ABOUT GALGOS & GREYY I HAVE EVER SEEN !!!
FROM ANOTHER LIST. LINK PHOTOS ARE SHOCKING.
,,, Mo, I think you did the right thing in
sending this out. It is horrible but people
ought to know.
Mo Swatek Garcia Santos <email@example.com:
I'm adding this header before the message below
from Mo Swatek. I've been sitting on this report
for a couple of days, agonising about letting it
through. I had concerns about libel issues, but
this report is also backed up with
photographs :-( It has appeared on a few other
greyhound sites now and, hopefully, some action
is being taken against this dreadful place.
How the dogs that should be going to 'sanctuary'
can end up in this living hell, is completely
Read this with caution - it is DEEPLY disturbing
- the attached photographs are VERY upsetting
and are likely to haunt you for some time.
BE ADVISED -
PHOTOGRAPHS ARE GRAPHIC AND DISTURBING
Report concerning the shelter El Galgo Senior in
El Campello (Alicante)
In the year 2003 I worked as a volunteer at dog
shelter El Galgo Senior, also known as
Aristogalgo, for four months. The periods: the
month April, from the 30th of May to the 25th of
August and from the
17th of Oct. to the 24th of Nov. The centre is
managed by Particia Osborne and its goal is to
shelter and care for discarded and neglected
sighthounds (galgos and greyhounds) and to make
them ready for adoption abroad after they
I left for El Campello, only to help these dogs
as much as possible. I found this help to be a
harrowing necessity, but their was no follow up
on the provided labour, initiatives and
realisations. A few days after my departure the
situation was back to the miserable level it was
before I arrived there. I will try to make it
clear with the next
conclusions and remarks. What I experienced and
see happen at Pat Osborne's place is verging on
the improbability. That is why I want to state,
the following is not from a frustrated or
disturbed mind but an
objective description of reality.
Conclusions at arrival
The following goes for all three periods:
- What you notice when approaching the area is
the penetrating smell of urine and excrements.
- Dogs being very nervous and "on edge". I.e.
every move or event could trigger to fierce
tumult (serious fights)
- The area looked very messy every time: garbage
everywhere, paper, plastic,...and especially a
lot of dog shit. It was so bad, when entering
you could not avoid stepping in to it and you
would be smeared by jumping dogs with shit on
- All dogs were running loose, no separation of
males and females, or wounded and not wounded
- Several dogs showed a fear reflex: hiding in a
corner or hiding under the cactuses.
- At arrival at the gate it always took Patricia
a long time to show, though her office is at the
entrance and the dogs started barking when I was
50 metres distant. When Pat finally showed up,
dogs started to, enthusiastically, jump on her.
She reacted by shaking them off, or snarl at
them. If this wasn't enough she would not
kick and hit them, after which she would greet
me with an angels smile.
- When entering the office, I always was striked
by the same thing, the floor covered with shit,
same to the walls and hardly a chair or table to
sit on. They were taken by the dogs and so,
covered with urine and excrements. Not hard to
understand, because there was a whole group of
dogs permanently. Later it became clear to me,
these were the dogs to scare to step outside:
they were so traumatised, when they would dare
to go out, they would be torn up by their
"loving" own sort. Some of these terrified
animals had very serious bite wounds and
other wounds: probably sustained at one of the
daily fights, occurring when Pat is alone with
the dogs. None of these wounds was taken care
of. The animals would lie down with the open
wounds into the excrements and risk infections
and so on.
- In the periods April and July-August I noticed
the dogs were eating their own excrements (
which was almost fluid).A shortage of food or
- In The kennels, the corridors and the patio's
the shit had gathered, so much it was impossible
to see the floor. The tiles and concrete were
- Most gutters were clogged up, so urine and
excrements where piled up in it. Dogs would
regularly lick it up and soon be vomiting.
- For the whole area there was just one
automatic watering place working. The other
water places were broken or not working good and
full of dead flies, alges and other mess. They
were obvious never flushed or cleaned.
- The whole area was littered with all kinds of
rubbish: chewed up plastic, bags, cans, pieces
of fabric, pieces of iron, rubber hosepipes,
needles... Everything soaked with urine, so bad
in the soil under it maggots were thriving.
