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2017 Top-Rated Nonprofit

The Sato Project

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Animal Protection & Welfare, Animals

Mission: The Sato Project is dedicated to rescuing abused and abandoned dogs from Puerto Rico.

Results: As of 2017, we have rescued over 1,800 dogs. The Sato Project primarily works in a place known as Dead Dog Beach on the southeastern coast of Puerto Rico. As its name states, it is usually a last resting place for dogs, and it is not a happy one. No dog walks to Dead Dog Beach - it is at the end of a long road with no residences - dogs are dumped there. We are the dogs’ only source of food, fresh water, and most importantly, love, on a daily basis. We take our rescue mission very seriously. Rescuing dogs means more than just pulling them off a beach or the streets. We are dedicated to each and every one of our dogs and we want to give them the greatest chance in life. After what they have been through, what they have witnessed, we never want them to suffer again. The Sato Project is making permanent change in Puerto Rico. We encourage you to join us.

Target demographics: some of the estimated 300,000 abused and abandoned dogs in Puerto Rico, and to work towards making Yabucoa the first animal-friendly community in Puerto Rico.

Direct beneficiaries per year: Rescue, rehabilitate, fully vet and find homes for over 400 dogs, or 'satos' as they're known in Puerto Rico.

Geographic areas served: Yabucoa, Puerto Rico, at a place unfortunately known as Dead Dog Beach.

Programs: Rescuing, rehabilitating, fully vetting, transporting, and finding homes for abused and abandoned dogs in Puerto Rico. We have rescued over 1,500 dogs as of 2016. In 2016 we also launched an ambitious Spay, Neuter, Vaccine and Microchip campaign to address the underlying causes of overpopulation and abandonment on the island.

Community Stories

52 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Client Served

Rating: 5

Love the Sato Project! Right after Hurricane Maria decimated Puerto Rico I saw 2 bonded German Shepherd brothers who needed a forever home. I had heard from a friend just how difficult it was for the dogs of Puerto Rico even before Hurricane Maria. After Hurricane Maria I looked at the Sato's Project Facebook page & it was heartwrenching to see what they are up against. My first thought was the Sato Project is wonderful to help all those dogs who really need it. I read the description of these two bonded German Shepherds & it was 100 percent accurate. They are very very dog & child friendly. They are the sweetest dogs . My 13 year old German Shepherd loves them as does every dog, adult & child who meets them. The Sato Project is absolutely wonderful . They worked so hard to fly dogs to freedom in the US where they could have a chance to have a stable loving home. We are so happy we adopted these 2 -- The Sato Project is the best!

Donor

Rating: 5

The Sato Project has accomplished wonderful rescue work, saving so many of our precious Satos.

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been making a small monthly donation to The Sato Project for 3 years now. I adopted a Sato ( Rosie) a few years before Chrissy started her organization so I have been on the radar of what's been happening in PR. The incredible clean up she has done on Dead Dog Beach and her neuter/ spay program have been incredible. She has made incredible strides, it's unfortunate that Hurricane Maria has brought such her organization such setbacks but she NEVER GIVES UP!!
She has an incredible team and is very transparent on what's going on....sometimes it's very painful but you need to see it to understand the kind of decisions she makes every day.

Donor

Rating: 5

I went with Chrissy a few times to Puerto Rico when her work was just getting off the ground. Her dedication and hard work has earned my respect and admiration. You will not find anyone who works harder for a cause. These sweet animals are lucky to have her in their corner. This is a great nonprofit to be involved in on any level. It is a project from the heart.

Donor

Rating: 5

I don't have a personal experience with this non-profit, other than to follow them on Facebook, but the passion, endless commitment, dedication, compassion displayed by Christina Beckles, and those she has surrounded herself with, especially because she's NOT a native, and the AMAZING spirit displayed after, she herself, lost her home during Maria, is nothing short of incomparable. For such a young organization she has accomplished the impossible and it's because of this I feel The Sato Project deserves this recognition.

Client Served

Rating: 5

We love the Sato Project! Mia is seriously the best dog. Everyone that meets Mia, falls in love with her. Our vet was very impressed with Mia's records - the Sato project took great care of her before she became ours :) She was super healthy, just needed loving family. If we get another dog/friend for Mia, it will 100% be through the Sato Project. We can't thank them enough!

Erika F.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Words can not express my love for Chrissy and her team of volunteers. We have 4 rescue dogs, 2 of which were rescued by the Sato Project, and we can't imagine our lives without them. Thanks to the rescuers, fosters, and vets out in Puerto Rico working all day for the health and safety of the dogs abandonded we were able to complete our family. I will ALWAYS support this cause because everyone and everything deserves the chance to live Sato Strong for life!!!

