Dear Sato Supporter,

Happy Valentine's Day! It is only February 14th, but this month has already been filled with so many reasons to celebrate.

From February 3-9, my team and I broke a new record for the number of pets reached in one week during Round 3 of The Spayathon for Puerto Rico and we had seven satos make the big screen on Animal Planet's Puppy Bowl XV and Dog Bowl II. You can read more about all of these exciting events below.

I haven't gotten a lot of sleep so far this month, but it has all been worth it. My team and I are as inspired as ever to keep fighting for the dogs of Puerto Rico and our hearts are very full. On this Valentine's Day, I hope your heart is also full, knowing that you've helped change the lives of thousands of animals.

As always, thank you for being in our corner.

-- Chrissy Beckles, President and Founder

Round 3 of The Spayathon reaches 8,500 dogs and cats
The Spayathon for Puerto Rico Round 3 completed 8,513 spay/neuter surgeries over just seven days. Above are just a few of the lucky faces whose lives were changed last week at our clinic in Fajardo, Puerto Rico.
That’s a wrap on Round 3 of The Spayathon for Puerto Rico! Just like the previous two rounds, February 3-9 was a long and exhausting week for our entire team. Many of our volunteers arrived to our location in Fajardo at 5:45am in the morning and some did not leave until 9-10pm at night. But it was worth it. By the end of the week, we had spayed/neutered and vaccinated 1,136 dogs and cats out of our clinic in Fajardo with our veterinary team partner, Helping Paws Across Borders. The entire 26-member Spayathon Coalition all together reached 8,513 pets. This week brings our updated total for the three rounds of the Spayathon to 3,148 animals reached. And for the entire Spayathon coalition: 24,904. 

We are so honored to be a part of this historic coalition that is actively bringing real, systemic change to the stray animal crisis in Puerto Rico. There is still such a long way to go, but we are more inspired than ever that permanent change for the entire island is possible. In fact, permanent change has already been made. Not only have almost 25,000 pets already gone on to live healthier and happier lives, but millions of unwanted litters have been prevented from being born and suffering in the streets. 

We also remain deeply inspired by the people who make this work possible: especially all of our amazing TSP volunteers who take vacation days and time away from their jobs, families, and other commitments to devote themselves to making a difference for the people and pets of Puerto Rico. Our passionate volunteers are such a big part of the heart that keeps this organization running. We could not do this work without them and we will forever be grateful for their generosity of time, dedication and compassion that is helping us save lives, prevent suffering, and make historic change. 

Additionally, the loving pet owners of Puerto Rico also give us a renewed sense of hope. All over the island, thousands of people wait in line all day to get their animals treated, some of them lining up as early as midnight the night before, even though doors do not officially open until 7am. That is how much people in Puerto Rico want access to this services. Many people in Puerto Rico truly love their animals and want to do everything they can to care for them. We are honored to help them access this vital veterinary care for the pets they love. You can meet some of these loving pet owners and learn more about the Spayathon inititative on our website at thesatoproject.org/spayathon-round-3.

In the mean time, there is still one round of the Spayathon left. Stay tuned for Round 4, coming May 3-9. 
Six satos help bring home the win for Team Ruff on Puppy Bowl XV
Did you catch the big game on February 3rd? If not, we are happy to report that all of our satos helped contribute to a Team Ruff win! Bee, Bella, Bill, Bugsy, Delta, and Harry all had TV debuts on the big screen while representing The Sato Project to the world. Bella was also featured as part of a “Pup Close and Personal” segment, during which The Animal Planet team premiered their coverage of Puppy Bowl Ref, Dan Schachner visiting us in Puerto Rico himself and assisting in our efforts after Hurricane Maria. If you missed it, you can now watch the whole game online at bit.ly/puppybowlXV . Bella’s special segment begins around one hour into the program (1:05 to be exact!). Thank you so much to everyone who tuned in and helped cheer on our sato superstars. Most of our team was not able to watch The Puppy Bowl live, as we were busy with the first day of the Spayathon. So even moreso than ever, we were especially grateful for everyone who watched and sent us updates.

You can also catch our Captain Will on the Dog Bowl from February 2nd at bit.ly/dogbowl2 with a TV subscription. 
Bugsy enters the playing field of Animal Planet's Puppy Bowl XV as part of the starting line-up. Watch the whole game, including our "Pup Close and Personal" segment, online at bit.ly/puppybowlXV .
Meet a Sato Superhero:
Our volunteer, Elba
Left, Elba and her sato Luna arrive at Newark Airport at 6am to welcome some newly arrived satos and drive them to their new lives. Right, Elba greets a new patient at Round 3 of The Spayathon for Puerto Rico. Both photos were taken with a camera that Elba donated to The Sato Project.
In 2015, Elba was sitting on her plane at the San Juan airport waiting to head home to New Jersey when she looked out her window and saw Chrissy and The Sato Project crew loading a bunch of dog crates onto the plane. Ever the animal lover, she decided to investigate further and see how she could get involved. 

Since then, Elba jumped right in to do everything she could to join the fight for Puerto Rico's stray dogs. On the New York/New Jersey side, she volunteers regularly at our Freedom Flight arrivals and as a transporter, whether driving a special sato to a vet appointment, newly arrived dogs to their foster or forever homes, or empty crates to JFK. She also fosters and in addition to donating her time, Elba is also a donor. She even recently donated a professional camera that has helped us document our work. In Puerto Rico, Elba has also become one of our vital Spayathon volunteers. Elba was born in Puerto Rico and even though she moved away when she was only three years old, she maintains a strong connection to her birthplace and is fluent in Spanish. On our Spayathon team, Elba plays an important role in helping to bridge the gap between our other English-speaking volunteers from the mainland and the people of Puerto Rico who we are serving. But on top of being one of our primary translators, Elba can also always be counted on to jump in wherever needed, whether doing laundry, helping dogs in recovery, or simply being a gentle but tough-love ear that helps keep the team together and focused on making as big of a difference as possible. 

When not volunteering with The Sato Project, Elba is going on adventures and snuggling with her own sato, Luna, who Elba found herself abandoned on a beach. Or, she is traveling the world post-retirement. So far, Elba has visited 58 countries and is quickly adding more to her list. 

Thank you, Elba, for all of your dedication and service to The Sato Project. We are so grateful to have you a part of our Sato Superhero dream team. 
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Need a last minute Valentine's Day Gift?
Honor your love for someone by making a gift to The Sato Project in their name. 

We will send your gift recipient an email with the above image, notifying them about your gift in their honor. It's a wonderful way to show them you recognize their love for animals, and their desire to make the world a better place!
The Sato Project is dedicated to rescuing abused and abandoned dogs in Puerto Rico, where there are an estimated 500,000 stray dogs. With only nine shelters on the island with over a 90% euthanasia rate, we have rescued over 3,000 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 permanent change on the island through community outreach and a Spay, Neuter, Vaccinate and Microchip Program
The Sato Project is a 501(c)3 organization and relies entirely on tax-deductible donations for our operations.
"We fight so the dogs of Puerto Rico don't have to."