Monday, June 28, 2010

Where there's a will, there's a way

That's right...Homer has a home!! Well, for now, he has a foster home in New York. Our beloved Jessica Bengels, volunteer and contributor extraordinaire, found a friend willing to take in Homer, rehabilitate him, and find him a forever home (if she can let him go!!). The situation could not be more ideal, and I could not be more grateful.

One more step, and Homer is on his way to happiness: a flight to New York. Please donate what you can!!! We need $300 more at this point for his shipment, and Homer is NYC-bound! If you can help this boy make it over to the mainland, please email me at

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Homer's Next Last Chance

Ok, people. Let's rally!

Homer needs our help. Adri has had her hands full, it seems, and Homer has not made the situation any easier. In sum, Homer has attacked and killed two of Adri's small foster dogs. Adri emailed me a couple of days ago and asked me for permission to euthanize him as she tries to iron out issues with setting up her own small animal shelter. Homer's time may be up.

I'm a realistic person. I know we can't save every dog in Puerto Rico, and I know that there was easily a more sociable and adoptable dog to rescue than Homer out at Los Machos the day that he was rescued. So here's even more truth:

Homer cannot live with small dogs, and will likely kill another animal again if pestered/provoked enough. If fostered or adopted, he must be completely rehabilitated and supervised, the only animal of the household, and not allowed with children. While Adri was able to have him for 6 months and rid him of his ailments, her house is not conducive to the kind of rehabilitation a dog like Homer needs. He obviously has territory issues, among others, and needs quality, one-on-one care...always a hard thing to find in the animal rescue world. He has not grown back his full coat of fur, and may not ever fully. This is Homer.

Homer is doll and a half with humans. He loves to love people. Despite his years of abuse on the streets of Puerto Rico, this dog can still trust us. He has been temperamant evaluated and performed very well. He's general demeanor with humans is sweet, submissive, and desparate for love. He's a sweetheart, truly. And that I can remeber first hand from my days at Los Machos Beach with him. He could make someone very happy, I know it. This is also Homer.

Adri says I have two weeks to try to find Homer a safe haven. If I don't, he will be euthanized. Back to the whole honesty thing again...I am not saying that Homer shouldn't be euthanized. I do believe that some animals can be past the point of rehabilitation. However, I am saying that if there were somebody willing to devote the full time and energy it would take to give this dog the quality of life I hoped he would have, Homer's ripe for the picking and should NOT be euthanized. We have put so much into him thus far, so let's take yet another step further and see what we can do.

Thanks for reading,

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Construction in Ceiba

Just thought I would share this interesting bit of info about Ceiba, the small town where Los Machos Beach is located...scared to think of what this means for our darling satos.

Consigli To Build Reserve Center in Puerto Rico

Homer, by the way, has officially received his heartworm treatment and is actually growing back his fuzz/fur!!!! Anxiously awaiting photos from Adri so we can see how our boy is progressing!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Help Homer!

I just wanted to take a moment to respond to a recent comment on this blog. "Alexis" writes:

Hey. I was wondering what would be the vet cost of the treatment for a dog like Homer? How much does it cost to treat all his health issues? How does this compare to the cost for doing the same for the average sato? When I move to Puerto Rico I want to help save satos but I don't know much about the cost involved. Thanks!

The cost of vet treatments vary depending on the health of the dog when we rescue him or her, as you can imagine. For Homer, we are looking at a vet bill of approximately $1000, possible more. For a relatively healthy sato, the vet bill can be anywhere from $100 (which is rare) to $300. Another issue is space to keep the rescued satos. ADLA does not have a shelter; instead, we use foster homes (if available) and/or board our rescued animals at a vet, which is also quite expensive. Some vets we have worked with, like Dr. Ramos, have been generous enough to allow us to board satos at a discounted rate. Still, if an animal has a contagious ailment and has to be boarded for, let's say, one month, boarding costs alone may amount to $200-300. Needless to say, rescuing animals in need is not cost-efficient. Without donations/grants and regular contributors, the satos of Puerto Rico would be helpless.

On that note, we are still desperately seeking donations for Homer. To refresh your memory, Homer was rescued in the beginning of June. He was a long-time resident of Los Machos Beach; he was also the "one I left behind," or so I felt when I left Puerto Rico back in September 2008. Homer is a gentle, submissive, and sad black lab mix that miraculously still has the ability to trust and love.

During my second encounter with Homer, I had to cut and remove pieces of an old leather collar from his neck; that is, whoever abandoned him did not remove or loosen his collar during his growth spurt as a puppy, causing the collar to literally grow under his skin. Homer simply sat in place while I removed chunks of leather from his neck, licking the air in submission, and hoping that my intentions weren't to harm him more than he had already been harmed. This dog had made me cry on several occasions, partly because of what the dog had evidently been through before we met and his pathetic demeanor, but primarily out of anger. This dog has been treated like a rodent for most, if not all of his life, but he still retains the ability to be the unconditional lover that we seek in animal companions. I could have done anything I wanted to Homer when I was removing his skin-engulfed collar, but he showed no aggression. This animal is amazing and warrants our help and support to start a life. He is approximately five years old, leaving a lot of time to love and be loved.

