RESCUE: Guardia Civil footage of a hunting dog being rescued from a well

CHARITIES have warned that up to 50,000 greyhounds are killed each year in Spain, with some being thrown down wells.

The hunting dogs, known as ‘galgos’, are not wanted as the end of the hunting season approaches.

Hunters try to avoid paying for the animals’ upkeep in the off-season.

However, they are now killing the animals using more inhumane methods.

NEW LIFE: A former hunting dog being cared for by SOS Galgos

Previously dogs were tied to tree branches or had their throats cut, and some were even tied to railway tracks or burned alive.

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But now some hunters are throwing the greyhounds down wells and boarding them up so they cannot escape.

British expat Anna Clements works with dog charity SOS Galgos in Barcelona and has been campaigning against the animal abuse.

BRUTAL: Many of the dogs taken in by the charity have horrific injuries after being beaten by their owners

She told MailOnline: “This is Spain’s dirty secret and something tourists rarely see.

“We are expecting an influx of thousands of abandoned dogs but we, and other charities cannot cope.

“We cannot save them all.

“They are brutally treated when the hunters have finished with them.

“Some are thrown down wells and the well opening is blocked off with wood.

“But some survive and we had one recently who was saved when a passerby heard her cries.”

Galgos are exempt from animal rights legislation in Spain, because they are working dogs and not pets.

Other dogs that are left to die include those that don’t perform well and those that don’t adhere to Spain’s hunting code.

Spain’s hunting season for small game runs from October to February.

Anna, who is originally from Manchester, added: “The lucky ones are found and have a chance.

“Others are left to die, often alone, in excruciating pain.

“We can only help the tip of the iceberg so the answer is a complete ban on hunting with galgos.”

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