Hound Sanctuary is a rescue sanctuary that offers foster, safe haven, behavior modification, training, outreach & education, and adoption–to exceptional homes and adopters, to whom we also provide long-term guidance, support, affiliation, and follow up. We serve needy sighthounds, with a focus on the Galgo Espanol (something like a Spanish greyhound, from a layperson’s perspective), the Podenco Ibicenco (Spanish Ibizan hound) and American Ibizan, Podenco Canario, and other sighthounds including borzoi, wolfhounds, deerhounds, salukis, Afghan hounds, and similar. We also help other dogs when we have the funds and space to do so. Our rescue missions are enacted locally, regionally, nationally, and internationally. Our current residents are from Spain (galgos and podencos) and the USA (borzoi).
Every year, thousands of sweet, loyal hounds are obtained by hunters, sometimes kept near-starving because the hunters believe a starving hound makes a better hunting dog. Then, when hunting season is over, most of these dogs are horribly tortured, mutilated, and killed (*hanging is one common method) or abandoned on the streets of Spain, suffering further abuses, injuries, and/or painful deaths. This vicious cycle is repeated every year, with new dogs, followed by new abuses, neglect, abandonments, and/or killings. This photo was taken at one of the perreras (something like kill shelters–also known as “killing stations”) in Spain. Fortunately, this hound has been rescued, but without your support, thousands more like him will be left with little hope each year.
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Because these dogs are not only devoted but also highly intelligent, some of their hunter-owners will take extreme measures to keep them from applying their wit and devotion to finding their way back home after abandonment. For example, podencos and galgos have been found with their legs broken so that they can’t get back home, or their eyes gouged out so they can’t see to get back home. Some have been set on fire as a means of free euthanasia, many are hanged from trees, some have their mouths pried permanently open so that they cannot eat, and one recently had its throat slit in front of a rescue worker, apparently out of spite. They are often hit by cars and left in the road to suffer until dead. Sadly, the best outcome for those of them not turned into a rescue group may be that they are left to wander the countryside–unharmed in the beginning, perhaps, but starving and declining day by day. The shelters are often for-profit, which raises some interesting questions in the rescue community.