Hurricane Sam (updated 24 Sep 2021 @ 8am)
📍 Hurricane Sam is expected to strengthen to a "major" hurricane (Category 3) on Friday night or Saturday. The current forecast projection has the storm passing to the northeast of Puerto Rico. We will be keeping an eye on this system over coming days to monitor its development.
🌊 Expect storm surge from the hurricane to affect our beaches, especially on the north and east sides of the island, during the first half of the coming week.
🌦️ Keep an eye on our weather page for updates from the National Hurricane Center
Temporary Mandates from 02 Sep to 14 Oct 2021 (updated 20 Sep 2021)
😷 Masks covering mouth & nose are required for everyone, regardess of vaccination status, in public, indoor spaces, and in outdoor spaces where 50 or more people are gathered.
🛒 Restaurants, bars, and stores must remain closed from 12 midnight to 5am. This limitation does not apply to supermarkets, pharmacies, gas stations, food take out and delivery, or healthcare.
🍺 Alcohol cannot be sold anywhere, nor consumed in public, from 12 midnight to 5am.
🚩 Effective 02 Sep to 14 Oct 2021 per executive order EO-2021-065. Note that this executive order was extended until 14 Oct on 20 Sep.
Current COVID-19 Mandates, with no end date (updated 30 Aug 2021)
😷 Masks covering mouth & nose are required for everyone, regardess of vaccination status, in public, indoor spaces.
🏨 In order to check-in to any lodging facility (short-term rentals, AirBNB, hotels, resorts, etc), all members of your party are required to show either (a) vaccination card showing that you are "fully vaccinated", (b) negative test results of test administered no more than 72 hours prior to your arrival, or (c) evidence of positive test in last 3 months along with documentation proving your recovery. This applies to all people 2 (two) years old and older. If you are unvaccinated and staying more than a week, you are required to show new negative test results weekly. Effective 16 Aug 2021 per executive order EO-2021-062.
🍔 In order to be admitted to a bunch of different places (restaurants, bars, theaters, tours, excursions, casinos, etc) you are required to show either (a) vaccination card showing that you are "fully vaccinated", (b) negative test results of test administered no more than 72 hours prior to your arrival, or (c) evidence of positive test in last 3 months along with documentation proving your recovery. Other types of businesses may, at their option, require this documention to access their facility.This applies to all people 12 (twelve) years old and older. Effective 23 Aug 2021 per executive order EO-2021-063.
✈️ All domestic travelers arriving in Puerto Rico are are required to show either (a) vaccination card showing that you are "fully vaccinated", (b) negative test results of test administered no more than 72 hours prior to your arrival, or (c) evidence of positive test in last 3 months along with documentation proving your recovery. This applies to all people 2 (two) years old and older.If you are un-vaccinated and do not have negative results when you arrive to PR, you have 48 hours to produce those results. Otherwise you will be fined $300 per person. See the PR Government Travel Safe site for details, and to submit your contact tracing information

Carry-on a Sato (Stray Dog) on Your Next Flight to the States

Anyone who visits Puerto Rico can’t help but notice that we have a stray animal problem. These strays, which are usually mixed breeds, are locally called satos (that’s local slang for "street dogs") or gatos (for cats). These scared, lonely, hungry, and sometimes injured animals are everywhere around the island.

The stray problem is due to lack of education and affordable spay/neuter programs, along with inadequate animal control and animal shelters. The huge exodus after Hurricane Maria in September 2017 also left many pets without a home. Oftentimes, these animals are left to fend for themselves along streets and at beaches, where they multiply rapidly. Many get hit by cars, or die of hunger. It is a heart-breaking situation.

But officials in Puerto Rico are finally seeing the light — there are now stronger laws against animal abuse, and new animal control units and shelters are being set up. Education about animal population control and a number of free sterilization programs happened recently and are in the works for the future. Hopefully these measures will help.

Sato Escort

The Animals Need Your Help Now!

But the animals need help now. Currently, there are a number of non-profit organizations on the island that help the animals. I made a list of some of them below. Each one is wonderful. They rescue dogs and cats from beaches, streets, or anywhere across the island of Puerto Rico. They give the animals immediate food, veterinary care, shelter, and lots of love. With the help of volunteers, these animals are rehabilitated, sometimes at the facility, sometimes in foster homes. When they are healthy and ready, they are sent to partner shelters in the continental US, where they get adopted into loving homes.

