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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


  1. This story tells me that Pablo is not a vicious dog. I have had rescued dogs with territorial-agressive issues. It takes time for them to realize that not all humans are a threat. BUt they deserve a chance. PAblo seems to be a loving pet with his caretakers.

  2. OMG... i have two dogs and live in florida, one is a rescue that my son brought back from PR, she has he own "issues" but, it s just her little street ways I guess, I love her sooo much that feel horrible for the situation Pablo and you Guys are in . Im sorry I can t be of help adopting or fostering him at the moment, but my heart goes to You, and will keep your family in my prayers. I also lost my son recently. I understand what Pablo means in your lifes. Many Blessings, and Hope Pablo is fine...=(

  3. Whatever happend to Pablo? Did he find a home outside of his original neighborhood?