Residencia Canina El Planas, better known to us as Pep’s kennels in Vic. I last visited Vic over seven years ago when we first started to board our rescue dogs with him. At that time Pep was building some more kennels on his land and also converting an old barn to make a
new home for himself and his wife Carmen. I always hoped that one day I could go back again and see this work completed and fortunately this was possible in April when I travelled to Vic with Martin, our Chairman, and Christine, a local lady who is kindly helping us now and who speaks excellent Spanish.
We drove from Barcelona airport to Pep’s clinic in Vic. From the short time we were there it was obvious that this was a very busy clinic. Pep was operating when we arrived and later showed us the operating room with all the necessary equipment including the x-ray area. He explained the blood testing he can do on site for the Mediterranean diseases and showed us the equipment he uses. Next to the clinic Pep and his business partner Danny have a pet shop and in a room at the back there is a grooming parlour run by Carmen.
Pep then took us to his kennels in the hills – a forty minute drive from the clinic. The kennels and Pep’s home are now complete and what a wonderful place to live and what a lovely, peaceful place for the galgos we send to Vic to spend some time putting on weight and recovering from the ordeals many of them have suffered.
Pep has built a kennel block to house the galgos – two or three galgos are kennelled together, they have a large “sleeping” area with raised beds and in the winter the kennels are heated, off this area the dogs have a run and in a corner, under cover, food and fresh water are available 24 hours a day. Pep told us that the galgos are not greedy and he feels that the food should be available all day and this automatic feeding system has proved successful and there are no fights over food.
Opposite the kennel there are several exercise paddocks and the galgos are let out there every day. In the summer months Pep puts an awning over part of this area to give shade for the dogs. When we visited we had 22 galgos boarded with Pep and it was wonderful to see them all looking so well and happy.
As soon as Pep and Pilar, who also lives on site and looks after the galgos on a daily basis, approached the kennels the dogs were jumping around so excited to see them. The younger galgos had great fun digging holes in the exercise paddock and then laying in them looking very pleased with themselves.
Pep, Carmen and Pilar are obviously animal lovers and as well as their own dogs and our galgos they have other rescues – a donkey, three mares, a wild boar, ducks, chickens, geese and birds.
Pep also has many kennels for boarding dogs – mostly his client’s dogs, there were a few there when we visited but August is the busy month for them when most of Spain goes on holiday !
Over the years we have sent hundreds of galgos and greyhounds to Vic, the galgos coming from refuges in Albacete, Almendralejo, Chiripaina, Jaen, Madrid and Murcia and the greyhounds from the Barcelona track, now thankfully closed.
Whilst we were at Vic two galgos arrived from the RECAL shelter in Almendralejo. They had travelled for 12 hours and it was amazing to see them come out of their big crates and see all of us. Curro was one of the galgos and he was soon wagging his tail after leaving the crate. Pep checked him over straight away and said he was OK and would soon put some weight on. Pep would start the veterinary tests etc the following day. Siobah, the galga was a bit unsure when she got out of the crate, her tail between her legs. Pep checked her over she had a small wound that was weeping a bit so she was given anti-biotics.
The galgos that we bring into the UK, to quarantine, have also been looked after by Pep and Pilar. It was nice for us all to see some of the galgos that we hope will be coming to the UK early June- already Pat, our Homing Officer, has people asking about them. We all enjoyed our visit and were very impressed with Pep and his team and the care they give to our dogs and look forward to continuing our work together which will be much easier now for me with the help from Christine and her partner Salva. Until now I have relied very much on supporters like Jenny in Kent to communicate with Pep for me and also used babelfish and google translations, which I’m sure have amused Pep and his team as much as they have us at HQ !