It turns out, all good dogs do go to heaven — or in this case, to Philadelphia.
Seven lucky pooches plucked off the streets of Puerto Rico will fly into Philadelphia Tuesday to receive specialized veterinary treatment, the PSPCA announced, as part of efforts to relieve the suffering and widespread euthanasia of dogs on the island.
“We cannot close our eyes as we go about our everyday lives, seeing puppies or dogs left behind," said Sabine Bachner of Sato Dream Home, a Puerto Rican spay/neuter clinic which is helping to organize this mission of mercy. "It is our mission not only to get these dogs out of Puerto Rico to safety, but to visit schools and educate children about this epidemic. We cannot do it alone, we need the help of organizations like the PSPCA.”
Puerto Rico's five Municipal Shelters have a euthanasia rate of 99 percent, and most dogs taken off the streets are put down after less than 24 hours, according to the PSPCA.
That's why the PSPCA partnered up with Sato, based in Salinas, Puerto Rico on the northern coast of the island, to bring dogs from the island to the PSPCA's Erie Avenue Shelter. Local advocates paid for the dogs' airfare on American Airlines to the City of Brotherly Love.
Sato Dream Home rescues dogs from areas where they are routinely dumped without access to food or water, like Puerto Rico's many mountains or beaches, and adopts them out to foster homes. They also lead educational programs about spay and neuter practices.
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“The Pennsylvania SPCA has always been dedicated to utilizing all of our resources in order to save the lives of animals in need,” PSPCA CEO Jerry Buckley said in a statement. “When we have the opportunity to make an impact on an area in great distress, we take action not only as an act of goodwill, but as an occasion to make a difference in the lives of these and future animals.”
All seven dogs have been treated by veterinarians in Puerto Rico, but will be quarantined for 14 days away from other dogs at the Erie Avenue shelter while undergoing health and wellness checks.