Story Fito

Explanation persons and organisations.

Fito, galgo male, rescued in Spain, adopted in The Netherlands

FBM: Fundacion Benjamin Mehnert Sevilla, shelter for rescued dogs in Spain

Organisation: Dutch Rescue Organisation that intervened for Fito’s adoption

Adoptant: Dutch person who adopted Fito

Volunteer: Dutch person who visits FBM and knew Fito from the shelter in Spain

Fito has been adopted  April 14th 2012 from FBM into The Netherlands.  Since this date several mails and telephonecalls have been shared by adoptant about Fito’s behaviour. He was described as being dominant, attacking dogs during walks outside and attacking the two older owners dogs as well as biting the adoptant. This negative news was periodic alternated by positive news in which was told that Fito was doing allright, his behaviour improved and was under control, and that adoptant was optimistic. There have been conversations between an behaviourspecialist of the Organisation for instance in January 2013. In August 2014 adoptant suddenly ringed alarmbells cause to her opinion it was not safe anymore to keep Fito into her home. As adoptant had no trust anymore in the Organiation she contacted FBM. FBM offers to take Fito back to Spain to see what examine and work on his behaviour and to search for a new home via another partner. Adoptant agrees. FBM asks official approval from the Organisation. A few days later FBM receives an answer by mail from the Dutch Organisation that after a talk with adoptant there has been decided that Fito stays in his adoptants home. She will try it again. Then, on 3 december 2014, another e-mail with a call for help from the adoptant. This time to the new board of the Organisation. First reaction of the Organisation: Oh what a tragedy…..and how horrible that………is getting bitten, such a sweet doggie!!! This is not a normal situation, for you, neither for the other dogs, it is becoming dangerous, cause a dog that bites just like that until eventually death follows, has structural problems, and shows that something is not allright with him. By reading your mail I understand that you did all you could to improve this situation,…I will consult the group tomorrow, and see what we can do, cause to be honoust, such a dog is not to be placed, neither in a fosterhome, nor by an adoption. I am so sorry for you, and your other dogs, we will check tomorrow if we can find a solution, I will keep you informed.

Adoptant: Under no condition Fito can be put asleep……Few months ago Fito could go to France (behaviourpspecialist) via FBM. Organisation did not allow this…although all possible help was offered. Miss Mehnert of FBM has been in contact about this with the Organisation and the request was denied although every possible work would be done for him.

Organisation: Your mail highly surprises me. We will do everything to arrange help for your doggy and if FBM offered their help, we will accept this, just to take care of Fito and his new future. Het is even great that help is offered for you and your dog.


Aoptant asks if she has to contact FBM by herself to settle transport to Spain. Organisation: we have to wait till board, this would be arranged by our Organisation. What I understand from you is that the dog will be helped and send to France to work on his bevahiour and that a new home will be searched for him. You understand that we do not want the dog to be withers away in a cage, but for sure you do not want that either.

Adoptante: Then I want to refer to rule 2 of the adoption-conditions. When adoptant is not able (anymore) to offer the dog a sufficient and caring home anymore adoptant will give the dog back to the Organisation.

Organisation to FBM 5-12-2014:

I have a question, when do you have a transport to Holland, I am sorry to as it, but it’s about Fito the dog of …………You know what I am talking about, she wants to give Fito as soon as possible away, of course, because we are back in the adoption team, we do not know what’s happened in the past, only that ………refused to let the dog go. For us, it’s a very difficult situation, but we said to ………..that we have nog problems with this great proposition. …..(something personal)……we have to manage it decent, with respect and first to think on Fito the future. Please can you tell me of this is correct, I am only writing about the things I have heard from adoptant. I hope that we can manage it together, the only thing we want is to have a good solution for the dog.

Shelter to Organisation 5-12-2014:

Of course, we will take back Fito, find out what happens to him (perhaps he even has a pain problem) and search another home for him, probably as single dog. The problem we have now is that we have no transport to NL as there are no dogs adopted. He could come back with our next transport beginning or midth Jan. Solution for about 4 weeks has to be found with dogs' hotel or something else. Also we could try to find flight. Please tell me which proposal you have.

