• PROOF:
  • August 21, 2015

Restoring Dignity to Spain’s Mistreated Hunting Dogs

Photographer Martin Usborne was seriously disturbed by the plight of the Spanish hunting dog. Bred for their speed and agility, Usborne says up to 100,000 dogs are abandoned or killed at the end of the Spanish hare-coursing season because they are deemed too old or too slow. To bring attention to this practice, Usborne spent two years photographing rescued hunting dogs in the areas where they are often abandoned or killed, including the sides of roads, ravines, rivers, and parking lots.

But even the rescue dogs are shattered and scarred. According to an organization dedicated to rescuing two common breeds of these dogs—the galgo (Spanish greyhound) and the podenco— these animals have often been starved, deprived of affection, and kept chained in dark sheds. I corresponded with Usborne and asked about his work with these neglected yet elegant animals.

starving dog spanish greyhound
Many of the dogs that are rescued arrive in a poor state, often malnourished and weak.

JANNA DOTSCHKAL: What inspired you to work on a project about hunting dogs?

MARTIN USBORNE: I had taken a year out to travel the world and see how many animals I could save (which I am writing up as a book), and during my travels I came across the story of these beautiful dogs in Spain being abandoned en masse and knew I had to make a photography project about their plight. 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. They had such strong and elegant bodies, which were also often damaged or weakened.

hunting dog and river
Left: A rescued galgo. Right: Dogs have been drowned in rivers like this one in Andalusia at the end of the hunting season in February.

JANNA: What were you looking for when you selected the individual dogs?

MARTIN: I was looking for dogs that captured something of these contradictions—that were regal but also vulnerable, beautiful but also scarred, proud but nervous. I also wanted a variation of breeds and colors as well.

JANNA: How and where did you find these dogs?

MARTIN: I worked primarily in two rescue centers in Andalusia. One center is very large and the other is small but both do incredible work picking up abandoned dogs and finding them new homes. Their work swims against the increasing tide of abandonment, relying almost entirely on donations and the goodwill of people who want to adopt the dogs.

thin spanish greyhound malnourished
A rescued galgo awaits adoption in a charity center outside Málaga.

JANNA: How did you get the dogs to pose for you?

MARTIN: In many ways I didn’t want the dogs to pose at all—and nor could I make them pose. These were scared, nervous, and often distrustful [dogs], which meant they moved a lot and I had little time with each dog. I also didn’t want to cause them distress. Nevertheless, I wanted to capture something of their discomfort, their nervousness, to tell their story. I didn’t want a perfect pose exuding calm. I normally worked with someone else, preferably a volunteer who knew the dogs, who would help to calm them down a little just so they would be in front of the camera, but other than that I wanted them to be themselves.

ravine and spanish hunting dog on blanket
Left: A large ravine in southern Spain where a hunting dog was rescued after having been thrown over the edge. Right: A rescued galgo.

JANNA: What kind of look did you want your photographs to have?

MARTIN: My images reference the mood, color, and tones of Velázquez paintings. He lived and worked in the same area where I took these pictures and also at a time when the dogs were still considered regal and associated with nobility. Although he didn’t typically paint dogs or landscapes he painted with an intensity and drama that I wanted in my images.

a skinny thin white dog spanish greyhound
A rescued galgo in a charity center outside Málaga awaits adoption.

JANNA: You sometimes describe your photos as dark, which strikes me as unusual for animal photography. Why do you choose to take this approach?

MARTIN: My work is driven by two things that I’ve spent a long time trying to reconcile but realize now are actually deeply intertwined. Firstly, I’m deeply concerned with the rift between humans and (other) animals and want to bring awareness to this painful divide. We are separated from other animals by language, technology, and a fatal arrogance that causes immense pain. Secondly, I’m interested in exploring my own darkness, which is another sort of separation, from one part of myself to another. I became interested in animals—particularly dogs—when I was very young and when I had a hard time speaking and felt a deep sense of vulnerability. Both of these things—my concern for animals and my weaknesses—are one and the same. A yearning for understanding, compassion, and connection.

hunting dog in blanket and leaning olive tree
Left: A rescued galgo. Right: An olive tree. Dogs that perform badly can be punished by being hung from trees with their feet still touching the ground. This slow death is called “playing the piano.”

