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Saturday, March 26, 2011

Save A Sato today! Save Pablo's Life! Sentenced to Death Row

Click to save Pablo's life Click and sign this petition to save Pablo's life sentenced to death row in Connecticut.

This is a petition to save the life of Pablo, our very special 25 lb. black and tan Sato... not just any dog, but truly a part of our family. We rescued Pablo from the streets of San Juan, Puerto Rico in 2005 where he was born and lived as a stray for at least a year before my daughter Samantha found him. For the past five years, Pablo has been a wonderful asset to our household. When at home, he is well behaved, playful, loyal, and full of personality. His presence in our life is a huge source of joy and comfort for us- we adopted him a year after my 19 year old son Robert died due to a congenital heart condition. Raising and spending time with Pablo has been one of the most important parts of my and Samantha's grieving process. For us, he is what is referred to by professionals as an "emotional support dog." Due to Pablo living as a stray in an area where wild dogs are often abused, he has had temperament issues in certain situations. Now Pablo is on Death Row and unless we can convince the powers that be that he deserves to live, he will be gone to doggy heaven in a week ( April 1, 2011 :( Pablo is 6 years old now and has led a pretty interesting and meaningful life so far and we just aren't ready to let it be over yet.
  There is an ongoing overpopulation problem in Puerto Rico with dogs living on the streets ( ) but Pablo seemed just like any ordinary affectionate pet from the moment we first met him. We took him to the veterinarian in Puerto Rico for his shots and got him his own plane ticket on another airline back to Connecticut because the plane we were on wouldn't allow pets. 

  In June 2004, we suffered the tragic, unexpected sudden loss of my 19 year old son and my daughter's only brother Robert due to a congenital heart condition ( , obituaries, Urbani). If he had had an operation in time he would have lived but sadly things didn't work out that way.

   Samantha and I  were too sad to stay in Connecticut and try to have a "normal" Christmas holiday the following year, so took a vacation to Puerto Rico instead of having Christmas at all. Finding Pablo and bringing him home to become part of our family was perhaps the first time either of us had felt any sort of happiness or comfort during that very difficult time, and also why we have become extraordinarily attached to him.

  Within the first month after Pablo came to live in Connecticut with us he nearly died from a life-threatening heartworm infestation, common among Puerto Rican rescues, but our friends and family managed to raise over $5,000 for the major heart surgery and 3 subsequent procedures performed by Tufts Veterinary Hospital for Small Animals in Mass. which saved his life (again). He had been given only a 30% chance of survival but we were not about to give up hope. We were not given this chance to save my son, and while many people would say  "Pablo's just a dog" it didn't feel that way to us, under the circumstances, and it doesn't now either.

 Pablo did well with the treatments and has been in very good  health since his surgery at Tufts, although in the beginning he had some minor aggression issues with being territorial about his food, etc. The veterinarians that cared for him never muzzled him and told us he was a great dog and that with time he would outgrow the minor "fearful" or "protective" behaviors that had been ingrained in him on the streets. With loving supervision he has become a very good family pet with a happy, playful disposition. He gets along well with people and other dogs that visit (we also have another small rescue dog that lives with us who misses him very much! ), although he has shown some signs of being "territorial" on occasion when people walk by our home, or when he feels threatened in some way by a stranger within our home.

 After escaping a few times and scaring the neighbors with his barking we built a large pen in our yard which, ever since, he has only gotten out on one or two occasions, without incident.

 During the past several months there were a couple situations where Pablo felt threatened by a person he did not know (which I was told by a trainer is normal in certain situations) and he did end up biting one of our friends that was visiting in our home. This raised serious cause for concern and we began researching types of dog aggression and started working on different solutions including  looking for a good animal behaviorist as well as keeping him inside a locked room when we had a lot of company, just to be on the safe side.

 Unfortunately late on the night  of Dec 4th, 2010, Pablo managed to get out of the house when some company was leaving, without knowing until the next morning that he had been out for a few hours in the cold and had bitten two of our neighbors, a man that delivers papers and a woman who is an avid walker in our neighborhood, apparently unprovoked except for his own basic instinct to protect our home.

