Wednesday, August 6, 2008

It's time to spill the news

My early morning trip to Los Machos Beach on Monday was sort of a bust. Well, the only reason I sound so defeated is that I did not find Toby. Such a bummer, I know. On top of that, I forgot my camera. I am currently in Washington D.C. until August 11, but will go back out to Los Machos Beach after I return to Puerto Rico. What was great about the experience, however, was that while I saw many of the regulars, so many faces were missing from Los Machos...I know that often is not a good thing, but in this case it truly was.


This morning I had a moment out there and realized that you and I have managed to rescue 30 satos from Los Machos Beach since the end of January 2008. Every now and then, I have to remind myself that is a huge accomplishment instead of, at times, thinking more of these animals should already be in loving forever homes by now.


Now if we add the number of animals rescued from other areas of Puerto Rico, you and I have been key players in the rescue of around 50 satos and gatos on this island since the launching of this blog. And at this point, we all know how much energy, money, and emotions go into each one of these rescues. So let's take a moment...It's time to pat ourselves on the back now, seriously.


This blog has been running for a bit more than six months now, and I never could've imagined the response it has received. I get emails from England, Thailand, Canada, even New Zealand asking questions about the animal welfare issues on the island of Puerto Rico and the famous Los Machos Satos. Most of all, many of you that have found this blog have become more than Los Machos Satos've become friends, a support group, a family of sorts to me.


Now you're asking yourself, why is Shanti getting so sappy in this post? It's true...I have a reason that I've been waiting to broadcast for a few months now. Awhile back, Colin decided that the Coast Guard was no longer his career of choice. At the end of September, his duties as an officer in the U.S. Coast Guard will be fulfilled, and we will no longer have financial means to stay in Puerto Rico.


We will be returning to San Diego, California, where my former full-time position as an environmental biologist for a consulting firm is still waiting for me and where Colin will begin to pursue his graduate degree in something along the lines of sustainable urban planning. Our official exit date from Puerto Rico is still uncertain, but most likely will fall around the end of September.


I've been waiting to post this news for some time in hopes that I would have an idea of what will become of the Los Machos Beach Project and this blog. Alas, it has been much harder than I had hoped to find someone to pick up where I left off in terms of rescuing in Ceiba. What is comforting is that so many more people know of the animals living at Los Machos Beach now, and I can only hope that this beach will receive the same attention as Dead Dog Beach in terms of spay/neuter programs and rescue efforts. Still, I'm heart-broken to leave those dogs there, tearing up right now in fact, and feel extremely guilty when I think about it too much. However, Los Machos Beach will never be sato-free until this island admits to its animal welfare issues, faces them head-on instead of masking them. We could continue to rescue for years, and this viscous cycle of abandoment and abuse would not stop...Not without a complete make-over of this island's priorities, policies, and their enforcement.


But I'm not gone yet! I still want to grab a few more satos from Los Machos Beach before our car is shipped, including Toby who has an adopter waiting patiently for me to find him. I'm sure if we had sponsors for a few other Los Machos Satos (hint, hint) that my fellow Amigos could take care of their placement and shipment if I leave the island before they are ready to go. Please email me if you are interested in sponsoring a Los Machos Sato. I promise to take more pictures next time I visit Cieba so you have a better idea of who needs to be rescued!

Here's who I have in mind right now:

Pinto, aka Spot..Let's get him off the beach, shall we?

So, there it is. The big news. I am 100% still going to be an active member of Amigos de los Animales and writer of this blog. Unfortunately, I will no longer be able to contribute in the ways I enjoy most. Sigh.

One more month of saving satos,


PHOTOS: All photos, minus the last one, are of some of the satos rescued since the lauching of the Los Machos Satos blog. They all are in loving homes because of you. Good job, guys.


Denise Karamitsos said...

NOOOOO!!! Seriously, thank you for all that you've done for these animals. God knows what would have happened if you weren't around. You are a blessing!

Betsy O'Neill said...

OMG...I am going to cry! You have done SO much for the dogs and cats. We feel like we know you personally and are part of a family! What will happen to all of those poor animals of Los Machos Beach? You have saved many animals and that is a great accomplishment and those animals now have wonderful lives because of you. Thank you for caring and making people more aware of the sitution in PR. It must be extremely difficult for you, also!! We will continue to fight and pray for the satos. Let us know who to send supplies to and who will take your place......someone will step up....I am confident! We will continue to check back often and hope that more dogs and cats leave the island....for NJ or another shelter!!

Christine B. said...

Even though I already knew this was going to happen, it still makes me so sad. I do know even though you won't be in PR you will still work your magic even from CA. Hopefully you can rescue lots and lots before your are gone for good!!!

Dakota said...

What??? Do you want to move to Boston & be closer to me? There are lots of bunnies around here. I love the bunnies.