Brooklyn-based organization works to help dogs affected by Puerto Rican earthquakes

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The Sato Project, an organization with an office in DUMBO, Brooklyn, is working to help dogs left abandoned after several earthquakes hit Puerto Rico.
The goal is to help these dogs find homes.

“People have lost everything and are having to make very tough decisions and some of those decisions are that they have to surrender their dogs to the shelters out there,” said Grace Baley, a volunteer. “The shelters in Puerto Rico are already over-crowded, their municipal shelters with a 94% euthanasia rate.”

The Sato Project started in 2011. Volunteers say they helped thousands of stray dogs on the island. And in the wake of natural disasters like Hurricane Maria and the recent earthquakes, they are increasing those efforts.

Through this organization, the dogs receive emergency medical care before being transported from the island to the United States. The dogs are then placed with foster families along the East Coast.

"A lot of times we’ll see on social media when the dog is rescued – they’re skin and bones, they’re fighting for their life,” Baley said. “There’s no hope in their eyes and then we get to see just the transformation that comes along with that and how they start to have a little life in them and their tails start to wag a little bit and then they’re happy.”

In the past two years, the Sato Project has rescued over 2,000 dogs. In the next month, volunteers say they plan to fly more than 100 dogs to the United States.


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