Stray Dogs in Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico is a little smaller than the state of Connecticut. Like some of the southern states, rescues in Puerto Rico send some of its stray dogs (known as “satos” locally) to the Northeast for adoption. Since shelters in the Northeast are short on dogs and Puerto Rico has an estimated 150,000 stray dogs, it makes sense to network on rescue efforts:

After nearly 15 years of Sato importation, New England is surely home to the highest concentration of these former strays of anywhere off the island. And they have a devoted following. Satos tend to be on the small side (under 30 pounds) and they come in many unusual combinations, just like Valiente [a Chihuahua/Border Collie mix]. Chihuahua genes are pretty common, as are enormous ear spans, stubby legs, and a penchant for sun bathing. Their gratitude at being given a second chance is often palpable.

Approximately 2000 stray dogs are rehomed in this manner every year in Puerto Rico. Which leaves us 148,000 more in need of help. The state is roughly 3500 square miles in size. If the estimate on stray dog numbers is accurate, that works out to approximately 43 strays per square mile. Think of a square mile in your neighborhood. Now put 43 stray dogs in there. Repeat the exercise times 3500 square miles and you can imagine the challenges and difficulties facing rescuers in Puerto Rico. I wonder if there is any access to low cost neuter in the state or if they even have any actual shelters. I wonder what more they need by way of assistance. Anyone?

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