WINTER PARK, Fla. (WSVN) — Troubled greyhounds from Europe have found life-saving help thousands of miles away, thanks to a Florida organization that brought them across the Atlantic.
Spanish greyhounds, known as galgos, are an ancient breed once owned by nobility. Today, they’re used, abused and discarded by Spanish hunters called galgueros.
After having crossed the pond, Lizzie and Ellie have received a brand-new leash on life.
James Farrell adopted the Iberian canines.
“They didn’t have a great life. As a matter of fact, Lizzie was found on a trash heap with her puppies when Galgos del Sol got her,” he said.
The scenario Farrell described is not uncommon in Murcia, Spain, where Tina Solera founded and runs the nonprofit Galgos del Sol.
Solera said the organization saves dogs that would otherwise die on the streets.
“They’re just thrown out, they’re literally just thrown out, just let go,” she said, “and it’s in high numbers, tens of thousands every year.”
Solera tells the dogs’ stories on social media.
“Many come in, broken legs, broken backs, broken necks,” she said.
Most of these rescues are so scared, they have to be trapped.
“They’re literally running on two broken legs, and you still need a trap to catch them, because the adrenaline is so high and they’re so terrified,” said Solera.
Once the dogs are at GDS, their rehab begins. The lucky ones get adopted through groups like Greyhounds in Motion, a group based out of Winter Park, Florida.
Volunteers travel to spain to pick up the dogs and fly them to Miami.
Video showed several dogs shortly after they touched ground in the Sunshine State just a few weeks ago.
Linda Vick said she adopted Pancakes and Waffles two and a half years ago.
“They’re known as ‘The Breakfast Club,’ because of the way that they were named,” she said.
To see them now, it’s hard to believe Pancakes and Waffles were in very poor shape when they were found.
Natalie Diaz of Greyhounds in Motion said she was there when the dogs were first located.
“The best I can describe them, they smelled like death,” she said. “Their manes were so bad, their ears were encrusted with ticks.”
But Pancakes and Waffles survived and made it to Florida. Now they’re thriving, just like Lizzie and Ellie.
“They have a great life now, yeah. They definitely have a sweet life,” said Farrell.
From the street life to the sweet life. That’s what Solera hopes for all her dogs, especially those with special needs.
“We can’t get them homes here in Spain, so if it wasn’t for Greyhounds in Motion, those dogs could be spending the next 10 years in kennels,” she said.
Greyhounds in Motion has brought 120 dogs from Spain since they started helping Galgos del Sol back in 2019, and because they dogs travel in kennels on planes, they’re pausing for the summer due to the heat. They plan to start back up in the fall.
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