The eye of H U R R I C A N E M A R I A made landfall on September 20, 2017 in Yabucoa, Puerto Rico, the epicenter of The Sato Project's rescue efforts. One year later, the crisis is far from over. The Sato Project has been rescuing dogs at more than three times our normal rate, and we have transported over 1,500 dogs to safety in the storm's aftermath. We are grateful for all the generous support we have received in the past year which have made this tremendous effort possible. Since Hurricane Maria, we have:
Launched 23 Freedom Flight transports from Puerto Rico to the mainland U.S., the first just nine days after the storm.
Greatly expanded the scope of our rescue efforts: Prior to the hurricanes, we typically transported between 300-350 dogs every year to the mainland U.S. Since the storm, we have rehabilitated and transported over 1,500, and have assisted with vetting, supplies, and transporting for many other rescuers on the island.
Launched a new initiative called No Dog Left Behind, through which we are helping families who have left for the mainland reconnect with pets they had to leave behind. To date we have reunited almost 200 dogs with their families.
Increased our spay/neuter community outreach efforts: Through our community voucher program, we offer a low-cost spay/neuter option to low-income pet owners through our veterinary partners. In the program’s first two years, The Sato Project altered, vaccinated, and micro-chipped 500 dogs and 102 cats. Since the hurricanes, in addition to relaunching this program as soon as our veterinary clinics had intermittent power back in December 2017, we have also joined forces with The Humane Society of The United States and 22 other organizations in the Spayathon for Puerto Rico Initiative. During the first round of the Spayathon in June 2018, we facilitated 899 spay/neuter surgeries in only one week, and have sterilized and vaccinated a total of 1126 dogs and cats since the storms.
Distributed over 68,000 pounds of humanitarian and animal relief supplies to individuals and rescue organizations across the island.
Keep scrolling to read some of our favorite hurricane rescue stories from Fall 2017 and see where they are now.