Greyhounds are loving animals and make great pets, but unfortunately they are regarded as mere money-making machines in the hunting world. In Spain, a breed of Greyhounds called Galgos have been used as hunting companions for many years. For the privilege, they have also been subject to cruelty and torture.
According to SPCA International, hunters will breed 20 or more new puppies each year. The puppies are trained through cruel methods in order to separate the weaker dogs from the group. The Greyhounds are abused and denied shelter and food, often because hunters assume it keeps the dogs hungry for the hunt.
If a Greyhound fails at hare coursing and shames their handler, they are killed, reports A Girl & her Dog on the Road.
“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,” Gemma writes. “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 Playing.'”
As Galgo Amigo reports, about 60,000 dogs are abandoned or tortured to death in Spain every year, especially in the communities of Castile and Leon, Extremadura and Andalusia. 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 receive little human contact, and even less kindness. The abandoned dogs often die of starvation or injuries. Those that survive are brought to municipal stations to be exterminated like pests.
“A few are rescued by shelters where they are rehabilitated after which they have a chance to find a forever home,” Galgo Amigo reports. “Unfortunately many Spaniards consider galgos to be unsuitable as companion animals, so most of the galgos are adopted abroad.”
“The situation of dogs used in hunting is very dramatic and serious. We really need to act very quickly – to educate the state administration, the police, more lawyers and veterinarians to make good reports of cases of animal abuse and protection, and to know the laws that they can link these to,” says Raquel López Teruel, specialist animal rights lawyer. “I have found that in many cases of animal welfare allegation – where people have witnessed maltreatment, then (sic) if these cases do get taken up by a lawyer, that in fact (sic) 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. Or they die from their abuse – from being beaten or hung.”
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. Click below, demand Spain’s Prime Minister strengthen the country’s animal protection laws, and take a stand for these beautiful dogs!
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