save the galgo.
Usually, when I open these posts, I have a witty or (in my mind) hilarious way to greet you. However, this post just isn’t funny, it’s heartbreaking and hurts to the core to write. But when I embarked on this journey, I knew I didn’t want to be some girl in cute outfits with cuter dogs, I wanted to write about important issues and things that really need to be talked about. Just like my pre-vet courses, this post is not for the faint of heart.
One of my most popular posts was the Greyhounds Only spotlight because people were so passionate about the breed. After that post, a few people reached out to me, including Travis from Love Hope Believe Galgo who told me about the Greyhound’s Spanish cousin, the Galgo, and all the persecution they are facing. When I learned that tens of thousands (at least) of Galgos are killed each year, and even more are abandoned, I had to find out more about what is going on in Spain and meet with this organization.
Galgos are an ancient breed that was used primarily for hunting by Spanish Royals. Their light, slim bodies and incredible sight made them natural born hunters. Today, they’re used for sport in hare and lure coursing. As you might imagine, hare coursing is when the dogs chase a rabbit either through the countryside or on a track, lure coursing replaces the hare with an inanimate object. The hunting season lasts from October-February and once it’s over, the fate of these dogs is generally not a good one.
Galgos are viewed as a cash crop and if they’re costing too much to maintain, they’re discarded, or worse. The lucky ones are dropped off at shelters. You can guess the outcome for the dogs that don’t perform well or embarrass their owners. Torture, hangings, and abandonment are commonplace for dogs that are deemed unfit or too costly to keep on for another season. These dogs aren’t regarded as pets by the people who use them in sport. In fact, they’re not really viewed as a companion at all.
Similar to Pit Bulls here in the US, Galgos are unfairly judged to be vicious and aggressive. As someone who’s been snuggled and kissed by too many Pit Bulls to count, I know that stigmas are ridiculous. When I met the Galgos this past weekend, I couldn’t imagine why anyone would fear them. I’ll be spotlighting the breed next week, but for now, trust me when I say that they are quiet and gentle and sweet and sensitive souls.
So, what can we do to end the terrible treatment of these sweet creatures? Educate. While there are some truly awesome shelters doing great work to help rescue Galgos, they cannot save them all. That’s why groups like Benjamin Menhert Foundation and 112 Carlota Galgos are working to raise awareness for the breed and teach children how to care for these animals. You can get involved by sharing the work these organizations are doing or by making donations to help support their cause.
If you want to take it a step further and are traveling to Madrid any time soon, consider becoming a Galgo escort and you can literally save a life. Paperwork, passports, health certificates and costs of the dogs are taken care of. Someone helps you check in the dogs and you will need to simply meet the dog and a veterinarian at the baggage claim after the flight to walk the dog out of customs to an awaiting volunteer. I’m thinking I need to go to Spain for this reason alone. If you’re interested, email firstname.lastname@example.org or click here.
If Europe isn’t in your immediate future, stop by one of the upcoming Love Hope Believe Galgo Meet and Greet events below:
Sept 16 – Happy Dog Barkery 5118 Main StDowners Grove, Illinois 60515. From 11-2pm
Sept 17 – Dog-Tober Fest 11419 S Il Route 47Huntley, Illinois 60142. From 12-4pm
Sept 24 – McBark Dog Park Adoption Event 2500 N Richmond RdMcHenry, Illinois 60050. 11-2pm
I can’t wait to share more about this truly inspiring breed and rescue next week but for now, please take a moment to share this or any other article about Galgos and let’s stop the abuse of this breed.
This post has three absolute sweethearts that are looking for their forever home.
The first handsome man is Don and he is my spirit animal because he is extremely food motivated. He almost looks like a lab he’s got some lab mixed in with the Galgo (and maybe that’s where he gets his appetite) and he’d do great in a with kids and other dogs.
The second boy is Storm and like Don, he would gladly be your friend for a treat. He pretty much loves everything including kids, people, dogs walks and everything in between. Before coming to Chicago, he spent two years in a shelter in Spain. It’s safe to say this boy has been waiting patiently for his forever home.
The last gentle soul is Espino who is about three years old. He is a little bit more shy than his friends, but he is great with cats, dogs, and kids and really just wants to snuggle up next to you on your sofa. For more information about any of these available dogs, click here.
If you think you’ve seen this outfit before, you’d be correct. I originally wore it to the Talbott Hotel Doggy Fashion Show. I didn’t feel as though it got its due so here I am wearing it again just for you. It’s from Sararose (shocker) and is one of the most comfortable and flattering sets I’ve tried on. You can buy the pants and top separately, but they just looked too good together. If you haven’t checked out Sararose yet, what are you waiting for??
PS: Win a gift card to Sararose by donating to our Hurricane Harvey Fundraiser!