Coastal Humane Society Takes in Puerto Rico “Hurricane Dogs”

The Coastal Humane Society welcomed 22 rescue dogs from hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico late Wednesday night.

The dogs were 22 of 200 flown into Worcester Regional Airport on a specially chartered plane as part of a rescue mission coordinated by the San Juan-based All Sato Rescue, along with the help of Wings of Rescue and Mission Miracle. Seven New England Shelters across Maine, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts took in dozens of dogs each to help in hurricane relief efforts. Even some cats were able to get some room on the plane, and now, they are all seeking homes in the Northeast.

Street dogs or “Satos” from Puerto Rico arrived in Worcester, Massachusetts via private plane on Wednesday night at 9:00 p.m., before making the penultimate leg of the journey by van to Coastal Humane Society in Brunswick. Next and final stop: adoption.

While Puerto Rico normally grapples with high numbers of stray street dogs, or “satos,” the situation has grown dire after Hurricanes Irma and Maria tore through the island. According to a fundraising page created by All Sato Rescue, assistance from other shelters is crucial as the island rebuilds:

“After hurricanes Irma and Maria devastated our island, All Sato Rescue has more than 500 animals in our care in need of transportation to the Northeast to find new homes. As a foster-based rescue, our foster homes are flooded and damaged, yet our volunteers are still providing care to animals in need. With limited food, drinking water and power, it is the most critical time to fly our animals to safety and adoptive homes.”

Coastal Humane Society & Lincoln County Animal Shelter (now one organization) have regularly worked with All Sato Rescue in the past to take in stray dogs as kennel space allows, but the organization is especially glad to have the opportunity to help in the wake of the storms.

“It’s hard to fully comprehend the damage that Puerto Rico has sustained, the scope of the destruction is just so unfathomable,” said Dr. Mandie Wehr, Director of Shelter Operations and Veterinarian for Coastal Humane Society.

“We are happy to be able to help out and will continue to take in additional animals as more flights are organized,” she continued.

Last week, Coastal Humane Society also rescued six cats displaced by Hurricane Irma from the Naples Cat Alliance in Florida, now available for adoption. As in all hurricane rescue efforts between shelters, these animals were in shelters before the storms hit. Transferring them to other facilities allows shelters in affected areas to make room for pets and animals that go missing in hurricanes and other natural disasters.

The satos are currently receiving medical exams and spay/neuter surgeries and will go up for adoption as early as Saturday at the Coastal Humane Society facility on Range Road. More updates on the satos and exact days for adoptions can be found on Coastal Humane Society’s Facebook page.


The Coastal Humane Society is a 501 c 3 nonprofit charitable organization in Brunswick, Maine, founded in 1950, dedicated to the protection and care of stray, abandoned, and abused domesticated animals. In 2016, Coastal Humane welcomed Edgecomb’s Lincoln County Animal Shelter into the organization, and the two shelters care for 3,500+ animals each year in their facilities, serving 40 towns along Maine’s mid-coast across 1,000 square miles. Animals at the shelters are spayed or neutered and given all age-appropriate vaccinations prior to adoption. Learn more at