Gloria Marti, president of Save a Sato in Puerto Rico, won this year’s “National Unsung Hero” award from the Petco Foundation and Victoria Stilwell Positively, receiving a $50,000 grant award to support her work to help pets in Puerto Rico.
Marti and her team at Save a Sato in San Juan have served the community for more than 25 years. But after recent hurricanes and earthquakes devastated Puerto Rico, Marti’s commitment to save pets left behind meant she was often working non-stop with limited resources to care for the many pets in need, the Foundation said.
Marti was named one of five “Unsung Heroes” this year by the Petco Foundation for her “extraordinary lifesaving efforts and granted $10,000 to support her work.”
Her story featured in the third ‘Unsung Hero’ series produced by Victoria Stilwell of Positively, which premiered in May along with four other episodes highlighting heroes from across the country, was shared by the Petco Foundation to give animal lovers the chance to vote for their favorite hero.
Marti’s story was selected as this year’s “National Unsung Hero,” garnering Save a Sato an additional $50,000 grant award from the Petco Foundation and more than 2,000 pounds of pet food to help the animals in Puerto Rico.
“We’re so happy to celebrate Gloria as a ‘National Unsung Hero,’ a true hero in her community, for dedicating her life to helping animals,” said Susanne Kogut, president of the Petco Foundation. “Honoring her and sharing her story more broadly is our way of saying, ‘thank you’ and perhaps her story will inspire others to be heroes for animals, too.”
Marti plans to use the funds to finish transforming a school building that she acquired to enable her organization to care for more animals.
The grant investment will also provide support to help the animals in Save a Sato’s care to find homes.
“Unsung Heroes honors people who are doing extraordinary work to save animal lives,” said Victoria Stilwell. “We traveled to Puerto Rico and documented Gloria’s inspiring story that demonstrates the difference that one person can make in creating a better world for pets.”
“National Unsung Hero” voting took place May 1-15 and recognized five individuals from across the country for their extraordinary, lifesaving efforts on behalf of animals.