Monday, March 24, 2008


Patty, Dakota's new mom, entitled this emailed photo "Shanti's fault." Why? Because I convinced my husband that Dakota should be allowed to do anything she wanted while staying with us, including hogging the couch. Sorry, Patty!

Lovin' the sun, as cute as ever

Thanks for the photos, Patty!!!!

As for today's Los Machos and vet visit, I have a bunch of new photos that I need to upload in the next couple of days, and Riley and Alfie are at Dr. Ramos'. I do not have a final verdict for both of their conditions yet, but will post the news as soon as we find out. Riley tested negative for all parasites, and Dr. Ramos seems to think her puppies are "sucking the life out of her," that such a small dog can be so drained by having seven pups. She will be at Dr. Ramos' until she is eating regularly again; meanwhile, the puppies will have to be fed formula.

If you haven't seen other recently taken photos, as well as the soon-to-come photos from today, of the Los Machos satos, check 'em out:
Los Machos Satos Flickr Page

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Well, Patty, Dakota's new mommy!, has been kind enough to give me the play by play since Dakota's arrival in Boston last night. It sounds like she is making herself comfortable in her loving forever home. I will be sure to post pictures as soon as I get them. Yay, Kota!

On the subject of the other recently rescued, Gage, Chalupa and Alfie are slated to go to St. Hubert's this Friday. For all of you who have donated recently to the Los Machos Beach Project, thank you so much!!! Unfortunately, we do not have enough to cover all of the vetting expenses and shipping costs for these three dogs...the endless dilemma. Alfie, on top of it all, may have some sort of tooth infection as well which will require veterinary attention ASAP.


I am going to pick up Alfie tomorrow from his foster home in Ceiba and take him to the vet again. We'll see how bad his condition is, though hopefully it won't keep him from flying on March 28. Riley, the recent mother of seven puplets, will also be visiting the vet tomorrow because she is showing signs of some sort of parasite. Hopefully it isn't something too bad. Anyway, we're counting pennies over here, and hoping others may be willing to do the same.

On a lighter note:
If you've ever had a cat, watch this for a good laugh!

More news tomorrow after a visit to Los Machos and Dr. Ramos!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Hasta luego, Dakota!

Oh my goodness, I knew this day would come, but didn't realize how much of a baby I was going to be about it. That's right, Dakota left today for her new home in Oxford, MA. It was a sad fare-thee-well, but obviously coated with extreme elation that our baby doll Dakota was off to officially start her life, leaving all the bad behind. I dropped her off alone, therefore there is no proof (phew!) of my theatrics/tear session at the American Airlines cargo terminal. I did manage, however, to get some shots of Dakota during my day with her before I sent her on her way.

And so here they of Kota. It's important to notice how she is no longer a walking skeleton:

All smiles on this girl now!

She's just so happy.

At this angle, she almost looks fat.

And she talks sometimes now, too!

The highlight of her day: a bath (said with much sarcasm)

My last pep talk and petting session with sweet Dakota. It'll be hard not to miss this face.

Off she goes to Boston!

Kota says, "Thanks for all your help to make me feel better. It worked!!!"

I would like to personally extend my thanks to all of you for giving this dog a second (or third, depending on who you talk to) chance at a wonderful life. This (Dakota's rescue, fundraising and rehab) has been an amazing experience for me in these first several months I've been rescuing animals and truly reboots my faith in what people are willing to do to help those who can't ask for it...los animales.

Thanks you all, again, so much,

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Good work, Riley!

I went to visit Liz's foster land earlier today and visited with our Los Machos sata, Riley, who just gave birth to seven puppies. And, thanks to Liz, we have pictures with Riley and her day-old sweet!!! Enjoy....

One last "before" shot of pregnant Riley

(All photos here taken by Liz Kracht of ADLA; Thanks, Liz!!!)

Congrats, Riley! You make a beautiful (and, might I add, nurturing and loving) mommy.

Reaching out to a sata in need

I received this email late last night from Keishya, another dedicated rescuer here in Puerto Rico. Emails about a dog or cat with this problem and that situation flood my inbox daily, and I help when I can. But for whatever reason, this particular email from Keishya made me especially concerned.

