I knew it the instant I saw the distinct, familiar sadness in her eyes. I knew it the instant she looked up over the wirey tufts of blond tangled across her muzzle, and through her lashes long as sorrow. I knew it then, as I’ve known it before, as I will know it again and again. This dog has endured enough. And now, after enduring all she had been made to endure, this dog had been left for death, in a cold, wet, chaotic place, bearing her heart and mind in tatters. It is my job to see that this dog endures no further hardship. It is my job to mend this dog’s heart and mind, and then to see that she never is tattered again.
This is my job, always. Dahlia is one of the many podencos to come from Spain to Hound Sanctuary. She had been taken by her hunter-owner to a perrera (also known as a “killing station”—something like a high-kill shelter though much more degrading), and the hunter-owner had given the perrera permission to kill her, which meant that she would be put on the fast-track for euthanasia; she did not have much time to live. I knew nothing else about her. After begging a perrera volunteer, to no avail, to let me get her out of there (it was about to be a long holiday and the perrera would be closed, leaving her alone, cold, and at risk for days), I began a panicked reaching out to my contacts. There were some NOs, but soon enough, three of our trusted rescue-partners in Spain agreed to help. Soon Dahlia was on her way to foster in a little town near Denia, and soon after that she and two of her foster-siblings were on their way to us, where they would begin new lives, enjoying safety, happiness, and respect.
This, simply put, is what we do. Sometimes the situation of the particular dog is a bit less dire, but many times it is even direr. In their homeland, most of these dogs are neglected, abandoned, and tortured/killed on a daily basis. If you’d like to know more about this, please email me to discuss. As a thank you for caring, I offer you a few photos of the lovely Dahlia, now safe and happy in a real home.