Abandoned and Mistreated Dogs on the Costa Del Sol Spain
There’s a dark side to Andalucia and Murcia, which will never be mentioned in the tourist guides or holiday websites. If you’ve been to these areas before, you’ll have noticed the starving dogs lurking around restaurants, hoping to be thrown a bread crust; you’ll have side stepped the dog dirt on pavements or driven past dogs lying injured and ignored by the roadside.
It’s especially bad at certain time of year when the Spanish hunting season has finished for the winter, and the galgueros – Spanish hunters – abandon their galgos – hunting greyhounds – in their tens of thousands. The hunters abandon their dogs like a cigarette. They will buy new ones in September to hunt with next season.
Over the past 10 to 15 years, many Costa del Sol resorts have seen considerable regeneration with shopping centres, restaurants, hotels, family beaches etc. Malaga also suffers from an abandoned dogs problem.
The dogs roam around the restaurants, sometimes the staff throw them bread, or they will call the dog pound. Everywhere you walk there’s dog dirt. What impression does that give to tourists?
Tina Solera is an Englishwoman who is trying to do something about it. She and her Spanish husband, Jaime, have lived in Murcia with their two children for four years. In that time, Tina has gone from being a volunteer in a Spanish-run animal shelter to opening her own animal refuge – Galgos del Sol – specifically for galgos, in collaboration with, and on land belonging to another English couple, Gaynor and Les who moved to Spain from Warwickshire.
The abandoned dog problem in Spain is heartbreaking, hard to describe without getting upset,” she says. “We take them from motorways, snare traps and dog pounds – known here as killing stations – most have injuries and are terrified. Every day I see stray dogs. A good day is when I only see one.
If you would like to help a rescue centre then we recommend F A M A, Foundation for Abandoned and Mistreated Animals http://famaspain.com
We have personal experience of their work and devotion to abandoned dogs.