Puppies From Destroyed Puerto Rican Shelter are on the UWS, And You Should Probably Adopt One

By Lisa Kava

Dogs flown to the mainland United States from a destroyed animal shelter in Puerto Rico are now on the Upper West Side, and looking for new homes.

Tania Isenstein, the owner of Camp Canine, a doggy daycare, grooming and boarding facility on West 73rd street, is working with the organization Animal Lighthouse Rescue to get the dogs adopted. Camp Canine also helped take care of dogs from Houston after Hurricane Harvey.

Over Columbus Day weekend, Animal Lighthouse Rescue brought over 200 rescue dogs from the no-kill shelter El Faro de los Animales on three different flights. Over 30 of these dogs went to Camp Canine, including 17 puppies and 14 adult dogs. Eleven puppies and two adult dogs are being fostered at Camp Canine’s facility, the other dogs are staying with foster families under the supervision of Camp Canine.


Thirteen of the rescue dogs arrived at Camp Canine over this past holiday weekend. The puppies were being showered with attention by Paige Felger, an employee and a client who was volunteering to help socialize the pups. All of the rescues are being examined by City Vet and another vet, Dr. Lisa Lippman, who comes to the facility when needed. The puppies are in good shape and will soon be available for adoption, according to Isenstein. They are about 3 or 4 months old.

Abraham, or “Abie”.

El Faro de los Animales, the shelter in Puerto Rico where the dogs came from “has been completely destroyed” says Isenstein. “Most of the roof is gone and it is uninhabitable. There is a tremendous amount to clean up.” Camp Canine is holding fundraisers this month to help rebuild El Faro de los Animales. Next week they will run a class called Fitness Unleashed, a workout in Central Park for humans and their dogs together. The workout, which will take place on October 17th at 6:30 PM will include running up and down the stairs at the Bethesda Fountain and jumping over hurdles. “We did a trial run about 6 weeks ago and it was fun. We are going full on now. All the tourists at Bethesda Fountain were taking photos. One guy was doing puppy curls with his pitbull.” Tania recalled. All of the proceeds for this event will go towards rebuilding the shelter.

Camp Canine is looking to have each of the dogs adopted. Photos of the dogs will be posted on both Camp Canine’s website and the Animal Lighthouse Rescue’s website. “We have 3 adoption counselors and they really do screen. They do home visits, interviews and reference checks. We go through a lot of trouble and effort to bring our dogs here and to get them treated and in good shape and want to make sure they go to great homes” stated Tania.

For anyone interested in the Fitness Unleashed event you can sign up for the event by going to www.trainersintransit.com

Animal Lighthouse has also been raising money to feed the puppies and keep them healthy.

Some young Upper West Siders have already been raising money for the effort.

For anyone interested in adopting a dog, you can go to www.alrcares.com

Golda and Abie photos via Tania Isenstein. Other photos by Lisa Kava.

NEWS | 12 comments | permalink
    1. Nancy says:

      I’ll be over to drop off leashes and send food and $ as I did with the Harvey dogs. You are an amazing organization. I love you for all you do. A local dog lover, nancyd ps I spread the word about your efforts to every dog owner I chat with. I hope some have followed up with their good intentions. Thank you.

    2. BJK says:

      “Dogs flown to the United States from . . . Puerto Rico?” Puerto Rico is IN the United States.

      • Dale says:

        Seriously? THAT’s What you took away from this article? Sad, very sad. I’ll be there to help walk the dogs as I did with the Houston dogs. You can continue to brush up on your geography lessons

        • EricaC says:

          Dale, it’s an important point that so many seem not to know these days – and it doesn’t detract from the article to point it out. Why does it trouble you so?

      • West Sider says:

        Good point, we’ve updated the article. WSR

      • RLS says:

        Puerto Rico is an island bordered by the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea. Anyone born there is a United States citizen, but cannot vote for President if they continue to reside in Puerto Rico. If they move to one of our 50 states, they can vote for President, US Senators, Congress people, etc. The official title is the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. When I lived there in the 1970’s the animal shelters, actually I only remember one in Cupey Alto, were horrible and there were packs of dogs that wandered the streets of San Juan. Also groups of cats. I used to give money to an elderly lady who used it to buy cat food for the cats – no she was not a scam artist – she told me that everyone called her “the crazy cat lady” so she would continue to feed them and I would not be know as the “young, crazy cat lady.”

      • B.B. says:

        “Dogs flown to the *mainland* United States from a destroyed animal shelter in Puerto Rico….”

        There fixed it for you!

        Speed reading isn’t really a benefit if you are going to gloss over key facts.

        Oh and furthermore in case you were not aware, Puerto Rico is *NOT* a state, but an incorporated territory of the United States.

    3. GG says:

      Sorry but Puerto Rico is not in the United States….and you know who would be the first ones to tell you that?? The Boriquas here and on the Island.

      They have their own cultural identity, language, history and they are very proud of it. Yes they can travel freely in the USA and have certain privileges that other Caribbean and Latin American countries do not. That is because P.R. is technically a U.S. territory that is unincorporated. That means no rights like voting etc. But also they don’t have to pass the citizenship test or learn how to speak English and stuff like that.

      Anyway, it is a very unique and complicated relationship and we are going to be seeing tons of Puerto Ricans joining us in NY and FL because of this storm. So while they are rebuilding down there I say welcome to our new neighbors!! Bienvenido hermanos!

    4. Elizabeth Shackelford says:

      I went to the wish list on Amazon. Unless I am missing something there is no address as to where could be sent. Even if I have a delivered to my house I would not know where to take it. Please advise I’m a dedicated dog lover

    5. Dresden Pit bull victim says:

      “Please don’t bring in any Pit bull types or their mixes,” said the Pit bull victim.

    6. manuela hoelterhoff says:

      great piece. great people. what about cats?

    7. Wendy says:

      Do those Dogs respond to : both English & Spanish language; or, ?? How many Dogs already in N.Y.C. in shelters. Many folk , whom I’ve observed in upper Manhattan, N.Y.C. — do NOT walk, heel, curb a Dog — correctly. I’m waiting to hear @ some Puerto Rican humans whom I know, know of ; after that ‘cane. Hope that NOBODY eats Dogs in U.S.A.. “It’s a dog’s life”. Can any of those ex-Puerto Rican Dogs receive training to bNOecome : support, therapy Dogs ? Food Bank in N.Y.C. give out pet food ?????