JANNA: What was it like to photograph these animals?

MARTIN: To be honest I found the whole process emotionally exhausting—going back so many times and seeing so many new dogs. So many of the dogs were scared and resistant to touch that I really didn’t want to spend too long photographing them or [imposing] upon them. Some were impossible to console or comfort, others less so but still unsure of themselves. I tried to give them what care and attention I could, but I also didn’t want to stress them. On the whole the greyhounds and smaller hunting dogs were fairly timid by nature so it wasn’t always so easy.

small dog with ball
A podenco is a smaller breed used for hunting in hillier territory.

JANNA: What do you want people to take away from these photographs?

MARTIN: At the very least I hope they engage with the beauty of the dogs and the ugliness of their story. I hope it makes people realize what is going on without confronting people with harsh images.

JANNA: What do you think humans can learn from dogs?

MARTIN: That we are animals too. That we are capable of immense love and trust but also of abusing that love and trust. A dog can show us how to love and live in the most direct and simple way possible.


You can see the full series of images from Martin Usborne’s new book, Where Hunting Dogs Rest, published by Kehrer Verlag on his website.

There are 50 Comments. Add Yours.

  1. José Pérez
    September 15, 2015

    Friends, today is a sad day. Again El Toro de la Vega has been killed. No comments.

  2. Manny F, Cheo
    September 7, 2015

    I think what happens is that National Geographic usually writes and illustrates to a more enlightened demographic that realizes that nationalism has no boundary for inhumane treatment, abuse and for that matter friendship & love.

    In their attempt to get a wider audience via web
    , they have reached a more general populace whose trained instinct (via mass media) is to go for the easy answer instead of delving deeper into the complexity of the issues or considering a mirror of their own culture before commenting.

    Dogs are not human, they are loyal. They show love, affection, sorrow, & pain. And unlike humans, they do not hide or mask it.

    Unfortunately, It is what makes both animal lovers and abusers enjoy their company.

    Mr. Perez, I apologize for the derogatory comments by those who should have known better.

    • Jose Perez – Spain
      September 8, 2015

      Thaks a lot for your comment. This is the real scope to save and protect the dogs. Not to deal with stupid nationalisms. What you have told is exactly what we should have in mind.
      Thank you again.

  3. Leeana Kramer-Jacobsen
    September 2, 2015

    Please follow Galgos del Sol in Murcia Spain. They are building a Center and need all the help they can get. They currently house more than 100 dogs

    • José Pérez
      September 2, 2015

      Thank you Leeana, I’m from Murcia, but leaving abroad. I’l try to contact them.

  4. José Pérez
    September 1, 2015

    Good morning everyone. Our laws: art 337 Penal Code, you can go to jail if you mistreat an animal. Additionally, arts 631 and 632 CP.
    Some news:
    http://m.eldiario.es/teldeahora/asuntos_publicos/Crueldad-animal-legislacion-penal_0_270523000.html

    http://www.lavanguardia.com/mobi/vida/20131130/54394685687/febrero-el-miedo-de-los-galgos-historia-maltrato-animal.html

    http://www.lavanguardia.com/mobi/vida/20131130/54394685687/febrero-el-miedo-de-los-galgos-historia-maltrato-animal.html
    Our associations: SOS galgos, ADPCA.es, ACMA, ACTYMA, noalmaltratoanimal.org, colectivo andaluz contra el maltrato animal, elhocico.org, apansalta.com, among others in a long list you can check through internet.
    For sure we have no soul and our heart is black the blackest one you can imagine. No one in the world can practice the cruelty as Spaniards do, that, of course, is a well-known fact.
    We never have done anything for the welfare of animals like save the endangered Iberian lynx or preserve the richest, more diverse natural enviroment in Europe (also you ca check it). We have not banned bullfighting in some communities. Note that in Spain we have 17 communities any one competent in propers laws, similar to the States where some states have abolishe the death penalty and others mantain it.
    Additionally, of course, we are sit on the fence giving a round of claps to that people killing galgos.
    Gwen Ferry, are you really upset? Or, maybe are you practicing the old adage spread by Francis Bacon: “calumniare fortiter aliquid adhaerebit” ( if you throw enough mud, some sticks”)
    Excuse me friends, I am tired, sad and disappointed. Thank you for your understanding and empathy.

