One Caribbean City’s Clever Plan to Save Stray Animals


By Sarah Greaves-Gabbadon
CJ Travel Editor

SAN JUAN — In between salsa dancing and sipping pina coladas in the city where it was invented, you might want to do something more altruistic with your time in San Juan. Here’s an idea: Save a sato.

Sato is the local slang for “street dog,” and Save A Sato is a non-profit that rescues and finds homes for the city’s many abandoned and abused animals – not only satos but gatos (cats), too.

We heard about the non-profit from our guide as we strolled along San Juan’s waterfront Paseo de la Princesa, where street cats preside along the path.

The ones we encountered seemed gentle yet bold, happy to pose for photos yet savvy enough to be wary if you got too close for comfort.

According to our guide, if you see a sato or gato you like, take a photo and send it to SAS. They’ll track it down, prepare it for adoption and, after all the relevant background checks, send the animal to you (for a fee, of course).

Not able to give a needy animal a forever home? You can help in other ways. The shelter welcomes volunteers, even if only for a few hours, and they gratefully accept cash and donations of animal medications, toys, pet food and pet store gift cards. Visit their website,, for more info, and who knows, next time you’re in San Juan you might come home with more than a tan …


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