(DENVER) — Sniff around Denver, and you’ll find Christina Azharian. Beside her, walks her two Spanish Galgos. “They’re couch potatoes. They’re affectionate and loving, kind and caring,” Azharian said of the duo.
It was in 2008 that Azharian found herself on a cruise, conversating with a couple who rescued Spanish Galgos. Soon after, she’d foster Daphne.
“The intention wasn’t to keep her, the intention was to get her a new home but at least save one life, and got home with her and after a couple of weeks realized we were meant to be together. I was going through a rough spot in my life… and she healed while I healed.”
Daphne died in 2017, but her name would be the foundation for Azharian’s cause; raising awareness of the Spanish Galgo through Daphne’s Legacy Tour.
“The day that she died I realized the best way to help her breed was to make sure the plight of the Galgo was well understood by the American public. “
She said in Spain, the Galgo is a multibillion-dollar industry. At the center of the sport, the Galgo, isn’t seen as man’s best friend, but rather a tool to dispose of seasonally. So what happens when they no longer can hunt or race?
“…it’s actually less expensive for a ‘Galgero’ to buy new dogs every single year than it is to keep them and feed them in the off-season. So after every single year, they dispose of every single one of their dogs… very few are kept for breeding purposes, most of which are purchased from gypsies yearly,” stated Azharian. “It’s culture. So, what it comes down to, they feel that the way that you actually dispose of your Galgo will bring you luck the following season. “
Azharian said Spain recently passed an animal cruelty law but excluded the Galgo.
So, as the seasons permit, Azharian travels to Spain, bringing back as many pups as she can. Since she started, over 140 dogs have been rescued. It is her hope that awareness will lead to further action from the Spanish government.
“The only way that the plight of the Galgo is going to end, is through tourism. With enough tourists putting pressure on the Spanish government, they will actually stop the industry.”
If you’re interested in making a monetary donation, you’re asked to reach out to Daphne’s Legacy Tour over Instagram or Facebook, linked above.