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Poppy - Abandoned Dogs in Spain

The rescue world is tough and those involved witness some heart breaking events.

Puppies in plastic bags being abandoned in bins, dogs thrown out of moving vehicles, injured dogs left to die in ditches, street packs and other stories of abuse and abandonment that can leave you feeling furious and questioning humanity.

We set up an animal rescue in Alicante, Spain and have had over 600 dogs come into our care, sadly, some are too traumatised to be rehomed and will stay in our special care for life.

Spain has a huge problem with animal abuse and stray and abandoned dogs, especially when the hunting season has finished and hunters or “galgueros” no longer have a purpose for their dogs.

The most common hunting breeds in Spain are Galgos and Podencos; these dogs are taken to killing stations while others are shot, burned to death, dumped alive in abandoned wells or tied up and left to die as a “tradition”.

The most famous form of this torture is called the "Piano Dance". This involves hanging the dog by its neck with its feet just touching the ground as it struggles to breathe and is slowly strangled to death by its own movements.

The lucky ones are left to roam the mountains and fend for themselves or are given to animal shelters such as Rushton Dog Rescue.

These dogs spend most of their lives in tiny, damp, soiled underground bunkers or windowless shacks deprived of daylight, exercise and affection. Typically the dogs are starved to make them “hungry” for their prey, only given water and fed stale bread.

Disturbingly these dogs are regarded under Spanish law as “Working Dogs”, as such they are excluded from laws relating to pets and are considered to be “Goods”. This makes them no different to agricultural machines that can be used or disposed of in any manner its owner decides.

Every dog deserves a chance and should never be treated in such an inhumane way.

This kind of torture can cause a dog to express abnormal behaviour. When dogs are chained up they start to grind on the chain with their teeth, circling, tail chasing and other extreme habits begin. Unfortunately, it is this behaviour that can cause the development of severe OCD.

Once one of these dogs has been rescued it is a long road to recovery to try and cure these extreme habits. No dog is too much trouble for us, at Rushton Dog Rescue we believe every dog is worth fighting for.

Our efforts are rewarded when we see the results from rehabilitating these dogs back into society, giving them a new life. This is what fuels our passion and to us, that is worth more than gold.

Please help support our Abandoned Dogs of Spain Project by donating below.