Galgos: Before, One of Spain’s Most Popular Dogs, Now, One Of The Most Mistreated

#FreeTheGalgo trends on World Galgo Day

By Catalina Barrios

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Credit: Instagram / @thestatelyhound


It breaks my heart to see children and animals suffering. There is no need for vulnerable creatures to have a rough life, to be mistreated, or to go to bed with an empty stomach. Sadly this is the case for many children and animals around the world. Everyone, animals included, deserve to be happy, and to be treated with love and care. When I learned about the Galgos of Spain, I wondered how, as an animal lover, this was news to me.

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How many of you have ever heard of Galgo dogs, who are also called Spanish Greyhounds? I will be the first one to admit I just found out about this breed today. Sadly, thousands of these dogs don’t have the life they deserve as they are bred for the sole purpose of hunting and illegal dog racing.

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Credit: Galgos del Sol


Galgos are an ancient breed of hunting dog once raised exclusively by Spanish nobles.

Unfortunately, today they are one of the most abused dog breeds on the planet.

Tens of thousands are killed in Spain every year, and many more are abandoned.

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Credit: Instagram / @yogalgo

Galgueros, the people who own and breed the dogs, use Galgos for lure and hare coursing between the months of September and February. “We’ve had galgueros that have had 70, 120 galgos, living on crisps and bread and eating each other when they die,” said Tina Solera, founder of Galgos del Sol, an organization which has rescued more than 1,000 Spanish Greyhounds since 2011.

To train Galgos for maximum speeds, Galgueros tie up to 15 dogs to the back of a motorbike or a car and make them run after starting the vehicle. Those dogs who may get injured are left alone on the streets.


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Credit: Instagram / @yogalgo

There are a handful of Spanish shelters dedicated to saving the Galgos and other “unwanted” animals of Spain. Even though more and more Galgo handlers are giving their unwanted dogs to the shelters, the abuse and torture still continues.

February 1st is known as the World Galgo Day which raises awareness on rescuing the thousands of Galgos in Spain who end up living on the streets after being dumped by their handlers.

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Credit: Galgos del Sol

February 1st also marks the end of the Spanish hunting season, whehn thousands of Galgos are killed. Some are killed by their owners in cruel and inhumane methods and others are euthanized at “perreras” or high kill shelters.

What is the Spanish government doing to stop this abuse? Unfortunately it hasn’t done much and they are aware of this issue. They claim it is difficult to identify the abuses as the majority of these cases take place on private property. Rescue organizations such as Galgos del Sol work non-stop to rescue as many Galgos as possible and provide them with the life they deserve.

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Spanish Greyhounds can be shy when they are around people they don’t know but are very affectionate with their family and are gentle with children. They have lots of energy and enjoy going for walks.

This video shows Gagos’ sad life before thankfully being rescued by Galgos del Sol. Warning: it may be disturbing for some viewers.

You can help by raising awareness through social media with the hashtag #freethegalgo or helping rescue organizations such as Galgos del Sol or Galgo Rescue International Network.