S2 E1: Chrissy Beckles: Golden Gloves Boxer in the fight of her life: Saving the dogs of Puerto Rico
Chrissy Beckles is the founder of the Sato Project, an organization that has been fighting to save the dogs of Puerto Rico for close to a decade. They truly couldn't have a better leader than they do in Chrissy. Not only is she one of the toughest, most resilient human beings I've ever met, but she's also got real skills in the ring. She's a Golden Gloves champion boxer, and she uses every one of her skills in the fight to save these dogs.
There are 250,000 stray dogs living on Puerto Rico, and many of them are starving, emaciated, diseased, sick, wounded, and abused. The conditions for these animals are dire across the island and were made much worse in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria.
Chrissy originally went to Puerto Rico in 2008, because her husband - a stuntman, was working on a movie there. She went down for a weeklong vacation from her busy life in NYC. At the time, she had a big corporate job and spent her remaining hours training in the ring. So, a little getaway sounded like a good idea.
Before she arrived, her husband had warned her that some of the dogs near where they were staying were in pretty bad shape. She was expecting to see a bunch of sad skinny strays roaming around, but it was far worse than she ever could have imagined. In fact, what she saw changed her life forever. There were hundreds of dogs in beyond deplorable conditions. As soon as she arrived and saw the state that these dogs were living in, she knew that she had to do something.
She spent that vacation running around the island helping as many dogs as she could. When she got back on the plane to go home, she said to herself, "You know what? I need to do more." Which became kind of her mantra for the next 13 years. Currently, she lives in Puerto Rico full time and has saved and is still saving thousands upon thousands of unwanted dogs.
Hurricane Maria almost knocked them out. It undid much of the progress that The Sato Project had made in the years previous. But, just like in the ring, Chrissy got up and went back in. Almost every minute of her days is spent saving these dogs and giving as many of them as possible a life of freedom, safety, and love.
The Sato Project (and 26 other organizations) are also involved in an enormous effort to spay and neuter 100,000 dogs on the island, which will make a huge impact on the stray problem that has overtaken the island.