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At the end of the yearly hunting season in spain around 50,000 spanish greyhounds, or ‘galgos’, are ruthlessly dumped and killed after their loyal service. the dogs are hanged or tortured and left to die slowly and painfully. the severity of the death depends on how successful the galgos were during their hunting life, with lesser achievers suffering more atrocious deaths.

The objective of Greyhounds in Nood Belgium (GINB) is to give some of these galgos a second chance at life. Through their adoption programme, around 400 greyhounds are rehomed in Belgium each year. With 7,500 greyhounds saved so far, GINB was one of the first organisations on the European continent to concern itself with the fate of these animals and to draw worldwide attention to the problem.

Pushing for change

GINB uses the media to make the public, both in its own country and internationally, aware of the problem of cruelty to greyhounds in Spain. Through international cooperation, lobbying, political involvement and contact with the European Parliament and the Belgian and Spanish Royal houses, GINB presses for change in European and Spanish policy and hopes to eventually bring an end to the current deplorable fate of these greyhounds.

Through 22 years of dedicated and considerate fieldwork GINB has won respect from several quarters and even from many Spanish galgueros (hunters). Initially, GINB had to work against intense opposition from galgueros; however, today an increasing number are bringing their greyhounds to the GINB sponsored refuge Las Nieves, near Madrid. As a result, these dogs are saved from an agonising death.

Las Nieves provides food, care and shelter for hundreds of abused, neglected and tortured galgos. Through extensive support, GINB have improved the infrastructure of the refuge and built modern accommodation for the galgos. Nearby GINB has its own clinic where the dogs are sterilised and receive professional veterinary care from visiting Belgian vets, who provide their services free of charge.

A new life in Belgium

GINB tries to rehome every dog from the shelter to a loving family in Belgium. Adopters have to wait to receive the dog and this gives them time to consider their decision. By far the largest group of adopters are committed animal lovers who have chosen to rescue a Spanish greyhound from a bleak future and offer it a life worthy of such an animal. In many cases, these candidate adopters have already adopted one or even several dogs from Belgian animal rescue centres. To these people, beauty or perfection are not important: they want to make a conscious contribution to improving the life of a discarded animal.

GINB aims to continue raising awareness of the situation, lobbying the authorities and rescuing galgos until the Spanish government puts an end to this horrific practice. It remains an enormous challenge for the organisation’s 40 volunteers to keep 300 galgos from death every year, by offering them a new life in Belgium, with a loving family that could not imagine a better pet.

Greyhounds in Nood Belgium : : [email protected]


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