Living with the Podencos

At the end of July, Samantha, Mariella and Isabella were volunteering and Mariella took wonderful photos capturing the essence of the podencos. Samantha has put them all together in this wonderful video for us and written this lovely description of the podencos.
Thank you and haste ye back xx

Trust, honesty, curiosity. These are terms we frequently use to describe the best of human qualities.

I have just spent a week volunteering at the Hope for Podencos rescue center near Albacete in Spain, surround by beings who are inherently trusting, honest and curious.... at least until humans damage or destroy their faith in us. It was a profound and deeply moving experience to live for a week with over ninety rescued Podencos; the ‘invisible’ dogs who are abandoned, abused and killed in their tens of thousands each year. Sadly, Podencos are still largely seen as hunting ‘tools’ to be chained up, used up and then discarded, rather than companions to be loved and cherished.

Each dog I met had it’s own story of life around humans, some known and some guessed at, often clearly told through their eyes, body language and reactions to us. A few watched us from a distance and avoided contact, still fearful or ‘shut down’ and not yet ready to believe in us again. Some were cautious and hopeful, wanting so desperately to connect and touch and brave enough to reach out once more.

Thanks to the tireless work and total commitment of Irene and Steve Allen who run the Hope for Podencos center, the majority of the dogs had already rediscovered their faith in people and were ready to start new lives in loving homes around the world. They welcomed us with varying degrees of enthusiasm, ranging from wagging tails and friendly licks to a wild abandon of face washing and cuddles. Each dog we met had a distinct personality and after the long days spent with them, we were honored to become part of the pack and in the company of friends.

I am in awe of this ancient breed; their resilience and adaptability, their ability to forgive and move forward from the harshest of experiences and their willingness to see the best in us when they have so often experienced the worst. I am so grateful to have been a small part of their journey to a new and better life. I am still asking myself, why do they love us so?

The costs of rescuing and caring for a Podenco before it can be rehomed are significant. They are tested for Mediterranean diseases, treated if needed, vaccinated, microchipped, castrated/neutered, and sometimes brought back from the brink of starvation. A few can be rehomed quickly, but most need several months of care and socialization before they are ready to start a new life.

If this touches you, please consider giving a donation to Hope for Podencos.

Everything helps.


13 podencos arrived- The baker’s dozen

Here are the podencos that arrived from the hunter on the 20th of May. We need your help. Each podenco has to be blood tested, neutered, vaccinated, passported, wormed and this all costs precious money. Please visit “How to Help” to participate in our Teaming, Virtual Adoption, Food Fund, or visit the menu on the top right of our website to see other ways to help.

Every little bit counts. These pods have no voice. We are their voice.

Together We Are Stronger.

Founded by Irene and Steve Allan, Hope for Podencos is situated in Albacete, Spain

Most podencos are rescued from Gran Canaria and the mainland of Spain. Once safe at Hope for Podencos, all Podencos receive medical care and are assessed and matched with their new families. They are neutered/castrated over 6 months, receive worm and flea treatment and a blood test before travel.

Hope for Podencos does not distinguish between age and mix, Podenco mixes, senior Podencos as well as puppies are all welcome.

Most Podencos are abandoned in fields and by the roadside or brought to killing shelters after having served their hunter well.

Podencos can be adopted in countries such as the UK, France, Germany,The Netherlands, Czech Republic, USA and Canada where full back up is available if the adoption does not go as planned.

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We have recently launched our Facebook online shop where you can soon purchase our fabulous 2019 calendar amongst many other wonderful gifts and items for yourself!

We have many ways in which you can support our charity and these beautiful dogs, our new Venture Give a Pod a Life Project where we are trying to raise funds for our new centre, our Hope for Podencos Food Fund where we ask for monthly donations to care for our Pods awaiting adoption and our  Amazon Wish Lists (UK and US) for purchases as often or as little as you would like for the bits and bobs we need as they come up. A special form of collaboration is to participate in our Virtual Adoption program and become the sponsor of one of the animals that live in the rescue centre or are reserved in the perrera. Finally, we have a Longer-Term Foster Project we hope some of our supporters can help with to introduce our Podencos to family and life experiences before they go into their Forever Homes.