I wrote a fairly comprehensive post on Tumblr on the mistreatment of galgos and how you can help. I thought I'd share it here, too.
Warning: this post contains animal abuse and animal death that may upset the reader, but I felt it was necessary to include to put this in a realistic light.
Read and share on Tumblr through this link!
I know this is a tumblr most people follow for the art, but please hear me out this time. This is a post for raising awareness and raising funds for mistreated dogs. It's christmastime, and instead of putting that extra dollar or euro to buying something you don't need, considering donating to a good cause or at least share this information to spread awareness. If you read this and pass on this information to help these dogs, that in itself is already a christmas gift to me and these animals.
Starting now, I will donate every dollar I get from my society6 store and deviantArt print profits to this cause. So, if you want a print of my artwork and help a good cause, now is the time.
Please read more below the cut to find out more!
Galgos are a breed of Spanish hunting dogs that bear close resemblance to greyhounds. They are widely used in Spain for hunting (and racing) and are therefore considered more as workforce than pets. This is a dog breed that suffers from a long history of systematic mistreatment, which is why these dogs need special help. The laws in Spain are severly lacking to prevent and condemn animal abuse, which is why non-profit organizations and charities need every bit of support they can get. Progress is made, but it doesn't happen on its own. More needs to be done to push the government to pass laws that help protect these animals and educate the public about what they can do to help.
Their mistreatment [Warning for graphic animal abuse]
Every year in Spain, tens of thousands of dogs are hung, garroted, poisoned or thrown into pits and wells. [Source: sosgalgos.com]. Galgos112 estimates 100 000 galgos (and podencos) are abandoned each year and 75 000 die violent deaths.
Why? Some of it is pure neglect as hunters consider it easier and cheaper to discard of animals they no longer need than keep them alive for the next hunting season. Dogs that did not hunt well or were considered inferior somehow, are abandoned or tortured in terrible ways. It has been quoted that their suffering guarantees a better success for the hunter (galguero) the next year. To discard of the dogs, they are thrown out of moving cars, hung loosely from branches (so they will slowly choke to death over the course of hours or days), set on fire, burnt with acid, or their limbs amputated or broken to stop them from returning to their owners. Not only are the ends of their lives horrendous, but their lives are usually not very fortunate either. They often suffer from insufficient medical care, lack of food, water and shelter. Their breeding is inhumane as well. They often live in cramped spaces and aren't let out for other reasons than training. Their training is another matter entirely; they are often tied to motorized vehicles to run for hours on end, and if they fall and get injured they are simply dragged behind.
All these things are painful to me even write about but they are facts, and this is why we need so spread this information. This needs to stop.
Why did I pick this cause?
In the past I lived in Southern Spain long enough to witness firsthand just how much abandoned and mistreated animals need help there, including galgos. I've seen some of these shelters and the animals that need help, and in most cases their history is forever marked on their neck or other parts of their body as huge scars. Me and my family picked up strays and gave homeless dogs a home or took them to adoption centres every time we came across an abandoned animal that needed our attention. But one person can only do so much and most of the time you are left feeling anger and helplessness. I feel this is a channel through which I can reach out to the largest amount of people possible.
Like I said in the beginning of the post, it's the holiday season and people spend money on some pretty useless stuff to be honest. I don't want to guilt you into donating, but I came to think that this is what I personally want to give this Christmas, a better future to these dogs.
How to help
Below I've provided links to some of the largest/best known, legit and reliable associations through which you can donate or adopt a galgo. If you are considering getting a dog, don't buy one, consider adoption. You can give one of these amazing dogs a new chance. You can also support by following and participating in the Facebook groups to show your support.
Starting now, I will donate every dollar I get from my society6 store and deviantArt print profits to this cause. So, if you want a print of my artwork and help a good cause, now is the time. I only get 2-3 USD of profit per print (from society6), but I can provide you with screenshots in a few months to prove that all money goes towards this cause.
Links to charities and non-profit organizations
Additional links to information and Facebook groups
You can also search for petitions to sign on Change.org and other sites simply by typing "galgos" and google more information on this cause.
Disclaimer: I have written this best to the best of my knowledge and in good faith that the information I have is accurate and up to date. If there are any errors in there I'll do my best to fix them asap.
Thanks for reading,