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Protect Spanish Greyhounds From Being Treated Like Trash

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Sponsor: The Animal Rescue Site

These dogs are abandoned, abused and killed after they no longer want to hunt. Take a stand for Spanish Greyhounds!

Greyhounds are loving animals and make great pets, but unfortunately they are regarded as mere money-making machines in the hunting world. The Spanish greyhound is an ancient breed of dog that is widely used as a hunting companion during Spain's hunting season.

Hunters will breed 20 or more new puppies each year in order to cruelly train them, weed out the underperforming, and ultimately keep only one or two deemed the best1. During training, the Greyhounds are consistently abused by the hunters and are left with the most minimal amount of shelter and food. They are often starved and deprived of water because hunters consider it wise to keep them hungry for the hunt.

Every year, approximately 60,000 dogs are abandoned or tortured to death in Spain, especially in the communities of Castile and Leon, Extremadura and Andalusia2.

If a greyhound fails at hunting rabbits and shames their handler, they are killed. Many of the dogs are hung, and typically given a quick death if they had performed well in the past. Others are put though a much more disturbing practice. Galgueros will hang these dogs low enough so their feet just barely touch the ground as they are hanged by the neck. The frantic struggle that follows serves as macabre entertainment to the laughing hunters. They call it, "Piano Playing3."

If you walk along the streets of certain Spanish towns at the end of the hunting season, you will see skinny and starving dogs hoping to find scraps of food outside restaurants or lying on the sidewalk while people simply walk by unaffected.

During their short lifetimes these dogs are treated solely as property and do not receive human contact. The abandoned dogs often die of starvation or injuries, and if they are caught they are mostly brought to municipal killing stations. A few are rescued by shelters where they are rehabilitated after which they have a chance to find a forever home. Unfortunately many Spaniards consider these Greyhounds to be unsuitable as companion animals2.

"I have found that in many cases of animal welfare allegation — where people have witnessed maltreatment, if these cases do get taken up by a lawyer, that in fact they end up in files stored away and the case is closed, and the animals continue to suffer until they die of hunger, of their wounds or their disease," says Raquel López Teruel, specialist animal rights lawyer4.

Every other country in the E.U. has banned the sport of hare coursing because of the torture and brutality the tradition inflicts on Greyhounds. Help us demand the same from Spain.

Sign the petition below, demand Spain's Prime Minister strengthen the country's animal protection laws, and take a stand for these beautiful dogs!

More on this issue:

  1. SPCA International, Inc. (2021), "Learn More About Spanish Greyhounds."
  2. Galgo Amigo, "The plight of the Spanish Galgos."
  3. Gemma, A Girl & Her Dog on the Road (1 December 2018), "The Tragic Plight Of Galgos & Spanish Hunting Dogs: Is There Hope On The Horizon?"
  4. Paul Louis Archer, EL PAÍS (9 May 2016), "The Plight Of Spanish Hunting Dogs."
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The Petition:

To the Prime Minister of Spain:

I urge you to introduce tighter legislation banning the torture of animals.

Spanish Greyhounds are being used for hunting during the Spanish hunting season, but when the season ends, these dogs are discarded like trash. Whether they're set free to fend for themselves, thrown down wells, or hung from trees, there is no reprieve in the life of a Spanish Greyhound.

These gentle animals crave human attention; they are calm and friendly and make great family pets. There is no reason they can't be adopted into good families following the hunting season.

I urge you to strengthen your animal protection laws as this unspeakable inhumanity must stop now.


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