The Sato Project is dedicated to rescuing abused and abandoned dogs from Puerto Rico.
What We Do
The Sato Project primarily works in the municipality of Yabucoa, on the southeastern coast of the island, which has been rated the poorest of all 78 Puerto Rican municipalities. The median household income is well below the national average and over half of its population lives below the Federal poverty line.
We concentrate our rescue on a place known as Dead Dog Beach. As its name states, it is usually a last resting place for dogs, and it is not a happy one. No dog walks to Dead Dog Beach - it is at the end of a long road with no residences - they are dumped there. There is no food or fresh water on the beach. We are the dogs’ only source of food, fresh water, and most importantly, love, on a daily basis.
We take our rescue mission very seriously. Rescuing dogs means more than just pulling them off a beach or the streets. We are dedicated to each and every one of our dogs and we want to give them the greatest chance in life. After what they have been through, what they have witnessed, we never want them to suffer again.
The Sato Project is making permanent change in Puerto Rico. We encourage you to join us.
1 -- BEACH COORDINATION
Since Hurricane Maria made landfall at Dead Dog Beach in September 2017 the number of dogs being dumped has diminished. The beach is now headquarters to FEMA and Homeland Security. They keep in contact with our team and we investigate any new dogs that have appeared. As funds and space allow, we rescue and take them to our vet. Very young, injured and sick dogs take priority.
2 -- EMERGENCY VET CARE
Once a dog gets to our vet's office, they are tested immediately for parasites, blood diseases including heartworm and distemper. Their skin is scraped and tested for mange and they are de-wormed. They are then quarantined until distemper results are received. If a dog tests positive for any of these infections or diseases then we begin a treatment regime immediately. Dogs that are deemed ready by our veterinarian begin a vaccination schedule of 7-way DHLPPC vaccines.
3 -- PREVENTION
We spay and neuter. The average stay on our vet’s office for a ‘healthy’ dog is between eight to ten weeks. Those undergoing treatments stay as long as it takes to get them healthy, free of communicable disease and ready to travel. Our vet team is incredible. They go above and beyond for all of our dogs. Making sure each and every dog is socialized, handled and gets plenty of love every day. Our vet techs foster some of our more ‘special’ cases. We could not ask for better care of our rescued treasures.
4 -- ALL SYSTEMS GO
When a dog is ready to travel they receive a final check up and ‘physical’ from our vet, and travel and health certificates are issued. The dogs are booked onto a flight to either JFK or Newark. Volunteers in Puerto Rico get the dogs ready and take them to the San Juan airport. (Learn how you can help drive dogs to and from the airports by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org).
5 -- COST
At this point our costs have averaged $1,200 per dog. Those that require longer treatment can cost thousands. Then we have to pay for their flight (price depends on many parameters, and costs an average of $250 per dog).
6 -- VOLUNTEERS
When the dogs reach JFK or Newark, volunteers meet them and drive them to their foster home, forever home, or to one of our sanctuary partners.
7 -- FOSTERING & ADOPTIONS
Our dogs average two to four weeks in foster care before going to their forever home. We commit to every dog we rescue for life. At any time and for any reason if the dog’s adoptive family cannot keep them, The Sato Project will take the dog back.