These are the harrowing images of four emaciated Spanish greyhounds that have been rescued after being found in a “deplorable” state of neglect.
The dogs, identified as both galgos and podencos, are both hunting dogs once raised exclusively by Spanish nobles. Animal experts say they also have the distinction of being one of the most abused dog breeds on the planet. Tens of thousands are killed in Spain every year, often in gruesome ways and countless more are abandoned.
They are used every year for hunting and racing, but after one or two seasons those that are not good enough are simply killed or abandoned – with animal experts estimating over 100,000 killed every year. Many others die because owners do not want to continue to feed them between hunting seasons.
One of the most popular deaths is the piano player, when the dog is hung from a tree leaving its paws scrambling on the ground as if playing the piano.
For the dogs pictured here however, they were simply left to starve as these images recorded by police officers in the city of Las Palmas, capital of the Spanish Canary Island of Gran Canaria, clearly show.
Police had reportedly received a call from a concerned citizen who had spotted the animals through a window.
Members of the Police Canine Unit went to the property accompanied by a municipal vet and found the four dogs along with a ferret “completely unattended, without water, food, or sanitary care”, according to local media.
The video shows an emaciated dog being led down a flight of stairs by a police officer.
Photos show the horrific condition the dogs were found in, with their ribs clearly visible and one of the animals appears to be suffering from a skin condition on its ears.
The dogs were reportedly in a state of advanced malnutrition and infested with parasites.
After the police administered immediate care they were taken to a local rescue centre where they received food, water, and veterinary treatment.
The owner of the building where the dogs were found, 69, reportedly visited the flat infrequently and had made no provision for the animals’ care.
He has been arrested and charged with mistreatment of animals, an offence which in Spain carries a maximum sentence of one year in prison.
The animals are expected to recover before being put up for adoption.