"Pets Alive Puerto Rico" <email@example.com>
Subject: Pets Alive Puerto Rico Update!
Date: December 1st 2011
PETS ALIVE PUERTO RICO UPDATE
It all started 2 years ago. A rescue organization called Manos Por Patas asked us to help by taking the dogs they saved from Dead Dog Beach in Puerto Rico. Dead Dog Beach was known to be a dumping ground for unwanted dogs, and considered a place to go for "sport" by some of the locals to abuse and torment the animals. It was definitely a horror show and many organizations were trying to make a difference there and help the dogs. We were tentative at first, not knowing what to expect in these dogs, but could not have been more pleasantly surprised.
The dogs that arrived were some of the nicest dogs we have ever taken in. Happy, excited, friendly and grateful to be here. It was interesting to us because these dogs that had never lived in a home, had some of the best home "manners" of any we had seen. Almost all of them seemed to be house trained when we adopted them to families. We assume it is because they have always gone outside, so eliminating there was natural to them, having lived outside their whole lives. They also didn't "take off" when the door or gate was opened. Most of them stayed right there at the house or in the yard. They had found a home, and no longer did they seem to want to wander or run. They were happy, and fed, and loved.
They were all also good with other dogs! Having lived their lives on the beach with a pack of dogs, they had adapted well to communal living and sharing space and food. Wonderfully social dogs. They were also almost all small to medium size which is highly adoptable.
We were pulling in dogs that had miserable lives, no vetting, no care, no affection or love - and they turned out to be some of the best and most highly adoptable dogs we had ever encountered. We not only felt we NEEDED to save more - we WANTED to! We worked more and more closely with this organization but ultimately they closed down and asked us to take over their mission. We met about it, and it was 100% unanimous. We had to help. We had to continue saving the dogs that were in such desperate need.
And so we continued to save dogs remotely, but this wasn’t an ideal arrangement. The expense for vetting and boarding was astronomical. Marisol and Rob Thomas are members of our board, and Marisol is a proud Puerto Rican. She has a fire in her heart for the dogs of the island. She and Rob wanted us to do everything possible to help. So Rob and Marisol put up $250,000 to set the wheels in motion, and we embarked on a mission to build a sanctuary in Puerto Rico.
For a year we hit obstacle after obstacle in achieving our dream. We had promises made to us, and land chosen and every time one thing or another happened to keep us from getting it accomplished. It seemed to be going on forever and the impact we could have was very much stunted. We were pulling dogs in tiny amounts, a little here, a little there. This just isn't how we do things at Pets Alive.
Finally, in frustration we stopped dealing with the groups who were helping us, we took every dog we had in boarding back to Pets Alive, and we flew down there to take matters in our own hands. Within a few days we found a gorgeous piece of property in Utuado and we closed on it last month.
Six secluded acres overlooking the mountains and lakes. Centrally located to major airports. Stunningly gorgeous property with paths that cut through the vegetation where we will build our enclosures for the dogs. The house is also beautiful. A warm and welcoming place for our supporters to come and spend a “rescue vacation”, volunteering at the sanctuary, helping to pull dogs from the streets & beaches, and transporting them stateside at the end of their stay.
It is also perfect because it is far enough from the general population and cities that we can not worry about neighbors complaining about barking dogs, or number of dogs. It is in an agricultural area so our neighbors are cows and goats and other "farms". It is on the edge of a mountain so our views are spectacular, but more importantly no one can build on that side, so we know we will always have this seclusion and privacy and also we can easily protect our dogs from anyone who might intend them harm. This would be a real issue if we built in a more populated area.
The location is perfect also because Dead Dog Beach will NOT be our only focus. Indeed we feel the issue at Dead Dog Beach is too small for what we want to accomplish. Harnessing ourselves to fixing things in just one site is not the way Pets Alive does things. Many other rescues are already focused there, including Chrissy, who used to work with Pets Alive but has now started her own rescue. She continues to do wonderful work for the dogs at that beach. We feel though that we can conquer Dead Dog Beach and much, MUCH more. We are centrally located so that we can have an impact EVERYWHERE on the island. Not JUST at that one beach, but on ALL the beaches. And the cities. Why focus only at the beach? Dogs roam the streets and parking lots everywhere! They are in just as much danger and in just as much need of rescue. We intend to help them too.
We also like this location because it gives us a peaceful place to bring people, to have meetings, to network and to work with other groups to solve the problem in Puerto Rico. It is truly an ethereal sanctuary location that brings you such peace and beauty and harmony when you walk it's trails, that we know we will inspire others to work with us on helping animals in Puerto Rico. A "retreat" so-to-speak. A holy place. A place to save lives. A place to fix the wrongs that have been beset upon these innocent animals.
In January, we will officially launch Pets Alive Puerto Rico and begin in earnest, our mission there. Rescuing animals, educating the public, providing a SAFE haven for animals and offering help to people who need it. No more will dogs be abused, discarded and harmed. We will see to it.
That isn't all. Rob & Marisol have committed to getting other celebrities to help us spread the word. We will pepper the radio stations, billboards, and television commercials with our message "YOU are all they have". We will have class groups come to our sanctuary and experience first hand empathy and kindness toward animals and we will start a Humane Education campaign.
We will offer free spaying and neutering and medical assistance to those that want to keep their animals. Too long the choice for animal loving Puerto Ricans has been to pay money they don't have to keep their pets, or abandon them somewhere because they can not afford to get them help. We will end that practice and we will extend our hand to all the people and animals - and offer them help. If they wish to be kind to their pets, then we will see to it that they have that option. That they finally, for once HAVE options.
Our biggest challenge right now is funding. We were able to purchase the land and property thanks to Mari & Rob, but there is NO money right now to actually BEGIN operation. We desperately need your support. Please make an ongoing donation to help us with this life saving mission. Please consider a monthly sponsorship or a major donation to help us for this first critical year.
Our second biggest hurdle is transportation of the animals to our NY sanctuaries. Currently it costs hundreds of dollars per crate for transport. We need to find a cheaper alternative. If you have ideas and suggestions to help us, let us know, leave comments here under this blog, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org - we are looking forward to hearing from you all, and we hope and pray that you will reach deep to help us in our fledging year. We need your support - because we CAN do this. We WILL do this. We never accept no, we never believe it isn't possible. Look how much we have accomplished in the past three years. If you commit to helping us, we can go as far as we can all dream.
We are asking you to be a sponsor. A monthly sponsor. A donation of as little as $18 a month will go a long way and if you can afford to help us more for just this first year we would be forever grateful. The first year is the critical one, after that we will have fundraising in place, events and will have created a support network. It is this first year where we need your help.
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Help us. Support no kill. Because YOU are all they have.
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