The Defensa Open Rescue Program

The Defensa Open Rescue Program is for

  1. Un-owned Dogs/Puppies & Cats/Kittens
  2. Trap, Neuter, Release (TNR) of feral cats

For other situations or animals please read our Rescue & Spay Neuter pages.  You can email us for suggestions on helping owned animals/puppies/kittens as well as reach out to the other local Rescue Groups listed at the *very* bottom of this page.

We understand this is a large amount of information, however there are basically just a few main steps and lots of HELPFUL INFORMATION that follows.  You can skip any step that doesn’t apply to your needs.  The more you need, the more steps there are.  Because every year we HELP hundreds of people help hundreds of street animals with this program we need this organization and process to survive as a 501c3.

We ask for no adoption fees, we love when you work with other groups (some listed below) to compensate for what we can’t do for your rescue and we allow you the rescuer to decide on the best forever home for your street rescue.  That forever home can even be with you the rescuer but you must follow the steps that apply to your needs.   We have no shelter, we do NOT take responsibility for your rescue but if you’d like financial help for Vet services, airfare (taking a cat or dog home to a no-kill shelter in your home area is an option on our general Rescue Page) or/and if you’d like us to market your rescued animal for adoption please read the page in full and carefully.  We have connections with large Rescue Groups and Sanctuaries in the States, we can connect you after you follow ALL these steps carefully.  We tend to find rescued animals homes within ONE to THREE months *IF* you work this system.   We will work to fund cat TNR (trap, neuter, release) and help sick/injured animals if you follow the steps that apply below.

Our work and the situation for the homeless animals in Puerto Rico has been reported on by CNN Senior Writer and Editor Heather Long in “Puerto Rico has become ‘dead dog island”, Horse Nation Standing Ovation and also in the The Documentary 100,000 The Movie.

#1 – for any help, You must “LIKE” us on Facebook/DefensaRincon and post your rescue animal/the situation on our wall.    Posting directions are the following:

  • POST  the situation directly to our Defensa Facebook Page    NoteWe require you “SPREAD THE WORD” about what we do (share our newsletter emails and our facebook posts) and promote our work and fundraising events. Mention and tag us on your animal’s posts.  This is how we have the money and resources to help you.   Facebook/DefensaRincon, @Defensa or  “Defensa Animal de Rincon Puerto Rico” & Twitter #pranimalrescue
  • As long as you are needing help, you need to email us ONCE A WEEK minimally with an update of your animal.  We will drop your animal from the program if we don’t hear from you.
  • Give the animal a NAME.   This helps us track the situation – it is also required for Vet records so stick with whatever name you use in your initial post.
  • Facebook only allows you to post ONE photo but you can add (and please do) more photos as ‘comments’ after you make the initial post – please do not post a gruesome photo on  our Facebook wall as people won’t look (might un-follow us).   If the situation is gruesome get creative with the photo (i.e., put clip art over the worst part).  We do ask farther down the page that you email us gruesome photos if that is appropriate.   We need to know if the situation is gruesome but again, not everyone who follows and supports on Facebook wants to see it.
  • Tell everyone WHAT you are doing for the animal verses WHAT you need help with for the animal
  • Tell us WHERE the animal is HOW to reach the animal HOW to reach you – only if help is needed that requires people finding the animal’s location.  If you are just sharing to follow the process and therefore to help us receive donations a city name is all you need to put.  If you are giving a location consider using landmarks and KM markers – we will help anywhere in PR so people may not be familiar with your location – please keep that in mind.
  • Keep an eye on the post, comment on the post if Defensa reshares, so you can respond quickly to questions.  Share the Defensa post with all your friends and on groups you know about.  Social media can make good things happen
  • Note: it helps us greatly if you can write a review on our Defensa Great Non Profits page if you use our services.  Many people want to donate to help people like you rescue street animals but the only way they can have faith in where their donations go is by hearing what we do.  You don’t have to create an account, you just write your comments – http://greatnonprofits.org/whitelabel/write/defensa-animal-de-rincon

#2 –  Send an email  if you need Vet services- make the Subject of the Email the NAME of the animal 

In your email to defensarincon@gmail.com answer all following questions that apply to your needs. Please give us up to 24hrs to respond to your email – sometimes we respond immediately but we can not guarantee that.   If you have an emergency situation and you can’t wait really reach out on facebook and we have emergency Vet information listed on our Vet page.

