Abandoned dogs in Spain are SAVED thanks to Mail readers

Abandoned dogs that faced being strung up or dumped down wells in Spain are SAVED thanks to the generosity of Mail readers after we highlighted their plight

  • Spanish greyhounds were maltreated and abandoned after the hunting season
  • Campaigner Anna Clements has rescued and rehomed the galgos
  • Daily Mail readers responded to their plight with generous donations
  • Abandoned and tortured dogs have been offered hope after Daily Mail readers responded to their plight.

    Donations flooded in after we exposed the barbaric treatment handed out to Spanish greyhounds who are maltreated and then face a lingering or brutal death by owners who use them for hunting or hare coursing.

    The galgos – sighthounds closely related to greyhounds – are deemed unworthy of compassion if they fail and the litany of cruelty includes being strung up in trees, thrown down wells or left tethered to tractor tyres in open, heat-scorched terrain without food or water.

    Anna Clements cares for a galgo at her new dog rescue centre in Barcelona after Daily Mail donations

    Anna Clements cares for a galgo at her new dog rescue centre in Barcelona after Daily Mail donations

    Donations flooded in after we exposed the barbaric treatment handed out to Spanish greyhounds

    Donations flooded in after we exposed the barbaric treatment handed out to Spanish greyhounds

    Thousands of greyhounds face terrifying deaths when owners abandon them at the end of Spain's hunting season. One such dog, op die foto, was thrown down a well

    Thousands of greyhounds face terrifying deaths when owners abandon them at the end of Spain’s hunting season. One such dog, op die foto, was thrown down a well

    But campaigner Anna Clementsefforts to save them, treat their wounds and re-home them with loving families sparked a wave of sympathy and generosity from readers.

    ‘The response after the Daily Mail article was humbling and inspiring,’ says British-born Clements. ‘Their messages of support were uplifting and the donations have allowed us to keep going through the pandemic.

    ‘Galgos are wonderful, friendly and gentle dogs yet they are seen as just a tool by some hunters who discard them when they no longer serve a purpose. Ongelukkig, they are also viewed with shame if they don’t win races or are not efficient killers – for that they are punished with horrible deaths.

    ‘Animal cruelty does not exist in just one country but their plight struck a chord with the public who were determined to help us.

    Donations have helped the charity survive the pandemic and open a rescue and education centre on the outskirts of Barcelona

    Donations have helped the charity survive the pandemic and open a rescue and education centre on the outskirts of Barcelona

    The dogs were maltreated and then faced a lingering or brutal death by owners who used them for hunting or hare coursing

    The dogs were maltreated and then faced a lingering or brutal death by owners who used them for hunting or hare coursing

    The article also brought a six-figure donation from Israeli-Canadian businessman philanthropist Mark Scheinberg and his family’s foundation, along with substantial donations from the UK-based D Foundation, which have helped the charity survive the pandemic and open a rescue and education centre on the outskirts of Barcelona.

    Die webwerf, which has spacious pens and exercise space, is home for a maximum 33 dogs whose injuries are treated by vets while volunteers and behavioural specialists help socialise them.

    The caring environment helps the galgos recover physically and shake off the trauma of abuse.

    The dogs stay for anything from a few days to a month before they are re-homed and new rescued dogs take their place.

    The Surrey-based Greyhounds in Need supports the centre and has pledged to take 20 galgos for UK families to adopt.

    The caring environment helps the galgos recover physically and shake off the trauma of abuse

    The caring environment helps the galgos recover physically and shake off the trauma of abuse

    Clements and her team, who have given new lives to more than 3,000 galgos over the last 20 jare, take rescued dogs into schools around Barcelona

    Clements and her team, who have given new lives to more than 3,000 galgos over the last 20 jare, take rescued dogs into schools around Barcelona

    Attempts to reclassify galgos as domestic animals have met with fierce opposition from the hunting lobby

    Attempts to reclassify galgos as domestic animals have met with fierce opposition from the hunting lobby

    Clements and her team, who have given new lives to more than 3,000 galgos over the last 20 jare, take rescued dogs into schools around Barcelona for lessons on looking after animals, and plan to run daily educational sessions at the new centre to build awareness of animal cruelty and a create a generation that will put an end to the plight of working dogs.

