Rebuild St. Assis Sanctuary


Please help us rebuild the St Assis Sanctuary!

St. Assis animal sanctuary is located in Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico. The sanctuary currently houses mostly senior dogs although their doors are open for all animals in need.

Even prior to Hurricane Maria, St. Assis was in dire need of help - operating out of an abandoned building without electricity or running water. The one thing this sanctuary does have though is lots of love. The humans who run this place care for these animals as if they were their own.

A few months back we reached out to St. Assis with the goal of helping them improve their shelter. We were in touch with the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and were made aware of a new project HSUS was implementing in Puerto Rico known as the "Sister Shelter Program."

The Sister Shelter Program would pair local shelters on the island of Puerto Rico with established shelters in the continental U.S. in a mentorship program that would greatly benefit our island's small, local shelters. In order to be considered for this program, Puerto Rico shelters must meet certain HSUS standards and although run by loving hearts, St. Assis did not meet these standards. Our goal was to help them get their sanctuary up to a level that HSUS would accept them into their Sister Shelter Program.

Then Hurricane Maria hit the island of Puerto Rico. With 155 mph winds it was the eighth strongest storm in Atlantic history.

The day the storm was scheduled to touch down, Dellymar, who runs St. Assis, drove to the facility with a mattress strapped to her car and dragged it up the flight of stairs to the second story where all the animals had been moved to avoid flooding. She spent the night with them weathering the storm. Water levels rose, submerging the entire lower level of now-empty kennels. It was a terrifying experience for human and animals alike.

Organizations in the US have since evacuated more than 100+ dogs and cats from St. Assis. The remainder are mostly seniors and dogs deemed "unadoptable."

We want to help rebuild St. Assis. To make it better than it was before the storm and raise it to a level acceptable by HSUS Sister Shelter standards:

- Sandblast the floors and seal them so that viruses and bacteria don't spread.
- Add windows that close and block out rain where now big open frames and spaces exist.
- Build a secure storage shed to house medication for the animals.
- Trees need to be removed, electric lines fixed.
- We want to build outdoor runs so the dogs and cats living here can spend time outdoors in the sunshine rather than cooped up in kennels all day.
- We'd like to paint and brighten up the walls to make the shelter a welcoming place so people will want to visit, volunteer and adopt.

We're a small organization and this may seem like a big feat, but we know that with your support, and the support of our rescue partners and volunteers on the ground in Puerto Rico, we can make this happen.

Thank you, friends!

photos by our friend Aidan Oneill

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The Puerto Rico Dog Fund 
Cabo Rojo, PR
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