It is in the Middle Ages that the Spanish Greyhound is shaped and moulded. The great extension of uncultivated fields and fallow lands produced an increase in game, consolidating the tradition of running the hares with greyhounds, a practice that was as common in Arab realms as in Christian. War and hunting were mixed together in those times. As David Salamanca said, “The lebrel, the horse and the greyhound are three great warriors.”
How the problem begins
The owner of the Galgo, when the animal no longer served for the chase, had no other alternative but to sacrifice it, since economically he didn’t have the money to maintain it longer than was strictly necessary. The possible methods of sacrifice were few. They did not have shotguns because those were for rich folks. Hanging became the most-used method. It is a method which is undeniably cheap. In such a way the hanging of Galgos in Spain comes to us from time immemorial, put into practice by economic necessity, but continued by pure sadism.
The present day situation
The focus of said problems is on two topics: The uncontrolled breeding of Galgos and their massive abandoning at the end of the hunting season. Practically everybody in the country is allowed to breed Galgos – the simple precondition is to own a male and a female. There is no control whatsoever by any authority. Needless to say that the laws intended to govern this issue do exist, however, nobody abides by these laws nor executes any control as to their violation.
Theft of Galgos
Theft of Galgos is an important problem in the « galgueros »’ world (hunters owning Galgos). According to the police, the Galgo is the most frequently stolen canine breed in Spain. The Spanish police speaks of 1200 Galgo thefts in 1998 but we estimate this suspect that this number is just the top of the ice berg, about 20%.