Home News Changing Hearts and Minds: A Greyhound’s Mission in Children’s Literature

Changing Hearts and Minds: A Greyhound’s Mission in Children’s Literature

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Rescued Spanish greyhound character in children’s picture book hopes to cultivate new attitudes towards hunting dogs and increase empathy learning.

Natalie Knox, an award-winning children’s author, is happy to announce the release of her latest picture book, ‘Bonito the Hero’, which is aimed at children aged 4 to 7 (and dog lovers with a soft spot for a rescue).

Natalie Knox is a dog-loving children’s author who lives in southern Spain. Her latest book, launching on 9th March 2024, is close to home and has a big message. It casts a rescued Spanish greyhound as it’s brave protagonist that saves the day due to his past life as a hunting dog. Spain has a long history of hunting and hare coursing with greyhounds. The cruel disposal of these dogs at the end of hunting season is sadly a common occurrence. Natalie Knox wrote and illustrated this book to raise awareness and cultivate empathy for animals in an endeavour to bring much-needed change through the next generation.

“Childhood is the soil in which we plant the roots of empathy for our fellow humans as well as the other creatures we share our planet with,” says Natalie Knox. “I believe stories give us insight into another life and help us understand realities different from our own. They also give us opportunity to talk about how this makes us feel and explore our thoughts. Sharing moments like this with children when reading a picture book can be impactful and increase their empathy. My hope would be that Bonito’s story would bring a deeper appreciation for rescued dogs, and especially for galgos in Spain.”

Bonito the Hero says “I’m trim, I’m slim, I’m built for speed. I’ll dash and flash when off the lead.” On Fireworks night all the neighbourhood dogs are terrified. Bonito, the Spanish greyhound, doesn’t mind the loud bangs. They remind him of his old life with the hunters. When a puppy bolts in fright, Bonito springs to the rescue. Can his speed and bravery save the day? The Spanish edition, ‘Bonito el Héroe’ is set to be released on the 20th April 2024.

For further information see https://bonitothedog.com/ or contact the publishers at poppyseedpub@gmail.com

‘Bonito the Hero’ can be purchased at most book retailers in store or online.

Read more about animal welfare in Spain here:

Spain’s 1st national animal welfare law

Spain Implements Groundbreaking Animal Welfare Law: Key Changes for Pet Owners

In a landmark move, Spain ushered in its inaugural national animal welfare legislation on Friday, September 29, 2023, marking a significant shift in legal obligations for pet owners across the country.

Among the notable changes, it is now prohibited to leave dogs unattended for more than 24 hours or tethered without supervision in public areas. Offenders found leaving their dogs outside stores could face fines ranging from €500 to €10,000 ($530 to $10,600).

Nuria Menéndez de Llano, head of the Observatory for Justice and Animal Defense, emphasized the importance of these regulations, stating, “Leaving an animal tied up for a minute to go and buy bread isn’t a problem, but leaving them an hour in the sun to go into a mall is because they can get dehydrated and face risks of getting abused or attacked by another dog.”

Under the new law, all cats must undergo sterilization and microchipping before reaching six months of age, unless exempted for breeding purposes. Additionally, municipalities are tasked with ensuring the spaying or neutering of feral cat populations.

The new law became effective immediately and owners of dogs, cats, ferrets, and birds are required to register their pets with local authorities.

These measures are primarily aimed at curbing the alarming rates of animal abandonment in Spain, which currently stands at an average of 800 cases per day, according to Jose Luis Macias from Iberanimal.

Further provisions of the law mandate that cats and other pets cannot be left alone at home for more than three days consecutively. Additionally, habitual confinement of animals on balconies, porches, or in outdoor tethering is prohibited.

However, hunting dogs and other professionally utilized canines have been exempted from certain provisions following political pressure and lobbying efforts.

Despite its groundbreaking nature, the law faces challenges in implementation due to legal ambiguities. Spain’s acting government is currently unable to pass necessary decrees to provide detailed regulations, pending a clarification of legal processes.

Future measures, including mandatory training courses for dog owners and third-party insurance requirements, aim to ensure comprehensive care for pets and prevent abandonment or neglect.

As Spain takes bold steps towards enhancing animal welfare, the new legislation underscores a commitment to fostering a more compassionate society and safeguarding the well-being of its furry companions.

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