Feb 5th
    The Galgos hunting dog. A long tradition in rural Spain

    The Galgos hunting dog. A long tradition in rural Spain

    The Greyhound hunting dogs of Spain don’t have it so easy….

    In rural spain the local hunters don’t use guns they use dogs. These ‘galgos’ are a type of greyhound: beautiful, sleek, loyal, fast. Unfortunately, in traditional Spain with its sometimes macho culture they are often mistreated, considered tools rather than pets. When the season is over those that are considered weak or too expensive to keep are discarded, sometimes in brutal ways: thrown down wells, left in plastic bags, hung from trees, injected with bleach or if lucky, just abandoned by motorways. The particular horror is the ‘type writer’ where dogs are hung by the necks so that their hind feet can just reach the ground. Their scrabbling keeps them alive a little longer and creates a ‘typing’ sound on the ground.  c

    The end of many loyal hunting dogs is not so pretty.

    The end of many loyal hunting dogs is not so pretty.

    Campaigners estimate that between 10,000 – 50,000 dogs are killed by the owners in Spain every year.

    Even before they are abandoned their lives can be miserable. As one new article says:

    Galgos used for hunting are usually starved for 5 days prior to a hunt to keep them “keen”. Very often they live in hovels with little shelter and spend 90% of their lives on a short chain. It is not uncommon for hunting dogs in Spain to be kept in a “vallado” (fenced holding pen) in the middle of nowhere being visited only two or three times a week to be fed left overs and given water.

    My first reaction to this was….in Spain? REALLY?

    Perhaps that was naive but I was truly shocked it was so close to our doorstep. Africa maybe, but an EU country? Then again they have Bull fighting.

    So …I’m off to visit an inspirational couple who, like Avis in India, have started to help these dogs with minimal investment other than their open hearts. I’ll report back soon.

    These are the questions I’m packing along with my boxer shorts:

     – How widespread is this?

     – Why I have I not heard more about it?

     – What are the Spanish government doing about it?

     – How can I make a difference?

    If you or anyone you know has any experience of Galgos that you want to share please be in touch. I’m kind of nervous about what I’m going to find.







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    1. I didn’t expect to see that image. I feel sick, angry, tearful, so so angry. And I’m glad you’re doing something about it, whatever it is. What sort of mind can do that? I just don’t understand. What does it mean to be human if you abuse your power? Not a lot.

    2. Good luck, and Rachael, lately I seen some images far more gut wrenching and brutal that the one above.

    3. The people who do this to those dogs aren’t humans, they’re MONSTERS!!! Heart-wrenching image! How interesting that I read this post when, earlier today, I signed several online petitions against this very thing. Keep up the good work, Martin. 🙂

    4. its so wide spread in spain, my brother lives in rural spain and when i visit i find it really difficult to see the locals dogs, chained up day after day in all weather, underfed and usually suffering from leishmans. these dogs are unbelievably good natured. I think you will be shocked at the attitude to animals in spain.

    5. Hi,
      Go see Galgos del Sol – Tina – in Murcia I believe .. she has a good size rescue and looks like soon to double because the family is moving and retaining the property they are moving from. My facebook page is dedicated to being a dog advocate – mostly greyhounds, whippets, italian greyhounds initially. Then I found out about the dogs in Spain OMG. So now I do all I can to share and create awareness of the galgos and podencos.

    6. thank you Judith. We need all the help we can get

    7. I happened upon all this by accident, and am appalled by it all. I’m filled with admiration at anyone helping to rescue these animals, but I’d much rather see the cause of the suffering stopped.
      We still have abandoned lurchers in the UK when the hare coursers have finished with them, but at least they don’t seem to have such vile methods of disposing of the animals. Its a different mentality and it needs stopping at the pre-puppy stage.
      Maybe hang a few of the men next to the hanging trees?

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