- The storage room for the food was every time
almost empty. The left food was gnawed at by
mice and rats and never enough to feed all
dogs one more day. Quality of the dry food was
also questionable, it was moulded.
- In the kennels were the dogs were squeezed
together there were sometimes blankets or other
cloths, but they all were soaked by the urine
and excrements. It seems to me that most people
would find the smell unbearable.
- In spite of the fact there are plenty of
kennels, the animals were locked up with as much
as possible into one kennel. Pat admitted it to
reduce cleaning, to her alone it was to much
- The sewage disposal from the washing machine
was open to the air. Dogs would drink this
especially in the summer period.
- There were males threatening and overawing
each other constantly and around the females in
- All the materials ( work and cleaning gear)
was piled up and covered with a layer dust and
- Cleaning gear was unfindable at first.
Wheelbarrows, needed to collect shit and garbage
all had a flat tire and were useless.
Conclusions during work.
- Also for the three periods. Pat did not help
one day She was nowhere to be found. Or
she was gone, or in her office behind the
computer e-mailing or playing cards, or she had
strategically withdrawn and sleeping some where.
If she showed up it was for business concerning
herself, like putting clothes in the washer, go
things or checking if she thought things went to
- Animals she brought back from the vet and
needed further care, she never cared for
herself. Often I cared ( nursing wounds and
covering them,...) for the animals on my
- Though she claimed all animals were treated
against ticks, I spent long hours removing these
parasites. Wherever I was, there were always
dogs filled with them. It was a case of removing
them one by one and
give the dog 'Kiltix' afterwards. I had it
always with me. I had to steal it from her "infirmerie"
at moments she was gone, because after I
had asked her for it she would remark: not
needed, all dogs are treated.
- Her management regarding the food and water
supply left a lot to be desired. With good
management you will make sure there is enough
food and water for several days. You never know
if there is going to happen something not
foreseen and you could be forced to get back to
your reserves. I had to remind Pat every
time to the limited food and water and still she
would wait until the last bag of dogfood and the
last bucket of water to order new. Result was:
Several times the dogs went practically a whole
day without food or water. Which lead to other
problems. The routine I was working on, to feed
the animals on regular hours was interrupted, so
I would again need a few days to get the animals
back to a steady pattern. And dogs are just like
people, no food, big displeasure and protest.
the dogs became nervous again and every minor
irregularity could lead to skirmishes. On
those days I had my hands full, keeping the
group under control and avoiding them to eat (
literally) each other. twice I paid for the
water myself, because she had urgent business at
the moment of delivery....
- The quality of the dry dog food was
questionable, especially the first two periods.
Every bag of dry dogwood, delivered by her
(umpteenths) steady supplier, was moulded. Not
once she gave a comment on that to the supplier.
The consequence was the shit was as good as
liquid and the dogs were not satisfied. It went
in on top and came out right away on the
back.... To the flies a perfect surrounding to
lay their eggs. to me more of a curse, this kind
of substances are hard to clean,
certainly on bad maintained and broken floorings
of concrete with cracks and dents.
- The better quality dog food, donated by
several People and organisations, is not used
for the dogs who need it the most.This means:
Often Pat was tired of so many dogs in her
office. You know what she did? She would get a
bag of the more expensive dogwoods (Hills,
Waldham, Frolic, Eukanuba,...) from the storage
room, went back to the office, opened the door
and called, while she was tearing
the bag open and scattered the food : "come
outside sweeties, goodies for you, njam,
njam." The result being that not just the dogs
from the inside, but also a big part of the dogs
outside raced for the food. So there would be a
huge uproar, with bites and growls as a result.
Not uncommonly I had to jump in to avoid worse.
Not seldom I wondered why people had made the
effort to bring her expensive, quality food.
- Pat isn't able to be careful with money. This
is what I men: regularly I found pieces of
chewed on money and picked it from the ground.
Not seldom it were 50 Euro notes. Most frequent
places were her office and her "sleeping place"
( Pat slept in one of the cages) between the
shit and pee. Money was careless pulled out of
her pocket and thrown onto the table or closet.