Thanks to Olivia Burris, his first sponsor, we were finally able to remove Homer from Los Machos Beach. He is currently recovering from several health problems, including heartworm, anaplasmosis, ehrlichia, entropic eyes, and sarcoptic and demodectic mange. We knew Homer was going to be a "doozie" of a rescue, but he is destined for greatness. I'm working on finding Homer a home in my neck of the woods (possibly for selfish reasons...can you blame me?). Let's get this boy on his feet and out to San Diego.
Please, donate what you can.
Thank you so much for reading,

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Back in action: 3 satos rescued from Los Machos Beach

On Friday, June 5, Adri and Kathy, of Wag On Inn, gave me the present of all presents...both text messaged me, "We got him!!!"

Him = Homer

Homer is a black lab mix that I've known for some time. He's a long-time Los Machos sato who I first met about two or three months after I started the Los Machos Beach Project in 2008. Homer was/is a scared boy, but with a handfull of hotdogs and a trustworthy, high-pitched, loving voice, he'll sit and let you scratch behind his ears for as long as you are willing. When I first encountered this sato, he had absolutely no hair on his body because of mange and who knows what other types of mites. I began treating with him with Ivomectin as often as I saw him, and improvements began.

I was never able to rescue him, and have had nightmares/dreams about Homer since I returned to San Diego. While Los Machos has always had too many dogs for me to save with the resources we have, Homer was "the one" I've felt guilty for not physically rescuing myself because there was no space, money, or shelter willing to take such a fragile, unsocial, and sick dog. Thanks to Olivia Burris, Homer's first sponsor, and her continued love and hope for this special dog, and, of course, all of our donors who have helped the Los Machos Beach Project pay off our debts, Homer is safely at Dr. Casta's. But this is just the beginning...

Homer, finally safe...but he still needs our help!

Homer has heartworm, anaplasmosis, ehrlichia, entropic eyes, and sarcoptic and demodectic mange. While I am not surprised that Homer has all these health issues, our work has just begun for this darling boy. I am confident that Homer's socialization will be easy. He has a very sweet soul, and will just need some time to learn to trust. The most difficult aspect of Homer's rescue will be, of course, paying his vet bills. Please, be generous for Homer.

And stay tuned...two other satos were rescued with Homer from Los Machos Beach, Clementine and Maritza.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Something HUGE (and black and fuzzy) to write about!!!!


Thanks to his primary sponsor Olivia Burris' support, hope, and love for our Homer, and Adri's willingness to rescue him from the beach, Homer, who has graced the presence of this blog through its existence, is now safely at Dr. Costa's getting treated for everything under the sun. That's right...he's safe, but unfortunately tested positive for heartworm, ehrlichia, anaplasmosis, and all the rest. With our help, he will be just fine.

I will post photos, more information, and how you can help over this weekend. I just had to share the good news the moment I heard it.

With tears in my eyes, I thank all those who helped Homer finally begin his journey into the life he's wanted and deserved for so long. So let's celebrate!!!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Status and Hope: Los Machos Beach Project 2009

Hello, my loyal readers.

I have recently received a few comments/emails regarding the status of the Los Machos Beach Project. I am equally as concerned and curious as you are, believe me. The fact of the matter is that without a person in Puerto Rico willing to dedicate himself or herself to rescuing satos of Los Machos Beach, it's difficult to continue this project. There are thousands of animals in Puerto Rico, and those individuals and groups who continue to rescue are never without a dull moment. Rescuing is constant...but not necessarily at Los Machos Beach.

Blondie with her new family in Puerto Rico!!! Thanks to ADLA's Adri, Blondie finally found her perfect home!

However, I'm not giving up quite yet. The good news, that I've heard through the grapevine, is that Margie, a Ceiba local, continues to feed and check on the animals at Los Machos Beach regularly. Supposedly she is getting funding and other means of help from Island Dog's Katie Block. I have tried to get information regarding their efforts out there, but have received no responses. To get a bit personal here, I am frustrated to have so little control over something that so recently was my life...and seeing Boca every day will never allow me to forget that place and those less fortunate satos that still need a home like Boca's.

Colin and Boca on Sunset Cliffs in San Diego, CA. Boca loves tidepools...and Colin.

I will work harder on finding out if any dogs have been rescued from Los Machos Beach since I left, but I want to focus on moving forward from here. On that note, guess what project only has $200 in debt left to pay at Dr. Ramos' office??? That would this project. Finally, we are approaching the end of what seemed to be the never-ending debt from our past-rescued satos. ADLA has picked away at the Los Machos Beach Project debt since I left, and the light at the end of the tunnel is bright.

Dakota - once a Los Machos sata, now a chicken.

What's next? Well, a go-getter, high-school senior is doing her part to raise money to save a Los Machos Beach Sato. Caitlin of Shepaug Middle School in Washington, Connecticut has been fundraising for the Los Machos satos for her senior project. The last update I received on her progress indicates that her efforts will not only clear our vet bill, but will also allow us to rescue the first Los Machos sato of 2009!!!

So there's a mini update. I hope to have more good news sooner than later!