Lifestyle & Human Interest

Dog's Pained Screams Break Rescuer's Heart While She Tries To Save Her


Greyhounds are beautiful, elegant dogs that have been exploited for their hunting and racing abilities over the years. They’re impressive animals and one of the fastest breeds on the planet.

Along with other sighthound breeds, they require a steady hand and owners who understand that these dogs have a deep need to chase and run — it’s in their DNA.

Their abilities have led to overbreeding for racing and hunting purposes, where the dogs are seen as tools or property and are discarded if they don’t measure up. While that happens at times in the states, it’s a big problem in Spain, too.

In Spain, the greyhounds used for hunting are referred to as “galgos,” and they are the focus of a rescue called “Galgos del Sol.”

“Galgos del Sol is a large rescue based in Murcia, Spain that rescues abandoned and injured galgos (Spanish hunting greyhounds), rehabilitates them and finds them forever homes in the UK, US and Belgium,” the rescue’s “About” page states. “Thousands of galgos are abandoned or killed annually at the end of each short hunting season and as they are not always viewed as potential pets in Spain, they usually end up in perreras (pounds), where their lives are ended, often not in ways we would consider humane.”

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“Galgos del Sol is entirely dependent on fundraising for its survival and is run founder, Tina Solera, assisted by a group of dedicated volunteers based in Spain, USA, Belgium and the UK.”

One particular pup who’s brought the rescue a lot of recognition lately is a lithe greyhound that has been named Matilda. While she’s a strikingly graceful creature now, she was in shockingly bad shape when she was first discovered on the streets.

When she was found, nearly every bone in her body was visible, jutting up through her thin skin and dull coat. She was terrified and in bad shape, and her screams were heartbreaking. She looked skeletal, and it had probably been some time since she’d experienced love from a human rather than abuse or neglect.

Galgos del Sol explained that sometimes these dogs are born in “bunkers” and don’t see humans until they’re months or years old, so Matilda could have just been absolutely petrified by human contact.

Her rescuer told The Dodo that she was sure the dog had been hit by a car because of her state and cries, but the dog had no broken bones. Soon, the terrified dog realized that these new humans meant her no harm.

With the help of dedicated volunteers and a pack of confident, rehabilitated sighthounds, Matilda started to gain weight and come out of her shell. She began to show her carers that she was a bit of a spitfire, and would require a patient and knowledgable owner.

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“The journey of Matilda has been emotional for many and we hope you will be excited to see the re-cap with a VERY special ending,” Galgos del Sol shared on Oct. 19. ” We decided to make it Sweet Life Saturday night and even if you are out dancing you will want to see this! Thank you to everyone who supported Matilda and GDS, a survivor in so many ways, just a puppy hidden from the world untill dumped cruelly onto the streets, she had so much to learn and she did it. From Street Life to Sweet Life!”

Thankfully, Matilda has found a wonderful home with a woman who lives near the rescue. In a comment on their adoption announcement, the rescue explained that though many had applied to be Matilda’s new family, they’d been drawn to one woman in particular.

“It was important that whoever adopted her realised she was no longer the needy pathetic little soul in the gutter but was in fact cheeky, naughty, a handful etc etc,” they wrote. “The original video was very emotive and that in her case could not be part of why someone was adopting her. She is no longer that dog.”

“There were many amazing applications and it was so hard but in the end it came down to her adopter being here, Matilda liking her and vice versa and living just up the road.”

“Matilda had a great start, loves her new brother and sister, lots of zoomies apparently and then settled down for the night,” they posted on Oct. 20. “Already miss this little munchkin but they have to move on to the sweet life.”

If you would like to help support Galgos del Sol’s efforts to rescue and rehabilitate neglected animals, you can check out their Amazon wishlist.

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