Image: Puppy looks over the shoulder of Chrissy Beckles, founder of the Sato Project

Meet the Organization Saving Thousands of Dogs in Puerto Rico!

While many dogs still roam Puerto Rico, struggling to survive, this organization is fighting hard to deliver them the best lives possible. To date, they’ve flown over 3,500 pups to new homes! The project is inspiring from so many angles.

Even before Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico with debilitating winds and rains in 2017, there were thousands of stray dogs left on their own around the island. But after the hurricane, as families were forced to flee their homes, 1 many had to leave their own four-legged friends behind. And now, that already established stray dog problem has grown immensely.

But there’s good news here! This organization is hard at work saving these dogs: giving them the medicines they need, establishing spay and neuter programs, and either reuniting the pups with their grieving families or matching them up with a new forever home with a 100% adoption rate!

Let’s take a look at what The Sato Project is up to!

Image: Puppy looks over the shoulder of Chrissy Beckles, founder of the Sato Project
Photo by The Dogist, Courtesy of The Sato Project

“There are hundreds of thousands of stray dogs on an island that’s roughly the size of Connecticut.”

— Chrissy Beckles, founder and President of The Sato Project 2

Based in the municipality of Yabucoa, Puerto Rico, The Sato Project is focusing its efforts in a place known as Dead Dog Beach. Since 2011, they’ve been dedicated to saving, rehabilitating, and helping satos — or street dogs — find their forever homes.

Before Hurricane Maria devastated the area, they were averaging about 400 dogs a year in their program. But in the past two years alone, they’ve evacuated over 2,000 pups to New York and New Jersey. 3

Here’s INSIDER with their story:

Via: Insider 4

In addition to their wonderful rescue efforts, the Sato Project has also branched out into other areas of need. Tara, a communications associate for The Sato Project, filled me in on the details:

“There are still currently an estimated 500,000 stray dogs roaming the island and The Sato Project is committed to addressing this issue at its core and doing our very best to prevent this number from continually getting bigger. Through our participation in The Spayathon for Puerto Rico Coalition, and our own community voucher program, we have now spayed/neutered and vaccinated over 6,300 dogs and cats.”

She went on to tell me that in addition to their rescue, spay/neuter program, and efforts to reunite dogs with their families, they’ve “also distributed over 100,000 pounds of humanitarian and animal relief supplies to individuals and other organizations across the island since Hurricane Maria.”

Absolutely amazing work! You can also stay up to date with all this good news from the Sato Project by following them on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram!

“We fight so the dogs don’t have to.”

How many of us are searching for a purpose larger than ourselves? Searching for something that makes how we spend our days have an impact, to be more in the world. I recently published a quote from George Eliot on our Instagram that asks, “What do we live for, if not to make life less difficult for each other?” It seems to me that this is the exact fuel that fires The Sato Project.

Chrissy Beckles, the founder and president of The Sato Project, didn’t set out on a mission to save all the dogs when she adopted a sato of her own. In fact, she’s a boxer by trade. But that adoption helped her realize how she could make taking all of those punches have an impact. (This video from 2014 gives an excellent overview of her history.) Now, she fights to raise money for The Sato Project.

And you can help her by donating to the project here.

Visit their website to learn more about how to get involved, volunteer, or adopt a sato of your own!

Image: Chrissy Beckles and a sato
Photo by The Dogist, Courtesy of The Sato Project
Image: Chrissy Beckles giving one lucky pup some belly scratches
Source: The Dogist, Courtesy of The Sato Project
Image: A pup looking over the shoulder
Photo by The Dogist, Courtesy of The Sato Project
Image: One pup in their crate entering the plane to head off the island and onto the mainland!
Heading off the island!
Photo by The Dogist, Courtesy of The Sato Project
Image: Chrissy Beckles helping load pups into the plane to head off the island
Photo by The Dogist, Courtesy of The Sato Project

There’s always a pivotal moment of inspiration that starts an organization like this. Something clicks while you’re facing a problem, and you realize it isn’t possible for you to not do something.

You’ll hear this kind of good news repeated time and time again from founders all around the world and across disciplines.

Just take a look at these amazing projects!

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Conspiracy of Goodness!

What would the world be like if more of us acted on that impulse to have an impact?

Progress will only happen as people come together and form communities around what they want to see more of in the world. Inspiration is infectious. But a majority of us don’t have the time or resources to fully dedicate to the causes we care about, as Chrissy did. That’s not a reason to give up, though. There are still ways we can play our part and support those working on the ground.

Sharing good news online is one of our most powerful tools in this age. By contributing to the conversation and sharing information about progress and content with your network, you’re a part of spurring the cause forward.

Try it out with this article!

As always, stay open to new possibilities!

  • Sam

“No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.” —Albert Einstein 

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Notes:

  1. Vargas-Ramos, Carlos. “Upwards of 175,000 People Have Fled Puerto Rico In The Year Since Hurricane Maria  | Centro de Estudios Puertorriqueños.” Cuny.Edu, 2019, centropr.hunter.cuny.edu/events-news/news/upwards-175000-people-have-fled-puerto-rico-year-hurricane-maria. Accessed 18 Nov. 2019.
  2. Connick, Jr., Harry. “Harry Talks with ‘The Sato Project.’” Harry Connick, Jr., 5 Feb. 2018, www.youtube.com/watch?v=rJruAQ0Bux8. Accessed 18 Nov. 2019.
  3. Connick, Jr., Harry. “Harry Talks with ‘The Sato Project.’” Harry Connick, Jr., 5 Feb. 2018, www.youtube.com/watch?v=rJruAQ0Bux8. Accessed 18 Nov. 2019.
  4. “Organization Rescues Abandoned Dogs From Puerto Rico.” INSIDER, 18 Apr. 2019, www.youtube.com/watch?v=HV9jLuyvH8c&feature=youtu.be. Accessed 18 Nov. 2019
Published: November 28, 2019

Image: Samantha Burns

Sam Burns

Former Editor-In-Chief

Sam wrote and edited hundreds of articles during her time on the Goodness Exchange team from 2016-2021. She wrote about topics from the wonders of nature to the organizations changing the world and the simple joys in life! Outside of the Goodness Exchange, she’s a part-time printmaker, collector of knick-knacks, and procurer of cheeses.

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