Can hyenas be bred with a dog?

Bred to Die: Spain's doomed hunting dogs

The veterinarian Pilar Perez Martinez from Murcia works regularly with the dogs that are being rescued from Galgos del Sol. She is also a Galguera and says that many Galgueros love their dogs and would never harm them. She is often frustrated by the stigma attached to the Galgueros. “I feel personally attacked in many situations, for example when I go for a walk with my Galgos and someone just comes and criticizes me, even though they don't know me or my animals. I think that the [participants in the races] should be viewed separately from the animal abusers, ”she says.

The next generation is the key

In the last few years the situation for the Galgos has improved a little. Findlay says fewer animals are hanged than in 2003. New state-wide laws against cruelty to animals went into effect in 2004, 2007 and 2010, and many provinces and localities have passed similar regulations since then.

Despite the high-profile persecution of a few Galgueros who have thrown their dogs in wells, the vast majority of the perpetrators are never punished because they are rarely caught in the act. “There is no concrete trace of paper,” says Solera. Many of the dogs are not chipped. And even if they do, the Galgueros cut out the microchips before "disposing" of their dogs. In addition, many rescuers often fail to report such cases because they fear retaliation. “It's a very difficult balance,” says Solera. "And a very ugly industry."