All Sato Rescue

  • Dog
    After being rescued from a construction site, Juanita gets her first round of vaccinations. She spent a few weeks in foster care before being flown to Boston where she ended up at the Northeast Animal Shelter in Salem, Massachusetts (U.S.A.)
  • skinny-juliette
    At construction site, a skinny Juliette reacts to the smell of greasy fried chicken, a favorite tool of rescuers trying to lure a dog close enough to be caught. Juliette was kept in foster care for a few weeks and then found a home with a family outside Boston.
  • comfort-yoli
    Rescuer Leisha Swayne tries to comfort Yoli, one of the few survivors of the Barceloneta dog massacre in which family pets were pulled from their homes by order of the local mayor and thrown to their deaths off a bridge. Yoli landed on a tractor, broke her back and leg, and severely damaged several internal organs.
  • yoli-to-health
    Yoli was nursed back to health by rescuer with whom she now lives and serves as kind of a calming influence and role model to other rescued dogs as they pass through. Here she is with her sidekick Chili.
  • happy-sleepy-dog
    Satos tend to be particularly appreciative pets. They seem to know how lucky they are to have been given a second chance. They are very good at expressing gratitude.
  • president-edila-vazquez
    Every year the shelters put on reunion for the rescuers to get together with the people who adopted their dogs, and the lucky dogs themselves. It is a many-hanky moment…here, for example, is All Sato Rescue President Edilia Vazquez having an emotional moment with Fernando, her most memorable rescue. He made it across eight lanes of traffic before she lured him into her car with a sausage. The vet found a bullet lodge in his shoulder and said that he had been blinded in one eye from being beaten. Fernando landed in a great home.
  • clara-ship
    (Of all the dogs pictured in this list, Clara is the most representative of a typical Sato – wide ear span, short stubby legs.) Clara was adopted from the Northeast Animal Shelter in Salem by an elderly couple who spoil her rotten. When people try to tell Clara’s dad that she can’t go somewhere because dog aren’t allowed, he replies that she isn’t a dog… she is his baby.
  • abby-puppy
    Abby “first mate” is a rescue who ended up with a sailing family and is out jumping around dingoes and wearing a life vest and doing whatever else one does as a first mate.
  • canela
    Canela Patriot is a rescue of ours who lives in New Jersey.
  • chopin-family
    Chopin, a rescued street dog who endured many hardships in San Juan, enjoyed unconditional love with his Massachusetts family who made sure the rest of his life was filled with joy.
  • sonny-lily
    Sonny and Lily are both Satos and they love one another. Sonny was repeatedly returned to the shelter until he found his wonderful family. Look how happy he is now…

The crisis facing dogs in Puerto Rico is a dark legend in animal welfare circles. Due to a mix of cultural opposition to sterilization, lack of education about responsible pet ownership, poverty and an apathetic government, thousands of dogs across the island are in desperate need of help and the crisis continues to escalate. Here in a place where the suffering of dogs is so widespread it frightens most away, there are a group of women who stand their ground, and have developed a plan that holds great promise.

All Sato Rescue is dedicated to improving the lives of the stray animals of Puerto Rico. Based in the city of San Juan, All Sato Rescue is focused on the root causes behind animal overpopulation, abuse, and abandonment on the island. They’re using local community activists to survey residents and gain a critical understanding of the cultural or financial obstacles to spay/neuter. The next step is, of course, educational outreach to teach pet guardians about the incredible benefits of sterilization which create healthier, happier pets and safer communities. Local veterinarians, who are already known and respected, will conduct the surgeries.

The women of All Sato Rescue have decades of experience in rescuing abandoned, injured, pregnant, starving dogs and cats off the streets of Puerto Rico. And while they remain incredibly active in day-to-day life saving, this team is most excited about unrolling an education program aimed at creating a culture of responsible pet ownership. Puerto Rican native Maritza Rodriguez is leading this initiative, which will really get to the heart of the matter of stray dogs and cats. So many rescue organizations working in Puerto Rico offer only rescue programs which remove strays from the island for adoption on the United States mainland. And while these programs are deeply compassionate and life-altering for so many dogs, the greatest emphasis needs to be on raising the consciousness of the people of Puerto Rico so that responsible pet ownership principles are widely understood and implemented as a matter of family pride. Walk your dog on a leash. Visit the veterinarian annually. Offer plenty of food and water. Have your pet spayed/neutered. What sounds like common sense to many of us, is only so because of decades of educational programs by national humane societies. That work is only just beginning to bear fruit in Puerto Rico.

All Sato Rescue is also taking aim at animal cruelty. Cofounder Edilia Vazquez is a founding member of the first-ever Animal Rights Commission of the Puerto Rican Bar Association. In this capacity, Edilia has reached out to experienced animal rights attorneys and national animal welfare organizations off the island to learn more about what might be done to curtail and prosecute animal cruelty.