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The SATO Project Unites Dogs Rescued from Puerto Rico at Westchester County Airport

Monday, March 29, 2021 9:00 AM | Michelle Judice (Administrator)

75 Dogs Transported to Westchester as part of Valentine’s Day mission


Top: The SATO Project volunteer holds new arrival from Puerto Rico. Middle: The Levene family of Chappaqua greets new dog Zena.

WEST HARRISON, NY (February 13, 2021) – Million Air Westchester, the luxury FBO at Westchester County Airport, hosted The SATO Project in an emotional day that united rescued dogs and their new families over Valentine’s Day weekend. 

The Sato Project collaborating with Wings of Rescue airlifted 75 dogs to the FBO’s hangar where they were received by loving families. The flight was part of the “Love is in the Air” mission to save more than 500 at-risk shelter pets during the week of Valentine’s Day with support from Tito’s Handmade Vodka and the spirits company’s Vodka for Dog People program.

All of the dogs were rescued from the streets of Puerto Rico, saved from a severe hoarding situation, abandoned, or pulled from overburdened animal shelters impacted by recent earthquakes. The Sato Project has rescued, rehabilitated, and flown more than 5,000 dogs to the Northeast.

“We were very grateful for the opportunity to host The SATO project and provide the space for this loving union between Westchester families and their new pets,’’ said Roger Woolsey, CEO of Million Air. “The work that this organization does is nothing short of miraculous and we were proud to play our small part in this effort.’’

Dozens of volunteers arrived at Million Air on Saturday, Feb. 13 to help unload the animals, complete paperwork and unite them with their new families who eagerly awaited their arrival. 

John and Allison Levene of Chappaqua and their children, Owen, 6, and Shane, 3, were there to pick up Zena, who was rescued as a tiny pup from a plastic bag dumped by the side of the road. Zena, now four months looking healthy and happy, rewarded her new family with plenty of kisses. 

“We lost our dog a while ago, and we are all very happy to have Zena,’’ said John Levene.  

There is a stray dog epidemic in Puerto Rico, where an estimated 500,000 roam the streets and municipal shelters average a 94-96% euthanasia rate. For the past decade, The Sato Project has rescued, rehabilitated, and flown more than 5,000 rescue dogs to the Northeast.

Also contributing to the cause on Saturday was Rita and Vincent Santelia of Silver Lake Pizza who donated lunch for dozens of volunteers. 


Headquartered in Houston, Million Air is an award-winning network of luxury executive FBO terminals spanning four continents. Million Air has been named Best Large FBO Chain for the past nine years delivering genuine care and exceptional service to aircraft owners, pilots and their distinguished guests. Million Air also provides aircraft charter, management, sales, and aircraft maintenance as well as FBO services. To read more about Million Air, visit www.millionair.com.  


The Sato Project is dedicated to rescuing abused and abandoned dogs in Puerto Rico. Founded in 2011, the 501(c)(3) has transformed the lives of more than 5,000 stray dogs—vetting them to the highest standards and finding them homes in the Northeast. The Sato Project is also addressing the underlying causes of overpopulation via spay/neuter initiatives in underserved communities and has serviced more than 7,000 companion animals since 2014. Since Hurricane Maria, the organization has distributed more than 130,000 pounds of food and humanitarian supplies to the island. To learn more or support our work, visit TheSatoProject.org or follow us on InstagramFacebook, and Twitter


Wings of Rescue is a donation-based charity flying large-scale transports of at-risk shelter pets from overcrowded shelters and disaster areas to shelters where there is empty kennel space and where no local shelter pets are displaced by the flights. Founded in 2012, Wings of Rescue utilizes volunteer pilots flying rescue missions in their own planes as well as chartered cargo planes to “Let the Fur Fly”. Since its inception, more than 50,000 pets have flown to safety. To donate, please visit Wings of Rescue and Facebook.

Westchester Aviation Association is a non-profit organization.

P.O. Box 447  |  Purchase, NY 10577-0447

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