Stray dogs in Puerto Rico have long been an issue. Since Hurricane Maria devastated the island six months ago, the urgency to rescue them is even greater. Our New Yorker of the Week is doing her part in finding them new homes. NY1's Pat Kiernan explains.
The daily grind of working on Wall Street left Tania Isenstein feeling burnt out.
"I couldn't keep doing what I was doing. It just got harder and harder to get up in the morning," she recalled.
After seventeen years, Isenstein took a risk. She quit her job as a lawyer and opened Camp Canine.
It's a doggy daycare on the Upper West Side.
"From the outside, it seemed like kind of a crazy decision," Isenstein said.
But to Isenstein, it all made sense and it became the perfect opportunity for her to work with the non-profit "Animal Lighthouse Rescue."
It's an organization that rescues homeless dogs from Puerto Rico.
"There is just something about dogs that just gets to the center of my heart immediately," Isenstein said.
"Satos" are street dogs from Puerto Rico. More than 200,000 strays roam the island's streets.
Many are abused or abandoned.
Animal Lighthouse Rescue recently flew in 40 of these dogs.
Isenstein keeps them at Camp Canine as they wait for foster homes and volunteer groomers and vets donate their time getting them ready for adoption.
"I may not be able to solve the whole problem of homeless dogs in Puerto Rico but for the few dogs we can save, we can really make a difference," said Leanna Beck, an Animal Lighthouse Rescue volunteer.
Thanks to Isenstein's efforts with the rescue, hundreds of dogs have gone off to their forever homes in the last five years, leaving her with zero regrets for walking away from Wall Street.
"I'm very lucky that I did find my passion, it took 20 years but I'm happy that I have it now and now I get what it is and I can do it and that's tremendous," Isenstein said.
So, for transforming these dogs' tragic lives into happy tails, Tania Isenstein is our New Yorker of the Week.