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We have moved, please visit our new site at

Save Our Satos (S.O.S.) Program...

Another SOS 
Due to Sept. 11th and security changes, the rescued Sato's are no longer able to travel as unaccompanied cargo. Now, each dog needs to be assigned to a passenger or guardian. Meaning that a passenger must physically be ON BOARD the plane. This greatly slows down the rate at which the Satos can be brought to state side shelters for adoption, and in turn the rate at which they can be rescued. Save A Sato is asking people to donate their frequent flyer miles (which is tax deductible) to enable volunteers to fly free and accompany the dogs on their flights. These volunteers fly from P.R. and RETURN the same day! This involves thousands of miles and more than a dozen hours flown in one 24 hour period...but these volunteers are very dedicated to giving these orphaned and unwanted street dogs of Puerto Rico a better chance at a new life. Additionally, if you are traveling to Puerto can help by just claiming these pint sized pups as your own “baggage”. The volunteers in Puerto Rico will make all arrangements, meet you at the airport, pay all freight charges and do all paperwork. Shelter staff will be at the airport in Boston, Providence, or Hartford to meet the dogs and get them loaded into the van. There is NO work or cost to you AT ALL. You are simply a guardian to our furkids. If you can help in anyway, please contact Chantal Robles at 787-793-6180 she is the American Airlines contact in P.R. or see their site at

As of May 14, 1999 the Animal Shelter Inc. of Sterling, MA has started a joint venture with the animal rescue volunteers of Puerto Rico to save hundreds of homeless, starved, poisoned and tortured animals. These volunteers in Puerto Rico (at their own cost) take these animals known as Satos (mixed breed street dogs) off the cruel streets and care for them, love them, rehabilitate them, vaccinate them, medicate them, and finally say goodbye to them. These dogs are then flown on a direct American Airlines flight to Boston's Logan airport. At the airport they are picked up by the shelters' managers and brought back to the shelter. Here at the shelter they are bathed, re-vaccinated, spayed or neutered, vet checked and found loving homes!

The sad reality of what these animals suffer through on a daily basis is documented on their website:

Many people ask us why we take animals from Puerto Rico when there are so many animals here in our community that need help. The answer is simple:

The Sato Story

I was abandoned in the streets of Puerto Rico, where I was born. I have wandered the streets looking for food, water, shelter and love, but I found none. Everywhere I went people mistreated, abused and pushed me aside. I have survived on mere scraps and on anything that had a slight smell of food.

One day I met a lovely person that took pity on me and rescued me from my miserable life on the streets. They were loving towards me and took me to a wonderful place, where I am cared for a bunch of lovely people, who feed me great food and gave us plenty of attention. They showed me how to be loved again. I was rehabilitated, vaccinated, and medicated and then quarantined and the only thing I didn't like was my weekly baths!

These nice people kept telling me I was very lucky because I was going to a wonderful place called the "Animal Shelter in Sterling Massachusetts". This is where I was going to find a wonderful new home, and that my life in Puerto Rico would only be an occasional nightmare I might dream of every once in awhile. I have waited patiently, and at last I'm on my way!

I am a very sweet dog in spite of all that I have suffered. If you give me a chance you will not be sorry! I will be a very faithful pet and will give you lots of love. I might be a little shy, only because of what I have suffered through all the days of my short life, but with love and understanding, will be your best friend.

If you can find it in your heart to adopt one of our Satos, please come down and visit our critters! If you have any other questions, visit their website or call our shelter. The adoption fee for our Puerto Rico dogs is $200. $25 of each adoption fee is also donated BACK to the Save A Sato program to help with medical and transport fees on their end.

Additionally, the age of the dog when it arrives at our shelter helps us to determine the age of the children to adopt to. The older the dog, the less tolerant the dog may be with small children who are not respectful of the dogs need for space and privacy. Because the dogs arriving have no personal background, we recommend adopting older dogs out to families with older children.

Our policy unless otherwise noted:

Puppies up to 4-5 months will be allowed to go families with smaller children UNLESS the puppies are small breeds that are not good with kids. 

4-5 months up to 9 months - families with children over 6 - 7 years old are better suited for this age group.

9 months to 1 year - families with children over 9-10 years old are better suited for this age group.

Dogs over 1 year must be adopted to families with kids who are pre-teen and up.

PLEASE NOTE: This is a guideline that is set for the protection and safety of the dogs here for adoption. The guidelines are based on our experiences with these dogs. Each dog can be evaluated on an individual basis to make the best possible match. 



Animal Shelter Inc.
17 Laurelwood Road
Sterling, MA 01564
phone (978)422-8585
fax (978)422-8574

 new england animal shelter

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