While four of the five four-footeds here are Baypath Humane Society alumni, there is one that is from Sterling Animal Shelter. My dog, Riggs, was rescued from there back in 2004. That was the year that I first uncovered the great work of a bootstrap organization called Save a Sato.
Save a Sato was started back in 1994 by two women who up until that point had been separately saving dogs off the streets of Puerto Rico. Anyone who has been to San Juan knows that dogs roam everywhere. Together, Chantal Robles and Karen Fehrenback, started what would become the Save a Sato charity. Gloria Marti, who is known to most of us who have adopted a Sato, or street dog, became part of the organization close to its founding, according to the Save a Sato Web site.
Their goal, as I have learned over the years, is to work with no-kill shelters in the U.S. to find these dogs loving homes. Interestingly, the Web site claims that “the arrangement worked well for these shelters, which typically did not have enough dogs surrendered locally to meet the high demand for adoption.” Since it first started, Save a Sato has also started to save cats as well. In fact, the organization “has rescued and re-homed nearly 20,000 dogs and several hundred cats.”
When I first saw Riggs, who was named Fernando at the time, at Sterling Animal Shelter, I was not familiar with the folks at Save a Sato. However, once I learned that my pup, who was around eight to ten weeks old when I adopted him, was brought here by the wonderful people at Save a Sato, I was fascinated. Check out Riggs and his fellow Satos here.
I found out that the team provides services that range from locating feral and stray animals to providing them with basic care such as vaccinations and spay and neuter to fostering them to getting them to the U.S. to be adopted. It’s a cumbersome process, I imagine, but one that is done with such love. Every year, Save a Sato has a local rescuers’ reunion where we can gather to see the cutie pies we’ve all ended up with. Many people say that Satos are unique in how extraordinarily loving they are. I can vouch for Riggs and say this is absolutely true.
Since adopting Riggs, I’ve run into other Sato owners and we all get a certain look that indicates we adore our little street dogs and are so glad that Save a Sato saved the best pups for us.
To donate to Save a Sato, visit www.saveasato.org .