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Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Save the Satos

So many people do not fully understand the situation in Puerto Rico. The sheer number of strays that roam the island, the cruelty they suffer and the way that they are simply ignored. I receive E-mails daily from tourists that return from their visit to the island expressing their concern and admitting that they had no idea how horrible the situation is. As they say "seeing is believing" and I think for many it takes a visit to realize the scope of the problem.

Musician Juliana Hatfield is a sato owner and supporter of Save a Sato. She recently visited Puerto Rico, rescued two dogs and spent a day at our shelter. She has written an article about her journey on Huffington Post titled Save the Satos. It speaks the truth that many do not want to read.

What strikes me most about her article is this statement -

"I saved two dogs from almost certain death in my two days in Puerto Rico, but the experience was surprisingly unsatisfying. It felt like I had taken two drops of water from an ocean or two grains of sand from a beach."

This feeling hits home for me, as I and many other volunteers often feel this same way. How can people walk by these dogs day after day without doing anything to help? Why can we not find volunteers to help with the basic needs of the shelter and the organization? If everyone did one small thing, the rescue effort as a whole would be so much further along. Is it that they have no time? Do they feel like giving a little time or effort will not make a difference?

It reminds me of the Starfish know the one -

The Starfish Story
Original Story by: Loren Eisley

One day a man was walking along the beach when he noticed
a boy picking something up and gently throwing it into the ocean. 
Approaching the boy, he asked, “What are you doing?”
The youth replied, “Throwing starfish back into the ocean. 
The surf is up and the tide is going out.  If I don’t throw them back, they’ll die.”
“Son,” the man said, “don’t you realize there are miles and miles of beach and hundreds of starfish? 
You can’t make a difference!” 

After listening politely, the boy bent down, picked up another starfish,
and threw it back into the surf.  Then, smiling at the man, he said…”
I made a difference for that one.”

For the hundreds of satos we rescue each year, and the hundreds other rescuers on the island help, it makes a difference. For the more than 500 that appear on our Happy Endings page, it made a difference. One act of kindness makes all the difference in the world for that dog.

These puppies were found in a box at a park in Puerto Rico...many people simply walked by them, not doing anything to help. Luckily someone called our volunteer and she went and rescued them. They are safe, well fed and comfortable now, thousands of others are not as lucky.

What can you do? Help a rescue organization - volunteer your time and talent, donate money or supplies if you are able. Don't have time to volunteer? Spread the word about the issues - post on your website, your blog, social networking sites like Facebook ,Twitter - share the story of the satos until everyone knows about the inhumanity in Puerto Rico (a US Territory). Give what you can, in any way you can. It will make a difference.

While it may seem like an unreachable goal, we must continue to work to share the story for the animals that cannot speak for themselves, and who do not deserve the treatment the sato at a time.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Extra, Extra! Newspaper needed!

Sometimes, it is the little things that make a big difference.

Each day, dozens of newspapers are shredded to line each and every kennel at our shelter. This newspaper was being donated by a local newspaper, however they are no longer able to help us. The local recycling center will charge $200 per week for the amount of newspaper we need to keep the kennels clean. More is needed when we prepare a airline kennels to go to a partner shelter.

We are hoping that we can get a team of volunteers to help us find new ways to obtain this very necessary item for our shelter on a weekly basis.

If you know of a recycling center, printer, paper manufacturer or distributor in Puerto Rico that would be willing to donate large quantities of newspaper/matte paper please let us know.

The other option is for volunteers to collect clean, dry newspaper and deliver it to the shelter on a weekly or monthly basis.

This would be a great project for Girl Scout Troops, school children and other groups - ask your neighbors or local businesses to save their newspaper and collect a bundle each week. If you would prefer to shred the newspaper and deliver it to us that way please tear it into 1inch strips and store in garbage bags. This would save us a lot of time but is not necessary.

Can't collect a lot of newspaper but willing to drive to a few locations to pick it up for us? Please let us know, drives will be needed as well.

It may not sound like a big deal, but the newspaper is critical for us to be able to provide clean, comfortable cages for the dogs, and we need a steady supply urgently.

Please contact me at if you are able to help collect newspaper for the shelter.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

A Special Visitor from Connecticut!

We love when our partner shelters visit us in San Juan, they get to see the humble beginnings of the satos that they help us rehome and meet our hard working volunteers. This week Chris from Danbury Animal Welfare Society (DAWS) in Bethel, CT came for a visit!

