Puerto Rico rescue dogs are up for adoption at Manhattan’s Animal Haven

Mixed shepherd siblings Sansa and Gordo arrived in Manhattan on Sunday after being rescued and flown in from Puerto Rico.
Mixed shepherd siblings Sansa and Gordo arrived in Manhattan on Sunday after being rescued and flown in from Puerto Rico. Photo Credit: Charles Eckert

Gordo and Sansa ran back and forth on the window ledge at a lower Manhattan no-kill shelter on Sunday, just a day after arriving from Puerto Rico.

The brother and sister shepherd-mix pups, about 2 months old, were among the more than 50 dogs brought to the area over the weekend.

All of the dogs were either rescued or turned over in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, and many were taken Sunday to the lower Manhattan shelter Animal Haven. They are officially up for adoption on Tuesday, but applications were being accepted in advance.

“When you get a situation where people really want to help . . . here’s an opportunity to adopt but also help [in] a natural disaster,” said Animal Haven executive director Tiffany Lacey. “If anyone’s looking for a dog right now and they want a really great dog, a very sweet dog, you just got to do two wonderful things: You got to adopt a dog and you got to help Puerto Rico.”

The dogs were flown to New Jersey by the Sato Project with the help of the John and Wendy Neu Family Foundation. Sato Project is an animal rescue group based in Brooklyn that works in Puerto Rico.

The dogs are mostly on the younger side, and were taken from Yabucoa in the island’s eastern region. Many were strays, while others were surrendered by their owners, according to The Sato Project’s Facebook page.

The group has evacuated more than 100 dogs off the island since Sept. 30, and has also helped families keep their dogs, flying in animal supplies and necessities.

The rescue missions were carried out thanks to donations from a number of rescue organizations, according to Sato Project president Chrissy Beckles.

Of the 53 dogs rescued, 28 will be available at Animal Haven. Others can be adopted from Tails of Courage in Danbury, Connecticut.

Animal Haven has also taken dogs displaced by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, as well as cats from Turks and Caicos.

“This is just constant,” Beckles said. “It’s going to take a while for this to all sort of clear out a little bit, and luckily groups in our neck of the woods are able to take an onslaught of dogs . . . The community up here is really responsive to adopting them.”

The fee to adopt is $400, which covers the cost of rescue and veterinary services, such as testing, vaccinations, spay/neutering, and microchipping. Each dog rescued costs the Project about $1,000, according to the organization.

Animal Haven shelter, at 200 Centre St. in lower Manhattan, is open from noon to 7 p.m., Tuesday through Sunday.