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Happy Beginnings for Strays in Puerto Rico

By Twig Mowatt, guest blogger Valiente, a 28-pound Chihuahua/border collie mix, was found tied to a trash can on a busy street in San Juan. His owner had dumped the dog there after he failed as a watch dog. (Valiente is a bit of a softy, who almost never barks.) It’s the sort of sad scene that happens every day in Puerto Rico, where companion animal abandonment, neglect, and abuse is widespread and largely tolerated. Estimates place the number of stray dogs (called “Satos” in Puerto Rican slang) at above 150,000. Injured, diseased, and emaciated dogs can be found roaming most streets, beaches, mountainsides, and commercial centers. In fact, some areas, such as Dead Dog Beach, have become notorious dumping grounds for unwanted pups. […]