Why are there so many stray dogs in Puerto Rico?
Limited spay/neuter practice in Puerto Rico leads to unwanted litters of puppies and a never-ending cycle of reproduction.
Why isn't the government preventing the dumping and abuse of satos?
Unfortunately, there is a huge problem of violence in Puerto Rico: drugs, gangs, firearms. The government has its hands full with human to human violence, and animal abuse is just not a priority. As for the police, if you are lucky enough to find a policeman willing to take your complaint, they in turn need to find a prosecutor willing to take the case, which is very rare. Puerto Rico has very strict laws regarding animal cruelty and abuse (PR Law 154) but unfortunately it is rarely applied.
But if you could photograph them, why couldn’t you rescue them too?
I follow you on Facebook and everyday I see you post photos of dogs on the beach. Sometimes you say you could not rescue them. But if you could photograph them, why couldn’t you rescue them too?
The key to our success is that we are very serious about our rescue efforts. We do our best to save all the dogs, but unfortunately we are also limited by resources: space at our vet’s clinic, opening hours of their facility, and most of all finances to cover the dogs’ veterinary care. Although we don’t make our decisions based on money alone, we do have to be responsible. If we are not following our own rules strictly, we will most likely become hoarders, overwhelmed by bills, and will not be able to operate anymore.
Sometimes it takes us days, weeks, months even years to gain a dog's trust. Many of our rescues have been horrifically abused and do not want to be any where near a human being. It then becomes a painstakingly slow process to change their mind and show them that not all men are cruel or want to hurt them. We never, ever give up. Proof of that is when dogs like Danya and Dana who had 'lived' on Dead Dog Beach for 11 and 9 years respectively were finally rescued by The Sato Project in 2014. Another example is our darling Freckles, shown below, who took us two years to rescue.
What if I am traveling to Puerto Rico and I find a dog I want to rescue? Can you help me?
Although our priority goes to Dead Dog Beach for now, and our resources are limited, we are always willing to help rescue a dog. If you are vacationing in Puerto Rico and you find a dog that you would like to rescue then we will do our utmost to help you.
We operate completely on donations so whilst we cannot help you financially with your new family member we can help with advice on vetting and transporting your pet.
Why are you flying the dogs off the island? Can’t you find adopters for them in Puerto Rico?
If a dog is taken to one of the five Municipal Shelters in Puerto Rico they will not make it out alive. The euthanasia rate at these shelters is 99%. Most dogs do not even get 24 hours in the shelter - they are walked 'straight out back' to be euthanized. Currently the adoption rate in Puerto Rico is very low. ‘Satos’ are not revered on the island. The Sato Project is addressing these issues and will fight for change with our Educational, Spay/Neuter campaigns and planned ‘Puerto Rican Treasures’ program.