  5. Janice
    September 1, 2015

    I have a rescued greyhound and live in the UK. These beautiful dogs are overbred with the hope of finding a winner, the dogs raced with little thought for welfare, and the very lucky minority re homed. This is all perfectly legal in the UK. There are many in the UK who do not agree with greyhound racing, as I’m sure there are many in Spain who are horrified at this abuse. Best wishes to everyone in every country who works to eradicate cruelty to animals.

  6. Gwen Ferry
    August 31, 2015

    The way a country treats its animals reflects on the citizens of that country. If they do not all make a stand and DEMAND the government change these law, then they are as guilty as those that inflict the pain. Those that see the crime and sit on the fence are as guilty. The rest of the World is outraged at the cruelty that comes out of Spain! What is up with them? Do they have black hearts and no souls???

  7. José Pérez
    August 31, 2015

    Excuse me Mazaher, why do you focus only on Spanish comenters?
    – “the treatment of these dogs reflects the attitude that the
    citizens of Spain have for animals in general” Charles O. Slavens.
    – “how the Spanish are treating their animals” Joan Churton.
    – “ignorant people of Spain” Vicki Cardwell.
    – “I really can’t understand why Spanish people let them suffer so much”. Agnes Blevi.
    – “When will the Spanish wake up to their abuse and disrespect of animals?” Ginny Vitera.
    – “…culture that embraces cruelty…” Nancy Harlow.
    – “Just crossed Spain off from my vacation list” Ron DePayalo.
    – “Dear indignant Spaniards,…” you.
    – “…the perpetrators of such an act would look like “playing the piano” themselves”. Jon Hold. (amazingly edifying)
    – “Until the government of Spain demonstrates compassion and puts an end to this “tradition”,… Patti Oakes. (believe me we have laws… difficult to apply? Yes)

    Ok, wil I be unfair If I blame all Americans for the killing of mustangs or Britons for the hunt of fox or Canadians for the treatment of dogs when running exhausting races on snow, etc.?
    Of cause I’ll be. I don’t blame Hemingway and so many others coming to the fighting bulls, personally i’m 53 and I never have gone to the corrida.
    I have three dogs, two adopted. Please. We are no monsters and we are suffering this situation even more cos it’s happening in our mother land. But, say anything negative against a whole nation, only shows ignorance. (I don´t dare to think it shows hate).
    By the way Susan Hayek-Kent, Canary Island are part of Spain.

    I Show gratefulness to all of you defending the Spanish people.

    • mazaher
      August 31, 2015

      Btw,foxhunting was banned in Britain in 2005. Cheers for your dogs!

    • Susan Hayek-Kent
      September 1, 2015

      this is for mr perez; we have a podenco ibicenco and a podenco canario. marina is from mainland spain and bo is from the canary island. I know they are both spanish.

      I know all dog lovers are sickened by any mass killings.
      in the US dog fighting is one of our horrors, cock fighting another, and then there is just plain cruelty and ignorance.
      I hope in spain the plight of galgos and podencos is a well known horror and people are trying their hardest to stop it.

  8. mazaher
    August 31, 2015

    How come that all Spanish commenters here are taking “Spain” as a keyword rather than “cruelty”? I hope their consideration for the idea of nation is not stronger than their consideration for the flesh and blood of living beings.

  9. José Pérez
    August 31, 2015

    Inhumanes? Culture that embrace cruelty? Nancy Harlow, where the buffaloes are? What happend with natived Americans. I’ve been working with American People in Irak, Afghanistan, other several countries and at this moment in Italy. Believe me, they got my full respect and vice versa. You are invited to visit Spain and then to say me or any other Spaniard face to face how cruel and human we are. I apologize in advance for telling these two “wrong”examples I use to start this writhing

  10. Susan Hayek-Kent
    August 30, 2015

    we have two adopted podencos, one from spain and the other from the canary islands.
    I realize there is cruelty everywhere, but it is up to the people to demand from their government that laws be enacted to prevent cruelty. this is not hunters simply destroying dogs at the end of the season, which is horrible enough, but in some cases like the hanging tree it’s torture. I don’t know why people who know that this is going on would keep silent.

