Uplifting | Animals | Dogs | Pets

Rescuers Save Over 200 Dogs From Being Put Down In Puerto Rico

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Ricardo Arduengo / AP

The tiny American territory of Puerto Rico has fallen on hard times in the past few years, and even the island's pets have been feeling the pinch.

With very few families choosing to spay and neuter their pets, packs of stray dogs - called "satos" or mutts by the locals - are common throughout the island. AP reports that a beach in the small town of Yabucoa is even called "Dead Dog Beach" because of the many strays who live there.

The island's animal shelters do their best to keep up with the crisis, but they often suffer from overcrowding and are forced to euthanize some of the animals. In the town of Caba Rojo, the only animal sanctuary was a condemned building with no running water or power.

Kimberly Alboum, who works for America's Humane Society, says "the shelters in Puerto Rico have no choice," and are forced to put animals down for their own well-being. Now, the economic crisis is making the situation even worse.

Families are being forced to leave Puerto Rico to find work elsewhere and are leaving their pets behind, adding to the huge number of strays. “I would never condone someone abandoning an animal, but I understand,” says activist Christina Beckles.

But this week hundreds of these dogs were saved overnight, and some might be in a shelter near you right now.

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