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Thank you so much for supporting our mission and for your interest in adopting a Punta Santiago Dog. Our dogs are very special and our adoption process reflects our desire to make sure each and every one of our dogs goes to his or her forever home - forever.
Our adoption process consists of four major components:

1. A fully completed adoption application that will be reviewed by our adoptions team. If your application is approved, we will request that you send copies of your current dogs vaccination/neuter history to move forward.

2. An in-person home visit and/or brief video interview with one of a member of our adoptions team

3. A meet and greet with the dog of interest if applicable

4. A completed adoption contract and a tax-deductible adoption donation ($500)


Fernanda, adopted 2019

  • What is a sato? Is that a breed?
    The term "sato" is not a breed, but is a Puerto Rican slang word for a mixed-breed street dog. Most of our dogs are mixed with chihuahua and terrier breed groups, but their appearances can be all over the board. We can only estimate our dog's predominant breed(s) based on their appearance. If a puppy was rescued with its mama, we can provide information on mama's appearance and size. Please consider the likelihood that your sato is mixed with *many* breeds before spending money on a doggie DNA test, as the accuracy of these tests declines as the number of breeds contributing to a dog's mix increases [1]. And remember - mixed breed dogs are on average healthier and live longer than purebred dogs [2].
  • Can I meet the dog before adopting?
    Yes! All of our adopters have the opportunity to meet our dogs before finalizing adoption. If our dogs are already in a foster home here on the mainland, a meet and greet can be arranged after an application has been submitted and an interview has been completed. However, most of our dogs (especially puppies) are adopted through our *pre-adoption program* prior to arriving on the mainland. Pre-adoptions include a $100 nonrefundable deposit on a dog prior to their arrival. You then have the opportunity to meet the day of or shortly after his/her arrival before finalizing the adoption.
  • Will my dog come fully vetted?
    Puerto Rico has a tropical climate and a high incidence of many canine-specific illnesses such as heartworm, ehrlichia, anaplasmosis, mange, and intestinal parasites. While seeing these terms on your dog's medical record may be concerning, remember that these illnesses are common in rescue dogs and especially in dogs rescued from tropical regions with minimal fresh water and many insects. Rest assured that each and every single one of our dogs undergoes a strict vetting protocol to determine that they are healthy and ready for adoption. Adult dogs generally receive two DHLPP shots, a rabies vaccine, and bordatella; puppies will receive at least 2 of their 3 DHLPP boosters. All of our dogs receive multiple fecal tests and dewormings, and dogs over the age of 6 months receive a 4DX test. Puppies and adult dogs are started immediately on heartworm and flea/tick prevention.
  • How do you know the age of my dog?
    Our veterinary team in Puerto Rico does their best to estimate the age of our dogs based on their presentation, overall health, dental eruption patterns, etc. However, unlike purchasing a dog from a breeder, it is impossible to know the true age of each of our dogs. Aging puppies is generally easier. For adult dogs that have been living on the street, they often appear biologically older than their chronological age due to the hardships and neglect they have experienced. For this reason, we typically give an approximate age range for our adult dogs.
  • Has my dog received any training?
    Our dogs stay in multiple different temporary homes on the island - they can stay with one of our fosters, at a local boarding facility, or even at the veterinarians office. Given the overpopulation problem across the island and the dedication of our ground and veterinary team to rescue efforts, our dogs are typically one of *many* dogs in the care of one our team members. While they generally learn things like basic commands, our dogs typically do not have the opportunity to be formally house-broken or leash-trained while in PR. Please keep in mind that the enormous change our dogs experience traveling from the island to your home can result in things like potty accidents, regardless of their typical behaviors in PR.
adoption FAQ

Mango, adopted 2019

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