PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — David and Marci Anderson make the rounds of young patients at Children’s Hospital every Friday afternoon, with a pair of greyhounds named Layla and Gladys.
“This visitation is to cheer up the kids,” Marci says.
She and her husband team up with the non-profit Steel City Greyhounds, to adopt dozens of dogs each year – greyhounds retired from area race tracks.
But Layla and Gladys have come all the way from southern Spain.
“Every year my wife and i go to Barcelona to rescue greyhounds known as ‘galgos,'” David says. Galgos are used to the point of exhaustion during hunting season.
“At the end of hunting season,” David Anderson says, “they’re thrown away on the streets. And there are good people from all over Europe who kind of descend on southern Spain. And they pluck these dogs off the streets.”
The couple comes home with four or five dogs, like Gladys and Layla. Their visits are a happy respite for kids at Children’s Hospital. For the dogs, it’s part of a happy new existence.
“We rescued them from the streets of southern Spain and brought them to the United States to have a new lease on life,” Marci says.
But why rescue greyhounds from Spain, when so many local dogs need homes?
“For every one Spanish greyhound we rescue, we rescue 18 greyhounds here,” says David. “So we don’t think that’s a bad ratio.”
“We try to extend ourselves to do that little extra effort every year for these guys,” Marci adds, “because they deserve a chance too.”
Gladys and Layla aren’t complaining, and neither are the kids at Children’s Hospital.