    I find it very hard to read stories of how the dogs are treated. it makes me sick to my stomach.
    we have 6 dogs. 5 of them are rescues.

  11. Patti Oakes
    August 30, 2015

    This injustice and cruelty must be recognized worldwide and brought to an end. We have adopted one of these dogs to Canada, and cannot believe what continues. This book just touches the surface, yet says so much. Until the government of Spain demonstrates compassion and puts an end to this “tradition”, the people of Spain who are trying so hard to stop it are just coming up against a brick wall. These beautiful dogs are disposed of by hanging, shooting, poisoning, abandoned with broken limbs so they can’t get home (or what they have been accustomed to as “home”), or just allowed to starve to death, all because they didn’t catch the hare fast enough in the competition. Yes, there is cruelty all over the world in our so-called progressive society, but the march continues to allow the hunting dogs of Spain the dignity and respect that all living things deserve.

  12. charlotte nightlinger
    August 30, 2015

    MAKE IT A BIG DEAL AND GET PETITIONS TO THE GOV’TS AND MAKE FACEBOOK YOUR VISUAL HOME FOR THESE DOGS AND YOU WILL GET MONEY, ASK FOR IT, FOR THE CARE AND GET VETERINARIANS INVOLVED, AND SINGLE OUT SPAIN AS THE SOURCE, EVEN THOUGH SPAIN IS NOT THE SOURCE BUT YOU GOTTA START SOMEWHERE SO IT MIGHT AS WELL BE SPAIN. THERE IS ANIMAL ABUSE EVERYWHERE, BUT THESE TRACK DOGS ARE USED AND ABUSED AND THROWN OUT TO DIE IN THE STREETS AND IT IS A WORLD WIDE PROBLEM, WE HAVE IT HERE IN THE USA, WE HAVE CHARITIES AND ADOPTIONS AND REHAB FACILITIES BUT WHEN PEOPLE SEE THE CONDITION OF THESE DOGS ALL THESE DOGS WHO ARE TOO OLD TO WORK, MAKE A CHARITY AND SEND YOUR HORROR PHOTOS TO EVERY GOVERNMENT OFFICIAL WHO OPENS HIS OR HER EMAIL EVERYDAY. THEY WILL GET GOING EVENTUALLY BECAUSE IT HURTS AND HAUNTS THE SOLE AND PEOPLE NEED TO KNOW AND SEEEEE. THE DISASTER. GET SOME RICH PEOPLE TO OPEN UP SOME FACILITIES DEDICATED TO THESE TRACK DOGS AND CLOSE DOWN THE GREYHOUND TRACKS IN EVERY CITY, COUNTRY, SMALL TOWN, GET THEM TO STOP RACING THESE POOR DOGS. LET’S BUILD UP THE GENETICS AND THE HEALTH AND IF SPAIN WANTS GOOD PUBLICITY THEN START SOMETHING INSTEAD OF WHINING ABOUT HOW EVERYONE IS PICKING ON SPAIN, OH POOR SPAIN…..OH POOR HELPLESSS DOGS WHO MAKE MONEY FOR YOU BY RACING THEMSELVES TO DEATH. YOU, SPAIN, ARE NOT BLAMELESS SO DON’T PRETEND YOU ARE. WE ARE ALL TO BLAME FOR LETTING THIS GET OUT OF HAND OVER ALL THESE YEARS. LET’S FIX IT NOW. STAND UP. FIGHT FOR THESE DOGS AND THEIR WELLNESS..

