I've received some disturbing information in the last few days from a couple of different sources about podencos being taken out of Spanish perreras to the UK for adoption. It's being carried out by individuals who, I am told, have been turned down as adoptants by recognised established associations.
Whilst wishing to rescue abandoned podencos is admirable, the methods being used by these persons is irresponsible both for the dogs and the adoptants.
They are not an association, they do not have experience of owning a podenco, and already a couple of the podencos they have 'rehomed' have been returned - to the recognised associations. The concern is that in future podencos adopted through these people could end up in British shelters.
A couple of years ago the Belgian authorities threatened to close the border against the importation of any more dogs from elsewhere in Europe. This was because some people were travelling down to Spain and taking dogs from perreras back to Belgium, with no passport, no microchip, no vaccination, no blood tests.
The result was that many of the dogs became sick, some died, and there was a risk of illness being passed onto other healthy dogs. Naturally also the adoptants were very upset to lose their adopted dogs.
If the Belgian authorities had carried through the threatened action, it would have meant the closing of the door for homes for many galgos and podencos. Luckily the authorities were persuaded not to take this drastic step.
I use it as an illustration of the problems which can arise from inexperienced - though probably well intentioned - people without the back up of an officially registered association introducing dogs to another country without due care and attention.
So, for anyone thinking of responding to the heartbreaking appeals I post on Galgo News and Podenco Post, please go through a proper association. If you wish to make direct contact with an individual in Spain, please ensure you have an association to help you with the paperwork and transportation of the dog.
In some cases I may able to point you in the right direct.