A Very Special Mission to Spain

Volunteers are the backbone of the Galgo Rescue International Network, and we feel truly blessed to have so many willing, passionate individuals as part of the GRIN family. This fall, two ladies from Ohio, Debbie Grega and Chris Mosey, set off to Scooby to volunteer. They took with them over 200 pounds of medical and practical supplies which, with the help of Sandra Baas of Baas Galgo (www.baasgalgo.com), were delivered to seven Spanish shelters. They spent an intense, life-changing week at Scooby and returned to the US with 7 rescued dogs bound for loving forever homes. GRIN is grateful for their efforts, and also grateful to all our donors and supporters, without whom this special mission would not have happened. Please click "read more" to read Debbie and Chris' commentaries on their week at Scooby! The accompanying video is a photo montage created by Debbie in honor of her experiences at Scooby.


From Debbie Grega:

To my special People,
There are so many stories that I could write about and so many things that learned in such a short period of time when I went on an adventure of a lifetime to the Scooby refuge in Spain. I promise you that I will take the time to write a journal but for now I would like to just share a couple of things with you. Scooby will always forever hold a very special place in my heart.

Besides the all of the animals especially the enormous amount of dogs (Galgos) that I had the great opportunity to meet and spend time with, was the people that I meet. I was told by someone before I left that Scooby was a little slice of heaven and by the second day there I realized that they were right. My first day was very difficult to tell you the truth, and very overwhelming, but the evening of the second day there Sandra, Chris and I sat and talked for a every long time and if Sandra knows it or not she was a god send. She put so many things into proportion for me and taught me so many things in just a short period of time. The love that the people have for the animals in Scooby I could never imagine feeling until now.

I know that there is a lot of people that feel people here should help the dogs here and have no business over there in another country, but again I learned something else. Our culture is so different than theirs. There are latterly hundred of people in the United States that stand up for and help Greyhound and every other type of animal here, but society is very different, Scooby relies on people like us to solely survive. I meet many people from different countries Holland, Mara co, Germany, and Spain that came together for one single reason. The survival and well being of animals! But out of the hundreds here there are probably only a hand full there.

I would like to thank Eva, Abby, Telma, Ahmed, Ohla, Fermin, Maria and most of all Sandra, If wasn�t for all of you this experience would not have been possible. So I THANK YOU! And Abby I know we shared so much way before I even left and the head aches and difficult time we had with the Shipping of the supplies, the dog crates and the enormous increase of the airfare. I would like to tell you it was all worth it. The supplies all got there safe and sound and was appreciated so much by the people there and all 7 dogs made it here all safe and sound to start their new lives in America. Again I have to say all 7 of these dogs will always hold a very special place in my heart.


From Chris Mosey:

Before I tell you about my trip to Spain I�d like to thank everyone who supported me in this effort. Debbie and I were able to present several shelters with much needed medical supplies, collars, leashes, coats, and blankets. Monetary donations to Scooby were greatly appreciated as well. Please check out these websites:

www.scoobymedina.com It is the website of Scooby Rescue, the facility where we volunteered to work for a week.

www.galgorescue.org This is the website for Galgo Rescue International Network (GRIN). They coordinated our trip and helped make this all possible. Because of them we were able to bring 7 dogs back to the states with us. All of them have homes.

At first sight, Scooby can be almost overwhelming. Hundreds of dogs reside here, as well as many, many cats, donkeys, sheep, pigs, horses, ducks, geese�.you get the idea. Most of the dogs are Galgos, Spanish greyhounds, which are used for hunting, and, unfortunately, for some owners it's easier to kill the dogs after the season is over than to feed them all year long. That's where Scooby comes in. Fermin Perez began his rescue effort 20 years ago and Scooby was born. After spending time with Senor Perez and watching him in action, I wonder when he sleeps! He is truly devoted to his cause and honestly cares deeply for the animals.

The dogs are kept in paddocks, sometimes 10-15 together, and, although we were �covered in dogs� upon entering, not one dog showed us any aggression. They were friendly and well-adjusted for the most part, but it didn�t take long for us to see the day-to-day dynamics of canine social hierarchy. In every paddock it was obvious who was at the top of the pecking order. These dogs were generally fatter, pushier, more rambunctious and happy, happy, happy! I went over to volunteer with no intention of falling in love, but I came home with a 4 year old Galgo boy who, quite obviously, was not high in the hierarchy and I watched as the others would not let him eat. It was impossible to move him elsewhere because he would then be the new dog and the pack would begin, again, to determine the order of things. Where is Cesar Milan when you need him!?

Debbie and I spent a week shoveling, raking, hosing, hauling poop, and 'squeegeeing� the dog areas �and it was glorious! We even went in on our designated day off! The staff at Scooby was wonderful. They, too, put in long, hard days. Even with so many animals to care for it seemed that they knew all of them by name. While we were there a team of veterinarians from Holland came for a week to do nothing but spaying and neutering. It was a wonderful experience for me. I have a background in veterinary technology, animal control, shelter management, and rescue, but I�d not experienced an operation of this size with so much going on. Scooby Rescue certainly does a great job with the resources they have. Language differences are no barrier when your goal is the same. My Scooby experience was very positive, but I�m sure it's not for everyone. Some may find it difficult to process the concept of hundreds of dogs living together, most of whom will live out their lives at Scooby. Adoptions are few compared to our shelter standards but many, many go on to new homes and the photos of them with their new families are posted all over the walls at Scooby!

Please check out the websites and help if you can; some lives depend on it! THANK YOU!

Chris Mosey