  13. Judy Greenfield
    August 30, 2015

    Thank you for shedding light, in your beautiful photos, on this situation in Spain. My galga was rescued along with 4 others from a 100′ well in 2005 and she is an incredible dog. I have heard that at the end of the hunting season, usually in February, between 30,000 and 70,000 are abandoned and killed. And that staggering number doesn’t include podencos and other hunting breeds. Please consider helping the wonderful people in Spain (including many ex-pat Britons) who rescue these dogs and struggle to pay for their upkeep. Our galguita is a cherished member of our family.

  14. Jon Hold
    August 30, 2015

    Sorry, but I can’t help but wonder what the perpetrators of such an act would look like “playing the piano” themselves.

  15. Jamie
    August 30, 2015

    I am sure that the comments that spoke to condemn an entire nation weren’t meant to do so. Every nation has inhabitants that are insensitive to animal suffering. I certainly hope no one lumps me with the people in the USA who behave similarly.

  16. Carly Chichester
    August 30, 2015

    The entire human race needs to be held accountable for the horrors we, as a “superior” species, have visited upon ALL animals, service animals in particular. I am daily sickened by the abuse, the neglect, the torture and death I read about and see involving animals. What does it take to stop the evil that despicable people of ALL nations heap upon these beautiful creatures?

  17. M. Labadie
    August 30, 2015

    To “Coto” — I don’t think anyone is “blaming” Spain for what is going on. It’s important to bring to light ANY animal cruelty that goes on in this world — whether in America, Africa, Asia or Spain — because in order for the cruelty to stop, everyone must be made aware that it’s even occurring. The more of us who speak up against such atrocities, the louder our voices become for the animals who have no voice. No animal should be subjected to inhumane treatment.

  18. Concerned
    August 30, 2015

    Science sees morality spread-eagled on stakes,
    ‘Cause mankind hasn’t evolved,
    Spirituality sure’s gone off the rails,
    And intellectual barbarians are at the gates.

  19. Jodie
    August 30, 2015

    I volunteer for a a dog rescue. This is not just Spain. There are people who do this EVERYWHERE. I have seen such needless suffering forced on these animals who want nothing more than to love and be loved. If you want to do something, please volunteer with a local shelter or rescue. An hour a month walking dogs, or even fostering a dog for a weekend to keep it socialized (and reset the clock if it’s a kill shelter) helps a lot. If you can’t do that, donate your old towels and blankets to the shelter, or donate cash as you can, or a bag of dog food.

  20. Oscar
    August 30, 2015

    Sus fotos y comentarios son basura… Es mentira q en España se abandonen o maltraten los perros.. Dejen de hacer demagogia y no vengan a nuestro país a decirnos como tenemos q comportarnos.. Esas fotos están preparadas y hechas con el pero de algún ecologeta..
    Preocupese de los animales de su país q los españoles ya lo hacemos de los nuestros

  21. mazaher
    August 30, 2015

    Dear indignant Spaniards, of course foreigners take part and bring money to cruel sports and festivals in Spain. Many other tourist destinations have left them behind! Humans everywhere are a rather unprincipled species, buut some cultures are more inclined than others to take advantage of the fact. Abolish corrida, the Pamplona festival, the torture of the donkey, the coursing of hares and the custom of torturing dogs to death, and you will find your culture in much better standing to discuss cruel sports in the other countries which still allow them.

  22. Coto
    August 30, 2015

    What is even more horrible is to see all these ‘cultivated people’ blaming Spain and its people. Of course, this is just one part the story, and we live in a world where the bad spreads easier and faster. So Just FOR YOUR INFORMATION if you go to Pamplona for the running of the Bulls, you will MAINLY SEE AUSTRALIANS, AMERICANS AND BRITONS! So please calm down as your ‘civilized’ country is full of ignorants. Cruelty with animals occur all around the globe. Please look at yourself before blaming.

  23. Dona Duncan Wolfe
    August 30, 2015

    It is the same in MANY countries. We have less love and more hate. Can I design a greeting card you could sell to raise funds?

  24. Ron DePayalo
    August 30, 2015

    Just crossed Spain off from my vacation list. I will not spend my time or money in a country that allows this kind of treatment to such beautiful animals!