Organisation to FBM: Thanks a lot with this proposition, we are very happy that Fito is able to go with the transport of FBM, because we have really no solution for him. I will send a mail to adoptant, en explain that the dog in januar can travel with FBM. I will also talk about it with …………, and will let you know as soon as possible. Anyway thanks a lot for your help!! We keep in touch

Organisatiion to adoptante 5-12-2014:

To help Fito and you we decided to approve his return to FBM to be helped. We hope that in this way your doggy can get on the right track again, that he will be adopted by another family without other dogs. We fully trust that  ...... and FBM will help Fito in future. What we will do now:  A/ Contact ......., it seems to me you do this yourself as you already were in contact with ..........i will send an e-mail by myself to confirm. B/ Ask when FBM has a transport to The Netherlands or Belgium and ask if they can take Fito back like they proposed in September 2014. C/ Then Fito has to be brought to the transportplace, and before this date there will be a waiver to you that has to be signed and be send back to  .......This seems to me the best solution. Ofcourse we understand that this is a painful situation to say goodbye to your dog in this way, it is not you to, you did your best, Fito is a dog with a history, that’s why now his behaviour. I hope now everything is clear......let us hope that FBM will come to Belgium or The Netherlands very fast, then Fito is helped right away. Let me know if you agree. We hope to have helped you well.


Small part of mail from adoptant to Volunteer: everybody says and knows that this is a dangerous situation and I have to live with this. Keeping separate then? He just bites her as i am standing besides them. And above this i will probably have to deal with this situation knowing that he has to leave. 6-12-2014: Volunteer to adoptant: In the case it does not work he has to come to my house. But during workingtime he has to stay in my garden, with a coat, he can go under a roof with baskets to lay down andhe can go inside a store. I cannot let my little..... at risk. Furthermore my pack is very quiet and used to dominant visitors. Me myself as well no problems with dominance (untill Christmas no room cause of other visiting dogs)

6-12-2014 Adoptante to volunteer: Fito goes back to FBM something that I am very gratefull for. Next week I have an appointment at the vet..he will be examined fully and will receive his rabies vaccination as well as other. In the meantime I will be home as much time as possible and friends will help. It is just, it will be in the middle of January that he can leave. I will try to coop with it. If this does not work I will make grateful use of your offer. If he bites again he has to leave immediately. For me comfortable thought he can stay in your place.

9-12-2014 Volunteer receves a phonecall in the evening from Organisation, to tell her that Fito has been put to sleep.

Volunteer on facebook:

In memory of Fito: an in The Netherlands adopted Spanish male greyhound who had no chance and died an unnecessary early death.

It took me some days to realize that this is no nightmare and to gather all information. Now that everything is clear I want to share my grief one more time with all of you who is interested in animal welfare. My conclusion is based on facts. There have been made terrible mistakes. The only true victim is a greyhound male. I want to ask your help. Please share this item. For this story needs attention and public awareness. To avoid that this can never happen again. I hereby call animal protection organizations to investigate this story to tackle those few responsible persons and to prevent that any new mistakes like this can be made in future.

My conclusions at a glance (trying to keep it short):

A male greyhound adopted from Spain in The Netherlands shows severe behaviour problems, he bites adoptant as well as other dogs.
A (repeated) cry for help from the adoptant to the intermediating Rescue organisation. 
The Dutch intermediating animal Rescue organisation who sends an email to the adoptant in which is written that the organisation has no possibility to place the dog neither in fosterhome nor for a new adoption cause based on the description of the adoptant this dog is a real problem. Note: this conclusion has been made without any homevisit or professional examination. The adoptant’s opinion and her several attempts with behaviour specialist (mostly by phone and mail) are decisive reason for this conclusion.
A Spanish shelter who wants to help the greyhound by taking the dog back to Spain and offer him a real chance of a new life after specialistic therapy which they can provide in Spain.
So all is settled. The transport to Spain is arranged medio January 2015 and the Dutch organisation as well as the adoptant agrees and confirm by mail. Problem almost solved.
In the meantime the adoptant still has to home her difficult dog which is a big problem.
An outsider – named me – offers to take care of the dog until the transport to Spain takes place for which the adoptant is grateful so she confirms in her mails. Problem solved.

And now what happens????!!!!!! A few days later Fito has been put to sleep!!!! Just like that. For what reason? Appearently he has caused again serious behaviour problems at the house of the adoptant. Vet was consulted. Organisation was consulted. And they concluded the best thing to do was to kill Fito………

My heart cries…………………………….

Why? Why? Whyyyyyyyyyyyyy??????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Before his adoption Fito lived for two years in the shelter. He never caused any behaviour problems in Spain on the opposite he was sweet, gentle and social to people as well as to male- and female dogs. 

