Rescue in Utrera

While recently visiting Utrera (Sevilla), Spain, G.R.I.N. member and galgo dad Gary Lopez became aware of a dreadful situation. Four galgos were being kept in deplorable conditions in a trashed apartment flat. Gary reported his findings to Defensa de los Derechos de la Vida Animal (DDEVIDA). Rescuers from DDEVIDA were able to save three of the four galgos.

Below is the account of the rescue by DDEVIDA rescuer Encarni:

On Sunday, the first of July, we were with Gary and his family taking photographs of the house and the animals from the roofs and terraces of neighboring homes. The next day we went directly to the City hall to talk with the individual in charge of the case but for various reasons we were sent away and asked to return on Wednesday. That same day we returned to the abandoned house with a bucket and rope to lower food and water to the animals from the roof of the adjacent building, from the same location where we had taken the pictures, but the neighbors did not want to let us do this because the owner of the animals is a known delinquent and they were afraid he would retaliate against them if he were to learn that they were helping the animals. This complicated things because we couldn't even see or feed the animals while we were trying to find a way to rescue them.

When we returned on Wednesday to city hall they once again turned us away and our group decided to present a complaint with the photographs we had taken so that the condition of the animals could be seen, we needed to act fast before it would be too late because we knew that one of the dogs was in particularly bad shape and needed veterinary attention. On Thursday the police contacted us and informed us that they were looking for the alleged owner of the animals but they were unable to find him. It is not normal here for the police to get involved in animal abuse cases, and in this case we have to commend the police for acting appropriately. A few hours later they had found the individual that was keeping the animals caged up, he was a young man who has had legal problems in the past and once he realized that we had filed a complaint, he quickly turned over the animals. Accompanied by the police, he went to the house and the police attempted to enter the premises but the smell and the filth were so overwhelming that they waited outside for him to bring out the animals.

There were only three, the one in the worst conditions was mising. When the police asked about the fourth dog the individual said that he had given it away. We believe that the animal probably was killed, died or that he had gotten rid of it in another terrible way. No galguero wants an animal in such poor conditions because for them these dogs are like tools and in such poor condition the dog would've been useless to any galguero.

When the police called us to inform us that they were removing the animals, we asked them to demand that the individual who had the dogs in such poor conditions sign a legal form where he would state he was turning the animals legally over to Ddevida. In addition we requested that the form demand that he promise to never bring any more animals to the premises. He agreed.

This is the story of how we were able to save three of the four animals that were in the abandoned house. Despite the fact that over the past few days we have been investigating to locate the missing animal we have been unsuccesful, which is the sad part of the story. On the other hand, the animals were not identified so we have no way of knowing if they were stolen or not. We are currently doing all we can to help these animals forget the terrible place where they were living and we will seek good families to take them into their homes where they will become part of their families for the rest of their lives. We believe we will be able to do so. Unfortunately the galgo that was worst off was missing when they removed the dogs from the property.