Jul 192011


I have just been approached by a very high profile Spanish organization that is campaigning against animal cruelty in Spain.  This, of course, should be of interest to any right minded person and I hope that you will do your ‘bit’ to support them – and the many other organisations in Spain that do so much to help injured or homeless animals here.

Certainly, there is animal cruelty in Spain – just as there is in any country in the world.  However, it would be quite wrong to think that all Spaniards are cruel to their animals.  That is far from the case and you have only to attend a local festival like San Antonio to see that the vast majority of Spaniards love their pets and care for their animals.

However, there are enough Spaniards around who are cruel to their animals to give cause for genuine concern.  Yoquierogalgos (I love greyhounds) is a Spanish organization that highlights monstrous cruelty in Spain against greyhounds – focusing on these lovely dogs to highlight the problems of animal cruelty in Spain.

Certainly, Yoquierogalgos illustrate some stomach churning stories to illustrate cruelty to animals in Spain.  For example, some 50,000 (!!!) greyhounds are dumped every year after the end of the greyhound racing season in January/February.  These dogs have a racing life of two years and then are, quite simply, disposed by their owners, like rancid meat.

Meanwhile, the training of greyhounds is often brutal with tying a greyhound to a car for ‘training’ (‘el galgo a motor’) actually still legal in Andalusia.  In many cases, the dogs concerned die, are run over or go blind from the effort involved in keeping up with an accelerating vehicle.

Needless to say, illicit dog fighting in Spain continues in many areas of the country.  This is a particularly revolting sport that has disappeared from most civilized countries long ago.  Tragically, this is not the case here and many large family dogs are stolen only because they can be used as bait and practice for fighting dogs.  Often the stolen dogs used for ‘practice’ have their teeth removed before being forced to fight, so that they do not damage the valuable fighting dogs.  Disgusting.

Part of the problem is that the sanctions for animal cruelty in Spain are laughable. At best, if someone is found guilty of cruelty to animals in Spain they will receive a fine of 100 Euros!  There are no prison sentences available to the courts to punish cruelty to animals and often the Spanish police are reluctant to take action.

Yoquierogalgos told me of a recent case where a man murdered and tortured a puppy.  This was recorded on video, posted on the Internet and showed the dog being tortured for 29-minutes – during which the poor creature was burned, had its limbs broken and objects inserted inside it.  After months of investigation (following numerous complaints) the culprit was found and identified as a Treasury official in Badajoz who already had a history of torturing dogs.  He was issued with a fine…

As Yoquierogalgos say: “Unfortunately, this is the reality in Spain. If nothing happens to a psychopath like the man in Badajoz then what will exists to punish hunters, gypsies and dog breeders who are also guilty of continuous and terrible cruelty?”

Clearly, something needs to be done and a start would be to have realistic punishments in place for anyone guilty of cruelty to animals in Spain.  This is certainly something for which Yoquierogalgos are campaigning.  They are also, of course, trying hard to change the culture of cruelty that clearly exists in some sections of Spanish society.  Needless to say, this is the long range solution but perhaps the most important one to tackle and one that you can help with – by changing the opinions of those who feel animal cruelty (anywhere in the world) is acceptable.

Interestingly, Yoquierogalgos have some really powerful support for their campaign against animal cruelty in Spain and have enlisted some of the biggest ‘names’in Spain to help them.  These include people like Malu, Alexandra Jiménez, Rocío Madrid, Sandra Barneda,  Mariano Alameda and Monica Naranjo amongst many others.  To put these people in perspective Malu is a major pop star, Rocío Madrid is a TV presenter and actress, Sandra Barneda is a nationally known journalist and TV presenter, Mariano Alameda is a famous actor and Monica Naranjo is a very well known multi-million record selling star.

So, do have a look at the site of Yoquierogalgos (it is also in English) and give them your support.  But, beware – some images are very disturbing.

Finally, if you have time, do not forget your local animal sanctuaries (near me in Valencia Province it is SPAMA ) many of whom do wonderful work.

Nick Snelling


 Yoquierogalgos magazine    

Yoquierogalgos web site    

Pets in Spain

The San Antonio Fiesta


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  13 Responses to “Animal Cruelty in Spain”

  1. yr report seems to confuse hunting dogs with greyhounds (both are pictured) and the latter are also dumped when they become old or unproductive. Your report fails to mention that the traditional way of killing these surplus animals is to hang them resulitng in a slow and painful death; this to save thecost of a cartridge. dogs that have been particularly disappointing are killed in what is known as the typewriter. They are tied to a tree in such a way that they sit up but as they become weaker they cannot maintian this posture so gradually sink down and strangle themselves. this can take days and the typewriter refers to the frantic movement of their front legs as theysink lower and lower.

