Spirit of the Sato banner

It’s been another great Thin Line. After spending time looking over the documentaries on the lineup, Spirit of the Sato caught my attention. I added it to my must-see list, and on a beautiful, sunshine-filled Valentine’s Day I headed out to the Campus Theatre to enjoy some Dentoning at Thin Line.

Spirit of the Sato is about the sickening, high number of homeless dogs in Puerto Rico. An estimated number of about 200,000 dogs are homeless on the island.  The word Sato is slang for the mixed-breed street dogs in Puerto Rico. The synopsis of the film sounds tame enough, but it was definitely a good, hard-to-watch documentary. Spirit of the Sato stuck with me through the night and even haunted my dreams, but it was worth it. I’m so glad I watched this film.

Spirit of the Sato Q&A with Spirit of the Sato producer Ellen La Torre.

I have a real soft spot in my heart for animals. I can’t stand to think about these sweet animals without a roof over their heads, no humans to love or care for them. In fact, just last year, I saw a stray kitten, and despite my husband telling me “no” over the phone, I couldn’t set the little guy back down and leave him to live on the streets. I knew if I left him, he may not live a very long life. So I took him home anyway, and the little guy (Milo) tells me how much he loves me for it every day when I come home by showering me with affection.

Watching Spirit of the Sato, I found myself welling up several times through the movie as we were transported to the streets of Puerto Rico, seeing injured dogs limping, covered in mange, and malnourished. These poor, sweet dogs that were abandoned to fend for themselves. Heart-breaking. You know their fate. Then we were taken to the animal shelters. You’d think it here the situation would be better, but the dogs have a better chance of survival on the street than they do in the animal shelters in Puerto Rico. About 200-250 dogs are taken into animal shelters a day there. Of those, only 6 may live. Approximately 97% of the dogs in the animal shelters will get euthanized. This was hard to hear.

The sponsor for the night was the Denton Animal Shelter Foundation (DASF), leaving me with an upside to this story. While the situation in Puerto Rican animal shelters is tragic, we are so lucky to have such a well-run animal shelter here in Denton. They do a great job at finding “furrever” homes for the animals there. If you’re ever thinking of opening your heart and home to a pet, I really recommend giving them a visit. In the meantime, you can do like I do and stalk the DASF Facebook page and see lots of adorable adoptable animals in your news feed daily.