   I feel extremely sorry that Pablo bit these two innocent people, and understand that it was my responsibility as his owner to keep him away from people in the event that this might happen, and was not their fault at all. I regret not having had a better system in place by then to have prevented him from getting loose that night. My neighbors were not seriously injured but a dog bite is not something anyone should have to suffer, regardless, and anyone that owns a dog that has even mild aggressive tendencies needs to have a secured environment to protect people from getting attacked whether the dog is provoked or not ; sadly hind sight is 20/20- BUT- I don't believe that killing Pablo is the solution to the problem! My neighbors do not agree, however, and Pablo has been incarcerated ever since at the Groton Animal Control Facility , awaiting a hearing for the purpose of an appeal on a  "Disposal Order"  in Hartford with the Commissioner of Agriculture and a panel of other professionals, standard procedure with reported dog bites.

  We are devastated by the thought of Pablo being sentenced to death. He has the personality of a child and with some work with a trainer he will overcome his unwanted behavior.   We love him as if he were an actual member of our family.

 There will be a panel of people at the hearing including my neighbors and their attorneys that do not know or love Pablo that only see him as a "vicious" or "dangerous" dog and want to see him euthanized. They want me to prove that I can prevent him from ever biting anyone again, which I believe is possible, by either allowing him to come back to live with us under new circumstances, or as a last resort by sending him to a dog farm in Texas that takes animals in situations such as this to let them live out their lives that has agreed to let Pablo come live there.

 If he is allowed to come back to our home we will agree to completely fence in our yard, as well as build a second door and entryway in front of our existing doors which would prevent any future escapes into the neighborhood. If this is not enough we will install an electric fence as well. We would also agree to keep Pablo contained in his own room whenever we have guests, and or keep him muzzled. Whatever is recommended we will do.

 We were told Pablo would be "in jail" until next Christmas (2011) before we could get a hearing. Recently somehow they managed to speed up the process and now the hearing is scheduled for April 1, 2011, just one week from today! We are currently working on getting a support team together to attend the hearing  including a veterinarian, an animal behaviorist, and an attorney. We would like to have a petition with as many signatures as possible to bring with us to the hearing.

By signing this petition you agree that putting our best friend and companion Pablo to death is not the solution to this problem, and that his life should be spared. If you have any friends that work with animals such as veterinarians, animals trainers, PETA, etc. that will sign it please share the link.
Thank you!!

Robin, Samantha and Pablo

Monday, March 14, 2011

Date La Vuelta y ayuda a Save A Sato

Date la vuelta este proximo domingo 27 de marzo del 2011, por nuestro centro de acopio "La Respuesta" localizado en el 1600 de la Avenida Fernandez Juncos en Santurce de 11 am a 4 pm y ayuda a los cientos de perritos y gatitos de Save A Sato, donando articulos de primera necesidad para estos, voluntarios estaran listos, para que te des la vuelta y recojer los articulos, sin que tengas que bajarte del auto, ni pasar trabajo alguno. Cualquier ayuda es grandemente agradecida

University of Central Florida visits Save A Sato

University of Central Florida students

For the second consecutive year a group of students from the University of Central Florida visited Save a Sato's  "Shelter of Miracles" during their spring break vacation to help out Gloria Marti (the shelter manager and president of Save A Sato) and give some love and affection to our much-deserving satos.  

These students travel annually to different countries to give a helping hand to different organizations which in some way provide a service to their communities.  This year a group of ten students, lead by Marlon Gutierrez, decided to help Save A Sato once again.  While most university students use their springbreak to visit family or just have a good time and get away from the stress of their studies; this group of students came to Puerto Rico and worked for four consecutive days at the shelter, and they got their hands dirty and did some HARD work.  

During their time here the UCF group cleaned cages, put labels on each cage to identify the dogs, bathed, feed, and played with the satos.  

One of the UCF students, Cristina Resto, who grew up and lived in Puerto Rico until the age of 11, commented to us of how proud she was to be able to come to Puerto Rico after 8 years and volunteer for an organization that takes in hundreds of abandoned dogs and gives them a chance to be adopted into loving homes.  She seemed surprised by the amount of dogs that Save A Sato has and how people donate their time and even the very houses they live in to help take in satos off of the streets.  Cristina also mentioned that all of the pets that her family has are spayed or neutered, including her own Chihuahua, Nany.  

