Adopt An Animal

Your donations make our rescues possible –

Our dogs and cats are “Free to the Right Home” & can normally fly to you unaccompanied.   But before we adopt out an animal you will need to be approved by the individual rescuer/foster of the animal you are interested in.    Please scroll down, past our animals, to the very bottom of this page, for more detailed information on our adoption process and what questions you need to answer to adopt one of our street rescued animals.

Our animals are normally rescued off the streets of Puerto Rico, after being dumped by an owner.   Therefore sometimes horses are lame and can never be ridden,  dogs may test positive for heartworms and cats may have FIV or FeLV.   We do not want you to overlook an animal just because they have issues.     Please know horses offer much more than the ability to carry us around on their backs and dogs that test positive for heartworms or cats with FIV or FeLV may live a normal unaffected life.  Please ask if tests have been run on your dog or cat of choice.  Please do not assume all tests are run on all cats and dogs.

  • Some information on FIV/FeLV test for cats from petmd“the incidence of feline leukemia is on the decline in many parts of the US. It’s also because these killer diseases have become less virulent…and their effects more treatable. Moreover, the prevalence of “false positives,” particularly in feline leukemia testing, has given some shelter docs confidence that as many as 50% of cats that test positive on test #1 will test negative on test #2.” – end quote.
  • Some information on HW+ dogs, depending on the severity, if you keep them on the preventative monthly heart-guard/ivermectin treatment that most all dogs should be on anyway, the worms will die slowly and over time.  Or if rescuer/adopter/foster is willing to care for the dog while doing aggressive treatment with one of our Vets, Defensa will fundraise to fund that treatment also.    For more information you can Google ‘heartworms in dogs’ or speak with a few Vets to get various opinions.   Here is a WebMD resource.  And thoughts from website … “Because of the expense of melarsomine treatment as well as the risks involved , some owners and humane groups decide to simply place heartworm-positive dogs that are not showing symptoms on ivermectin and doxycycline antibiotic. The hope was that this will weaken and shrivel the heartworms and improve the dog’s general condition, while we waits for the heartworms to die naturally.” **Pre-Treatment / AKA “Slow Kill” or “Soft Kill” – doxycycline daily for 30 days and ivermectin every 15 days for six months.  A study published in 2010, 11 heartworm-infected dogs were given doxycycline daily for 30 days and ivermectin every 15 days for six months, with the following result:”One hundred percent of dogs became negative for circulating microfilariae by day 90, while 8/11 (72.7%) of dogs became antigen-negative by day 300. Of the 7 dogs that were positive for visualization of parasites at echocardiography, 6 (85.7%) became negative by day 300. Treatment was well-tolerated by all dogs. These results suggest that a combination of doxycycline and ivermectin is adulticide in dogs with D. immitis. Using this therapy, the gradual death of adult heartworms dramatically reduces the risk of pulmonary thrombosis — blood clots in the lungs that pose a serious adverse effect associated with other adulticides. This is the protocol I have used in my practice with 100 percent success.”  Dr. Becker
  • Some information on horses – Column by: Viont Strad Vga When we talk about horses, many people think that they are large animals and that they are herbivores. Even these can bite and kick. Honestly they are absolutely right. They are large, herbivorous animals that can kick and bite. However, they are more complicated than that. When we decide to have a horse as a pet, we have to be clear in several points. (1) nutrition, (2) care and management, (3) veterinary needs, (4) blacksmith and (5) time and dedication. Nutrition A horse is not an animal that we can simply place in a fence to eat green grass. Of course, part of their nutrition is forage. But we have to be aware of providing water daily in the morning and in the afternoon. Evaluate the forage that exists in the place where we will place it to consume grass. In addition, we must have the fence divided to rotate the animal and rest the forage. If we have the animal in a cage, we should know that we have to combine the food with hay and water daily in the morning and in the afternoon. Knowing this we must also consider that an equine is not made to consume grain, therefore, we can not give it excess. An equine must consume 10 pounds of dry food daily. 5 pounds in the morning and 5 pounds in the afternoon. Care and Management Caring for a horse is one of the biggest responsibilities we can choose. Since these are prone to diseases such as laminitis, colic and tetanus. We can not leave the cage wet, nor projectiles in which the animal can be cut and have open wounds. For no reason leave anything that is plastic, ropes, or objects that are not in their nutrition. An equine should be brushed, bathed, fumigated, exercised and above all give a lot of dedication. When we choose an equine as our companion we have to know his personality to know how to handle it. Know how to restrict it, how to use a jaquimon and line. If you do not have this knowledge you can start learning horsemanship from scratch to gain knowledge before you have an equine. Needs of veterinarians and Blacksmith Like all animals, the equine also needs veterinary care such as Vaccination, Dental and a medical review at least every 6 months. In addition, we have to be aware of the service of a fitting professional. Since the horseshoes are the shoes of the horse and it brings many benefits to have a good ironwork. Time and dedication The most important thing is that when we make the decision we are aware of the time consumed by the animal and the dedication it needs. A horse is much more than a large animal that we can ride on its back. The horse needs our time and dedication daily. I hope the information will help you understand a little more about what an equine composes. When you are going to adopt or get an equine, remember that it is an animal that consumes time and money.

