Burned with cigarettes and acid, dumped to die in tunnels, hung on trees, left with broken bones to starve to death or released on busy highways, Greyhounds bred for hare coursing in Spain are horrifically abused.
The images below have captured the abuse. One of them shows a rope buried so deeply in one dog’s neck that it had to be surgically removed. Dozens of other greyhounds were seen suffering from gaping, open wounds.
The sickening photos were taken by vets and volunteers and were collected by charity Greyhounds in Need (GIN) to show the scale of the abuse. Since it was formed in 1998, the group has helped rescue and treat about 6,000 – 7,000 greyhounds.
Many of the dogs have been placed with families in the U.K. and across Europe and all were treated by vets in Spain at shelters supported by GIN.
A new video, secretly filmed in the Spanish countryside and recently obtained by GIN, shows locally-bred hunting greyhounds, called galgos in Spain, being tied up to the back of a pick-up on and made to keep up with it, as part of their training for blood-sport competition held during the hare coursing season. (Scroll down for the video.)
1. Shocking pictures taken by vets and volunteers are held in the files of charity Greyhounds in Need (GIN), which is helping to save the lives of the injured and abandoned hounds.
2. ‘They are awful pictures,’ said Martin Humphery of GIN. ‘It is very disturbing but sadly typical of the kind of things that is going on. There is supreme neglect and cruelty on a large scale.’
3. This injured canine is pictured being cared for by GIN. Many of the rescued greyhounds have been found homes with families in Britain and across Europe.
When GIN showed the footage of five greyhounds “dragged” behind the truck at the Royal Society of Medicine in London, it provoked outrage. Martin Humphery, of GIN, said:
They are awful pictures. It is very clear that they are suffering greatly. We hope that it will finally help open eyes to the kind of abuse that is going on. It is very disturbing but sadly typical of the kind of things that is going on with these poor galgos.
There is supreme neglect and cruelty on a large scale. We have had cases of dogs being tied to rocks and left to starve to death, others with cigarette burns and some just thrown over fences and abandoned with broken legs.
Not all of the abused greyhounds are abandoned to die. Some of them are left outside shelters, because they are no longer of use, while others are merely dumped over the shelter’s fence — several dogs broke bones in this way.
4. The charity has helped save and treat between 6,000 and 7,000 greyhounds since 1998.
5. When the hunting season is over, the Spanish hunters often discard their greyhounds like ‘cigarette butts’, rescue workers say, buying new ones for the next season.
6. Some of greyhounds are tied to rocks and left to starve to death, others are burned with cigarettes and some are thrown over fences and abandoned with broken legs.
7. Some greyhounds have been found and treated with the help of GIN but many, they say, have died fending for themselves.
Other greyhounds are rescued from dog pounds, known locally as “killing stations”. One dog was hanged from a tree while many were caught in snare traps and found with badly damaged legs. Mr. Humphery said:
We hear some dreadful stories of how the galgos are treated. The standard of care is very low, the hunting season takes place in very hot ghastly conditions and once that is over there is often little need for the galgos. We are not just talking neglect but cruelty. Some have been tied up to rocks and left to starve to death.
We are thankful for the goodwill of some very dedicated Spanish people, who are often derided by the local community they live among because of their attitudes and work in trying to help the galgos. Yes, Spain is in Europe but these are often very macho rural communities and the welfare of the dogs is not a priority.
It is a problem that national and local governments choose not to address. While some laws do exist concerning the mistreatment of animals, prosecution are extremely rare. It is just not something most people seem to care or worry about.
The Spanish Galgo is claimed to be the only dog breed capable of maintaining a constant and fast pace during a run or race that can last up to five minutes. Such competitions are held both and locally and involve thousands of dogs each year.
8. Eight greyhounds rescued by the charity are pictured here with kennel maid Dorie Laver. They are waiting to be rehomed.
9. Prosecution for the mistreatment of animals in Spain is extremely rare and most people don’t seem to ‘care or worry’ about it.
10. GIN works with a network of shelters across Spain where the primary rescue and treatments are carried out. It funds vets, treatment, shelters and care — and assists in finding homes with families of greyhound lovers in Britain, Italy, Belgium and France.
11. Oscar-winning actress Dame Judi Dench, author Jilly Cooper and actor Peter Egan, a star of Downton Abbey are among GIN’s heavy-weight patrons.
12. Ropes tied around the necks of the greyhounds caused horrific injuries. Others had gaping, open wounds.
And here is a video of Greyhounds in Need visiting rescued galgos in Spain:
Source: The Daily Mail.
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