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Chrissy Beckles, Founder and President

My name is Chrissy Beckles and I am fighting so these dogs do not have to. And I mean that literally not figuratively. I am a champion Amateur Boxer who fights to make a difference for these pups. I first visited Puerto Rico over eight years ago with my husband, who is a stuntman and was filming on the island. We love dogs and were horrified at what we encountered. It is hard to visit a beach without seeing its residents -- usually very cute pups who sometimes chew rocks because they are so hungry. It broke our hearts. We are Brits who now live and work in New York. I did some research and found a couple of rescue groups working in Puerto Rico and began volunteering and donating to them. We adopted our second ‘fur child’, Boom Boom from a horrific situation in the Arecibo shelter in 2008. I have been rescuing full time in Puerto Rico since 2009 and launched The Sato Project in November 2011.

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Clinica mi mascota - our puerto rican home

Our dogs are treated under the care of Dr. Agnielis Feliciano, the owner of Clinica Mi Mascota. Dr. Feliciano has been involved in rescue work and shelter medicine for the majority of her career, studying and learning about up to the minute techniques and practices in the US and then bringing her expertise back to the Island of Puerto Rico.

The staff at Clinica Mi Mascota have welcomed our dogs with open arms and are enjoying working with The Sato Project.

Esther Heine, US Transportation Coordinator

Esther is the woman who always says yes!  Whether a home visit is required or one of our dogs needs delivering to their new family Esther is always ready to go.  Esther coordinates our transports when they arrive in New York and ensures that each and every one of our dogs gets to their destination safely.

Pat Nesbit, Administration Coordinator

When you contact the Sato Project, Pat is the person answering your email. Pat reads and answers hundreds of emails a week and also assists Samantha with foster families and is Esther's 'wing woman' on transports. Pat has been a volunteer with The Sato Project since 2012. The best part of her job is what she thinks of as 'Before and After".  "Before" is when she she gets to hold the dogs, love them and clean them up when they have flown into New York from Dead Dog Beach, on their way to their new homes or to their foster homes.  "After" is when she reads the emails from people who have adopted dogs and see how much all of their lives have been changed for the better.  She loves writing to supporters and adopters to tell them how much their support means to us and helping people who have found dogs in Puerto Rico and want help but don't know what to do. She thinks it is the best job she has ever had.

 

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jennifer shepherd, development + communications coordinator

Jennifer joined The Sato Project in 2014 to help lead its organizational development, fundraising, and outreach efforts. A passionate animal lover with years of experience as Development Director for wildlife and environmental organizations, she loves sharing The Sato Project's incredible rescue stories, and helping our organization grow. Please email her at jennifer at thesatoproject.com if you have any questions about supporting The Sato Project.

Adoption Team

Samantha Gurrie, Adoption + Foster Coordinator

Samantha has been working with rescue dogs in New York City for years, and now focuses her energy on satos. Her favorite part of the job is playing matchmaker with dogs and adopters, and she won’t sleep till she finds every pup the perfect home. If you’re interested in fostering or adopting a sato, email Samantha at adoption@thesatoproject.com

Barbara Repetski, Adoption assistant

Barbara is a long time lover and supporter of the Sato Project. Barbara and her family have adopted 4 of our Satos and say that they are some of the best things in their life! Barbara lives in the Pocono Mountains at Hemlock Campground and Cottages. Her  favorite part of helping with our adoptions is also helping to ensure that you are matched with the perfect dog.

 


Our Puerto Rico Team

We have a wonderful team of volunteers in Puerto Rico. All our rescues are primarily vetted by Clinica Veterinaria Mi Masocta in Las Piedras, Puerto Rico. They take care of them, socialize them, and pour unlimited love over them. We could not continue our daily work without them.  You will hear their names in our social media posts - but here is your chance to learn more about the people that make it happen on a daily basis.

Ivette Fernandez, Beach Coordinator

Born in Honolulu, Hawaii, Ivette Fernandez has been living in Yabucoa, Puerto Rico for 35 years. Now an English teacher at a local high school, Ivette once dreamed of being a veterinarian. Ivette's parents taught her to cherish and love all animals, and her late father taught her particular compassion for the incredible dogs of Puerto Rico. She used to help her father bring food and water for the stray dogs at the oil refinery where he worked.  Ivette now follows in her father's footsteps every day as volunteer Beach Coordinator for The Sato Project, and has been with the team since 2011.  Ivette visits Dead Dog Beach every single day including during hurricanes and holidays to ensure that the dogs get fresh food, water and most importantly love! Ivette's favorite part of her work is when the dogs get their 'Freedom Rides' to Bianca's veterinary clinic. Ivette regularly fosters for The Sato Project, too.

Sarai Cruz Negrón, COMMUNITY OUTREACH ADMINISTRATOR 

Sarai is an undergraduate biology student in UPR in Humacao with aspirations to continue studies as a veterinary technician. She began working at Candelero Animal Hospital in 2009.  She feels personal gratification knowing that she can help improve pet-owner relations, and feels that nothing is as satisfying as taking an animal in the worst possible health conditions and nursing it back to health so that they can later go on to a forever home. Her favorite TSP rescue was named after her. Sarai was the only survivor of a litter of seven whose siblings were lost to distemper.  Sarai fed the pup by hand and raised her until The Sato Project found her forever home,  and she will always be in her heart. Sarai has been working with The Sato Project on our extensive Spay/Neuter/Vaccine and Microchip program in Yabucoa. Sarai is instrumental in the data collection that will help us build a model to better serve communities across the island.

YUDILYAN RODRIGUEZ VEGA, CLINICA MI MASCOTA

Yudi has been working with The Sato Project for the past 4 years. Now at Clinica Mi Mascota, Yudi is instrumental in helping dogs both in our regular rescue program and also helping to coordinate our TNR (Trap/Spay/Neuter/Release) program. 

Enid Ortiz Delgado, Candelero Animal Hospital 

In 2010 the local government laid off 30 thousand government employees as a result of an economic recession. Enid began applying for jobs and was given the opportunity to work the reception area of Candelero Animal Hospital. With no prior experience in the field, Enid has found it to be a moving experience full of challenges and personal growth.  Her favorite rescue was Jay, a charismatic and lively sato.  When he was initially adopted the new owners did so believing he was going to be a large German Shepherd mix. Unfortunately the adoption fell through since Jay was never going to be as big as a German Shepherd's paw! Still he was able to find a forever home where they his large heart in his tiny little body! 

Our Board of Directors

President and Founder: Christina Beckles

Vice President: Bobby Beckles

Treasurer: Sara Meyers

Secretary: Jennifer Rosado

Director: Stacy Alldredge

Director: Grace Bonney

Director: Anjali Lewis

Director: Tracy Warren

The Sato Project's Conflict of Interest Policy: Board members and staff notify all board members of any perceived or potential conflicts of interest and abstain from voting on any issues where a conflict of interest has been determined to exist.