Almost two full months have passed since Hurricane Maria, and much of Puerto Rico remains in survival mode. Millions of people still lack electricity and access to fresh running water. But there are a few signs of hope: trees that were stripped bare by the winds are starting to grow back their leaves; communication is more reliable in more places. And we are very pleased to announce that this month we were able to re-start our community voucher program at the Candelero Animal Hospital in Yabucoa for low-cost Spay, Neuter, Vaccine, and Microchip services, and we are receiving requests for appointments! We are working on even bigger plans to offer veterinary services to some of the most isolated and struggling areas of the island in the next couple of months, so stay tuned for more on that soon.

Meanwhile, our team has been working tirelessly to prepare hundreds of dogs for their Freedom Flights off the island, including the next flight for 50 dogs leaving tomorrow! And we are continuing our special #NoDogLeftBehind mission 
to help desperate families bring their dogs with them when they leave the island to seek refuge on the mainland.  While the scope of the devastation on the island remains hard to comprehend, each life saved, each family that stays together, provides fuel for us to keep going. All of this is thanks to you, our wonderful supporters who are sharing our stories, and sending us your love and financial support. Thank you, as always, for being in our corner.

-- Chrissy Beckles, President and Founder
More Happy Reunions

No Dog Left Behind:   This is what we've dubbed our mission to help Puerto Rican families in distress stay together with their beloved pets.   It is estimated that up to 10,000 people are leaving Puerto Rico every week, many due to critical health needs.   T his past weekend, we again partnered with our friends at Wings of Rescue  on two flights to fly over 30 dogs and cats belonging to families who were desperate to leave the island or had already done so, anxiously leaving their pets in the care of neighbors or friends. It remains difficult to fly larger dogs off the island. Dogs like Blackjack, a 125 lb great dane, who could not leave the island on a commercial flight. His family had been trying for over a month to find a way to get him to Florida, but there was no airline who would fly him. 

Seeing the joy and relief on the faces of the family members being reunited with their pets is well worth the effort of coordinating these special flights. And k eeping dogs like Blackjack out of the already overburdened and struggling shelters of Puerto Rico ensures that more lives will ultimately be saved. We are excited to be working on a plan with the Humane Society of the United States and Wings of Rescue to be able to continue to offer these flights on an ongoing basis in the coming weeks and months, so stay tuned for more updates on these happy family reunions! 
Blackjack and his family. Photo by Britany Muscato, courtesy of Wings of Rescue.  

50 Hurricane Survivors Headed on their Freedom Flight Tomorrow
Tomorrow, The Sato Project will send 50 more dogs who have been struggling in Puerto Rico's post-hurricane conditions on a Freedom Flight to New Jersey to start a new life. We rescued 20 of these pups from a very sad hoarding situation in Cabo Roja, which started with good intentions, but ended up going tragically wrong. We found them in horrific condition, without access to basic necessities such as water, food and clean environs. Many would have died within a matter of days had we not intervened. 

Take Lobito, top left in the photo below. He was in kidney failure when we got him to the clinic, and it was touch and go for a while. But he never lost his will to survive. His tail never stops wagging, and he has a voracious appetite (his name means little wolf, after all). He is stable now, but we are taking no chances and he will be going straight to our wonderful friends at the Oradell Animal Hospital in NJ when he arrives on Saturday.

Lobito , top left, and some of the other lucky pups taking their freedom flight this weekend. 

We are planning at least two more flights in December, and our goal is to have evacuated almost 500 dogs before the end of the year! Please stay tuned for more updates and stories to come about all these lucky Hurricane Survivors spending the holidays in their new homes, far from the devastation on the island.  

If you are interested in adopting, this group of 50 will again be going to a mix of our own fosters and shelter partners: Animal Haven in SOHO; Tails of Courage in Danbury CT; and the Little Shelter on Long Island. Please feel free to contact any of the shelters directly as well as The Sato Project's Adoption Coordinator, Samantha Gurrie, at to inquire. 
Miracle Update!
We want to extend a huge THANK YOU to everyone who donated, shared, and prayed for Miracle, the little dog who survived Hurricane Maria alone on the streets, only to later be hit by a car. Thanks to the support and help from caring individuals, we were able to quickly get her on a flight off the island and into the hands of our friends at the Oradell Animal Hospital for emergency veterinary care. 

Unfortunately, Miracle's prognosis was not quite the 'miracle' we had prayed for. An enlarged heart, plus damage to her spine, mean she doesn't have a long life expectancy, and she won't regain feeling in her hind legs. However, we do have some wonderful news to share! Carol, our great friend and supporter from Kuranda Dog Beds,  has welcomed this special girl into her heart and given her a forever home with her. Carol is a very experienced caretaker of special needs pups, and will make sure Miracle will have a wonderful, comfortable life full of love, for whatever time she has left. Carol reports that Miracle loves her new wheelchair, generously donated by  Bubba's Beds for Shelter Friends, who even sent her a custom license plate for her spiffy new wheels! 

Miracle looking comfy in her new home (top left); her spiffy custom tag for her new set of wheels; and saying goodbye to Chrissy just before her emergency freedom fight earlier this month. 

If you don't already, follow us on  Instagram to check out another heartwarming success story we posted today about Andromeda's incredible transformation - a true testament to the healing power of love. Happy Adoptaversary, Andromeda! 


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 almost 2,000 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."