Several hundred dogs and their owners race to raise awareness of abandoned animals and call for a more dog-friendly Madrid. Roselle Chen reports.
It's the running of the dogs! Several hundred canines and their owners participated in an annual dog race in Madrid. The "San Perrestre Urban Tour" is organized by El Refugio (The Refuge), a non-profit animal home which seeks to prevent the abandonment and mistreatment of animals. The race has no winners, no medals and no stop watch. With people of all ages and dogs of all sizes joining the race, San Perrestre is a time to celebrate and usher in the New Year while encouraging people to adopt dogs and make the city more dog friendly. Denise adopted Pepa when she was two months old after she was run over by a tractor, lost a leg and then abandoned. SOUNDBITE: Denise, dog owner, saying (Spanish): "I always say it was love at first sight." Tiffany says she brought Theo because it would be fun to join a good cause. SOUNDBITE: Tiffany, dog owner, saying (English): "Theo had a hernia in September and I actually put up a crowd funding page to help with his rehab, his operation and a lot of people donated so I am really thankful." Maria Jose wants to encourage people to adopt hunting dogs because they are often mistreated by hunters. SOUNDBITE: Maria Jose, dog owner, saying (Spanish): "If they are no use for hunting they are abandoned. Some are lucky and are adopted but others aren't and some are killed." The race's objectives this year are to persuade local authorities to allow pets to ride on the Madrid metro, encourage people to adopt abandoned dogs and most importantly, to have fun.