01 April 2011

Save Galgos, Save Spain!

58.34 min 10,011 steps 9.61km

I've stumbled upon this report in the Daily Telegraph (warning: distressing images) and simply couldn't believe it's happening. People killing their dogs at the end of the hunting season, buying again when the next season comes and killing again at the end of hunting. I used to hunt with dogs when I was younger and in my experience people form a close bond with their dogs. I can't imagine how anyone can just discard a living creature like that. Something must be missing in them, something that makes them less human. 

Years ago I was editing the international letters column in a national newspaper in Russia. The Spanish were planning a demonstration bullfight in Moscow, but suddenly we started receiving hundreds of letters from all over the world protesting against the event. I published a digest of letters, in fact not once but several times. In the end the bullfight demonstration was cancelled.

I don't know who to write to in Spain to make an impact, if you do, let me know. If you want more information contact  www.galgonews.com.

Here are a few excerpts from the Telegraph article:

While you are swimming and sunbathing on the Spanish Costas, be aware of the dark side of life, lurking behind the restaurants and bars. It's not all sunshine and sangria in Spain. 
If you've been to these places before, you'll have noticed the starving dogs lurking fearfully around restaurants, hoping to be thrown a bread crust; you'll have dodged the dog dirt on pavements or driven past dogs lying injured and ignored by the side of the road.
 It's especially bad at this time of year, now the Spanish hunting season has finished, and the galgueros – Spanish hunters – abandon their galgos – hunting greyhounds – in their tens of thousands. The hunters discard their dogs like a cigarette butt. They will buy new ones in September to hunt next season. It's a problem Spanish refuges and rescue associations have been coping with for decades, and one the national and regional governments refuse to address.
Tina Solera is a young Englishwoman who is trying to do something about it. She and her Spanish husband, Jaime opened a refuge – Galgos del Sol – specifically for galgos. 
"The abandoned dog problem in Spain is heartbreaking, hard to describe without getting upset," she says. "We take them from motorways, snare traps and dog pounds – known here as killing stations – most have injuries and are terrified. Every day I see stray dogs. A good day is when I only see one.

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