in the beginning there was darkness but now there is more light... but we still have a long way to go
I applaud Beryl’s new venture here in France to create an English language website with continuing news of the galgo situation in Spain. Awareness of the plight of the galgos of Spain and their rescue, has come a very long way in the last 10 years, thanks to all of you.
Here’s how it began…It was the plight of the imported Irish greyhounds which in 1991 drove me to go to Spain to investigate and try to improve their conditions at the tracks in Mallorca, Valencia and Barcelona.
I had to spread the word abroad urgently as, due to the UK’s animal import laws, I desperately needed some sympathisers in mainland Europe to take in the discarded greys for adoption…a cumbersome task before the days of the internet.
I’d heard rumours of the plight of Spain’s own greyhound, the galgos in the rural areas of internal Spain, but seeking out the evidence in those days was like entering a dark underworld.
Spanish refuges were not taking them in as they were not regarded as companion animals and city dwellers knew nothing of them.
Many in Spain still to this day proclaim ignorance. In 1995, I was shown an amateur film of the hangings of galgos near Granada but it wasn’t until I met and worked with Fermin Perez 1997-2000 who had his own photographic evidence and who had started to take in galgos into his then makeshift refuge, that I was able to expose to the outside world the abuses that galgos were suffering, and launch the movement to transport them out of Spain to safety.
I could only start of course then with the handful of sympathisers I’d already found for the greyhounds, in Switzerland, Germany and Belgium,
So that’s how it all began! The whole saga of exposing what happens to the galgos of Spain has been a journey from darkness into light with the greyhounds heralding salvation for the galgos and even these days, other breeds as well…
Now I would think there are approaching 100 groups and individuals in 16 different countries involved in saving galgos and I would estimate that between all of us, some 15,000 galgos and greys have been rescued and exported for adoption over the last 10 years.
Some groups have splintered off from others. it happens naturally as individuals develop in numbers, strength and direction and none of us has escaped the woundings. Take courage, don’t look back and keep looking forward to the task in hand.
There is no way now that the plight of the galgos of Spain can be hidden. Still the Spanish Administracion deny knowledge, but even they must be feeling that their protestations are sounding rather hollow. We all need to carry on poking at them till it hurts.
Here’s hoping that Galgo News might be a medium to encourage all the associations to join together in some co-ordinated ventures.
May God bless you all for your love and dedication!
Founder of Greyhounds in Need