  2. Pedro, thank you for your comments which show all too clearly the need for something to be done. I was trying to avoid detailing the full horror of what happens but what you say is helpful and will further advise people that action is needed. Certainly harsh state sanctions are needed – and the will to enforce them.

  3. Thank you for helping to expose the plight of the Galgos. It is truly sickening how the powers that be in Spain turn their backs on this situation.

  4. Valeria, thank you – something really does need to be done!-

  5. Maybe there’s some deeply-set logic-defying underlying psychological reason that someone pays out €650 + for a pedigree puupy only to leave it chained up on a roof or in a yard without shade, food and water. Its more than ignorance. Great article by Journalist, Nick Snelling, that confirms the horrific cruelty to dogs in Spain. British Expats most definetly are shocked and outraged at the cruelty to anilmal they see every day around Andalucia and the Campo de Gibraltar. Ponies and donkeys chained up on the roadsides without water, starving dogs, birds in cages smaller than themselves!
    My neighbors dog (very expensive Boxer type) was permanently chained to a post with a barren bush as shade. The chain was so short it couldn’t excrement away from its bed or food and the stench was terrible…poor animal. Yet these people are respected local digniatories and appear to be a lovely family. What Nick’s article doesn’t dare to confront is the indemic general lack of respect to care for animals.
    I guess the resources of ‘The Guardian’ Spanish reports would have sufficient resources for a deep investigation and perhaps some logical cultural explanation?
    None the less, Nick Snelling is producing a fantastic serios of Cultural commentaries that dare to investigate those sensitive questions about the cultural differences betwen Spain and the British Expats.

  6. i have been researching abuse on dogs i spain as to me, personally, it seem to be a popular trait to some. i am using this subject in my presentation for my degree and seem to come across the same thing, also looking on the darker side of this is horrific but yet realsitically it happens and i am shocked, i found another website which showed 86 abuse casesin spain and 57 of those were dog related but also 5 of those offenders were prosecuted – sorry that word it too harsh.. let off with a measley 60 euro fine up to 11 months in prison, but yet the people who hung their dogs burnt them or shot or tortured these dogs were not acutally prosecuted at all, it disgusting, the animal protection law has been put into place but communities in spain choose to over turn this so called law as the do not seen these animal deserve any respect or rights… not worth the paper it is written on and will be interested to find out alot more in dept information

  7. Jonesy, do get hold of Yoquierogalgos – they speak English and if you e.mail them I am sure that they can provide you with more information.

  8. Si necesitas cualquier tipo de información, no dudéis en contactar con nosotros.
    Un saludo Equipo YOQUIEROGALGOS.


  9. I live in Chiclana and have some friends who run a rescue/rehoming centre for dogs found on the street (Happy Endings). They tell me that this cruelty is not reserved to the Spaniards but some Brits have been known to return to the UK leaving their dogs and cats to starve. I have a Spanish neighbour who keeps his 2 dogs chained to trees 24 hours a day, come rain or shine. He feeds and waters them but I’m sure that they will die of exposure this winter. A previous (beautiful Alsatian) of his, treated in a similar manner, disappeared last winter, not to be seen again. I’m afraid that if I make an observation, I will build myself a bad neighbour problem. As a “guest” in this country, I certainly can do without that kind of hostility. Oh Dear…

  10. Well put – it is not just the Spanish (who are generally good to their animals) but other nationalities too!

  11. You should have a look into Jamie VON Card Facebook page not very nice photo’s and he has his work status as work’s at cat punchers

  12. i would like to see animal abuse stopped in every country,and educate people on animal breeding.Iunderstand countries have different cultures,and religions,but if we work toghter.Maybe we can stop the abuse,animals are GODS CREATURES he put them here,for reasons.one they are not to be abused.SO PLEASE LETS FIGHT TO STOP ALL ANIMAL ABUSE AND GET LAWS PASSED TO PROTECT THEM.If i can help in any way please just ask and i will GOD BLESS US ALL.

  13. don’t even get me started on the way middle easterners treat animals

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