Galgos Del Sol
Did you know that during September there’s an Adopt a Less-Adoptable Pet Week, a National Hug Your Hound Day, and even a Responsible Dog Ownership Day? Some awareness days can feel like cynical marketing exercises, but these dog-themed dates could all relate to Galgos Del Sol, one of the charities we support as part of our Animal Wellbeing collection. So we’ll let these ones slide, as they’re a great excuse to introduce you to a brilliant charity that we fundraise for - and also because who doesn't love a dog cuddle? It’s ‘hug your hound day’ every day at JR HQ.
If you follow our social channels you’ll be aware that we’re big dog fans. Perhaps you’ve even ‘met’ two of our pets: Byron the Beagle, who’s been part of our family for over 10 years, and Linus the Romanian, who joined the gang in 2021. As his name suggests, he’s a rescue that we adopted from Romania, and we have absolutely no idea what breed he is, ‘a bit of lots of things’ seems like the most appropriate description.
We love all animals, but dogs definitely have a special place in our hearts, and we’ve been keen to fundraise for a charity that helps them for a long time. But there are a LOT of organisations out there that support dogs; and we’re a small company that can’t work with them all. So we had some tough decisions to make about which one to make a piece of jewellery for, to fundraise and spread the word about their work.
Why did we want to work with Galgos Del Sol?
As dog lovers and passionate animal advocates (read our blog about veganism here) we try and stay informed about the work of various animal welfare charities. If we hear about animals suffering injustices and maltreatment, we always investigate if there’s a charity standing up for them, and we’re happy to say that there usually is. We’d been following Galgos Del Sol's IG account for a while and were really touched by the fact that they help every dog that comes to them, no matter how old or sick they are.
In case you didn’t know, Galgos are an ancient breed of sighthound that has been used by hunters in the rural areas of Spain for thousands of years. During hunting season they are used to track hares and other small animals, often enduring cruel treatment. Then, when the hunting ends every year, they are dumped to fend for themselves, or brutally killed because their owners don’t have any use for them.
The cruelty inflicted on the galgos in Spain is horrendous. So we wanted to support a charity trying to make a difference and give these poor dogs a chance for a better life. GDS provide an intermediate home for abandoned dogs, give them any veterinary treatment they need, and then (if possible) rehome them with loving owners who will take proper care of them. They also try to educate people about how to treat animals which is so important.
What are Galgos Del Sol’s aims?
Based in Murcia in Spain, Galgos Del Sol was founded by a British ex-pat Tina Solera who was appalled by the treatment of galgos in Spain. Hunting is very popular in Murcia, resulting in hundreds of dogs being dumped or harmed every year.
Tina took in a stray she found on the streets, and then another one, and didn’t stop until she ran out of space in her home! This inspired her to set up a charity that could help to help rescue, rehabilitate, and rehome as many of the galgos, podencos, and other abandoned dogs she found. Galgos Del Sol has now grown and people from all over Spain contact Tina to help stray, injured and abused animals.
After providing veterinary treatment, lots of walks and love and affection, Galgos Del Sol’s main aim is to rehome the dogs with loving, responsible owners who will look after them properly. Some dogs are too sick, old, or fragile to be adopted, but GDS has a policy of never leaving a dog to die alone in a kennel. Instead, they go to a dedicated ‘retirement home’ where they can be expertly cared for and live out their days in a safe and happy environment.
What have they achieved so far?
- The charity looks after up to 250 dogs at a time, many of whom have lived through unimaginable cruelty. Scroll through GDS’s social media and you’ll see abandoned dogs riddled with parasites and illnesses, and broken limbs. Or worse still, horrific injuries inflicted by humans, like Phoenix, a dog who was attacked with acid. Every dog receives the best possible medical care, they are walked, socialised, and cared for by teams of volunteers, so they have the best possible chance of recovery and finding a better life with a new owner.
- Galgos Del Sol has rescued, rehabilitated, and rehomed thousands of dogs in Spain and across the world. Dogs from GDS have started new lives everywhere from the UK, to Finland, Denmark, and the US.
- They have built multiple kennel blocks with indoor/outdoor access, running water bowls, and piped-in music. There’s a birthing and new Mum block, smaller kennels for dogs who won’t thrive in large, busier environments, a sensory walk for stimulation, and agility areas for training. GDS even has an amazing rehabilitation pool for dogs, perfect for physio/rehab sessions, or just for splashing about and having fun. Plus a grooming parlour to keep all the dogs clean and comfortable.
- As well as taking care of the animals while they are waiting to be adopted into forever homes, GDS is committed to raising awareness about how dogs should be treated and cared for. They even have a dedicated education building which they use for school age outreach programs about how to look after dogs.
And so much more!
Which piece of jewellery supports Galgos Del Sol?
Why a greyhound/galgo necklace? What was the inspiration?
Jana initially came up with the design in response to the terrible treatment of greyhounds in the dog racing industry. Every year over a thousand healthy greyhounds are euthanised, often because they aren’t race winners, or have become injured racing. Then when she became aware of the plight of the galgos in Spain, the design had the right shape for these beautiful dogs too.
The graceful greyhounds/galgos on these jewellery pieces have been captured in a ‘happy’ running pose, to show our opposition to dog racing and hunting. We like to think these dogs are running wild and free, somewhere scenic, chasing an exciting scent - rather than being terrified, mistreated, or cruelly killed.
The earrings and necklace are both tactile, stunning, unique pieces of jewellery, but they have an important message too, as "conversation starters’ about the way we treat animals.
What happens when you buy a greyhound/galgo necklace, or pair of earrings?
For each greyhound/galgo necklace that is sold, we’ll donate £20 to Galgos Del Sol and for every pair of earrings, we give £10. GDS say that every donation, no matter how much it is, goes towards creating a better life for the dogs they rescue and look after.
To find out more about Galgos Del Sol and their work visit: https://galgosdelsol.org/donate-help/
Love dogs and what GDS do? You could even sponsor your very own hound, click here to find out more.
Shop the greyhound/galgo necklace and earrings in support of Galgos Del Sol here: https://www.janareinhardt.com/products/greyhound-necklace and here: https://www.janareinhardt.com/products/greyhound-hoop-earrings.
Oh yes, it’s also worth remembering that September is also animal pain awareness month. So there’s no better time to think more deeply about what the dogs in Spain and so many other innocent animals endure. This is one awareness date we shouldn’t forget about or dismiss. Why not use it as motivation to find out more about animal welfare charities and causes? You’ll find some of our favourite charities here on our fundraising page, if you’re looking for somewhere to start.