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One Sunday evening, Mary, the owner of the “Cantina del Sol” restaurant in Puerto Rico, stepped outside to escape the bustling kitchen for a moment. Out of the corner of her eye, she spotted an outline of something leaning against a pile of garbage. Thinking it was probably just part of the garbage, she was surprised when the “something” began to move. But before Mary could step closer to see what it was, it began to cautiously walk towards her.

Mary was shocked to see that there was a small dog coming towards her . . . barely able to take each step, the dog looked gravely ill! Mary immediately noticed there was blood on the dog’s chest, and leaning down to take a closer look, her heart broke when she realized that there was wire embedded in the helpless dog’s chest.

Mary quickly left work and took the small dog home so she could decide what to do. On her way, she named the dog Beautiful to echo the sentiment of the movie “Life is Beautiful” — because the little dog was proving that no matter how terrible the world was around her, she still chose to have faith and trust in the good of humanity.

Seeing how critical the situation was, she knew she needed help if she was going to save Beautiful. Mary called a friend, Linda, who was a local rescuer and asked her to come over. Linda took one look at Beautiful, and knew they both had to fight for the little dog’s life. Thinking quickly, Linda called a vet friend of hers and asked him to come to the house to see Beautiful. He agreed, and arrived shortly with antibiotics and vitamins. He carefully clipped the wire around Beautiful’s chest.

The next two weeks of recovery were difficult. Beautiful struggled, but made steady progress. She was nearly all better, but still suffered from a limp due to serious problems with her knees. It was time to find Beautiful a forever family . . . it was time to call Northeast Animal Shelter.

When Beautiful arrived at the Shelter after her long journey, she was remarkably bright-eyed — wagging her tail and giving the staff kisses — a testament to Mary’s loving care. And miraculously, as if fulfilling Mary’s very wish for Beautiful, the next day a warm-hearted woman named Beatrice walked into our shelter looking to adopt a dog.

Beatrice had never owned a pet but something told her that it was the right time to become a devoted pet owner. Walking through the shelter and looking at all the animals, her attention was drawn to Beautiful. Beatrice decided she would go to lunch and think about it, but as she drove away she knew she couldn’t leave Beautiful, that they were somehow meant to be together.

Beatrice never went to lunch — she drove to the local pet store and picked up all the supplies she would need to make Beautiful’s forever home a comfortable one.

Since Beautiful’s adoption, she has been renamed “Amber.” Beatrice keeps us updated on Amber’s progress and we’re happy to report that, after three knee surgeries, Amber now walks normally and is living a life of unconditional love and joy. Without Beatrice and Northeast Animal Shelter, Amber would never have progressed from a victim to a survivor.

Happy endings like Beautiful’s are what motivate us at Northeast Animal Shelter to rescue dogs from as far away as Puerto Rico. And it is this hope that pushes us to accept all animals . . . and to never give up on them. With your gift, we will continue to find forever homes for all our special dogs and cats.

There are thousands of abandoned, abused and neglected dogs wandering the streets of Puerto Rico — they call them “Sato” in Spanish. Thanks to people like you who support our Sato Rescue Program, dogs like Beautiful are given a second chance at life. Your gift helps bring these homeless dogs to our shelter where we find them loving forever homes.  Please help us continue this program now!

Beautiful is just one of the many Sato dogs who found their way to Northeast Animal Shelter and their forever homes.