Episode 6: Dead Dog Beach

Yabucoa is a small town located in the southeastern part of the island of Puerto Rico.  Yabucoa was known to be a place on the island where unwanted dogs were discarded.  As such, a fairly remote beach with beautiful white sand and towering palm trees became known as “Dead Dog Beach”.  For years this beach was populated with unwanted dogs, many of them mothers with litters of puppies.  Rescuers and others visited the beach daily to check on the dogs, feed them and give them water.  In September, 2017, Hurricane Maria, a powerful category 4 storm, struck Puerto Rico. As a result, dead dog beach was changed forever.

Our podcast episodes are designed to be heard and not read. As such, we do not provide transcripts for our episodes. However, we enjoy sharing “extra content” to supplement the stories we follow and the intriguing dogs and people they are about.

Dead Dog Beach - Puerto Rico

All over the island you will find abandoned dogs that are looking for food and water.  Many of them injured, resources for dogs on the island are limited.  Despite the destruction caused by Hurricane Maria, there are remarkable people working to create a better life for the dogs of Puerto Rico.

satos in parking lot abandoned dogs puerto rico
Satos that were hungry and injured in the parking lot where we stopped to get coffee and breakfast.
dog at sanctuary in puerto rico
A friendly little sato at the santuario
santuario in puerto rico for dogs
Santuario Lazaro in Caguas
Satos at Santuario Lazaro

People Working to Save the Dogs of Puerto Rico

After Hurricane Maria, the people of Puerto Rico faced some enormous challenges.  Despite the limited resources available, these people still made sure that rescuing and caring for the dogs on the island was a priority.

dog rescuer in puerto rico
Vivian Nito
Anaele Rubio
evelyn hernandez santuario lazaro
Evelyn Hernandez

About Pancho

Pancho, the Sato from Guaynabo

Pancho, a mixed breed stray, was found on the streets near a church in Guaynabo.  Guaynabo is a city in the northern part of the island.  Luckily, Pancho came into the care of Frances Barnes.  Frances, a relentless rescuer, took Pancho in and began to care for him during the time that we were in Puerto Rico doing this story.  During our time there, we had an opportunity to hang out with Pancho and found him to have quite a nice disposition for a dog with such a grim outlook only a few days earlier.  While speaking with Frances, we found out that Pancho needed a home, so….we decided to help out and bring him to the US!

frances barnes and pancho the sato
Frances Barnes and Pancho

Support the Satos of Puerto Rico

dead dog beach sato

If you want to help support the satos of Puerto Rico and the groups that help them, be sure to follow the links to their pages below.

A Special Thanks to Frances Barnes, Vivian Nito, Jorge Mercado, Anaele Rubio, Enid Castillo and Evelyn Hernandez for sharing their stories.

We also want to thank our episode sponsors.  Be sure to visit them to learn more and show them your support.  Without their continued support our podcast wouldn’t be possible

Royal Canin




Highland Canine Training, LLC



Episode 1: One Man’s Trash…

If you look up transformation in a dictionary, one definition you will find is “a metamorphosis during the life cycle of an animal”.  We all go through changes in life, but specifically, what we are talking about is metamorphosis.  A drastic and complete “change of the form or nature of a thing or person into a completely different one.”

Our podcast episodes are designed to be heard and not read.  As such, we do not provide transcripts for or episodes.  However, we enjoy sharing “extra content” to supplement the stories we follow and the intriguing dogs and people they are about.

Act One - Hugo the Service Dog

Hugo is a German Shepherd that was trained as a Service Dog to assist his boy, Tyler.  Hugo was surrendered by a family who had a newborn baby and found themselves with little time for the antics of a rambunctious puppy.  He was soon trained as a service dog to help Tyler mitigate his autism in addition to alerting him to the smell of dangerous gases. Tyler and Hugo spend lots of time together in school, at work and running within the community.  Hugo participates in Cross Country as well as High School marching band.  Tyler and Hugo have made remarkable strides together since being paired a few years ago.  These two have lots ahead of them, including a special goal.

Visit Hugo on Facebook

Act Two - Star the Police Dog

Star’s life started off by being chained to a tree.  The Belgian Malinois mix was rescued by a local group and later trained as a police dog to locate drugs and people.  After her training, three law enforcement agencies turned her down after seeing her picture.  She was paired with Ryan Millbern and spent her career at the police department in Vail Colorado and the two had considerable success during their time there.  Vail needed a very special type of police dog and Star fit the bill.  For Ryan, it was a dream job that changed his career path considerably.  For Star, it was a brand new life.

Learn More about Ryan and Star

Act Three - Sully the Dock Diving Dog

Sully, a 23 pound Cockapoo, had a rocky start with his first family.  He was growling, snapping and biting, in addition to jumping on furniture and the kitchen counters.  His family sought the help of a professional dog trainer, Kress Walters, who ultimately adopted him.  Kress has helped Sully go on to do some pretty amazing things, particularly for a dog his size. Sully is a four-time World Competitor in Dock Diving and he also climbs trees, rides horses, does parkour and bed bug detection.

Visit Superfly Sully on Facebook

Follow @superflysully on Instagram