Questions for Adoptive Families / Things for Rescuer to Consider Before Adopting Out Their Rescue

  • Note to all parties – Defensa helps with Vet services, Travel costs and Marketing for Adoption but Defensa never takes responsibility for dogs or cats beyond Vet services and marketing for adoption.   The dog and cat adoption process is between rescuer/foster and adopter – not Defensa.  Should you encounter any problems reaching the rescuer/foster please let us know at – we are here to help..  Defensa does not require adoption fees.  Donations are always welcome & always needed.   A rescuer may certainly ask for money to compensate their costs in rescuing an animal and/or if they feel money gives the adoption more value.  Defensa does ask for adoption fees for horses on a case-by-case basis.  Because horses have more financial worth we do not want someone adopting a high valued horse just because it is ‘FREE’.

For horse adoptions you will need to fill out our Horse Adoption Questionnaire and than agree to our Horse Adoption Contract via email to us

For dog and cat adoptions following are some good questions to help both parties decide if it is a good match.

  • What is the exact location the animal will live at – City, State, Zip – and type of home (apt? owned home? rented home? etc)
  • Does the animal need to fly unaccompanied to you?   If yes, How much can you contribute towards the flight, costs range between $120 and $350 normally and on United Airlines.   For details on traveling please read in full our page
  • Do you understand you can not RETURN dogs or cats to Defensa?
  • Are you committed to finding this dog or cat another quality (non-shelter) home should for whatever reason he/she not be the animal for you?       Note: Our adoption marketing software allows us to simply change a zip code and have your animal marketed for adoption in your local area.
  • Can a home visit be scheduled for rescuer/foster/volunteer to see the home their animal will be going to?  Even if outside Rincon there is potential for a volunteer to do a home visit.
  • Who will be the primary caretaker and ‘owner’ of the animal (responsible for food, water, shelter, vet care, etc.)?  Are there any traits in an animal this person can not handle?
  • Has that primary caretaker ever cared for an animal before? details please
  • What other people will be living with the animal?   What will happen if they do not like the animal?
  • What animals have you owned previously? the more detail the better – type, length of life, cause of death, etc.
  • On average dogs and cats may live up to  15+ years – have you thought about that and are you committed to caring for the animal throughout it’s life?
  • What sort of environment will the animal be in daily (e.g. house w/ fenced yard, apartment, chained, crated – the more detail the better)?
  • Will the animal be kept inside only, outside only (if so on a chain or in a patio, fence, no fence, etc) or both?
  • How will the animal get daily exercise and attention from humans?   Does everyone in the household work?  If so, what days and hours?
  • Do you have a Vet you use for your current or previous animals?   If so, can we get your permission to speak with your Vet and get a reference from them?
  • Do you currently own animals, type & personality with other other animals, specifically how will you socialize your current animals with your new animal?
  • What would you do with the animal if you lost your job or home?