Chris spent the day meeting the satos and our volunteers, and selected 9 dogs that she will be escorting back to Connecticut for adoption! Thank you Chris for helping Dulce, Pilar, Laura, Lluvia, Danai, Choco, Pedrito, Guadalupe and Fabian find their forever homes!

Chris arriving at the shelter, looking great in her DAWS T-shirt!

Chris meeting the welcoming committee at SAS

Chris getting kisses from a sato

Photographing Danai, one of  the satos that will travel to DAWS

 Chris helping prepare the satos for transport

Chris and Gloria saying goodbye

Chris delivered a letter and generous donation from the shelter, volunteers and adopters from DAWS to Gloria in appreciation of her work - we wish to thank them for their thoughtfulness! Together with our partner shelters, we are making a difference for these dogs and could not do it without the stateside shelters and their wonderful volunteers!

We hope Chris enjoyed her time at the shelter as much as we enjoyed having her! Please visit Danbury Welfare Society's website to see the dogs and cats available for adoption!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Show your Puerto Rico Pride!

Our wonderful friends at PatriaPet offer a portion of the sale of their collars, leashes and T-shirts to Save a Sato! We of course are partial to the Puerto Rico items, but there are many other countries as well! Click on the banner link below to visit their site and a portion of your purchase will go to SAS!

Puerto Rican Dog Gifts

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Caly visits Puerto Rico

Caly Lehrer is a Spiritual Guardian for Animal Wellness and is owner/founder of Peace-By-Peace, LLC, located in Scotch Plains, New Jersey. In addition to sharing Reiki and The Journey™ with our Animal Friends, as an Intuitive and Animal Communicator Caly also shares Chakra Balancing and Meditations (for pet loss support groups). She is an advocate for our Animal Friends. For more information about Caly and the work that she shares, visit her website at

Caly recently visited Puerto Rico and Save a Sato, and over the next few months will share the story of her visit - here is the first installment -

I recently returned from my first, but not last, trip to Puerto Rico to work with the sato dogs at Save-A-Sato. Although I’ve wanted to write about this trip for some time now; quite honestly, it’s taken me awhile to process ALL that I saw. How does one begin to share the high intensity of pain, sorrow and anguish felt with so many of the dogs, while also feeling the immense waves of friendship, support and unconditional love from all those at Save-A-Sato….along with you, our readers. I was blown away by all the loving e-mails and words of encouragement I received, especially from people I don’t even know, supporting my endeavors with the satos. I printed out each and every e-mail from you – knowing your words of encouragement would provide me with renewed strength when I was most in need.

When I first arrived at the airport in Puerto Rico, I made my way down to the baggage claim area. While gathering my suitcases, I received a phone call from Save-A-Sato’s volunteer, Leilani (one of my many Guardian Angels on this trip). Despite a lot of personal challenges which Leilani was facing at that time, she still found the time to pick me up from the airport and bring me to my hotel. Meeting Leilani was such a blessing – she is a kindred spirit, filled with immense love and positive energy. Before dropping me off at the hotel, Leilani wanted to show me one of the nearby beaches. A short drive from the airport, we arrived at the beach in Pinones. Although I wasn’t sure what to expect, I figured I’d get a glimpse of what the upcoming week would hold for me. I caught more than a glimpse though….I got a full-flavored taste! Within minutes of walking around Pinones, Leilani and I came upon a pack of dogs on the beach. ©2010 Caly Lehrer

Click here to finish reading the story on our website.

Monday, March 1, 2010

The Commitment


To decrease the overpopulation problem and promote the proper care of dogs, I pledge to:

- Educate myself about dogs and think hard about it before having one.
- Adopt, instead of buying.
- Spay/neuter my dog.
- Integrate my dog to my family for his/her entire life.
- Vaccinate my dog and take him/her to the vet when he/she sick.
- Register my dog with the microchip.
- Bathe my dog.
- Walk my dog on a leash every day.
- Play with my dog.
- Educate others about the proper care of dogs.
- Report dog abuse.
- Help stray dogs.
- Be the hero that my dog thinks I am.

Spread the word so everyone in Puerto Rico makes this commitment. Make a difference and be a hero!

Sign the Commitment by sending an E-mail to

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New Banners for your website!

Do you have a link to Save a Sato's website on your own webpage? We have made it easy to link to us, visit our links page to download a variety of banners and graphics to show your support and provide an easy way for your site viewers to visit our webpage.

We have two new banners available - featuring Gofio, Fortuño and Paco and Adopta una Mascota -



Plus our logo banners in many sizes and in both English and Spanish are available here. Thank you for linking to us and sharing the story of the satos.