It is hard to believe that less than a week ago my team and I were in the middle of Round Two of the Spayathon. It was a long and intense week (we even had two clinic-wide blackouts on Day Two!), but all of our hard work has left me feeling more inspired than ever for the future of Puerto Rico's stray animals. One of the pet owners who came with his dog described the event as a "miracle for Puerto Rico" and a "dream come true." And I have to agree that it definitely felt like nothing less. I am incredibly proud of our team's work last week and full of gratitude for everyone who played a part in making this dream a reality. Please read more about the historic success of Spayathon Round Two below. 

Meanwhile, before the Spayathon was even over, our rescue efforts resumed. We have continued to take in as many of our beloved satos as possible and fortunately, we have a Freedom Flight this weekend that will help clear out much needed space for even more dogs. The work of our small but mighty team continues forward.  As always, thank you for being in this fight with us. Now more than ever, I can  truly say with confidence that we are making a huge impact. 

-- Chrissy Beckles, President and Founder

Over 1,100 Pets Treated During Spayathon Round Two

Left: pet owners line up outside the clinic in Fajardo in the early hours of the morning.  Right: Chrissy comforts a pit bull who recently had puppies as she gets checked in for her surgery.

Brownie (pictured below) was originally part of a pack of stray dogs in Humacao. Every day, this pack follows a kind man around the neighborhood as he goes through trash cans along the street and pulls out any edible food that he can pass to the dogs. But Brownie stood out from the pack: she was not food aggressive and would often wait until the other dogs finished eating. The man worried about her not eating enough, so asked Myrna, another animal-lover he knew who helps the strays in their neighborhood, to help keep on eye on Brownie and make sure she received food to eat. But then Brownie suddenly disappeared. A worried Myrna looked everywhere and asked neighbors, but couldn't find her. Then finally, one day, Myrna had a feeling to look again on a particular street corner. Sure enough, there was Brownie. Even though she has several dogs already and is on limited resources, Myrna was so happy to find her that she decided it was officially time to take this sweet sato in off the streets. 

Myrna and Brownie wait in the bleachers of the Fajardo clinic until it is Brownie's turn to get treated.

These are the types of pet owners we are serving in Puerto Rico for The Spayathon. We heard so many of stories of people rescuing dogs themselves: rescuing satos from being abused, poisoned, starving, or taking in pregnant moms full of puppies. Each one of these stories was a reminder of why we do this work. There are thousands of loving pet owners in Puerto Rico who want to do whatever they can for their pets. Every morning we arrived to our clinic in Fajardo at 6am to a long line of people and pets who had started lining up not long after midnight. By the end of the week, our Round Two clinic, alongside The Humane Society of the United States and our amazing veterinary team partner, Helping Paws Across Bordersperformed 1,113 spay/neuter surgeries in only seven days, surpassing our record of 899 surgeries during Round One. 

The entire 26 member Spayathon Coalition all together completed over 8,000 surgeries all across the island. That's over 8,000 animals who have gone on to healthier lives, thousands of owners who don't have to worry about their pets producing unwanted liters, and even thousands upon thousands of more animals who will never have to know a life of suffering in the streets.

To be able to make such a giant impact on the animal population of this island is a huge dream come true for all of us at The Sato Project. While we will always continue to rescue as many of the islands tens of thousands of homeless dogs as we can, the success of the Spayathon helps us imagine that maybe, just maybe some day in the future, Puerto Rico won't have many strays dogs at all. 

We would like to express an immense amount of gratitude to our incredible team of volunteers who made the Spayathon possible. Every morning last week many of them started their days before dawn and didn't end them until long after the sun went down. For every hour in between, we watched them handle dogs and cats and talk to owners with such incredible compassion, love, and patience. We truly cannot imagine a better team. And to everyone who had our back from afar, whether you donated blankets, towels or other supplies, spread news of The Spayathon on social media, or contributed financially: THANK YOU. Thank you for helping to change over 1,000 lives last week. All of your hard work and support will continue to echo across the island for many years and for many lives to come

You can see more photos of Round Two and read more stories of some of the pet owners we served at thesatoproject.org/spayathon-round-2. Otherwise, stay tuned as we continue to make a historic impact: Spayathon Round Three is only three months away! 

Clockwise from top left corner: pet owners wait in line at the Spayathon, volunteers Michaela and Janette register a puppy to get treated, volunteer Megan from Foster Dogs NYC comforts Mia, a dog who got stressed while waiting in line, Luz and her rescue dog Chanel wait in line for their turn to get treated, and volunteer Casey comforts a dog recovering from her surgery who was put into a TSP t-shirt to prevent her from licking her post-surgery stitches.  

30 Dogs to Take Their Freedom Flight This Weekend

As soon as The Spayathon ended, our small team jumped right in to preparing our next round of  dogs to fly to their new lives. This Saturday, 30 lucky satos will fly from San Juan to Morristown, NJ. The small plane will be packed with a mix of puppies and adult dogs - including a very special dog named Tacquito, who was rescued and fostered by our Founder Chrissy Beckles herself! All of these dogs will be going straight to their forever families or into our foster network. Do you know anyone looking to adopt a dog? Tell them to submit an application at bit.ly/adoptasato to get matched with one of our new arrivals. 

From left to right: Bobby, Tacquito, and Pi. All three of these lucky satos are taking their Freedom Flight this weekend and are still adoptable! Learn more about each of them at bit.ly/findyoursato.


Abe's Howling Success 

Left: Abe as a tiny puppy shortly after arriving in NYC. Center: Abe gives a big smile while enjoying a weekend in September. Right: Abe shows some love to his mom, Julie. 

Introducing one of our latest sato superstar ambassadors - meet Abe!  Abe's pregnant mom was found on Dead Dog Beach shortly after Hurricane Maria. We brought her into our care and she was able to give birth to her pups in safety. After being born in our clinic, Abe flew to NY last January, where he was adopted by his mom, Julie. Since then, it has been nothing but joy and stardom for this lucky little sato. He made a short appearance on last year's Puppy Bowl and has continued to gather love wherever he goes - including over 11K followers on his own Instagram account ( @abe_the_sato). But now, Abe is excited to share that he is giving back! He is also the spokesdog for his mom's comedy podcast, Personal Disclosures and TODAY Personal Disclosures is launching an episode all about pets, which will include Abe's story of being rescued from Dead Dog Beach. For every full listen of the podcast, the producers of Personal Disclosures will donate $1 to The Sato Project to help us save more dogs like Abe. To listen to the podcast and help raise a $1 for our rescue efforts, please visit www.personaldisclosures.com/podcast to listen to the episode titled " WO(MAN's) Best friend" And please share with your friends to help Abe raise as much as possible for his sato cousins. Thank you for being such a great sato ambassador Abe!  

Click on the image above to listen to Abe's story and raise $1 for our rescue efforts.

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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."