  25. Annette
    August 28, 2015

    Beautiful dogs and beautiful photos. These animals deserve our love and care for all they do for humans, not death. Let’s stop this crazy

  26. sandra halling
    August 25, 2015

    How can I help

  27. Sandy Dean
    August 24, 2015

    I am glad to see someone bring the need of these gorgeous dogs to the forefront. I am thankful to each person who contributes in any way to rescue and transport them to homes so they can feel safe and loved for the rest of their lives. Most people that do not reside in Spain are unaware of the plight of so many of these dogs. They truly are the sweetest, most elegant dogs I have ever known. If people are aware, they are more likely to get involved in some manner and might even provide a home for a few. So, thank you for the pictures Martin! I would also welcome exposure of the horrible abuse of pit bulls in the United States. I would like to see laws in both countries impose huge fines and prison time for the abusers. I have a loving, beautiful pit bull that was rescued in the U.S. And my daughter has rescued 3 galgos from Spain to provide loving homes for them.

  28. Travis Patenaude
    August 22, 2015

    I’m one of the founders of a Galgo adoption group in Chicago, IL. I have spent several weeks volunteering at the shelters in Spain. For everything these dogs have to endure while they are with their hunters and still be such loving and affectionate dogs. Here is one story of a Galgo we brought over from one of the shelters in Spain, she is now in a New Mexico Prison. http://www.chicagonow.com/pet-rescue-laura-young/2015/08/rescued-galgo-becomes-therapy-dog/

  29. Nancy Harlow
    August 22, 2015

    How do the Spanish (or any culture that embraces cruelty) think they are judged by the rest of the world? If you are inhumane you are less then human.

  30. Jonathan Cenzual
    August 22, 2015

    First, beautiful but heartbreaking book, I am glad it is bringing awareness to the issues relating to this dogs. Second, it is a sign of ignorance to generalise, and to say things like “the ignorant people of Spain” and “The treatment of these dogs reflects the attitude that the
    citizens of Spain have for animals in general” is not only wrong, but it is insulting.
    Yes, animals are treated badly in Spain, but this is not an isolated case, this is something that happens all over the world, and it is wrong regardless of where and why it happens.
    So maybe instead of going on a witches hunt, we should first celebrate the people, who happen to be Spanish, who run these dog rescue centers with only donations as a mean of support, and second try and teach people that animals deserve our utmost respect.

    • Vicki
      August 24, 2015

      I apologize for generalizing all of Spain’s population. I meant no disrespect. You are correct, this type of abuse happens all over the world. Thank you to all who help abused or neglected animals.

  31. AnneMarie Meulenbelt
    August 22, 2015

    Pracht honden die niet na afdanking zo zo’n wrede manier aan hun einde horen te komen. . SNIKGeef ze een warm mandje.

  32. Ginny Vitera
    August 21, 2015

    An interesting article. I praise Martin for photographing these abused hounds and bringing attention to their suffering. When will the Spanish wake up to their abuse and disrespect of animals?

  33. Arleen Raymond
    August 21, 2015

    Thank you for bringing this subject to the awareness of the public. I hope there will be more help for these gentle animals.

  34. Sara Buján
    August 21, 2015

    Forgot to add…From where do you think you adopt these dogs? Fyi, most of Galgos and Podencos come from houses when they’re adopted, are not in jails or in bad condition, and the ones who actually make them feel good again, have a social personality and make them stop fearing humans are the volunteers of the shelters of Spain, sometimes (if they need it) they even have a personal trainer to help them. WE CARE about animals, and WE FIGHT against that people who hurt them, no matter if they’re from spain or from another country.

  35. Sara Buján
    August 21, 2015

    I’m Spaniard and i saw really disgusting comments about how “ignorant” we are or how “traditional”; Spain is not a stone age country, if you don’t know this is probably because you’re more ignorant that what you think we are. Spain has tons of shelters to help animals (i do help in one btw), so instead criticize Spain try to search more about your how country, because this photographer didn’t try to make Spain look bad but instead make people realize how hard is the life of an abandoned animal.
    Then again, all those who criticize i invite you to help in shelters that exist in your own country, because this happen in lot of places, and it’s really easy to say how sad this is but just a few of this people actually help any animal.

