Spain slaughters and abandons 100,000 hunting dogs every year

When they’re no longer useful to their owners, these dogs meet a tragic end

LAST UPDATED: 26 Aug, 2015 @ 14:31
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GALGO 009
An abandoned galgo, featured in Usborne’s photography exhibit

UP to 100,000 Spanish hunting dogs are slaughtered or abandoned each year for being too old or slow.

Many are shot, poisoned, hanged from trees, or thrown over ravines at the end of Spain’s hare coursing season.

Even those that are rescued have often been abused for years, reports National Geographic.

The plight of these dogs, most of them either galgos (Spanish greyhounds) or podencos (Canary Islands hounds), is documented in a new exhibit by British photographer Martin Usborne.

“During my travels I came across this story of these beautiful dogs in Spain being a abandoned en masse and knew I had to make a photography project about their plight,” said Usborne.

“I was drawn to the painful contradictions in their story: such beautiful dogs with a regal history – they used to be associated with nobility many centuries ago – but with such an ugly modern story of abuse and abandonment.”

Usborne worked with two Andalucian charities that rescue and rehabilitate abused and abandoned hunting dogs.



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15 COMMENTS

  1. It’s also law that all dogs must be microchipped and vaccinated against rabies – wonder how many hunters abide by this law, or are they exempt? Perhaps the Guardia should do a bit of checking up …..

  2. how can you call it culture, what is all the other cruelty against animals ? its called ignorance and
    most hunters are vile here and abroad .

  3. We have recently rescued a Podenco x puppy who was abandoned on a busy road in Spain at only 4 weeks old. There are many homeless and abandoned dogs in Spain, the plight of the hunting breeds and the terrible cruelty they suffer is desperate. Good on the photographer for working to raise the profile of Galgos and Podencos.

  4. There is no excuse for this hunting industry to exist in a modern society , culture based on cruelty needs to be challenged this is 2015 ..I will not visit Spain ever again until this cruelty is ended as more people become aware of the plight of these dogs many more people will join me in that decision.. The methods of disposal that are used for so many of the dogs are medieval tortuous and tell the world Spain allows barbarism still in 2015 politicians in Spain need to address this NOW

  5. I´m a Spaniard , and I think that it is a failure of all my people, and that it can be finished easily only applying the existing laws.

  6. We rescued 3 Gorobito pups, 2 died terrible deaths from scrapies which crossed over from sheep. One survived and was a beautiful strong dog. We rescued two more dogs which were abandoned. One of these had spent it’s whole life tied up, so when we took them for walks he could only go so far and turned back to the abandoned corral which was their home. The third was an amazing Beagle cross, very unusual, very intelligent and my friend.

    In a country where dogs are abandoned in the hundreds of thousands every year, not one Spaniard, let alone the vet bothered to warn us about dog theft. For 18 months our dogs lived happily out in the Tierra Malas/Badlands in the corral loaned to us by a friend Pepe the sheperd.

    One day they were gone, stolen almost certainly for Ossian the Gorobito which are hunting dogs he was probably sold for €100. they may have got €20 for Germo and Will the beagle was too unusual, so was probably beaten to death. Ossian could not stand loud noises so was either abandoned or shot and used as food for other hunting dogs.

    I have seen two dog carcasses both tied to olive trees and suffered terrible deaths from thirst and starvation. Had I caught the thieves in action they would never have seen another day. I would dearly love to go hunting but my prey would only ever be primates with two legs – the hunting variety – I’d like to see the look of sheer terror on their faces at the end.

  7. Unfortunately Stuart it appears there are not many animal lovers that post onto these sites, but I do like your last input and the caring attitude you show towards animals you have rescued. Best of health. P.S. I am also a animal lover.

  8. Stuart

    those men who mistreat dogs so extremely, are criminals who deserves be punished according the article 337 of the “Codigo Penal” with imprisonment from three months to one year.

    Don´t speak about to make justice by your self !

    You must denounce if you find some of those criminals.

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