  • Animal Name – it must have a name for Vet Office – the name can NOT change on Vet records
  • Animal photos & Story of Rescue .. we need lots of quality photos and if you have an injured/sick animal needing more than vaccinations, fecal and sterilization please send us the gruesome photos as we will use them to create a unique fundraiser for the animal and photos and videos will be needed.  Please include in the story how much money you think it will take to help this animal be 100% healthy.  To STRESS this — if you want our financial help we need lots of quality photos and a clear story on the past rescue and the plan for recovery.   You can send multiple emails over time, but if you stop sending photos and updates we will be unable to continue with financial aid because we need to raise the money to help – to do that we need photos, rescue story and rescue updates.
  • Include in the email the name, email address and phone number of the person taking the animal to the Vet.  
  •  Do NOT put the breed ‘Pitbull’ on any paperwork – see below on our Travel Page for other wiser options.  There are too many breed specific laws against Pitbull – it is something to be avoided – most always.
  • Which Vet would you like to use/what is needed/what are you doing   – if you don’t need a Vet ignore this (we authorize only general health, vaccinations & fecal/deworm 1st – than spay/neuter – if you need something beyond this make sure you explain and you included it in the above required FB post and in this email to Defensa.  Note* –  pick ONE of our Vets AguadaAMC or MayaquezMiradero or IsabelaPetVet (see our Vets page for more information to decide).  Note: Mayaquez Miradero is the only one open Saturdays and late night.  Note*: Cats are ALWAYS spay/neutered at Isabela Pet Vet unless you or a friend want to make a $40 donation. We have a TNR catching trap you can borrow if you ask.   NOTE DECEMBER 2015 – until otherwise noted, all dogs under 60 lbs will also need to go to Isabela Pet Vet to be spay/neutered unless you or a friend want to make a $65 donation.
  • You accept and understand the animal is your responsibility, Yes or No?
  • You accept and understand, Defensa does not take responsibility for animals but helps people help animals via minimal vet services and marketing for adoption.  We do NOT require adoption fees.  We do require you solicit donations and fundraising on your animals behalf, to be paid to Defensa, Yes or No?
  • Note: it helps us greatly if you can write a review on our Defensa Great Non Profits page if you use our services.  Many people want to donate to help people like you rescue street animals but the only way they can have faith in where their donations go is by hearing what we do.  You don’t have to create an account, you just write your comments – http://greatnonprofits.org/whitelabel/write/defensa-animal-de-rincon

#3 –  do ANOTHER email if you need to fly your rescue out of Puerto Rico – make the Subject of the Email the NAME of the animal

Does your rescue need to fly on an Airlines (normally this would be if you want to take your rescue home with you)?  If yes, read and understand the information on our Travel Page NOW.  Than after reading the Travel Page,  in a new email to defensarincon@gmail.com, answer the next  questions – NOTE this is for traveling * street rescued animals only*we do not help with owned animals!

  • Do you want to fly your animal from SJU American or BQN United? those are the only options for discounts, you will pay at time of check in and work with us via email after the flight for reimbursement – we do not have discounts to offer for carry on animals.   You should start asking around for a crate and/or work to raise donations for a crate.  The sooner you get your rescued animal used to being comfortable in a crate the better.
  • What are the CALL LETTERS of the airport you are going to and the dates you want to travel?  The name & phone (ID must match) of the person dropping the animal off *AND* picking the animal up.  Also,  What is the animals, Name, Weight, Size Kennel, BREED (read below referenced Travel page for important breed information) as listed on Vet paperwork and what is the animals weight?  We have limited options when booking flights so if you are not flexible on travel you are best to book the flight yourself, directly with your airline of choice as described on our Travel Page.
  • Note: it helps us greatly if you can write a review on our Defensa Great Non Profits page if you use our services.  Many people want to donate to help people like you rescue street animals but the only way they can have faith in where their donations go is by hearing what we do.  You don’t have to create an account, you just write your comments – http://greatnonprofits.org/whitelabel/write/defensa-animal-de-rincon

#4 –  do ANOTHER email  if you need marketing for adoption help – make the Subject of the Email the NAME of the animal – This step includes the option of asking Stateside Rescue Groups to take your rescue if you’d like

Does the animal need an ADOPT PAGE made?  if no – ignore the following questions but continue reading after questions. If yes answer the follow questions in your email to defensarincon@gmail.com

  1. Animal Sex – if too young to determine just say so
  2. Current Weight & Potential full grown weight – make a guess and confirm with Vet when you go
  3. Breed – Primary & Secondary if mixed breed – make a guess and confirm with Vet when you go
  4. Age – make a guess and confirm with Vet when you go
  5. At least one, but preferably more, great photos of your animal – showing the face and eyes move people.
  6. Would you like the email/contact information for local professional photographers who will take photos for free?   We highly recommend this *IF* you are wanting to adopt your rescuer out as fast as possible.
  7. Story and Bio on your animal – i.e., do they get along with other dogs, cats, children & people.  Include your personal contact information, email and phone number for the public
  8. Exactly where the animal will be kept city, phone & email
  9. Are you interested in sending the animal to a Stateside Rescue Group/Pet Store if Defensa covers the flight costs and you take the animal to the BQN United?  You will need to borrow/find a crate for travel that will remain with the Stateside Rescue Group/Pet Store.  You will be responsible for logistics and execution of check-in/flight – Defensa can reimburse for airfare.    *NOTE* if you are open to your rescue traveling on an airline do not put ‘pit bull’ on Vet paperwork.  Suggest to the Vet they use breed “Lab mix” or “ALANO ESPANOL mix”  – ***read our Travel Page to understand more*** if you are open to Stateside Rescue Group/Pet Store option.
  10. Will you be bringing your rescue to the weekly Sunday Rincon Farmers Market?   This is an excellent venue to meet potential adopters.  We don NOT recommend giving your rescue to anyone at the Market.  But make the contact and interview them as you would any other adoption inquiry.  We are here to help but we believe the rescuer knows best which adopter / situation will work for their rescue.  That is why the rescuer gets the final say on who adopts and we do not ask for adoption fees.  We always welcome donations – we only work off donations PayPal.me/PRAnimalRescue
  11. Send us minimally WEEKLY photos and updates on your animal – if you want your animal to stay up on our Adoption Page.  Reach out to us or others and find a PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHER to take photos!  They will make a huge difference in your rescue getting adopted.   If you are anxious to find your animal a home you can even send us photos, stories and short videos daily.  We will market your animal for adoption as much as you market your animal for adoption!!!
  12. Note: it helps us greatly if you can write a review on our Defensa Great Non Profits page if you use our services.  Many people want to donate to help people like you rescue street animals but the only way they can have faith in where their donations go is by hearing what we do.  You don’t have to create an account, you just write your comments – http://greatnonprofits.org/whitelabel/write/defensa-animal-de-rincon

