Chained in the Middle of Nowhere, 120 Dogs Rescued

Editor’s note: This post is a Care2 favorite. It was originally published on August 9, 2012. Enjoy!

Written by Vivienne†Wharton†of Tara Case Dog Holiday Retreat in Murcia, Spain

It was with a heavy heart that I found myself going along one March day to†the rescue in Bullas Murcia. We set off to save a group of dogs, hoarded together and fed once a week on dried bread and crisps. The owner wanted to use the dogs to breed puppies for next yearís hunters. Some hunters dispose of these dogs like unwanted garbage at the end of each season. For those of you that have never known a Galgo or a Podenco, these loving intelligent and gentle creatures do not deserve this. They have served their master and are then treated as though they are†an unwanted and useless piece of machinery.

The Bullas rescue was planned by an organization called Pro-Setter. A legal battle ensued against the owner to get access to the dogs and access was allowed on a few prior arranged days, when only registered organizations could go in and rescue these dogs. I went along with the Little Pod Foundation, a great organization who had been very active in many rescues, including the one of the Beagles released from the Barcelona Laboratory. Along with them, we made plans to rescue eight Podencos. I was proud to be part of their team as it was a heart rending assignment, choosing which dogs to take and which to leave and I am glad I didnít have to make the choice.

A lot of planning had to be made very quickly prior to the rescue, for the veterinary treatment, the travel, the tests and the inoculations and of course their foster care. It seemed impossible with so many other things happening and needy dogs everywhere, funds had to be acquired for all of this and at the moment most charities are struggling, with the worst season for abandonment situations in many years.

This dog is now safe, but we will not rest while others suffer this way.

When we arrived, we were shocked to see that the conditions these dogs were in was diabolical. There were many hoarded in one huge enclosure, some of them terrified, some of them barely able to stand; the stronger ones still wagged their tails and I swear I could see in their body language the relief when we arrived.

Many were chained to trees with string so tight it cut into their necks; they had sores where they were so thin and lying on the cold ground, standing in their own poo, sick and urine. Their poor legs were sore and some had mange.

They had been fed occasionally on potato crisps and stale bread by their owner, so we understand. Once the volunteers had access and were able to give them food, their poor little tummies could barely cope with it. It was lovely to see, though, that as many of the dogs were put on collars and leads and given love and strokes, their demeanor changed as the day progressed.

The worst part of this day was that I knew the huge freshly dug holes in the ground were filled with the bodies of the poor creatures who did not survive; I didnít dare look but photographic evidence was taken and I believe very harrowing to see.

A reunion with a few of the rescued dogs.

A voluntary vet was on hand who chipped the dogs as the charities decided which they would take, they were passported and vaccinated for rabies; that part of it truly impressed me, it was all voluntary and paid for by contributions and charities. What a fantastic bunch of people. We have many dogs locally that need help too and so it makes it all the more harder, but this is an epidemic and we all need to help wherever we can.† At the end of the day, all dogs were rescued, but I am sad to report that the owner has another site where the same thing is taking place.

The only thing we must do now is to try to fight. In Spain, 50,000 hunting dogs are murdered and abandoned every year after the hunting season. These beautiful Galgos (Spanish greyhounds), Podencos and many other hunting breeds are horribly treated throughout their poor lives and there are no laws in Spain to protect them. This is going on all over Spain.

Unscrupulous owners are keeping dogs-en-masse in terrible conditions, allowing the dogs to starve or to suffer from disease and of course left in the open elements of a cold Spanish winter. Some are hung from trees, or burned alive or drowned.


Just look at how one of the dog’s rescued recently is living now, splashing with joy in a new home in Sweden.



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Grace Adams
Grace Adams12 months ago

Would it work any better to rent hunting dogs for the season and keep them in a sanctuary during the off season? I guess it would take a bit of money. At least it should be easier on the dogs if it could be worked out. I wonder if the dogs could be taught any skills that would be useful during the off season.

Florence Baribeau
Florence Baribeauabout a year ago

So sad but I'm so happy that they were saved and hopefully will have the same success with the other site. Bless Your Heart to all the people that participated with the rescue!

Melodie Leblois
Melodie Lebloisabout a year ago

It's make me sick to see people abandoning and hurting animals. They have to be punished.

All my admiration come to the people who rescued all those dogs and gave them a chance of living and being loved. Bravo to them.

Pablo B.
Pablo B.about a year ago


Yola S.
.about a year ago

So glad they were rescued.

Lori H.
Lori H.about a year ago

Please try to find the other location and put this evil monster in jail

Neville B.
Neville B.about a year ago

Criminal. Could all countries have licensing which includes a future verification of death as part of the fee?

Cindi S.
Cindi Scholefieldabout a year ago

When I lived in Spain as a student I loved it. Now I know so much more about the country and how they treat their animals that I wouldn't go back.

Melissa DogLover
Melissa DogLoverabout a year ago

Breaks my heart so much =[ I wish I could rescue/save/adopt every single doggy who needed a home.

Tetyana D.
Tetyana D.about a year ago

Awful story with happy ending. Hope that people who did this to the poor dogs are punished one way or another.