The Dogs of Puerto Rico

By February 27, 2016 June 15th, 2016 3 Comments

Puerto Rican Dogs Get A Second Chance at
Animal Welfare League


Stray dogs enjoying a rare hand out at “Dead Dog Beach” in Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico is such a beautiful vacation spot with plenty of tourism, but do the tourists witness the serious problem of abandoned animals? It is estimated that thousands (yes, thousands) of stray animals live and die on the streets and the beaches all over this island with a population of over four million people. For years, those who work on animal welfare issues in Puerto Rico have watched the daily atrocities…from abandonment and gross neglect to beatings, shootings, burnings, machete attacks, bridge droppings, poisoning and more…carried out on dogs, cats and even horses.

There is an effort through educational organizations to bring awareness to the citizens of Puerto Rico. There are shelters on the island, but with euthanasia rates topping 90% most people do not take their unwanted animals there.


Rosita, Rosana, Pinta and Beethoven get acquainted with staff and volunteers

Instead, their unwanted dogs, puppies, cats and kittens are dropped off on the streets where there is the illusion of survival. Yet, in reality these precious animals suffer horribly, either from disease, abusive acts or starvation.

There are a handful of organizations trying to curb this serious problem and the Animal Welfare League has chosen to be one of them. Recently, Lydia, a resident of Punta Gorda along with her daughter and mother visited our shelter seeking assistance for eight dogs residing in Puerto Rico. Her ex-husband, Andy, lives on the island and drives the streets of his homeland rescuing these animals, mainly dogs. Not only does he save these animals from the streets, but he also saves money to fund their vetting needs. The AWL agreed to help.


Papo and Cayi give a “Paws Up” for the outside play area


On Saturday, February 20, 2016 eight of Andy’s rescues (all dogs) were flown individually to Miami and transported directly to the AWL. All eight dogs are loving, beautiful animals. Everyone at the AWL is so excited surrounding their long-awaited arrival. There are no words to explain how delighted we all are for possessing the resources to successfully address the needs of these remarkable animals. The Animal Welfare League will continue to strive for the welfare and protection of animals within our county, our state, our country and beyond. The lives of animals MATTER!

Sharon Thomas
Executive Director
Animal Welfare League
3519 Drance St. Port Charlotte, Fl. 33980