This is an open letter to the person or persons who dumped this dog on Dead Dog Beach on July 24th, 2013. This post is NOT a forum for hateful messages or derogatory comments. I am very serious. I’m doing this because if I don’t get these frustrations out then I’m going to explode. And that doesn’t help anyone especially the doggies. I encourage you all to share this post in the hope it can go viral – people need to know what we do.
You dumped your beautiful dog on Dead Dog Beach this afternoon in a crate with a towel. I believe you left her there like a piece of trash because you knew we would rescue her.
For some unexplainable reason you chose to dump her instead of taking her to a vet where she should have received urgent medical attention. But you know the time for a vet was long ago and your dog had passed the point of no return. Her body was broken inside and out. Your dog had distemper. These things do not happen overnight – her injuries and illness took time.
You must have watched her suffering and for some reason decided today was her day. Maybe you were going somewhere to celebrate Constitution of Puerto Rico Day tomorrow and your dog was an inconvenience. You chose today. Maybe you read our page and follow our posts and thought ‘The Sato Project will take care of her – that’s what they do.
You probably think we have an unlimited bank account, empty vet clinic and the emotional constitution of a rock; that is we don’t feel. Let me explain to you how your cowardly actions affect our team.
Ivette, our beach coordinator is usually the person who makes the discovery. Ivette is a schoolteacher in your community. Maybe you were a pupil at her school or your children are. Ivette found your dog and then calls me, Chrissy. As Ivette is talking to me through her tears she is trying to give the dog food and water; both of which are refused.
I am sat in upstate New York with a feeling of anger and hopelessness as I look at photographs of your dog in her crate on the beach. Our program is full, there is no room in the vet clinic and our vet bills are astronomical. But I refuse to make a decision based on those things. We are rescuing your dog and I call our vet, Dr. Aguirre Hernandez.
Dr. Aguirre-Hernandez tells me to get the dog there immediately. At this point we only know she cannot walk, and will not eat or drink. Her stomach is swollen and distended – could she be pregnant?
Ivette takes the dog to Bianca and she is assessed. We give her a name, Gaia, which means Goddess of Earth. Gaia is beautiful. All the vet techs and assistants at the clinic see Gaia and are horrified. Bianca calls me to give me her diagnosis. Your dog is crippled from IVDD (Intervertebral disc disease) it is severe and would require emergency surgery. But you already knew that.
Your dog has distemper and is showing neurologic signs – painfully obvious signs. Her bladder is swollen and she is incontinent. Probably another reason for dumping her. We cannot operate on a dog with distemper especially an advanced case. So her prognosis is very grim.
But you already knew that. You allowed your dog to suffer excruciating pain and discomfort. Bianca tells me there is nothing that we can do for Gaia except humanely end her suffering.
I am sure you knew that when you took the time to drive her the couple of miles from any kind of housing or civilization and dump her at the beach. I wonder what you were thinking? Did you cry? Did you say goodbye to your dog? Or just toss her out like garbage?
There is a saying that one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. You decided your dog was trash but we all treasured her.
We only knew Gaia for a couple of hours but I can assure you that she knew more love and kindness in those fleeting minutes than in her sad lifetime with you.
Gaia was finally given her dignity and relieved of her immense suffering. I have to make that final decision and it never, ever gets easier. I cry every single time and I am haunted by each of those that I feel we failed. I will never forget the image of Gaia lying pitifully in her crate with her eyes pleading for an end to her nightmare.
Our team is upset and angry. As you enjoy your holiday tomorrow we will still be thinking of Gaia. She will never be forgotten.
I really believe deep down in my heart that you are going to read this. I could call you every name under the sun and threaten you but you are not worth it. I refuse to waste time and energy hating you.
You are weak where we are strong. You are cruel where we are compassionate. What you did was immoral, it was brutal and it was on a horrific scale. But you already know that. You are the one who has to live with your actions and look at yourself in the mirror knowing what you did.
We have enough love and courage in our hearts to continue our work after the depravity we witnessed today and we can do it with our heads held high. May you rot in hell.
After Chrissy Beckles posted this letter to our Facebook page, it went viral. On July 30th, 2013, she posted this follow-up:
Gaia Update! I wanted to thank everyone has commented, shared and ‘liked’ our post about Gaia. This beautiful angel has affected many people – over 360,000 of you have seen the post and well over 5000 people shared it. Everyone (with the exception of one or two) kept their comments respectful as requested and I was humbled to receive many direct messages and phone calls as well. Many of you donated to The Sato Project after you read my letter. Please know that your donations will go toward our work helping the dogs on Dead Dog Beach and we thank you for them. We will definitely be honoring this beautiful girl in a special way.
Gaia continues to touch people. I received some incredible news today – Primera Hora (the major tabloid newspaper of Puerto Rico) will be doing a story about Gaia and they will be translating the letter I wrote (verbatim) into Spanish for all their readers to see. The piece should run this coming weekend (August 3rd).
I really felt in my heart that the person who dumped Gaia would read my letter. It seems now that it is a real possibility. But reaching that one person is no longer important. I want people to read and think,
‘I would NEVER do that to my dog’
I want to start a movement. If my letter makes just ONE person treat their dog differently; give their dog love and respect, get their dog vaccinated, spayed or neutered, get their dog regular care from a licensed Veterinarian, keep their dog safe and not allow them to just wander the street. If just ONE person changes how they treat their dog then Gaia did not suffer and she did not die in vain – because Gaia, the Goddess of Earth has already saved another and hopefully another after that…..
Gaia now has a legacy and she will run free, loved and cherished forever.