  36. Stephanie Gruber
    August 21, 2015

    I purchased a copy of Martin’s book, it’s lovely as well as informative. I adopted two Spanish galgos – they are beautiful, loving, intelligent dogs that don’t deserve what they get in Spain I also have two retired racing greyhounds. Many of my friends have spent time in the shelters in Spain helping with the dogs and acting as a flight patron to bring them back to the US. If you want to help, consider a donation to Save A Galgo Espanol, Scooby North America, Love Hope Believe Galgo Rescue or The Sighthound Underground. These US groups partner with the Spanish shelters to get the dogs to the US and provide good homes. Every little bit helps.

  37. Teresa
    August 21, 2015

    I’m from Spain,specifically from Catalonia, and what happens is horrible. I have to tell you that I’m desegree about “all Spanish ” that’s not true , every day more and more people are fighting against cruelty, and this cruelty exist over the world. We have to fight against zoos, aquariums,farms where they are living crowded. Cruelty is everywhere, and of course Bullfight, hunting dogs, etc makes me feel ashamed. I?m happy because every day in more spanish cities do not allowed bullfights, In Catalonia is prohibited and last month has approved a law on behalf of animals and the use of animals in circuses is prohibited. Please don’t generalize… Anyway animal’s lives are sacred. Sorry about my english…

    • Fay Lawrence
      August 21, 2015

      Sadly I didn’t mean it as a jab at Spain, worded that wrongly, I know lots of animal cruelty goes on globally, like trophy hunters in Africa from America mainly, I’d probably say very ‘Africa’, then again bear fights with dogs I’d say very Pakistan, didn’t word it very well I agree, just like fox hunting very British, sorry if I caused offense, I am a HUGE animal lover and I support so many causes, I also love so many different countries, so my apologies, but I’m proud to say I was also part of the support to ban the bullfighting in Spain. Namaste!

  38. Agnes Blevi
    August 21, 2015

    Adopt first; these beautiful and gracious animals have a very kind nature. I really can’t understand why Spanish people let them suffer so much. No laws against animal cruelty in Spain; would help there were. Hope and pray all of that will change soon !

  39. Judy Phillips
    August 21, 2015

    Really? These practices are just as common in the U.S.
    Litters of pitbull are puchased from breeder with no regards to the quality of the animals they are breeding because they are sold as hunting dogs and are not expected to live beyond there first hunt. They’re called bait dogs and the only training they receive is how to bite and hold onto another living thing until it dies or they fall off dead themselves. Practice is done on the runts and shy of the litter. After their first and usually only hunt any that are not expected to survive without investment are shot and left on the spot they land.
    So don’t judge other countries when the same sick treatment of animals is happening in your own backyards!

  40. Maureen Feely
    August 21, 2015

    Unfortunately this horrible abuse happens in the USA in regards to racing Greyhounds. If they fail to run and win their fate is sealed. Many die mercilessly. I have adopted 3 and they are magnificent and loyal companion dogs.

  41. Fay Lawrence
    August 21, 2015

    I lived in Andalusia Spain for over 5yrs, and every year sure enough I’d be filling my car up with dogs just left on the side of the roads, very sad, and very Spain, sadly. Awesome photographs really captures a lot of emotion I’ve seen so many times in Spain.

  42. Vicki Cardwell
    August 21, 2015

    I’m crying. Dear God, please help these ignorant people of Spain learn to love all creatures, especially these amazingly beautiful dogs. Thank you for bringing this story to the forefront. I will certainly purchase your book.

  43. Joan Churton
    August 21, 2015

    I am awestruck by these photographs. I wish I could do more to help rescue these beautiful animals. I totally disagree with how the Spanish are treating their animals. I lose a lot of respect for the people that treat their animals so poorly.

  44. Charles O. Slavens
    August 21, 2015

    The treatment of these dogs reflects the attitude that the
    citizens of Spain have for animals in general; I offer bull
    “fighting” as an example. This form is cruelty isn’t limited
    to just Spain. It is not an uncommon practice America’s
    deep south to shoot a dog that “don’t hunt”. However,
    I’ve never heard of them being tortured here for failing to
    perform.

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