Dear Sato Supporter,

Within a one week span earlier this month, my small but mighty team and I coordinated a Freedom Flight of 105 lucky satos, began Round 4 of the Spayathon for Puerto Rico, and participated in an adoption event in Manhattan. We did all of these things while still caring for all of the newly rescued dogs in our clinics.

It would not have been possible for us to accomplish all of this at once without the support of our generous and compassionate community. Thank you so much to everyone who supported our spring appeal and helped us reach our fundraising goal. It takes a village to do this work and from the the bottom of our hearts, we thank you for being in our corner and supporting our beloved sato treasures. Read more about everything our community accomplished this month below. 

In gratitude,

-- Chrissy Beckles, President and Founder

Valencia and 104 other lucky satos take their Freedom Flight to new lives
Early one morning, our rescue team found Valencia abandoned on Dead Dog Beach. She was suffering from so many injuries she could hardly move. Despite her pain, her tiny tail wagged letting us know there was fighter in this little body. Sure enough, in five short weeks, Valencia made such a miraculous recovery that she was able to take her Freedom Flight on April 28th, along with 104 other rescued satos. From suffering on the beach to flying straight into the arms of her forever family, you can watch Valencia’s incredible recovery yourself in the video below. Valencia is just one example of all of the lives who were forever changed this month, thanks to the support and generosity of this community. Thank you for helping so many satos' dreams come true.
Valencia was found fighting for her life on Dead Dog Beach. Thanks to your support, we were able to help her win her fight and transform her life forever.
The Spayathon reaches 34,000 animals in one year - and will now continue for 6 more rounds!
The Spayathon for Puerto Rico Initiative officially launched one year ago. 26 different organizations, plus the government of Puerto Rico, agreed to come together under one shared mission: to stem the island's growing stray animal crisis and help its people access vital veterinary care for their pets. Over the course of four, week-long free veterinary clinics, the coalition set an ambitious goal of spaying/neutering and vaccinating 30,000 animals across the island in a single year. We are incredibly proud to share that upon completion of Round 4 of The Spayathon, May 3-9, the coalition surpassed its initial goal, officially reaching over 34,000 animals. This momentous achievement not only affects the thousands of treated animals and their families. It is also preventing millions of animals from being born in unwanted circumstances and suffering in the streets. We still have a long way to go combat Puerto Rico’s stray animal population, but the impact of these 34,334 changed lives is going to be felt far and wide all across the island for many years to come. 
During Round 4 of The Spayathon for Puerto Rico, May 3-9, our team ran a free spay and neuter clinic in Humacao. Here are just a few of the happy faces we were able to help.
For Round 4, The Sato Project team ran a clinic in Humacao, at a private sports arena. During the year immediately following the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, this arena had been set up as a temporary hospital for area residents by FEMA. Now it was our turn to set it up as a clinic for dogs and cats. Every single morning of Round 4 we arrived to a long line of pets already waiting for us. Humacao is just one community over from our headquarters in Yabucoa, and just like Yabucoa, Humacao has a huge stray animal population. Many of the pet owners we talked to had rescued their pets themselves from the area's beaches or streets. Many came back day after day, to treat more of their pets and to bring back their neighbors and friends with their pets. By the end of the week, our clinic had treated 1,070 animals in only 7 days. This brought our total number to 4,138 dogs and cats treated during all four rounds of the Spayathon. The entire 26 member Spayathon Coalition treated 8,568 pets island-wide during the week of Round 4. 

The Spayathon Initiative has reminded us over and over again that thousands of loving pet owners in Puerto Rico want to do the best thing for their pets. Thousands of people have been willing to wait in line all night and all day in order access these services, taking full days off of work and missing classes and other commitments, all for the sake of their pets’ health and the health of their wider animal community. On every single day of Round 4, our clinic reached its full capacity and had to turn pet owners away, including the very last day, on which we had to turn away over 100 pet owners who had already been waiting in line for many hours.

Fortunately, these pet owners and thousands of others will still have a chance to treat their animals. We are excited to announce that The Spayathon for Puerto Rico Initiative has been EXTENDED for another six rounds of free clinics over the next two years. Please stay tuned as we share more information on the upcoming clinics and continue to make historic change. In the mean time, you can learn more about The Spayathon Initiative and meet more of the pets and people who came to Round 4 on our website at .

The Sato Project team is honored to be part of this dream come true for the people and pets of Puerto Rico. We are also deeply grateful to The Humane Society for spearheading this initiative and all of the coalition partners, as well as our own incredible community of volunteers and supporters for making it all possible.
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Scrappy Doo's Howling Success
Left: Scrappy Doo gives his best puppy dog eyes. Who could say no to this face?
Right: Scrappy Doo snuggles his way right into his foster family's hearts.
Scrappy Doo was found wandering around outside, dejected and soaking wet, during a heavy Puerto Rico rainstorm. We took him into our program, completed his veterinary protocol, and scheduled him for his Freedom Flight. But when we posted his photo on our Petfinder page of adoptable dogs and on social media, we didn't receive a single application for him. A tough-looking pit bull mix, we knew he might be hard to place, but we didn’t anticipate this sweet sato getting no interest at all. But we didn’t lose hope and moved forward with his scheduled Freedom Flight on April 30th. Surely someone would see through to the pure love of this big mush of a dog. In the meantime, sisters and roommates Anna and Sara agreed to foster him until he found his forever family.

Then, while our team was in the middle of the Spayathon, our Adoption Director, Samantha, looked down at a message on her phone and suddenly yelled out a joyful, “Scrappy Doo failed!” We think 'foster failures’ are indeed the best kind of failure that merits celebrating: when a foster family takes in a rescue dog in need of a place to stay and then “place to stay” becomes “place to stay forever.” 

Anna says they definitely weren’t expecting to ‘fail’ so soon (Scrappy Doo is only their second foster dog for The Sato Project), but, “He is just the sweetest dog I have ever met. Truly. People on the street are always surprised by how nice he is, given that he looks rather tough. But he confidently walks up to them wagging his tail, wanting to spread happiness and love.”

Scrappy Doo didn't receive any applications because, it turns out, he didn't need to. His family was already waiting for him. They just didn't know it yet. The TSP team could not be happier that our sweet Scrappy Doo is now living his dreams with a family who truly appreciates him for all the love that has to give.  
Scrappy Doo takes his first family photo with Sara and Anna in their Manhattan neighborhood, where he is spreading love to everyone he meets as the newest sato and pit bull ambassador. He has been renamed Mijo, which means “my son” in Spanish.
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.
"We fight so the dogs of Puerto Rico don't have to."