Englische Infos – english information
Ireland is the largest breeding country of Greyhounds in Europe. There are an estimated 20,000 Greyhounds produced yearly. For a while the "Greyhound Industry" was greatly promoted with funds directly from the Eurpoean Union, and now the funds are indirectly still flowing there. It is no doubt that from one litter comes 6-7 puppies, and only half are estimated to be regestered in the Stud books. What happens to the other half of the puppies that are not regesterd is uncertain. At 11 months the Greys run their first "test race", what happens afterwards to the so-called losers is also not clear. A daily routine in Ireland is deserted puppies, young dogs, and adult Greys. On the race track successful dogs run until the third to sixth year of life. Older Greyhounds are routinly non traceable. Since Greys can live 12 to 14 years, the question is, where are the estimated 150,000 Greys? A part of them end up in animal shelters (dog pounds and killing stations). At some race tracks auctions are held where dogs are bought by salesman from all over the world.
On the way to Spain
If the Greys are sold from Ireland to Spain, where they are subjected to dramaticly miserable living conditions without anywhere else to go. Locked up in small dark cages, they are then transported in trucks from Ireland to Spain, and there they become quickly worn out by how often they are made to race. The actual condition at the Spainish race track (Barcelona) is known to be considerly worse, to the race tracks in the United Kingdom and Ireland. The racing careers of the Greys are usually over within a few weeks due to muscle bruises, fractures, and other injuries, which then they are disposed of and replaced by a new replenishment of dogs.
The spanish relative
A relative to the Greyhound is the Spainish Galgo, which have dramatically similar living conditions even though Spain is their homeland. The difference is their quickness is used in Spain for rabbit hunting. The majority of dogs grow up crated and without contact to humans. Also the feeding and health care leaves a lot to be desired. We still don't know how many Spanish Galgos are produced yearly, as well as the number of dogs which are disposed in a cruel way (hung, beaten and mutilated). Beginning in August until the end of the hunting season in January the animal shelters accumulate Galgos. The majority are in pitiful conditions. Thirsty and almost starved to death, having injuries in all forms and often totally freaked out, the dogs are found by Spainish animal-rights activists or just thrown over the fence at the shelters. Some of the dogs can only be relieved of the pain. Their average age is normally between 1 and 4 years old. The young dogs are for the hunters worthless because they "failed" hunting, the older ones became to slow. Even though the Spainish animal-rights activits have worked so hard to talk with the hunters to just hand over the dogs, it has only worked with a few of them. The dogs normally only stay a short while at the shelters or killing stations, before they are put to sleep or killed. Others try through assistance or adoption groups to find the dogs permanent homes in other European countries. Close to Medina de Campo (around 150 km north west from Madrid) is where Scooby, an animal shelter, is located. The director, Fermin Perez, has sometimes at the end of the hunting season up to 600 dogs daily to take care of.
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