An excerpt from Keishya's email:

Hello All,

Well, you all know how this is around here... Just minding our own business, walking our own adopted satos together in the late morning.

At the end of the trail right on the beach was this sato Girl and her picture says it all.

She is 47 pounds and about 3-3 1/2 years old. She was definitely a dump and not feral. When we first saw her laying on the ground down at the beach, it was hard to see if the huge lump in her lower abdomen was a stillbirth or an ulcerated tumor. It is a tumor for sure, and it is bleeding, etc. Not a pretty sight by any means, but this Girl is a really sweet one. I coaxed her back to my home and fed her and then went to put a collar on her. She just let me and when I put a leash on her to get into my car, she was docile and submissive. Into the car she went with barely any persuasion...argh...someone dumped this one. We went to Dr. Reyes and he evaluated her. Amazingly, she is negative for all...except the huge tumor.

I am hoping some of you can pass this plea along...and I will be sending more details the moment I am completely pooped...but just look at her.

So anyway, let me know if you or anyone you may know can help out with this case and or any adoption options. Her temperament upon initial time spent is really good. Not shy or scared.

Thanks for listening and any reply welcome.


four paws at a time

Please email Keishya at to find out how you can help this heart-breaking rescue.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Such a little dog...such a big belly

Last night I had the pleasure of hanging out at Liz's to work on some business for ADLA. While there, I got to see Riley, who Liz and Efren (Liz's boyfriend) have been fostering, and her HUGE tummy. When the pups will pop out, we can't be sure, though there have been some false alarms. Any day now, that's for sure.

Riley mama, doing just about all she can do right now, laying on Liz and Efren's apartment floor.

She's still such a sweetheart these days, even considering how uncomfortable she must be feeling. As Liz tells me, Riley is completely house-trained already, loves walks around the neighborhood and on the beach, and has been extremely easy to foster in general. What a good girl!

If you haven't read it already, an article about the famous "Puerto Rico Pet Massacre" where 80 animals were seized from Barceloneta housing projects and subsequently thrown off a bridge to their deaths on the same day in October came out in the New York Times this March 9. It's a great follow-up to the tragic event and highlights important aspects of the problems this island has faced and still faces in terms of animal welfare.

Scrutiny for Puerto Rico Over Animal Treatment

Equally as important to check out is the video also released by The New York Times featuring Nelson Rivera, shelter manager at the Guaynabo Humane Society. Nelson makes some excellent points, and most importantly stresses the necessity to sterilize our animals. We hear ya, Nelson.

In Puerto Rico, Dogs Without a Home

Monday, March 10, 2008

Happy Homes: Los Machos Satos Keeping in Touch

Rocco's new mom just sent me the following earlier today:

Hi Shanti,

Just wanted to send you a quick note about Rocco. He is fantastic. We absolutely LOVE him!!! By Sunday, it felt as if he had been with us forever. He is fitting right in. He has taken to my husband especially. Follows him everywhere!! It's so cute. I am surprised how easy it was to introduce him to my other animals. I really thought for sure there would be some issues there, but so far, even the cats tolerate him!
When I got him from the airport, he looked a little scared, but as soon as I let him out of the carrier, he was all lovey and laid in my arms the whole ride home. You weren't kidding about the car. I have never seen a dog love to be in the car as much as him. It's almost as if he gets hypnotized.
Anyway, thanks again for all you have done for him. I think he is loving his new life!! I have been taking lots of pictures. I will be sending you some soon!!

Take Care,

And from Bass' new family (written on Feb. 25, 2008):

Hello Shanti,
Last week my family and I adopted Buddy (a.k.a. Bass) from St. Hubert's Animal Shelter in Madison, NJ. We changed his name, and he seems to respond to it already! He is WONDERFUL!!! He is housebroken, walks well on a leash, knows commands like sit and wait. He is gentle and very loving. He loves to curl up on the floor with us. We love him. He plays with us or alone with his toys. He has been good alone in the house (we have only left him for no more than 3 hours).

Buddy is the perfect addition to our family.
Thank you for rescuing him.


Thanks for updating us, Christine and Mary. Sounds like these two former Los Machos satos are livin' the life!


Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Gage and Riley rescued, but...

I'll start with the beginning of my day yesterday, when I went to Dr. Ramos' to pick up Dakota to have her sutures removed at the surgeon's. My goodness, she is a completely different dog now (or at least like the Dakota I first met at Los Machos)...she was jumping around, dancing, yelping for food (she's gained 1.5 pounds and never wants to stop eating now), giving me kisses and just all around chipper. At the surgeon's office, she was basically doing running laps around the lobby, charging/sliding under my legs, turning around, and doing it all over again.

A playful Dakota, with no worries in the world

That's right folks, Dakota is back in action. As for when she gets to go to her NEW HOME!!! in Massachusetts, both doctors would like to see results for one last blood test around March 19. If everything looks good, Dakota will be shipped to her forever home around the last week of March. Considering all that Dakota has been through, she came out the other end better than ever.
I brought her back to Dr. Ramos' after her sutures were removed and gave her a bunch of kisses on behalf of all of her fans.

Dakota in my car, lickin' her chops saying, "I'm ready to eat all the food you tried to give me a month ago now, so where is it?"

After dropping off Dakota, I went out to Ceiba to pick up Riley and Gage. Maria, a Ceiba local, has been fostering Riley for about two and a half weeks and eventually figured out that Riley was pregnant. So my first stop was Maria's house to check on Riley. Maria was very nervous about Riley giving birth in her house, so I took her with me. Gage stayed at Melodie's house Monday night so I wouldn't have trouble finding him at Los Machos in the middle of the day on Tuesday. The ride back to San Juan was easy with these two satos, Riley laying quietly in a kennel while Gage sat patiently behind my left shoulder, head on the back of my seat, throughout pretty much the entire one-hour drive.

Couldn't really get a good picture of Gage in my car; every time I tried taking a picture, he would start licking the camera. I ended up with 10 pictures of a pink blob. This is him behind me while I was driving, occasionally licking my hair.

And the verdict at Dr. Ramos'...Gage is heartworm positive, but is in great shape considering. He will still be a perfect dog for St. Hubert's, but we're trying to figure out if he will go on the shipment at the end of this month or not (treatment pending). Riley, oh, Riley. It looks like our little, one-year-old pooch is going to give birth within a week or so.

Riley, pre-pregnancy, ignoring the food being thrown around her just to get some love from Colin.

I wish I had her situation figured out by now, but I don't. As of now, I am looking into the possibility of sending her to St. Hubert's (waiting to talk to Jackie about what she thinks) before she has her puppies, though that might not be the best thing for her; I need more information first. At the same time, we're also trying to find a perfect foster-care situation where she can both have her pups and stay for about 8 weeks, which is proving to be very difficult. Regardless, she will be cared for, as will her pups.

ADLA has also decided to go ahead and prep another little Los Machos sato, Alfie (who is also being fostered by Maria), for the trip on March 28. I will be sure to post a list of the dogs rescued recently who will be going to St. Hubert's at the end of the month; right now, I'm still unsure considering all the of the health obstacles we've run into.

Alfie, a sweet Chihuahua mix, in foster care and hopefully going to St. Hubert's on March 28

I realized last night that I have yet to explain Mika's situation. If you don't remember Mika, shame on you. Just kidding...she's that big, goofy Napoleon Mastiff that we were raising money for awhile back. Remember?...Her adopter didn't have the funds to ship her to New York, so we raised the money. Well, as it turned out, the adopter backed out due to a new insurance policy prohibiting her from having any "aggressive breeds," unfortunately including Napoleon Mastiffs I guess, on her property. So Mika is still at Melodie's, and we are doing what we can to find her a forever home...again. I'm sorry I didn't post this sooner; I think I was in denial of the whole situation.

Dakota (yes, our million-dollar dog still has unpaid vet expenses), Gage, Riley and Chalupa are in desperate need of donations, considering their respective special conditions (which often translates to "more expensive conditions"), so please contribute if you can!

I should find out more info about Riley today, so stay tuned...


p.s. In later news, Riley will be staying here to have her pups. So we will find her a great foster home for approximately 2 months (which hasn't been found yet), at which point we can send her and her little angels to St. Hubert's or elsewhere.