If you are disturbed by reading about pain, torture, sadism, suffering, killing, maiming and mindless cruelty, you will not want to read any more of this post, so I suggest you stop here.
What do the words “Man’s best friend” bring to mind? That’s right – a dog. An animal that may have its funny little ways and bad habits, but which, no matter what, is loyal to its owner. Even if that owner starves it, kicks it, beats it, chains it up, the dog will still be loyal to them.
The so-called Spanish greyhound, the Galgo, is a slender, elegant creature with a gentle nature, used by the Spanish hunters known as galguerros to chase and catch prey. Amongst civilised people, gun dogs are prized by their owners, who are proud of their dog’s abilities and share a strong bond with them. You could imagine that a galguerro is proud of his dog, which is not only his faithful servant, but also a beautiful creature in its own right.
However, if you do imagine that, then you are very, very wrong. Because once the annual hunting season in Spain ends, the Galgo becomes surplus to the requirements of the galguerro who has no more need of his dogs. He cannot be bothered with them any more. He’ll get new ones next year. Still, his sport is not yet finished, because now he can have fun of a different kind.
Shall he throw his dogs down a well? Dump them in the middle of nowhere and leave them to starve? Pour diesel over them and set them on fire? Tie them to the back of his car and drag them to death? Or shall he hang them from a tree, with their feet just barely touching the ground, and take bets on how long it will be before they die? Or how about cutting off or breaking their legs, maybe a few other bones too, and abandoning them knowing they cannot follow him, or indeed go anywhere at all?
Do you think this is an exaggeration, sensationalism, a few isolated incidents? Then think again, because this is the fate of TENS OF THOUSANDS of these dogs EVERY YEAR. Would you like to see what they look like once their owners have finished with them? Before clicking the link, be very, very sure that you really want to. You have been warned: Galgo photos.
What are the Spanish doing about this? Well, from the point of view of the authorities, apparently very little. They do have laws designed to protect animals, but they seem either incapable or too disinterested to put them into practice. It is left to groups of volunteers to offer what comfort they can to the dogs lucky enough to survive. Refuges are overwhelmed with the physical and financial burden of caring animals in need of shelter, food and veterinary attention.
Just to recap: the Galgos are delicate, slender and gentle dogs. Not like a mastiff, or a Rottweiler. Not strong enough to defend itself against a human. Helpless in the hands of sadists who entertain themselves by torturing. People who enjoy inflicting pain on creatures who cannot fight back are called bullies, and bullies are also known as cowards. So we can say that galguerro = bully = coward. Without balls, or, in their own language, sin cojones. And a government that is too apathetic to take any firm action is equally guilty. Standing by and doing nothing = condoning.
I wonder if, in the tiny space in the Neanderthal skull of the galguerro where a normal person has a brain, there is any understanding of the word “karma”? Probably not. Never mind. It will get them eventually, but why not give it a little helping hand? Do you believe in the power of the mind? Yes? Then let’s join together to send a curse to the galguerros of Spain: that they might suffer the pain and misery they so much enjoy serving. That they might end their lives screaming for death to take them, through every generation, until the breed is extinct.
Oh, I forgot to mention something else. This is Joy:
Joy is a Podenco, another breed of Spanish hunting dog who shares the miserable fate of the Galgos. Notice anything a bit odd about Joy? Yes, he’s got a funny nose, hasn’t he? That’s because another barbaric galguerro habit is to carve their dog’s nose to make it resemble a pig’s snout. Joy is in foster care at the moment, and desperately seeking a permanent home. Other dogs have been lucky enough to find new owners, but poor Joy is still sitting on the shelf with his nose, hoping that somebody will care enough to take him.
If you think none of this is of much importance in the greater scheme of things, then that is your privilege. If you feel you would like to lend some support to the Galgos, and that the Spanish government should get off their indifferent backsides and start doing something about the shameful behaviour of their primitive subjects, there is a letter to the Spanish Prime Minister which can be downloaded from the bottom of this page, in .pdf format. It only requires a click, print, signature and popping in an envelope. If you think it’s worthwhile, please tell your friends too. The more letters Senor Zapatero receives, the more he is likely to realise how people feel on the subject, and maybe he’ll respond by taking action.
Thank you very much for reading. Download the letter here: Prime-minister-spain-letter.pdf