#5 –  Read the rest of this page – It is helpful and important if you are trying to rescue an animal

Give us up to 24hrs to respond to your emails – sometimes we respond immediately but we can not guarantee that.   If you have an emergency situation and you can’t wait reach out on facebook (use the many groups listed below – post and post asking for the help you need).  You should also continue to read this page if you need more help or want the fastest happiest results for your rescue.  We also have emergency Vet information listed on our Vet page.

General Important Information for you to know – For Open Rescue Defensa may

  • *Spay/Neuter (*sterilization is a MUST unless otherwise directed by the Vet)
  • Spay the Mother of any puppies or kittens born to an owned dog/cat.  We need to stop the cycle, this is required.
  • Vaccinate
  • De worm
  • Create an Adopt Page that will be available on PetFinder, AllPaws & AdoptAPet
  • *IF YOU NEED MORE HELP with Vet care or food or anything …  we are happy to try to help.  *BUT* you must actively post photos and updates to our Facebook/DefensaRincon wall on your animal so we can inspire our followers to help cover those costs*  On your posts say what you need and why you need it.

If your animal needs to find a Forever home, You NEED to do the following

  • Be aware your rescued animal is FREE to a GREAT home, please let us neuter/spay before giving your rescue to anyone.  We welcome and need donations but they are NOT required if you feel the home is an excellent home for your rescued animal.  Make sure you pass all Vet records onto adopters (keep with your rescue Vet records – which Vets and which services have been received). If you need help deciding if the home is a good home we are here to help you – start by asking the interested adopter the questions at the bottom of our Adopt Page.  NOTE: If another rescue group wants to help you place your animal and they want to collect an adoption fee that is fine with Defensa.
  • Answer quickly and honestly any adoption inquiries forwarded to your from Defensa – include Defensa in that communication (or update us if communication is done via phone not email)
  • Post at least once a week to Facebook/DefensaRincon wall
  • Share all Defensa posts about your animal on your wall (with your friends)
  • Market the animal on your own social media and network with your friends face to face
  • If the animal is a “pit bull” he/she might be eligible for the Animal Farm Foundation Service Dog Training Program or eligible to go to New York Bully Crew – Defensa can help raise the money to cover the flight and a crate.   Read our Travel Page to understand traveling your rescue is possible.
  • Make attempts to raise funds for the animals eventual adoption/family (travel fees may be involved).  Google “online fundraising ideas”.  Or ask a local business anywhere in the world to donate a percentage of their sales – promoting helping the animal.  Or old fashion ‘bake sales’ work too.  If you raise money via a fundraising activity Defensa will require at a minimum  reimbursement of money spent by Defensa to help rescue your animal.  Defensa won’t  continue to work with the same Open Rescuer if they use Defensa finances without attempting to help Defensa find donations AND assist in marketing their rescued animal for adoption.
  • Feed and take care of the animal including vet visits when needed – Keep your animal clean, de-tick, de-flea – Again, if you need financial help with this please post to our Facebook Wall and we will work to get donations specifically for your animal.  People want to help but you have to ask.
  • Make the animal available to potential adopters/families Sundays at the Rincon Farmers Market 10am to noon – Normally Defensa has a table at the Rincon Farmers Market.  You can bring your rescue, we have adopt flags you can use at the Market.  We have had several animals adopted by great families who meet them at the Market.  We do not recommend giving your rescue to someone at the Market immediately – but make the connection and stay in touch with them to decide if they are the right home for your rescue.   They don’t have to be local to PR.  Many times tourists will make a connection with a Defensa assisted rescue at the Market and then the animal will fly at a later date to them – see our Travel page for more information on airline travel.
  • Share your animal with these other Rescue Groups – the more groups you work with the better your chances are of finding a great home and faster.