No problem for the dogs to fetch it and have fun
- Medical supplies are kept in Pats "infirmary".
Not in closed closets, but on open shelves
on the ground. A hit every day: dogs
pulled out all kind of things and "played" with
it. From injection needles and syringes to anti-biotics
and other drugs, disinfectants, bandages,
scalpels, scissors, ... Unbelievable, the
medical materials I found back in shit,
urine and dirt, irreparable damaged...If the
volunteers who made the effort to collect this,
it...What fortune was eaten here,
literally and figuratively spoken!...
- Pat didn't want people stay over at night on
her domain. She loved her privacy. So every
night I left the area to spend the night
somewhere else. Consequence was I had no control
on things I realised during the day. A few
examples.... As I noticed at my arrival, there
hardly was any water for the dogs. Seen the heat
water was a necessity. So I placed big barrels
and buckets everywhere there were dogs (
the kennels, the patio's, and on the domain) and
filled them on a regular base. This went well
until the evenings, but when I returned in the
morning, Pat had removed the barrels and
buckets. I never commented on that but replaced
them every morning. Every day again. I was
aware that a remark from me would go the wrong
way with Pat. Another example: to avoid fights
between male for a female in season, or
preventing a cover would be done I placed the
females in one of the patio's. regularly I could
go and get them back from the area, because Pat
had let them go at night. The days this happened
I would hear this from a far. the dogs
would be noisier than usual while I was
approaching the area. Ant not seldom there would
be several new injuries on the dogs...
- Also the dogs who needed recovery for one or
another reason and were separated by me, like
sterilised females, I found back the next day
between the other dogs.
- As I said before: any remark or suggestion
from my side would add up to the tension between
me and Pat. Every time she would react
infuriated and impulsive, she was always right
and I was always wrong,
I misunderstood, or there was a misapprehension.
So I kept silent and did what I thought was
right to the animals.
- Prove Pat never separates females in season is
given by the fact there are always heavily
pregnant females around. Pat solves this
problem" very simple" she just let the females
to fend for themselves. Nature will take care of
it, she used to say. Which meant: when the
moment of birth was there, the female tries to
find a shelter, for example under a bush and
gives birth. This is impossible on a mountain
where are hundreds of dogs around. Totally
desperate and aggressive they try to keep other
dogs at a distance. Those will wait until the
new-born will make its first noises and will
dart on to it. With some luck, the pup will not
know to much from it, because several
dogs pulling on the little body will immediately
tear it into pieces. Sometimes the pup is not so
lucky: when a dog will succeed to keep it
to itself. That the pup will be eaten with
taste, because the dogs are hungry: first the
behind part and the head is kept until the last.
In this case the pup will live his short live in
a gruesome way. Sadly, I had to see this "live"
on a few occasions, because I didn't succeed
in separating the females in time. Sometimes
their bellies didn't show.
- Because I worked from the early morning to the
late evening I was, luckily, able to collect
most heavily pregnant females. I would shelter
them in one of the kennels and gave them some
clean blankets to lay on, so they could give
birth in peace. At least, as long Pat was not
repeating her daily game: letting the females
out again. A few times I was able to separate
females in the morning while they were giving
birth and put them into a kennel. How many pups
were eaten in the meanwhile I didn't know. The
image of the terrified, totally desperate and
helpless females is engraved into my mind.
- With great devotion and love I would take care
of the mother and the new-borns. I gave them
high protein and extra food and would check up
on them regularly. The gratitude I could see in
the eyes of the female, would make up for a lot.
However...the next thing would happen again and
again. The evening before leaving I would check
their water and food for the night. When I went
looking the next morning, the pups were gone.
Only the mother would be in the kennel, looking
at me with a question in her eyes. What should
she do without her pups? Nature would provide
her with enough milk, but what should she do
with it? And because of her motherly instincts
she was searching the kennel
for her pups. Pups " euthanised" by Pat, because
she could not take care of all the small fry. A
few times I found a plastic bag, filled with
- Twice I forced, with much difficulty, Pat to
visit the vet. Both times it was about a female
that was bleeding to death. One of them in front
of Pats eyes, the other I found, luckily, just
in time, in the morning. With the female, that
Pat let dead calm, lie in her office, it was a
phantom pregnancy, whereby a tumour developed
which burst open. With the other female it was a
complication during giving birth. Later we
found she had three decomposed pups in her womb.
