This is a letter we received in our mailbox yesterday:
I am writing to alert you of the ongoing atrocities and horror that
the greyhounds in Spain endure every year. Incredibly, few people
know about this.
Roughly 10,000 greyhounds every year in Spain are hanged
from trees, thrown down wells or abandoned in the woods or
streets to die. Some are burned alive.
UNBELIEVEABLE? It is unfortunately true. My blood boils
just thinking about it. Farmers and hunters in the Spanish
countryside where roughly 30 million people live own these
greyhounds (called ‘Galgos’ in Spanish) and use them for
hunting hares and sporting. These poor animals live in
deplorable, crude and cruel conditions. Many are crammed
in sheds without daylight for days- even up to a week- with
very little food. Some are crudely kept in the back of vans and
have died from heat exhaustion.
They get little food or water.
After an exhaustive day of hunting, dogs that hunted well might
be “rewarded” with stale bread and fresh water. Poor-performing
dogs are often left behind in the woods to die or are hung from a
tree by its owner.
Every year after hunting season, the hunters/farmers kill their
greyhounds or abandon them. Stemming from a macho mentality
and decades-long tradition, hunters hang their hounds from trees.
Dogs who hunted well get the ‘privilege’ of being hung from a high
branch. Those who hunted poorly are ‘hung low’ so their feet touch
the ground, ensuring a slow, tortuous death. They EVEN HAVE A
NAME for this: the “PIANO PLAYER” because the dogs frantically
scrabble their legs in a vain attempt to live.
Warning: These pictures are upsetting but show the truth.
Here is a BBC article
“Life of a Galgo”, written by a Spaniard, is an insightful article
located on Anne Finch’s website, Greyhounds in Need.
Anne’s organization has worked tirelessly for years to save
Spain’s national animal protection laws apply to dogs that are pets.
But hunting and sporting dogs are NOT considered pets!
Spain must enact a law that gives hunting/sporting or abandoned
dogs the same legal protection afforded to pet dogs.
I believe it will take external pressure to convince Spain
to change its laws. EACH OF YOU can make a difference.
Together we can create that pressure.
I humbly ask each of you to do TWO things:
1) Please forward this letter to your all your friends
and family who love animals.
PEOPLE NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THIS HORROR.
2) Please send an email to Senora Cristina Narbona, the
Spanish Environmental minister who can change animal
protection laws. She is sympathetic to animals but lacks
support within the Spanish government.
Our emails will give her ammunition.
Her email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Politely tell her in English or Spanish how you feel after
seeing the pictures above. A sample letter:
Dear Senora Narbona,
I recently learned about the barbaric and violent treatment
of the Galgos/Greyhounds in Spain. I am horrified.
I will not to travel to Spain or buy Spanish products
until Spain changes its laws to protect hunting/sporting
or abandoned dogs the same way pets are protected.
Civilized societies have laws that protect ALL DOGS
from neglect, abuse and torture.
Please do the right thing and enact laws to protect these
docile, sensitive creatures.
And please cc: the Spanish government id & the
Agriculture Minister, Mr. Juarez, at the Embassy of
Spain in Washington, D.C. at
email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org, respectively.
Mr. Juarez may reply with his pat answer he has used for years
saying that ‘all is well with the greyhounds’, but this is false!
There is no legal protection whatsoever for these dogs.
The killings continue every day.
Do not underestimate the power you each have to end
the suffering of these docile and sensitive animals.
Thank you for doing these two things and for caring.