The galgo is one of the most mistreated breeds of dog in our country. According to a study by Fundacion Affinity about abandonment in 2010, it is calculated that 10.4% of all animals abandoned in Spain are galgos, taking into account that only the data from the larger shelters and pounds were used, not the small shelters and individuals that find and rehabilitate galgos.
According to other organisations similar to Galgos en Familia, the real amount is much more than the 15.000 calculated by the Fundacion Affinity, but is closer to 60.000 galgos abandoned in Spain annually.
The galgo, a breed with great instinct and ability for hunting because of their acute eye sight and their great speed, is used as a weapon in hare hunting, an activity already abolished in many european countries but is still allowed in Spain.
The galgos are used in pairs, although the hunter can take between 15 and 20, and are released when the hare is running and in reach. The losing galgo in each hunt, the one that doesn’t take the same route as the hare and takes a shorter route is discarded by the hunter and he then continues to look for the winning and therefore the best galgo. Sometimes,they are not just abandoned but are also punished, beaten, battered and hurt for not doing what is expected of them, before leaving them on the streets, roads and countryside of our country.
But even though the galgo may have been a good hunter, when they are of no good any more, when they are not the fastest, they are abandoned even at a young age unless they are kept for breeding.
The word cruelty describes also they training, they are tied to motor vehicles and made to run for hours with no breaks. If a galgo trips and falls and hurts itself the vehicle doesn’t stop, it just carries on and drags the fallen galgo along with it, the driver with no concern for the injured.
From all the packs of 20 or so galgos, probably only one or two are worthy to the hunter….what happens to all the rest? Neglect, mistreatment, torture, abandonment and sacrifice, in all manners of cruelty that we could not imagine, destined to live their last few days in dog pounds untill they are put to sleep or left to die from illness, as, the majority would not have been vaccinnated by the hunter owner.
As a response to this alarming situation , a movement was born, formed by associations dedicated to the rehabilitation and rehoming of this beautiful breed of dog, broadcasting and informing of the wonderful character of the galgo and its unequal quality as a domestic pet and raising awareness of their neglect and abandonment.