Rachel and Shane, two other volunteers from UCF, commented to us that they were surprised by the number of dogs that wander the streets here and that this is not something that they see living in Florida.  The students were able to rescue a stray dog that was found on the way to the shelter, which they named Princesa. 
Princess was rescued during their visit, she was found near Teodoro Moscoso Bridge
Unfortunately she has heartworm, which will need to be treated so that she can get healthy and have a chance to be adopted by a family that will give her all of the love she deserves.  Thanks to all of the volunteers from the University of Central Florida, Marlon, Cristina, Rachel, Shane, Juan, Yselande, Rachel K., Stephanie, Reema, and Madison, for volunteering your time at our shelter and for "saving a sato".
Puppy abandoned in a box on February

Por segunda vez consecutiva un grupo de 10 alumnos de la Universidad Central de Florida, visita a el Albergue De Los Milagros de la Fundacion Save A Sato, en sus vacaciones de springbreak, para darle una mano a Gloria Marti (presidenta de la fundacion) en las arduas tareas que se tienen que hacer diariamente en este albergue. Estos estudiantes anualmente, viajan a diferentes paises, para dar una mano amiga, voluntariamente a diferentes organizaciones, que de alguna manera u otra ayudan civilmente a una comunidad. 

Gloria applying vaccines
Este año, este grupo de estudiantes, bajo el liderazgo de Marlon Gutierrez, decidio ayudar nuevamente a Save A Sato, en arduas tareas, durante toda una semana, al contrario de otros universitarios que utilizan sus vacaciones de springbreak para visitar a sus familiares o distraerse en actividadesas mas divertidas para liberarse unos dias del gran esfuerzo que conlleva estudiar a nivel universitario.

Una de las estudiantes del CFU, Cristina Resto, la cual crecio y vivio en Puerto Rico hasta la edad de los 11 años, nos comento del orgullo que sentia de poder viajar a Puerto Rico luego de 8 años y poder donar su tiempo en ayudar a una organizacion el cual le provee un bien social a la comunidad, dandole albergue y ayudando a cientos de perros desamparados; Se mostro sorprendida al ver la cantidad de perros que alberga Save A Sato, y como personas donan su tiempo y hasta sus casas, para brindarle ayuda a todos estos animales, Cristina tambien nos comento que todas las mascotas que tiene en su casa, estan esterilizadas incluyendo a Nany, su chihuahua.
Rachel y Shane, estudiantes tambien de la UCF, nos comentaron que han quedado sorprendidos de ver la cantidad de animales que merodean por la calles de la isla, y que en la Florida es poco comun ver que esto suceda. Durante la visita de estos estudiantes al albergue ayudaron a limpiar las jaulas de los perros, a identificarlos con letreros con cada uno de sus nombres, bañarlos, alimentarlos y jugar con ellos y hasta ayudaron a hacerles pruebas del corazon y otras enfermedades. Los estudiantes ademas lograron rescatar a un perro desamparado al cual le llamaron, Princesa, triztemente esta perrita rescatada sufre de "heartworms", condicion la cual con mucho esfuerzo la Fundacion Save A Sato, estara supliendo las ayudas y medicamentos necesarios para poder salvarle la vida y asi hacer que esta perrita luego tenga la oportunidad de ser adoptada por una familia, el cual le provea amor y mas cuidado que la familia anterior que quizas tuvo y la abandono en las calles de Puerto Rico.

Gracias a los estudiantes de la Universidad Central de Florida, Marlon, Cristina, Rachel, Shane, Juan, Yselande, Rachel K., Stephanie, Reema, y Madison, por su tiempo e interes y por Salvar a un Sato.

The UCF students donated their shoes for the next volunteers that comes to clean the shelter!
and one pair for the puppies to play! :)

Friday, March 4, 2011

Its time to vote for Save A Sato!

The Animal Rescue Site Shelter Challenge Site

Save A Sato is on 2nd place, and we have only 16 days left! Will you vote everyday for Save A Sato and help hundreds of dogs in the shelter? Will you share this with your friends and tell them to vote? Will you be the superhero that helps Save a Sato to win this contest?

We know you will!!
click the picture, search for Save A Sato, country: USA state PR and vote!!

Thanks to all the people that has been voting and has kept us in 2nd place for the last 2 months!!

Save A Sato Fans!! Chaaarge!