It has been over a week since we wrapped up Round One of the Spayathon for Puerto Rico, and I am still on awe of what we all achieved together (and frankly, still catching up on sleep). I truly believe that the incredible success of this island-wide coalition effort, which spayed and neutered 5,608 pets in one week, marks a critical turning point for the animals of Puerto Rico. Each day during the event, at some point, I was moved to tears that were a mixture of joy, gratitude, and an overwhelming sense of hope.  Please read below for more about the  success  of Round One, and THANK YOU for your support of this critical effort. 

Meanwhile, our normal rescue efforts are still in full swing and we are currently busy getting ready for our next Freedom Flight, which will depart San Juan for New Jersey this Saturday, June 23rd. See below for some info on some of the lucky pups making their journey this month to start their new lives. 

As always, thank you for being in our corner and for making all this possible.

-- Chrissy Beckles, President and Founder
Over 5600 Surgeries Performed During Spayathon
Round One

Pet owners wait in line to get their animals spayed/neutered during Round One of The Spayathon for Puerto Rico.

When we first started planning for the historic Spayathon for Puerto Rico being spearheaded by the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), we hoped we would see a strong turnout, but didn't know for sure how the communities were going to respond. Turns out we were in for a big surprise. Every morning from June 3-9 when we arrived at 6am to our location in Ceiba (one of seven Spaython locations on the island), we found a line stretched around the corner of over 100 dog and cat owners wanting veterinary care for their pets. By the last day, some had started lining up as early as 2:30am. By the end of Day 7, our location in Ceiba had completed an incredible 899 surgeries, performed by our ace partner vet team, Helping Paws Across Borders. All together the 23 member Spayathon coalition completed an incredible 5,608 surgeries across the island in this first of four Spayathon rounds. 

Through the course of our daily rescue efforts, we have witnessed and shared many stories of dogs being abused and abandoned over the years. During the Spayathon, it was incredibly meaningful for us to connect with so many loving pet owners who, even though many of them are still struggling to rebuild their lives after Hurricane Maria (we talked to people who were still living in houses without roofs or dependable electricity) - have continued to do everything they can to care for their pets. We were moved by many stories of how these pets are helping their owners cope with the trauma and hardship of the storm's devastation. And we were honored to help these owners access basic veterinary care for the animals they love, while simultaneously preventing more animals from ending up on the streets. 

To see a slideshow of photos and read the stories of some of the people we were honored to serve through Round One, please visit our website, here:

We are incredibly proud to be a part of this historic effort that is creating permanent change for the people and pets of Puerto Rico. The days of the Spayathon were longer and more taxing than any of us could have imagined, and we are grateful to our dedicated volunteers and staff members who went above and beyond to make it a success, to everyone who donated in support, and especially to the HSUS for making this all come together, despite many hurdles along the way.  Recovering from Hurricane Maria and addressing the growing urgency of the Puerto Rican stray dog crisis has been a challenge to say the least, but seeing so many of our #satostrong community members in action on the ground was inspiring and empowering. Never before has the vision of a Puerto Rico free of hundreds of thousands of stray dogs felt more possible than it does right now. We know Round Two in November will be an even greater success, so please stay tuned.

Top row: Volunteers from BarkBox help register dogs for their surgeries. 
Bottom image: Staff and volunteers ready to start the Spayathon in Ceiba, PR.

The Dogist Raising Awareness and Support with the #RescueRide

Click on the images above to follow Finn on his #RescueRide / #SatoToTheRescue adventure with The Dogist on Instagram.

The world of social media is full of popular dog accounts. For many of us, it is easy to lose track of hours scrolling through a seemingly constant stream of videos and adorable puppy photos. What if all that attention we give to social media could be utilized for good? 

On Memorial Day, social media celeb The Dogist (AKA Elias Weiss Friedman), launched a new initiative called the #RescueRide, and began a road-trip to visit famous destinations and animal shelters across the country. Along the way, he is documenting his journey to help raise awareness for rescue dogs and shelters. And guess who was selected to join him on this journey to act as a rescue puppy ambassador? Our beautiful sato pup named Finn, whom The Dogist met back in April when he spent a week on the ground in Puerto Rico with The Sato Project. 

