We’ve just returned from a volunteer visit to Protectora y Santuario Scooby in Medina del Campo, Spain. They sure need funds to continue rescuing so many abandoned and neglected galgos, especially knowing that the annual “galgo dump” will start again in January after the national coursing championship.
We are always struck by the way Scooby punches above its weight but it hit home very hard. So many galgos in a shelter which makes every Euro stretch but there is still never enough money. It’s quite amazing how Protectora y Sanctuario Scooby responds to calls to rescue abandoned galgos from places as far flung as Murcia (4 – 6 hours away by road) and is non-selective about the waifs and strays they pick up, assessing their condition once back at Protectora y Sanctuario Scooby.
We spent a lot of time with so many needy galgos who would otherwise not have any interest in them apart from the close-knit Scooby team itself. Many nervy, injured, neglected and abused galgos were in need of lots of tender loving care. In particular, Zuki captured our hearts. She is a slight galgo who has suffered from a parasitic problem which has resulted in the loss of the toes on her back feet. Poor girl can stand on her knuckles, providing her feet are “booted”. Protectora y Sanctuario Scooby is trying everything to find a prosthetics expert who could help her mobility. She is in a kennel with a lovely male galgo who protects her like a big brother.
We met poor Bolero, now adopted by Miriam who is volunteering permanently at the shelter. Bolero, a fine and majestic galgo, had been branded on his hind quarters with battery acid. We have seen this before on other galgos picked up in the streets.
The galgueros sometimes brand their galgos as a mark of ownership and identification. Bolero’s increased confidence and affection, thanks to Miriam, are striking. Such a lucky boy now.
We tried to make our visit as productive as possible for the galgos. Protectora y Santuario Scooby is starting some renovations in a couple of the galgo paddocks. We prepared the area for the work to start. We also did the usual and important cleaning of galgo kennels, the recovery room and the Oldies’ Garden. Some of the newly rescued puppies had to be moved to different pens (what little lumps, they were!). We cleaned the ambulance out. A bitter sweet job but thankfully it’s working well out on the road. We washed out a number of extra plastic beds ready for use in the winter with extra duvets.
Our other jobs included chores the core team, because they are so few, doesn’t usually have time to do: routine tidying of the bedding store and a litter pick-up on the approach to Protectora y Sanctuario Scooby.
We spring cleaned the volunteers’ dormitory and sorted the bedding offered to the volunteers. It goes without saying that the bedding no longer useful in the dorm was quickly donated to the galgos. We found a couple of surplus sofas and transferred those to the oldies’ little house so that they could replace their worn furniture with new luxurious settees for their geriatric bones. We also gave the dorm a lick of paint and a freshen up on the external walls.
A crucial step in Protectora y Sanctuario Scooby’s long-term fund-raising plan, albeit just the beginning, is the shelter’s charity shop in Medina del Campo. We displayed the autumn collection of bargain, nearly new clothes for ladies, gents and children as best we could in the hope this idea catches on in Medina. The conditions are right: the legacy of a financial crisis and many local shops closing. But we have to keep our fingers crossed and hope the concept of a charity shop takes hold in the way they are so popular at home.