Galgos are an ancient breed of hunting dog once raised exclusively by Spanish nobles. Today they are bred in large numbers by “galgueros” for the hunting season.
At the end of their useful life they are deemed worthless and expensive, and are therefore destroyed in a variety of atrocious and inhumane ways.
[Galgos are] similar in appearance to greyhounds, with a smaller, lighter build, and have either smooth or shaggy coats. People who work with galgos say they tend to be loyal, kind, and affectionate. Source.
Galgos can make excellent pets if they were given the chance. They can sleep for up to 16 hours per day (so low maintenance!).
Unfortunately due to their build and temperament, mass breeding programmes also take place to unearth that courser that is good enough to make money.
They are kept in poor conditions, chained outdoors in small concrete bunkers, with just enough food to stay alive. The strange theory is to keep the Galgo hungry enough so they have a competitive edge.
There are stories about Galgos eating other Galgos when they die, such is their lack of food. Often part of their speed training is to tie them in groups to the back of a motorbike or car. If one falls down, runs out of stamina or gets injured, so what!
Image: A Typical Undernourished Galgo. Source
Between 50, 000 and 100, 000 Galgos are abandoned or sacrificed each year, out of an estimated 500, 000 Galgos used for hunting hare. This in part is because so many do meet the expectations of the galgueros.
Even those that meet expectations can do so for two year, possibly three years at a push, after which they are treated like all of the other “failures” when they begin to slow down or not run as far as they used to.
The bizarre thing is, galgueros often have family pets that are not Galgos that live in the family home. Galgos are treated as tools and money making machines.
Image: A “Lucky” Galgo Survivor. Source
Unfortunately Countries like Spain are ‘stuck in time’ in that they hang on to cultural tradition and will generally not be progressive and move past such barbaric acts.