- In the beginning of every period, daily fights
on live and death occurred. I was so fortunate
to prevent, several times, that an animal was
eaten. Except for the one time I arrived in the
morning and I found a number of dogs to dispose
of the remains of a just tore up dog. After a
few days ( at the most a week) I had everything
under control and there were no more fights.
Until I was at home a few days and Pat would
tell me in an e-mail there was another "red nose
day". Red nose is Pats name for the fact the
dogs who helped eating their congener have
their noses covered in red blood.
- At the beginning of my stay, Pat was always
swarmed round by dozens of dogs, who would
follow her as a shadow. After time passing the
number of dogs following her would lessen and
they would stay near me. Especially around 11Am
this was remarkable. This was a conditioned
reflex: if Pat is alone, they will follow her,
hoping to get some food. It is impossible
for Pat to fill all troughs in the dining area
every day, so she will throw an open bag of food
on the ground once in a while. So it is grab
whatever you can...Being so much dogs around
me at 11 AM , was just because they knew I was
going to fill the troughs in the dining room.
- After spending hours on clearing all the mess
(plastic, bags,wood, fabric,...) the area would
be cluttered with all kinds of stuff the next
day. This wasn't so hard , I noticed Pat doing
it: leaving stuff behind and letting bin-bags
behind on the area. For the dogs a fine
opportunity to search for a new "toy".
- Dogs that arrived new from Albacete,
Almendralejo, or the Barcelona track, were
released into the pack almost immediately. Real
spooked dogs she would sometimes keep a few days
into her office, but soon she would be fed up
with them and they would meet the same fate. So
there was no Quarantaine period, no control on
diseases, injuries or parasites...
- It happened a few times that Pat would go to
pick up a dog from a patio, to get there
she would have to pass the supply room were all
the food is stored. Almost every time she
succeeded to let a dog go in there.
Consequences: half of the bags and /or cans was
destroyed by a enthusiastic dog that was having
a party for himself. This would also go
for the expensive food.
- It was not uncommonly for dogs to escape the
territory, when food or water was delivered. Not
strange, the gates had to be open wide to enter
with the truck. Sometimes the animals returned
by themselves, sometimes we never heard anything
again. Except for the few occasions we heard
from the police, that these animals drowned in a
pool or water reservoir...
- To Pat these dogs were a group of defenceless
individuals, she could vent her frustrations and
moods on. It wasn't always "hello sweethearts,
hello lovelies." but also often "fucking dogs,
you bastards,."accompanied or not by hitting or
kicking. Of course this would not happen when
there were visitors...
As a 43 year old man I already had my hands
filled with keeping the shelter under
control and had to little time to give the
animals the attention they really needed. Pat,
being a 61 year old woman is physically totally
unfit to run a animal shelter all by
- Her knowledge of giving first aid is
inadequate. This showed a few times when it was
necessary to give first aid to animals.
- Luckily I always succeeded to stop fights by
throwing myself, literally, between the fighting
animals. the only thing pat seemed capable
off, was yelling "no, no", and hoping it would
- Hygiene on the property is appalling. it may
be called a miracle there are no more diseases
- There is no order in the centre for the
animals. They are living in a constant stress
situation. Never knowing when there is food or
water available. And on occasions there is
something, the law of the strongest will apply.
- On the area is nothing like a living space for
humans. Every thing will happen between the
dogs, sleep, wash, eat, go to the bathroom,...
- It is my opinion that Pat has not a grain of
love for animals and for the dogs that are put
into her care no sense of
responsibility. Except for some favourite dogs,
the others are left to fend for themselves. Just
think of the males and females living together,
males not being castrated to prevent aggression
and pregnancies, the place is filling with dogs
who have mange, are covered with flees and
ticks, with wounds that aren't cared for,...
- On a human level there is also something wrong
I think. An open conversation with Pat is
absolute impossible. She is always right
and never open to other ideas. The work of the
may volunteers is barely appreciated. The only
thing she actually does is make demands. One
should think she would be thankful for any help.