I recently spent a week at Pepi's Dog Refuge where I took the money raised from my Fun Dog Show to help pay some of the vet bills. The weather was baking hot, temperatures over 40 degrees, so the dogs spent a lot of time sleeping in the cool of their kennels. The roofing is special material which keeps out the rain but also keeps out the sun, provided by Anpana association in Italy.
On the day I arrived, we visited the vet. A podenco puppy had been found injured on the road in the village and xrays had been taken of his broken leg. The vet asked Pepi's to take him. His leg was in a splint as in some cases with young bone, the injury can heal itself, new bone can grow. The pup was named Vero, he's an adorable little chap and no doubt when he has recovered, he will soon find a forever home.
Another young podenca bitch is quite an escape artist and able to climb out of her kennel to spend her days in the corridor run! She too arrived with a broken leg which has healed perfectly.Saturday was an interesting day!
Hunting with podencos starts Saturday evening and finishes Sunday lunchtime. During that time there were several hunters, each with 4 or 5 dogs mostly podencos, hunting rabbit amongst the olive groves. There was great concern on Saturday evening when one walked on land in front of the refuge greatly upsetting the pepi's dogs. Behind the house he fired off his gun, narrowly missing the corner! Hunting is prohibited within 150 metres of property. When the hunter saw us all he scarpered, leaving behind the dead rabbit. Alan Brian called the Guardia (gamekeeper) who said he would have a word with the hunter. As Alan said, it's likely the hunter could be a relative of his! Also, as elsewhere in Spain, if they complained to the Guardia Civil, it is very possible they would find their refuge dogs poisoned or stolen. Hunters are very vindictive.
Sunday morning saw another hunter approach the house, 2 dead rabbits hanging from his belt. With him was his Podenco, Braco (brown & white pointer) and a small rough-haired dog of dachshund type. He is the local butcher in Pedrera and told us he had found the little dog and kept it. Sadly later in the day there was a young podenco running around, obviously lost and left behind by his hunter. We left water out for him but he had disappeared the following day.
I also saw a couple of vehicles 'training' the galgos ...goodness knows how far the poor dogs were being made to run in the searing heat! In the Pedrera area they are used for coursing, not hunting. Jane remarked that no doubt one or two of them at least would be dumped at the refuge gates during the winter.
Sadly when I left on Tuesday morning, Pepi was having trouble breathing and was taken to the vet for oxygen. She was rescued from the piggery opposite the refuge and, even with a heart problem, lived with Brians for 16 years. She will be greatly missed by Jane and Alan but her legacy lives on in all the Pepi's dogs rescued and rehomed.
Pepi' Dog Refuge survives solely on donations and fundraisers. Money is currently needed for microchipping and castration of some dogs in preparation for travelling for adoption. If you can help in any way, please do. Without Pepi's Dog Refuge, the dogs of Pedrera area would face a terrible life.
Introducing Vero and some of the other current Pepi's incumbents, every one waiting for their forever home.