Found An Animal? Injured, Abused, Dumped or Neglected Animal?
If you care about animals, you need to lead on helping your ‘animal-in-need’ by reading this page in full, proven-successful-solutions are on this page!
Unfortunately the overpopulation, lack of no-kill shelters and under sterilization of animals in Puerto Rico is a HUGE problem. Please be aware animals do have legal rights in Puerto Rico – familiarize yourself with Law 154 Animal Protection and Welfare because you can act immediately and directly to help any mammal in need in Puerto Rico. For articles and information about our group’s work please visit our About Us.
PLEASE DON’T LEAVE a sick, injured, neglected or reproducing animal on the streets. It is just adding to the problem. It is cruel to the animal. Animals reproduce, get sick and suffer on the streets.
Is the Animal a Dog or Cat ?
#1 You Can Take The Animal Out of Puerto Rico – As your pet, a friend’s pet or to a rescue group/shelter
Flying animals from Puerto Rico to the USA is easy and not that expensive when you consider it is likely saving that animals life. We have a Travel Page to help. Once in your home area, you (or a friend) can keep the animal as your pet or take the animal to a NO KILL SHELTER or foster the animal while Defensa helps you market the animal for adoption in your home area.
#2 – If flying the animal home with you is not possible
If you are the owner of an animal in Rincon Puerto Rico or you rescued an animal in Rincon Puerto Rico you can use ARF of Rincon for help 201-966-1965.
If you are the owner of dog anywhere in Puerto Rico or you rescued a dog from anywhere in Puerto Rico you can use Barks of Hope for help (939) 697-8161
If you have rescued an un-owned animal anywhere in Puerto Rico you can use the Defensa Open Rescue Program for help
For all other dog/cat situations check out our list of Rescue Groups in Puerto Rico for help and continuing reading this page. And remember how important vaccinations and fecal are – keep litters & young animals away from the outside and other animals (until fully vaccinated/vetted) or they will continue to get worms/sick and cost everyone more money & time than is actually required! They can also die.
#3 – You Can Help With Emergency Animal Care
If there is an emergency situation visit our Vets Page
#4 – You Can Assist With Endangered, Mistreated or Dead Animals
911 does work in Puerto Rico. However, going into your local State Police station is always the best form of action. You can start with 911 if you have to, ask for the local STATE POLICE office near you, they can 3-way call and explain the situation if you don’t speak Spanish. We have found if you are polite and persistent, you will find a law official willing to respond but going into the State Police is often necessary. They should always give you a case/querella number you can follow up using. Reference Law 154 Animal Protection and Welfare when speaking with your local State Police.
# 5 – Lost or Found Dog or Cat
You can use our Facebook/DefensaRincon page to post the animal asking if anyone knows the animal. Also make the post to any local Facebook group to the area where you found the animal. Check out our list of groups and pages to help!
You can put up flyers around the area – post office, feed stores, markets, police stations, etc.
Animals are dumped often, even wearing collars, so consider all the steps on this page to rescue the animal.
#6 – As a LAST RESORT …. You Can Take The Animal To a Kill Shelter
We hate even putting this down as an option. But if you can not do one of the above options, PLEASE DON’T LEAVE a sick, injured, neglected or reproducing animal on the streets. It is just adding to the problem. It is cruel to the animal. Animals reproduce, get sick and suffer on the streets. Please don’t turn your back on any animal in need you see in Puerto Rico. Around Rincon, Villa Michelle in Mayaquez (787-834-4510) is a shelter that most always will take in an animal. But Villa Michelle is NOT A No Kill Shelter. Directions to Villa Michelle can be found on our Vets Page
Is the Animal a Horse?
If the animal is a horse that needs water – please take it water in a bucket. If you would like to learn to interact with horses to help when you see one on a rope please consider attending our Free Horse Class.
If the horse is laying completely flat/prone don’t panic. Horses do lay this way (normally when they feel very safe). As long as they get up eventually, all is good (don’t panic if you see a prone horse, just check back).
If the horse looks to be ‘starving’, injured, in ‘imminent danger’, ‘needs rescuing’ or just loose and could end up in the streets **- WE MUST FIND THE OWNER **AND/OR GET** the local STATE POLICE DEPARTMENT (in Rincon 787-823-2020 located in the downtown here) involved ASAP – the STATE police can create a ‘querella’/complaint allowing us to take action, without the STATE police querella/complaint Defensa can NOT legally do anything. If you can’t find the local area’s State police or you have trouble with Spanish you can start with 911. When speaking with the STATE police ask for the ‘querlla’/complaint number when on the phone, have them write down your name in their log, you write down the name of the offices and officer you spoke with. After you have the ‘querlla’/complaint/case number and the name of the officer and office you spoke with, email all that information (1. case# 2. office name 3. office phone#) as well as the exact location & photos of the horse with explanation of the nature of the danger to email@example.com. Please note in that email if you also posted to our Facebook/DefensaRincon page. Once we have that email we can proceed with helping the horse.
If you find the owner you can ask to purchase the horse and then release the horse to Defensa ($100 or $200 might be all it costs to save the horse) – we do have land to put rescued horses. Use our Horse Release Medical form or our Horse Release Ownership form (both are bilingual – you can download, print and have them sign). If you decide to look for the owner without the police, consider taking a photo of the horse to surrounding ‘feed’ / ‘agricultural’ stores, to see if anyone knows anything.
While you are looking for the owner and/or filing a police report you can post to our Facebook/DefensaRincon wall. Include a photo and description of the EXACT location and your concerns as well as what steps you have already taken. This way we can rally help.
NOTE: Situations that require putting a horse down, i.e, broken leg, hit by a car – “Pursuant to Law 154, in an emergency situation where the transportation of an animal becomes impossible, the person in charge or finds the animal in such a state shall call the nearest Police station so that he or she (police) calls the veterinarian. In case the veterinarian cannot make it to the scene, the vet may instruct the police to give the animal a compassionate death through a shot of grace (tiro de gracia). This shot can only be discharged by a Police and only after consulting with the vet.”
Other Groups & Individuals who help Horses in Puerto Rico
- Horse and Pony Inc. on Facebook in Caguas area
- Lisa 939-339-0136 in Isabella area
- Mayaquez Recogido de Caballos Realengos 787-833-7272 or 787-833-5085
- Audry 787-313-5653
- Horse Rescue Caribbean on Facebook in Rio Grande area
- For the Love of Horses on Facebook Rincon area FB Group
- Fundacion Puertorriqueña Amigos del Caballo 787-237-2727 or 787-594-0890
Is the Animal a Rooster or Pig or Bird or Turtle or Fish or Monkey?
To find any of the above a home you can post to the Defensa Facebook page – bilingual with one great photo and specific details on exactly what you need (please don’t forget exact location and contact information). Following are some groups that help with specific types of animals.
Beachfront or Ocean issues contact the DRNA (Departamento de Recursos Naturales y Ambientales) at for San Juan 787-999-2200 or 787-882-1605 for Aguadilla area
Report Marine Life 1-877-942-5343
Sea Turtles / Ocean Turtles facebook message Tortugas Marinas
Fish or Wildlife contact Fish and Wildlife
Monkey report to Natural Resources: (787) 882-5752, 882-4283 & 882-5893