How did it come about? I've been publicising the plight of the podenco since I became involved with their rescue, fostering and rehoming back in 2007, along with galgos. In those days most people hadn't heard of podencos, outside of their rescuers in Spain and those living there with the problem of abandoned ones. In 2009 Ed Verhaegan created Podencoworld, a leading podenco rescue and rehoming association in Holland. But still publicity was mostly about galgos, always the galgos! Yet the podencos suffer just as much maltreatment.
It wasn't until about 3 years ago that there was an explosion of interest through facebook and now these fantastic hounds are getting the help they deserve, as far as is humanly possible, bearing in mind the over-breeding and mass abandonment the cazadores and podenqueros continue to practice.
Early in 2016 it was announced that the Spanish King & Queen would be visiting Queen Elizabeth II at Windsor in March 2016. I got in touch with my friend Polly Mathewson about it, suggesting the idea of an organised march to publicise the plight of the podencos, via her association Podenco Alliance, which she readily took up, naming it the Peaceful Protest for Spanish Hunting Dogs.
As plans got underway, the Spanish Royal visit was cancelled - elections held in Spain had failed to produce an overall majority for any one political party to form a government - this is still the situation.
So it was decided to delay the date for the march to allow time for more planning and the new date set was Sunday 1st May, in London rather than Windsor. Podenco Support South West joined with Polly to collect hundreds of photos of mostly rescued podencos happily rehomed - to print and use on the march. As the idea of the march gathered momentum, Dawn Karen Walker set plans in motion for a similar march in Manchester and Irene Allan did the same for Glasgow.
So finally, after Dia de Galgo, the film Febrero, countless petitions always featuring the suffering of the galgo, the Podenco Gets Its Day! Yes, other Spanish hunting dogs are included but these marches on 1st May 2016 are primarily to publicise the plight of the Podenco.
International Day of the Podenco has been a long time coming, a long time overdue, but at last it has arrived! Thank you to everyone involved in it's organisation and supporting it. Do go along if you can.
The Manchester march needs volunteers to marshall the march, please contact Dawn Walker if you can help. It will start at Heaton Park and move into and around the mainly pedestrianised areas of central Manchester.
The Spanish held their first Day of the Podenco earlier this year, on 22nd March 2016 - another first for the podenco!
Glasgow march details - We leave at 2.30 from George Square and walk to Glasgow Green where there is a lovely grassy area for the dogs to enjoy . Please share this route with all your friends that are helping us to put a million paws on the ground
Manchester March details - Meet & Greet at 11.00 am at Heaton Park, Sheepfoot Lane - Move to Piccadilly Gardens and march through pedestrian areas to St Anne's Square and back to Heaton Park.
London March details -
Podenco Support South West.
Hello to everyone.
I have received my permit to hold the protest march.
I am now in a position where we can inform you of the agreed times and route.
Assemble 11:00 hours Belgravia Square Gardens.
12:00 hrs. Move to the front of the Spanish Embassy at 39 Chesham Place London SW1.
After photo cards, letter of protest and petitions have been handed to staff, the march moves off south to the junction of Belgrave Place and the A3217. Turning left . Along Lower Grosvenor Place, Bressenden Place and along Victoria Street. Along Broad Sanctuary, Parliament Square, Parliament Street in to Whitehall. Finally to Richmond Terrace opposite Downing Street.
After speaking with the police, it was decided that this was the better route, especially as the footpaths are wide and an expected lower movement of vehicular traffic in case of any nervous dogs in the march.
The closest stations are Victoria, which is mainline and underground.
Sloane Square, underground
Hyde Park Corner, underground.
The total distance of the march is 2.7 km and all level ground.
If you wish to make and bring any placards then please do. However, placards/banners 'must not' be attached to any kind of poles.
We all look forward to seeing you there. Please join us as;
TOGETHER WE ARE STRONGER