now is a good time to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram @thesatoproject. 
The Sato Social Raises over $125,000
to Rescue More Satos


What happens when you combine yummy cocktails, good music and 300 passionate dog lovers in one room? The Sato Project's party of the year, of course! Not only was The Sato Social a fun evening for those who attended (we hope!), it was also an incredibly inspiring one. We honored Board Member Tracy Warren, along with her husband Andy, and their children for their unwavering commitment to the dogs of Puerto Rico. In the middle of the evening, we also had a surprise announcement delivered via video from Rob and Marisol Thomas of The Sidewalk Angels Foundation that they would generously match all donations that came in during the event up to $25,000. By the time the evening was over, The Sato Project community had raised $125,260! These funds will allow so many more of our sato treasures to be saved from suffering in the streets of Puerto Rico.  We are so full of gratitude for everyone who helped make this event such a success. From our many generous sponsors to everyone who attended the event, shared it with their friends, bid on a silent auction item, or otherwise supported the event from afar - this success is because of YOU. Thank you for being part of our incredible #satostrong community and thank you for allowing us to continue saving lives every single day.  You can check out all of the photos from the night on our Facebook album (with or without a Facebook account) by clicking here: bit.ly/SatoSocialFB


Anais and Arnold's  Howling Success 
 
Anais and Arnold are a mother and son pair of boxers who were owner surrenders after Hurricane Maria.  
At first, it was our goal to get them adopted together. However, after getting to know their personalities, our team soon realized that they might be better off going to separate homes. Arnold is an energetic goofball while Anais is very sweet and mellow. Our Adoption Coordinator described it as, "Almost like he was an 18 year old that needed to be kicked out of the house!"  Boxers are such headstrong dogs and it was not easy finding the right homes for each of them, but we are thrilled to report that we found perfect fits for them both! 

Anais (renamed Calle) is now living in Brooklyn with her new parents, Nicole and Chris. Their household is much more mellow, in which Calle's only new sibling is a cat who likes to sleep all day.

Arnold (now renamed Falkor) is living in Jersey City with his new parents, Gareth and Alicia, and a new doggy sister, Princess Mu, who is more his speed. The two dogs bonded immediately and now spend their days happily playing together and wearing each other out. Afterwards, Falkor's  favorite activity is napping on his new couch, preferably wrapped up in a blanket burrito.

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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."