Help save these amazing dogs! In Spain, galgos – Spanish greyhounds - are used for hunting hares in the countryside. Despite being part of Spanish culture for centuries, as “hunting dogs” galgos are not seen as companion animals and often have difficult lives filled with neglect and abuse. Their speed and agility make them excellent at chasing hares and breeders aspire to create the “perfect” galgos. Galgueros (breeders) will often select puppies from a litter that show the most promise for hunting or racing, while abandoning the rest in the streets. The puppies that do get selected often do not live very long lives. They are considered too old when they are two or three and their ability to chase and help with the hunt declines. After hunting season ends, they are either abandoned or killed in horrific and cruel ways. Because galgos fall under the category of agricultural animals, they are not protected by Spanish law or given the same level of care that other house animals receive. Our partner in Spain decided that humans have failed these galgos enough. Traveling all over Spain, this group rescues abandoned and abused galgos from horrific situations. The galgos are given a safe place to live, medical care, physiotherapy, aqua-therapy, socialization and love until they can be adopted. The group adopts these rehabilitated dogs to new homes all over the world, including places as far away as Norway and Canada. Volunteers help care for these dogs, ensuring that they can have a second chance and find loving homes.
Volunteers at this centre help with all aspects of care for the dogs – which can number as many as 35 at one time. Waking up early in the morning, volunteers spend time in the galgos’ area, cleaning their paddock, preparing their meals and delivering breakfast. The dogs are socialized throughout the day while their beds are changed and cleaned. Aqua-therapy and physiotherapy occur on site while most of the medical procedures take place at a veterinary clinic in town. During the school year the group makes presentations to local schools and community groups, in an attempt to bring awareness to the plight of these gentle dogs. Much of the educational work happens in the middle of the day while the Galgos socialize with each other in their open space runs and yards.
Shifts are from 7:00 am – 7:00 pm, with a 2 hour break for lunch and siesta. Volunteers have one day off per week.
You will be staying in your own cabin that is located inside the centre grounds. The grounds are a small “finca” (farm) 20 minutes from the town. You will be responsible for your own cooking and cleaning. You will be taken to the local grocery to show you what is available and to stock up on supplies you will need. The cabin has a private bathroom, kitchen and patio. The finca is completely fenced and has a family living on the grounds, making this a home stay of sorts, although you have your own private space. AEI believes that home stays offer you the best experience during your time in Spain by allowing you to save money, while providing you with an easy way to integrate into Spanish culture.
Do you have questions about safety? We have answers right here!
Airport pick up and drop off (at the closest airport), accommodation, on-site training, donation to Placement Partner, AEI Travel Manual, any extras from placement, emergency support while at placement, carbon credits to offset 3 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions, premium Individual Travel Insurance (up to $500, 000 USD in emergency medical coverage), travel discounts (through automatic membership to a volunteer only travel discount program), 24/7 travel and emergency assistance, enrolment with the Global Travel Academy to earn a certificate in International Volunteering. This 3-hour online course is curated by travel professionals and is designed to help you get the most out of your adventure.
Flights, meals, entry visa costs, international and domestic airport taxes, immunizations and medications. Note: The rabies vaccine is required for this Experience. Please note that the average cost of pre-exposure rabies vaccination is $600- $1000 in North America.
What is Serious
The plight of the galgos is a serious one, and there are many dogs that are in need of rescue. Each animal that you help reduces the amount of fear and suffering for the galgos. But we recognize that the problem needs to be addressed at a much higher level. The group hopes to help change Spain's legal system, which currently does not recognize galgos as companion animals. Because of current legislation, the welfare of the galgos is not considered as important as other dog breeds. They are making significant progress through their educational campaign and social media outreach. This centre is a voice for change and you will be part of this mission as well. We aren't just looking for volunteers to help the galgos during their time at the centre, we are looking for global advocates who will help these animals by spreading the message of love, and care and required changes to legislation!
What is Fun
You will fall in love with these wonderful dogs. Galgos as companion animals are known for their gentleness, sleepy attitudes and charming facial expressions. And they love being part of the group. There is always a happy pack of galgos to greet you at the gate when you come in to visit. What could be more inspiring than that? Surprisingly, in spite of their shocking and horrific past lives, this centre does not have many experiences with dangerous or aggressive galgos - past volunteers have all remarked how gentle and loving these dogs are.
The finca where you will be staying is located in the foothills above the Mediterranean Sea. You will enjoy your own private cabin where you can choose to relax during your down time. There is free wifi available and you can take a dip in the pool on those hot days. You will also have the chance to explore the area. The finca is within quick driving distance to the sea, cafes, shops and entertainment. This is the perfect place to have a quiet get away while volunteering with animals.
Dates and Details
This is an ongoing program with operations every day of the year. There are no specific start or end dates. We work with you and your schedule so you can serve this community and help animals when you are available.
Are you thinking of fundraising for a portion, or all your fees? Many of our clients have been very successful with their fundraising efforts. To learn more about their successful fundraising projects and see how you can fund raise for your experience, please visit our fundraising page!