It is a great system, but it has one major obstacle — transporting the animals up to the States. Many new Federal laws, State laws, and airline rules have made getting the animals up to the States more difficult and more expensive than in the past. Especially when being shipped as cargo (versus carry-on). Additionally, in the summertime, when temperatures are HOT, we have very limited windows of opportunity during which we can ship animals as cargo (due to the heat). We do have the option of one airline that has AC in the cargo hold on their planes, but those flights are really expensive (compared to other airlines).

For puppies, smaller dogs, and (sometimes) cats that can fit under the seat in a pet carrier, sending the animal with someone who is flying is inexpensive and easy.

Do you think that, maybe, you can help out and be that someone?

Sato Escort

How Can I Be An Escort?

These organizations have made the process of being an animal escort very easy. There is no additional cost to you as the escort, and it requires very little time or effort on your part. If you find an organization that needs a dog transported when you are flying, you will need to call the airline and add the animal to your ticket (since it will be traveling with you). The airline will charge extra for that, but the rescue group will reimburse you for that cost.

The organizations are responsible for the animals — making sure they have all the necessary shots and paperwork, getting them to the airport, making sure they get through the various inspections, and then someone up in the States will pick them up when the flight lands.

The only thing you, as an escort, have to do is meet the representative of the rescue organization at the airport, and take the animal (already in the carry-on). Then you go on your way as usual, going through security, and carry the animal on the plane. Place the carry-on under your seat, and then meet the other rescue representative at the arrival airport. You will be given contact info, and all the arrangements will be made ahead of time.

Sato Escort

What Airlines? What Cities?

Each rescue group has their own specific system and destinations. I think they can use any airline, and primarily need people travelling on flights out of the San Juan airport (SJU) that are going mainly to east coast cities, such as Boston, New York, and Newark. They might be able to coordinate with flights departing from the Aguadilla airport (BQN) on the west coast. Non-stop flights work best, but they may be able to work something out with any travel plan. Please contact the rescue organizations and see if you can help.

Sato Escort

OK. So What Do I Need To Do?

You need to contact some of the rescue organizations here on the island and let them know your itinerary as soon as you have finalized your travel plans. You’re best off contacting them at least a few weeks prior to your travel dates. The rescue organizations typically have animals “ready to go”, but they do need a few weeks lead time to coordinate with the receiving shelter, getting final vet paperwork, and arranging for volunteers to transport the animal to/from the airport.

The rescue group will contact their shelter partners in the States to see if they can accept animals on the day you’re traveling. Many times, they might not know if one of the partner shelters can accept animals until about one week before the flight date. So be patient after your initial contact — they are working busily to match you with animals in need!

If your itinerary matches an animal’s travel needs, someone will contact you to confirm.

Sato Escort

I’m Gonna Do This! Who Do I Contact?

Contact a few of the groups on this list with your travel plans (date, airline, airport) and email address.

I am not sure if the following rescue groups need travelers, but if you want, you can try contacting them:

These are just a few of the great groups doing work to help these animals. But they need your help! So even if you can’t escort an animal and want to help, any of these organizations would love a donation!

Sato Escort

PuertoRicoDayTrips.com assumes no responsibility regarding your safety when participating in the activities described in this article. Please use common sense! If your mother or that little voice in your head tells you that you are about to do something stupid … then don't do it! Read more about Safety →

Comments & Discussion Leave a Comment »

There are 4 comments on this article. Add to the Discussion »

If you are traveling from PR back to the US mainland, please join Puerto Rico Travelers Flight Angels FB page to easily be matched with rescuers and earn your wings by saving a life! https://www.facebook.com/groups/461568731649773/?ref=share

Comment by Jenn John on 28 Aug 2021

you need to take them to the vet to get their vaccines and talk with your airline about getting them home.

Comment by Gwenn on 20 Jun 2021

I found 4 puppies im from. Chicago I want to adopted them

Comment by Marisol Torres on 19 Jun 2021

Fwiw I saw a friend's facebook post and contacted http://www.alrcares.com/ about transporting a dog on my upcoming flight to Boston. They've taken care of the paperwork and I'm excited to meet the puppy I'll be bringing to its forever home. I noticed they're not on your list here and thought they might be worth adding.

Comment by Gillian Morris on 13 Sep 2019

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