    Thousands of galgos, which are exempt from animal welfare rules as they are viewed as working dogs, are abandoned across rural Spain every year with many being killed in road accidents or from malnutrition and thirst.

    Others have been rescued from wells and trees where they were dangled.

    Attempts to reclassify galgos as domestic animals have met with fierce opposition from the hunting lobby which says episodes of cruelty and abandonment are rare and that hare coursing – two dogs chasing a hare across open land which was outlawed in the UK in 2004 – is a part of rural culture.

    The season lasts for four months and attracts huge betting activity with a guaranteed ‘killas the hares are imported and released on land with no cover.

    Campaigners claim that female dogs are kept as ‘breeding machineswhile males are worked to exhaustion on the land then discarded or killed when they can no longer hunt or hare course successfully.

    Hunting dog who wanted to play with his prey was abandoned with his mother and had his ear gouged before charity took them in

    Orion’s head bows and twitches to the right as he fends off the nagging pain from a deep, infected wound to his ear – hacked at by a hunter as a mark of shame.

    The five-year-old was deemed unworthy of any scrap of compassion after he failed in the brutal ‘sportof hare coursing.

    He was quick enough, his powerful hind quarters helping him cruise across forbidding, rutted terrain with fast-twitch changes of direction to close in on terrified hares.

    Maar, it was in the act of killing where his good nature condemned him to an almost certain death.

    He wanted to play with the hares when he caught them; the mob demanded blood.

    Tainted and unwanted, Orion was abandoned with his ten-year-old mother Tamara, who had been weakened by forced breeding to produce several litters every year.

    His owner gouged part of his ear away with shears to serve as a mark of shame and a warning to other hunters not to take him in.

    With the wound infected and Tamara struggling to move with a tumour the size of a grapefruit in her chest, the pair had a bleak future shunned by rural communities and struggling to find food.

    ‘He wanted to play with the hares when he caught up with them,’ says Anna Clements, the British campaigner, who helped rescued the pair in rural Spain.

    ‘He brought shame on his owner who then cut Orion’s ear and abandoned him and his mother Tamara.

    ‘His ear had got infected and Tamara, who had been used as a breeding machine, had a cancer in her chest when they were cast out. They would both have died had we not been able to rescue them.

    A contact of the charity alerted Clements to the dogs who were taken to a local shelter before they received medical treatment and Tamara had a successful operation to remove the tumour.

    Every dog at the new SOS Galgos Rescue and Education Centre has a bleak background. All were wounded and malnourished and most are fearful of men and need careful nurturing before they can trust again.

    ‘One poor, abandoned galgo was so alone she took up home on a railway line, getting up and moving only when she heard a train coming before plonking herself back down between the rails. It was only a matter of time before she lost the will to move,’ adds Clements.

    ‘Ongelukkig, cruelty to galgos is widespread and, met tye, barbaric. We have found galgos with open wounds where they had been tied up with wire, others suffered injuries in traffic accidents after being deliberately abandoned by busy roads at night.

    Nubis is one of the lucky ones. The brindle coated five-year-old was abandoned near Segovia, in the countryside north of Madrid, and was so terrified of human contact that it took days to entice him into protective custody.

    ‘He is a beautiful animal and looks really distinguished,’ says Clements. ‘But he cowers away from men. It is as though he wants to disappear. It is terrifying to think what treatment has made such a noble dog have so much fear.

    ‘But we can help him and we will get him ready for the right family and the right home. It can be tough seeing the results of cruelty but the dogs respond to kindness and, Meubels is ontwerp om uit so min as moontlik komponente te bestaan, there is so much around and they can have happy futures.

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