During their cross-country adventure, The Dogist has been posting and sharing stories about Finn and The Sato Project's rescue efforts in Puerto Rico. His team also launched a GoFundMe campaign on our behalf that has already raised over $50,000 to help us rescue another #50Finns (thank you, new supporters and followers)! We are incredibly grateful for this tremendous outpouring of support. We would like to extend a huge and heartfelt thank you to Elias and Team Dogist for utilizing their platform to raise awareness for the importance of rescue, not only for The Sato Project, but for shelters across the country and the many amazing dogs waiting for their own chance at a fairy tale ending. You can follow along with the #RescueRide on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter or on Happy travels, Finn! 

Click here to read The Dogist's story of Mireya and her four puppies, 
a family he helped Chrissy rescue in Puerto Rico. 

64 Dogs To Take Their Freedom Flight This Weekend
This Saturday, June 23rd, we are partnering once again with Wings of Rescue to fly 64  dogs from San Juan to NJ. On board will be a lot of puppies and some very special  adult dogs, like Dante, who was rescued from the side of a highway thanks to a young boy (you can read more about Dante's story on our Instagram page.  Also on the plane will be puppies Blanco and Tree, whom we rescued along with author, TV personality, entrepreneur, and philanthropist Bethenny Frankel. Bethenny found these two puppies along with their parents and an older sibling while she was traveling in Puerto Rico in April and reached out to us through social media for help. Of course we were happy to assist! The parents and older sibling are doing well but still need a little more time to recover from  heartworm  before they are ready to fly. Blanco and Tree, however, are officially good to go and still looking for their forever families. If you are interested in adopting, you can fill out an application at

All of the dogs will be going straight into forever families, foster families, or to our wonderful shelter partners, Animal Haven in Manhattan and Little Shelter in Long Island.

Cross your fingers for us that this plane runs into better weather than May's flight! 

Left: Dante stands with the little boy who saved his life.  Top right: Tree and Blanco sit in the car right after being rescued. Bottom right: Tree and Blanco are ready to go at our clinic in PR!

Adin, Alina, Rayan, and Tegan's  Howling Success 
While every single sato treasure we rescue is truly special to us, every once in awhile, a dog will come through our program who reminds us why we do this work - or in this case, four special little satos. W hen we first rescued Adin, Alina, Rayan, and Tegan, they were suffering from such severe mange and bad skin conditions that all of them had nearly no hair (as you can see from the "before" pictures). But after only a few months of love and care, all of them have bounced back and are now growing into their own beautiful sato-selves thanks to their loving families.

From left to right: Zoe shortly after her rescue, with her new brother Max, and with her sister Hannah. 

Tegan  (now named Zoe) now has a huge backyard, a dog sibling named Max and a human sister named Hannah. Max wasn't super thrilled with having a puppy around at first but after only a couple days of gradually inching closer and closer to him on the couch, Zoe completely won him over. Now, their mom says, "Hannah, Max and Zoe are like the 3 Musketeers, always together, playing, snuggling, or causing mischief together!"

Tito shortly after his rescue at the clinic and coming out of his shell in MA.

Rayan (now named Tito) was shy and skittish at first but after only a few weeks, his family says he has come out of his shell and his true personality is shining through. Now he loves running up to meet other dogs (no matter the size) and humans. The entire dog park now knows his name and he has completely stolen the hearts of his new family. 

Left: Alina right after her rescue. Center and Right: Nice and comfortable in her new home.  

Alina , who sometimes goes by Ali for short, is loving her new life with her mom, Toni and dad, Zach. She prefers chew toys to treats and spends most of her days running around her very own backyard, loving the beach, and taking long nature walks.  Her mom says "h er ears tell us all the emotions she is feeling." 

From left to right: Adin shortly after his rescue, in his foster family's backyard, and with his new sato brother and BFF Jack Sparrow.

Adin was the last one of his siblings to get adopted, and he met his new family just last weekend. He has an older sato sibling named Jack Sparrow who was anxiously waiting to welcome him into the family. When they finally met, the two immediately became best friends.  


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."