The Spanish term “rehela” refers to a pack or group of hunting dogs whose number varies from 14 to 24. Spain is the only European country to allow hunting with dogs (in England fox hunting has been banned since 2004), therefore this hunting method is known as “Spanish style hunt” (montería a la española). There is even a Spanish Association of Pack Hunting (Asociación Española de Rehalas). The “rehalas” are a key tool for hunters and most of these dogs are kept in questionable conditions, often in cages with a lack of regular veterinary attention, in some cases none at all and in others, very little. The dogs only come out of their cages to train or to hunt, and in order to do this they have to be transported in small trailers, in conditions which also cause hunters a lot of controversy as they are the cause of complaints and inspections.
During a hunt animals may get injured and sometimes these injuries mean such high veterinary costs that their owners prefer to put the dogs down, occasionally using cruel archaic methods. Alternatively, they may just abandon the dog to their own fate in the wild.
Hunting, as a pass-time, encourages the abuse and abandonment of dogs. Estimates indicate that about 50,000 greyhounds are abandoned each year. As well as these dogs, there are all the other breeds, such as the English Pointer, the German Shorthaired Pointer, the English Setter, etc., which are commonly used by hunters. A FAADA study through CIPAC, carried out between 2012 and 2013, concluded that 60% of dogs in shelters and rescue centres were hunting dogs, or their offspring.