Donor

Rating: 5

This group is a team of angels sent from heaven... They are doing the impossible to save those helpless animals, even arrange flights out of the island, and they always find a loving home for these creatures.
I will keep donating whenever I can...

Comments ( 1 )

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jshep26 10/18/2017

Thank you for your kind words! We are very grateful for your support.

Karen W.2

Donor

Rating: 5

I adopted a wonderful little dog from this organization after following them on FB for several years. The work they do is amazing and I believe in their mission enough to put my money on it by donating monthly. I feel they use my money wisely and for the welfare of the unfortunate dogs that have been abandoned and abused. My friends have teased me about adopting a dog from PR when there are plenty of dogs in shelters here. I smile and know my dog is special and has been thru a hard life in the past and survived. It is my joy to give her the best life for the remainder of her life. I only wish I could help the SATO project more. I truely believe that a society can be judged by the way they treat the helpless, be they children or animals.

Comments ( 1 )

profile

jshep26 10/18/2017

Thank you for giving one of our dogs a loving home, and for being a monthly donor! We are so grateful for your support and your kind words.

Ivette L.1

Donor

Rating: 5

I grew up in PR and grew up seeing so many hundred of dogs thru out my child hood , sick in the streets without food or water.
Sato Project is such an incredible organization that works so hard trying to find,catch, heal and find homes to this wonderful dogs that deserve a life of love! I am committed to donate every month and I want to nominate this incredible organization that started with just one strong wonderful woman!
Thank you. Ivett e Lugo

Donor

Rating: 5

Not only does the Sato Project have a mission many people can connect with, but they have done amazing work with limited resources and created a broad community of support making the best use of the tools available to them.

When my husband and I were looking for a dog, we happened to find a listing for one of the Sato project dogs that appeared to fit into our family well. After filling out an application, we heard back very quickly, even though Sato had just faced a hurricane and was staring down another.

It is obvious that people at every level of the organization care deeply about its mission and making sure they are finding the best homes for each of the dogs they rescue.

In the midst of recovery from a devastating hurricane, where a significant portion of Puerto Rico's infra structure was destroyed, they managed to keep in touch with us about the status of our dog's evacuation, keep their base updated with regular video and Facebook posts, and care for dozens of animals. Despite the challenges, they were obviously very organized and experienced. Though the evacuation was rushed, they were quick to follow up with everything needed- records, certificates, and they even mailed us our new pup's next doses of preventive medicines. By far the most professional rescue organization I've ever worked with.

We are thrilled with our new family member and couldn't be more impressed with The Sato Project.

1 Susan D.2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have wanted to fly to Puerto Rico for a number of years now to help with the rescue of dogs from Dead Dog Beach. I was making plans to come in November, my birthday. Hurricane Maria hit and that will no longer be possible. Instead, I have created my own fundraiser for this wonderful organization. I make my own dog treats and now sell them with 100% of the proceeds going to this group. They do amazing work feeding and looking after the SATO dogs, rescuing them, transporting them. I wish I could do more.

Casey D.2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

great job. fantastic charities, they do good stuff, yes they do. yes they do!

Donor

Rating: 5

They do a wonderful job helping animals. They are very hardworking and have a lot of patience for these animals they rescue.

Client Served

Rating: 5

An amazing hands on organization, which goes above and beyond to make sure no dog is left behind. Chrissy Beckles’ along with volunteers have dedicated countless hours, for every single dog (and sometimes other animals) rescued on Dead Dog Beach. They’ve rescued dogs on the brink of death and rehabilitated them. Dogs that others would have euthanized because the cost to rehabilitate or take a chance was too great to even attempt. All dogs rescued are given the same care and attention regardless of their physical state. Our Satos are now almost 6 yrs old, they are our pride and joy. If it weren’t for the Sato Project: one of our pups would have died along with her brothers and sisters in a closed box left on the beach a few hours after birth, our other pup was abandoned at 2 months old on the beach by someone who cared for her initially but decided that dumping her on the beach was a better option than her finding another home. The Sato Project is deeply dedicated to ensuring no dog is left behind.

