We are an anti racing and anti hunting charity founded by a group of people who, after adopting rescued greyhounds, decided to take that first act of love even further by campaigning to build a future without greyhound racing and hunting with galgos, in Europe and in the world.
We are the only Italian association to be part of the global anti racing and anti hunting movement, and the only anti racing adoption group in Italy – i.e. the only group whose first and main objective is the end of both the greyhound racing industry and hunting with galgos.
In July 2017, alongside Grey2K USA Worldwide and Anima Macau, we launched and are currently co-leading the worldwide campaign Save The Macau Greyhounds, in order to save the 600 plus greyhounds currently detained at the infamous Macau Canidrome, the worst dog racing track in the world, which will close definitively in July 2018.
On the 10th December 2010 we brought over the first three greyhounds saved from the dog meat trade in China ever to arrive in Italy.
Our work follows a triple pathway:
To help organise and actively support initiatives as well as groups fighting to end greyhound racing and hunting with galgos, in Europe and in the world.
To rescue and find loving homes for greyhounds, lurchers and galgos from Ireland, Spain, China and Macau.
To promote rescued greyhounds, galgos and lurchers as pets and show that they are intelligent, sensitive and capable of integrating fully into family life.
We believe that in order to stop the infernal machine of greyhound exploitation it isn’t enough just to adopt dogs, it is essential to eliminate its root causes. In other words it is necessary to become an active part of a vast international campaign movement that can change outdated ways of perceiving and relating to greyhounds, develop a sense of public outrage, obtain welfare and protection laws for greyhounds and bring about severe and enforced penalties for crimes.
A movement which, by changing ways of thinking and acting as well as the law, can bring about the closure of racetracks and the banning of hunting with galgos.
Therefore, even before being an adoption group which finds homes for greyhounds, galgos and lurchers, we are first and foremost a radically anti racing and anti hunting group.
For us this is not just a matter of principle but a practical one too, which affects all our work.
First of all, we do not collaborate in any way with the racing industry, particularly the Irish Greyhound Board (IGB) and their adoption programme the IRGT, which we believe is merely a fig leaf and a way of saving face.
Of course we are very much in favour of greyhounds being more widely adopted in Ireland, because we believe it would help to change the public’s perception of these dogs in their homeland, but we don’t want the dogs to be used in any way by the industry to cover up its wrongdoings.
So in Ireland we collaborate with the independent rescues Limerick Animal Welfare, Galway SPCA and Erin Hounds, we organise our own transports independently with our own vehicle and we do not accept contributions from the industry for the transportation and preparation of the dogs.
Instead, we financially support the refuges: we give them donations to help cover the costs for preparing the dogs for travel to Italy, as well as for the expenses they incur for the rescue and daily care of the dogs.
We collaborate in the same way with the refuge Scooby in Spain, because we recognise the value and the importance of the work that Fermin Perez Martin and his partners have been doing for the last thirty years, not only in rescue but also in raising public awareness about the plight of galgos.
The transports are funded entirely at our own expense, and are done strictly in accordance with the requirements of European law; in addition all the dogs travel in a single crate. We plan our trips about a year in advance, in order to allow the refuges a set amount of time to prepare the dogs and so as to reduce costs as much as possible.
We work on the principle that it is we who should support the rescues and not the other way around, and we do it through projects such as the book Alia Runs Free, the sales proceeds of which are entirely donated to the Irish refuge Limerick Animal Welfare and to the project Vets Without Frontiers.
As far as adoption is concerned, for us this is undoubtedly an important act of love and commitment, but we also educate those who adopt dogs from us. For us the ideal is for those who adopt a greyhound to become anti racing campaigners too, people who can transform that initial act of love into a commitment to end greyhound racing and hunting with galgos.
We find homes for about 160 dogs a year, half of them galgos and half greyhounds and lurchers. This number not only allows us to follow the adoptive families to the best of our abilities, but also does not detract from our work raising awareness about what really happens in the worlds of greyhound racing and hunting with galgos.
We have specifically chosen to find homes for lurchers too, because we believe that the plight of lurchers in Ireland is intrinsically linked to that of greyhounds.
We also do not accept the classification system used by the IGB, according to which an untattooed greyhound is classified as a lurcher. We believe that this type of classification is a way of hiding the sad fate of many greyhound pups and untattooed adults.
For the dogs requiring a settling-in period prior to adoption, we have a network of foster families as well as the support of expert canine behaviourists. Our fostering project was supported in 2014 by
the UK company LUSH, as it is a charitable project aiming to protect, appreciate and promote rescued greyhounds, lurchers and galgos as pets.
All our foster families are carefully selected, and are assisted through each phase as they prepare the greyhounds for adoption, both by our association and by qualified professional canine behaviourists. Practical guidance and advice is given on how to provide the dog with positive experiences in family life, help them get to know the outside world and interact with other dogs and animals.
We promote the understanding and appreciation of rescued greyhounds by offering informative workshops for adoptive families and their dogs, with the guidance and support of some of the best and most highly qualified dog behaviourists in the area.
We aim to fully integrate rescued greyhounds into daily life and offer them the chance of a full and happy life.
We place much importance on raising awareness about the situation of greyhounds in an ongoing and detailed manner, sharing data, facts and reliable sources of information.
We also publish articles aimed at increasing public awareness about what goes on: the main instrument for this is our bilingual website, which has more than 4,400 articles in Italian and almost 700 in English.
Our association is an ‘Onlus’ (meaning it has charitable status in Italy). It is funded entirely by membership fees and public donations, and by a limited amount of merchandise sales.