People in the Spanish shelter are shocked. What about their offer to take him back without any conditions nor questions. They were expecting him with open arms! Imagine how they feel. What a struggle and suffering in Spain to rescue dogs, they send them abroad and then they are killed in a frivolous way….

Fito has been living at one address in The Netherlands with one adoptant and her other dogs. He never had the chance to prove himself in another home. Maybe he was not homed in the right place? If in this home there was no solution found for the problem this does not mean there is no solution to it. Only that in this house they were not able to solve it. 

His rescue and transport to his new life was planned in a few weeks. A temporary place until the transportdate had been offered. Besides this there is always a possibility of a shelter or a doghotel. Why suddenly the necessity to kill him?

The President of the Dutch organisation has a clear opinion about Fito. Because she told me by phone personally: “we cannot change these kind of dogs, I know this because me myself had a similar one”. On what facts is this opinion based upon? Is it based on specialistic experiences? Of whom? Nobody of the organisation visited the dog. The dog was not medically examed (perhaps he was in pain?).

I wonder if the Dutch vet who killed a healthy poor guy knew that his rescue was almost on his way (for the second time, in August 2014 this same help was offered and had been refused)? Would the Dutch vet kill the dog as well with this knowledge? And if yes, on what grounds?

Greyhounds are sensitive and complex beings with a difficult, often painful past and trauma. To rescue means to assume responsibility at any costs and to struggle for them at 100%. Everything else is not animal protection. 

Is there a law against this injustice? 

I wonder if the responsible ones who decided Fito had no right to live anymore can sleep peacefully. I can’t…………………………


Adoptant on Facebook 11 dec. 2014 

Good morning everybody

I will tell my side of the story, once, because there’s a true  agitation going on on facebook, without telling the whole truth. Last Tuesday 9 Dec  my Fito was put to sleep.I adopted Fito 12 April 2012.When I saw him I was instantly in love with him. We all know that our Galgos need a settling-in period. After four months he started biting .At first Jonas was the victim.I thought they are two males and the ranking needs to be determined. Jonas is an oldie and Fito the young strong male. Outside the house Fito was a real disaster from day one. He attacked every dog for looking at him. So he had a lot to learn.I  tried to teach him. But Fito didn’t chance a lot. I asked if Fito had always showed this behavior. They told me “No” . Am I doing something wrong I asked myself? The Board of the Foundation where I adopted Fito gave me some advice. I contacted  a canine behavior specialist.I got some tips and tried to make them work. But Fito kept biting.. Jonas,  me but also to people who came to visit us. There was nothing I didn’t try to help him. I could write a book of all the things I did! In the past 2 years I reported the problem with Fito several times and discussed it. There was almost no support, only the words: we can not replace a dog who bites in a foster family or put him up for adoption.There I was:  there was something completely wrong with Fito, that was obvious. At the end of August of this year my little girl was lying beside him, totally out of nowhere he attacked her, she lay on the floor and Fito bit her in order to kill her..He wouldn’t let go of her. Blanquita was badly injured.

It was then I knew I couldn’t keep him. He can no longer stay here. For the umpteenth time I asked for help. And again there was nothing. A big strong male biting a small female dog that’s a huge problem. It is an unprecedented situation. Fito had something in his head, that triggered him..and that could not longer be corrected. But one loves its dog and will keep on try ing.. For a while it went okay..I saw that he changing, but not in a positive way. In Netherlands, no one could him replaces, so after a lot of thinking  Fito would go back to the Foundation in Spain. Absolutely not the best option but it seems a new chance. Last week he went mad and out of nowhere he tried to kill Blanquita again, she lay on her back, he had pushed her all the way in a corner and she could not go anywhere..Her side was already injured and he wanted to grab her by the throat..he was so fixated that he did not hear me ... for the first time in 12 years ... I have to beat him on his back to get him out of that fixation. Then he came after me.

There was no place for Fito and the situation was very dangerous. Will sending him to Spain really be the best solution? And what if he will be was replaced after that?.. at a family with children? With all my heart I knew..He would bite again and  keep attacking. In the meantime, Fito tried to get to Blanquita twice and his purpose was to kill her. I knew the next victim would be me. He stared at me for three whole days. Something in Fitos head was not good at all ... most likely they have kicked him in the head in the passed so many times that sometimes went wrong inside his head, something snapped. Fito is not to blame for that en neighter am I. He was a victim and nobody could had prevent the things that happened.

