The powerful, heartbreaking, yet hopeful, story of Steve McGarva’s heroic crusade to save the satos, or stray dogs of Puerto Rico, and an impassioned appeal to help all animals in need.
Looking for inspiration and adventure in their lives, Steve McGarva and his wife Pam moved to Puerto Rico. While kite surfing at Playa Lucia, Steve made a shocking discovery—a sick and abandoned dog—that would transform his life. With its shimmering white sand, palm trees, and dazzling azure water, the beach looked postcard perfect. But its beauty hid a dark side: To the locals, this slice of paradise was known as Dead Dog Beach—a notorious dumping ground for the island’s unwanted canines.
Considered a threat to the area’s lucrative tourism industry, these defenseless animals were in constant danger of brutality and death. Enraged, and refusing to accept such cruelty, McGarva began protecting these helpless animals—actions that would jeopardize his marriage, challenge his sanity, and make him a target of locals determined to stop him.
The Rescue at Dead Dog Beach is the story of Steve’s fearless dedication to hundreds of dogs, and his efforts to expose their systemic abuse. Exposing the true costs of the tourist industry, it is also a call to arms for animal lovers, offering insights and practical information to help strays anywhere in the world.
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Dignity and care for every dog
When Stephen McGarva and his wife moved to Puerto Rico, they hoped to find inspiration and adventure, and a break from the ordinary routine that their lives in the States had become. McGarva, an artist and adventure sportsman, was excited to pursue the boundary-pushing, adrenaline-rush activities he loved—hang gliding, scuba diving, kite surfing. One day he visited Playa Lucia, a postcard-perfect beach with shimmering white sand, palm trees, and dazzling blue water. There, instead of relaxation and fun, he found a sick and abandoned dog. This dog, and the quest to save him, transformed McGarva and gave him a new purpose in Puerto Rico. He soon learned that this slice of paradise was known to locals as Dead Dog Beach—a notorious dumping ground for the island's unwanted canines, and Stephen McGarva knew he had to act.
In The Rescue at Dead Dog Beach, Stephen McGarva shares the story of his time in Puerto Rico working to help the satos, or unwanted dogs, of the island. Often considered a threat to the area's lucrative tourism industry, these defenseless animals were in constant danger of brutality and death. Enraged, and refusing to accept such cruelty, McGarva began pro-tecting these helpless animals in any way he could, soon discovering that there were many people working to do the same—but just as many, if not more, determined to stop him. In the process, McGarva's friendships, marriage, personal safety, and even sanity were in jeopardy.
McGarva spent but two years on Dead Dog Beach, and in the process saved hundreds of dogs. A call to arms for animal lovers everywhere, and full of insights and practical information to help strays anywhere in the world, The Rescue at Dead Dog Beach is as powerful as it is heartbreaking.About the Author:
Stephen McGarva is the founder of the Achates Legacy Foundation, a nonprofit orga-nization that works to end the abuse of strays and build animal-friendly communities in Mexico and Puerto Rico. Stephen first came to prominence as the Dog-Rescuer for his work saving hundreds of dogs in Puerto Rico. He lives in Boston, Massachusetts, with his wife and daughters, and is currently pursuing a teaching degree from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts University.
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