Shellie J.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Two years ago, my sweet boy was lost to old age, diabetes, and dementia. Thinking I might never find that kind of love again with another dog, I did apply to the Sato Project for an older female but was unable to adopt her due to her and her foster falling in love. I felt saddened by yet another loss but what can one do when love blossoms? Offered another pup...this one a younger girl...by the name of Foxy...I decided to take a chance and went with it! Esther, who shortly become one of my heroes, brought this little dog to my home and we finally met! My little Sato turned out to be more than just afraid of a new home...she was feral. Terrified of all humans, terrified of everything surrounding her, she found no comfort in my company and wanted nothing more than to hide away. My heart broke for her, knowing there was nothing that I could do to make her feel better! I researched and questioned and reached out to those who had worked with feral dogs before and learned everything I could to help this sweet girl. But long months passed and I finally gave up on myself...I knew there was a beautiful, special girl inside but somehow, I lacked what she needed and contacted the group to find her another foster home. I wanted nothing more than to be the one who could reach her but I didn't have what she needed! My heart broken once more...it had been eight long months...and I wasn't sure if I could ever chance my heart again. But then, somehow, the little brown dog now named Sessie, decided to trust me... just a little...just enough to allow me to put a harness on and take her outside. Finally! The sunshine, the grass...we were outside! Together! My joy suddenly knew no bounds as I watched her learn her new world...outside the confines of the four walls! She was beautiful as I have never seen, eyes sparkling in the light, rolling in the green grass...her happiness contagious! I had reached her! Finally, after eight long months of waiting, of reading to her, feeding her by hand, never looking directly into her eyes...all the tricks and techniques of feral rescue...she was there, she was mine! I still cry when I remember that time and each time I see her, the memory brings joy! It has been nearly two years and with a lot of time, effort, and patience, she has turned into a feisty, sweet, amazing little pup! Will she ever be normal? No...but I love her the same! I love her quirks and her funny ways. I comfort her fears and stand by her encouragingly! I did not think that I had the strength to reach this little soul and yet, she trusted me...taught me so very much about myself and my whole world! She didn't replace my previous love, merely added one more very special place in my heart that she will forever hold. Knowing where she came from, a mother of seven puppies, surviving for years on Dead Dog Beach...she will never know that life again! The Sato Project brought her out of that darkness and allowed me the chance to know her, to love her, to give her my love. I am forever grateful for the Sato Project and the amazing people who work for it. They are my inspiration...they have taught me so many life lessons... I am amazed and in awe of their dedication. They humble me! Thank you ...all of you at the Sato Project for trusting one of your own with me. Thank you!

Sarah324

Donor

Rating: 5

This team goes beyond to serve the animals of Puerto Rico - bless them!

PJ S.1

Client Served

Rating: 1

This has been the worst adoption experience of my life. I have had dozens of dogs over the last twenty-five years and have cared for all of them until their deaths. No dogs are perfect, and rescues often need extra care. I adopted a lovely Maltese/Shih Tzu mix who is very Mama attached. We were a bit disappointed that she wasn't more into the boys, but she fit into the family well. She has gotten more attached to me and bit my foster son today when he tried to pick her up to take her out. Yes, it would be great to call in a trainer or keep her separated from the children, but that is not a reality. I posted on the Sato adoption facebook page that, sadly, the dog I adopted a couple of months ago would have to be rehomed as I could not take that risk as a foster mother. The assault was swift, particularly from the founder. When the posts are not postive and upbeat, the ugly side of this organization comes raging out. I've never seen anything like it, and I so sorry I ever had anything to do with these people.

Client Served

Rating: 5

The first time I heard of Dead Dog Beach in PR and the SATO Project's work I knew my next dog would be from their organization. They are an amazing, tireless, passionate group of professional animal lovers and rescuers! Chrissy Beckles is my role model! The dogs they rescue are so grateful, it's like they know exactly where they came from and how good they have it on the other side. We got Robbie about a year and a half ago and as a family we took a day trip from Massachusetts to Brooklyn to pick him up. After only 2 weeks with his foster mom he did not want to leave her and go with us. We had to coax him gently down the stairs of her apartment building and into the car. On the 5 hour drive home he spent equal time snuggling up with both our son and daughter in turn in the back seat. When we got home, we took him down to our beach and he ran around doing "zoomies" and was ecstatic to be with us! He is the best dog for our family and I attribute the perfect fit to the amazing SATO Project. They make a point to make the right fit to ensure that all their dogs find the right forever family fit.

A big differentiator is that they insist on home visits. Anyone can look like a great dog owner on paper. They take the home visit very seriously and it helps them prove out what their application process is designed for. I know because I was so nervous about my home visit (for no good reason other than I'd already fallen in love with Robbie and wanted him so badly) and I performed a home visit for them in my area. I was SO excited to be able to help the organization in any way I could! As it happened the home I visited was less than a poor match for the adoptable SATO. I struggled very hard with my review. The person who's home I visited really wanted the dog, and she was very nice, but there were so many red flags. Samantha, the adoption coordinator, gave me great guidelines to go by which really helped. I was able to follow those and be honest and fair and in the end, I could not answer YES to one final question: would I leave my beloved SATO Robbie in this home? I was honest with Samantha and she was very grateful. It turns out she had reservations about this particular applicant and my review confirmed that it was not a fit for the special needs dog in question.

The SATO Project is an extraordinary group and I recommend them to anyone and everyone who will listen!

Donor

Rating: 5

Making such a difference in Puerto Rico especially now in these trying times.