Fito was a danger for humans and animals. But of course now people say they know better and there will always be those rescuers telling that they could have done better. They cancel the friendship, they block you from their phone so there no opportunity to tell your side of this story and they put you on a public trial without giving you any chance to defend yourself.

And now absolutely no one of all so-called Galgo friends that I still had will have anything to do with me me.  Thanks to Donna Janssen:  for your dastardly behavior. With pain in my heart and in consultation with the new Board and my vet I decided that this is the best choice. A very sad situation, the hardest choice I had to make ever and I hope no one should ever had to make such a decision. For nearly three years I gave everything and tried everything..I fully support my choice. For Fito, for me and the rest of my pack.I could tell a long story  of people who knew about this situation for 2 years but always were to busy  to help and to hear me crying for help, but I won’t  do that. If they like they may condemn me..

This was a one-time explanation..I'm not going to respond to comments or opinions.

Questions to the Organisation by mail and the answers:

1) Was Fito examined by a behaviourspecialist at his home? From my ex collegaes …… and …. I heard that our behaviourspecilist …….. has contacted adoptant to give help. Unfortunately according to adoptant without success, there had been given advices by …….. to help adoptant. Adoptant has searched for further help outside our foundation.

2) Has Fito been examined medically? I do not know, but then I talk about the time I was not working for adoption. When the owner contacted us, the situation was no longer acceptable for her and has become dangerous. Many discussions, considerations.

3) If yes, examined on what items? 

3. Has your Organisation examined Fito’s behaviour in another surroundings that in the adoptants one?

4. Is it correct that Organisation concluded or written that Fito was a dangerous dog and that he would bite as well in other circumstances?  Yes that is correct, this is as well the opinion of the owner and the vet.

5. Did Oganisation inform FBM to agree with returning to Spain in januari 2015? Yes this is correct, in 2015, agreed woith the new board, in 2014  refused by the old board, owner and FBM were very angry at that time, owner felt not supported by Organiation en did not seek help at Organisation untill december this year.

6. Did Organiation know that adoptant had an offer to foster Fito untill the moment of transport to Spain? Did Organisation know that adoptant was glad with this offer. We understood from owner that Volunteer offered to foster the dog after Christmas, but heard as well that dog had to stay outside under a roof. Volunteer has dogs for herself and works outside. What we know is that owner did not want dog to go to her cause of a terrible bite-incident, …….. had been bitten again and dog treatened to bite owner. Reason to take responsibility and bring dog not to Volunteer.

7. Did Organisation know that almost 2 years long (old and new board) with ups and downs problems occured with Fito at his adoptionaddress? I speak about the old board, …. and me, yes we knew at beginning that dog caused problems, we sent mail to our behaviourspecialist that time. Afterwards …. and I quit adoptionwork, ….  …..and ….. took over. …. and I are back since 1 month. Then mails came in from adoptant with complants about Organisation and the message that adoptant has serious problems with the dog, adoptants was still very angry that old board did not want to bring dog back to FBM. We did not know this cause there were no contacts anymore between new and old adoptionteam.

Cause of new conditions and mails of owner to us, there has been contact between old and new adoptionteam. ….told us she had seen on fb that dog was doing fine. I do not know this i am not on fb. Talked woth adoptant again, told us she always had problems, but did not want to do anything with old board of Oganisation. Info that were given at that time by FBM told us that Fito was good with dogs and cats, appearantly not, he bite them on street and in the house right after he came in NL.  But we know that attidue of a dog can change, so sorry for adoptant, but she loved her doggie very much. Owner is very grieved and even gets annoid, Volunteer even placed pictures of owner’s private surroundings, this is threatening, maybe wise to call action of police, same as the scandal on fb.

Did Organisation know that the requests for help were sometimes bagatalized with positive news? 8. Does Organisation really believe that they did ALL they could to help Fito? If yes, what did they do? At first, I give word to my ex collegaes, I cannot answer for them, according to us I say YES, much thinking, searched for solutions, en in same time respect for owner, and the dog. Loving an animal is how awful it sounds as well letting him go, I can tell you it has been awful for us to conclude that Fito was not placable anymore.

9. Did Organisation tell adoptant, as she told them she could not take care of him anymore, that Organisation could not (re)place such a dog as a foster or for adoption. Yes absolutely, that has been said clearly. We have responsibility to our fosterhomes, a biteincident in a family or in street causes a scandal and many problems.

10. Did Organisation inform FBM before he was put to sleep? Or did GRH inform the offered fosterhome? Or did they inform both only after it was too late? It happened after he was put to sleep.