Parachuting for dogs!

For: Pepis Dog Refuge
Organizer: Beryl and David Brennan
of €10,000 goal.
Raised by 257 donors
64% Complete
This fundraiser is closed. Thank you for your support!

The Story

Pepis Dog Refuge( in Spain is struggling: someone poisoned several of their rescued dogs, some died; severe rain caused 2 mud slides, straight through the kennels; their electricity generator gave up and both refuge owners, Jane and Alan Brian, have had health problems in 2012-2013. And now, their house and kennels are subsiding and deemed unsafe. They have to move out and rebuild the kennels. They have also lost the funding from a galgo rescue association, because the association didn't like the fact that the Brians were using the money to feed ALL their dogs, not just the Galgos. Were they supposed to feed the Galgos and let the others starve? They need to replace those missing funds badly. They have over 70 dogs to care for. They are desperate for help.Will you please help? Every little bit helps... Even 5 euros, and that's only about 7 $ US or CAN.

Fundraiser Updates

Posted on April 3, 2014 by Beryl and David Brennan
Please see Pepis Refuge's Website for more currrent information:

Posted on December 18, 2013 by Beryl and David Brennan
We still need you to help Pepis Refuge! Your donations helped to pay for the sturdy fence with the secure gates on the hill (see picture). Now, at least, the dogs are safe... But a refuge is a never-ending battle, with more dogs being dumped at the gates, they need money to feed, fix and heal those poor souls. Any amount helps! Thank you!!!

Posted on September 22, 2013 by Beryl and David Brennan

From Freedom to Fear

What we are about to tell you, is the true story of two abandoned dogs, one a three year old, the other we believe to be his daughter, a tiny puppy. They made their home in a storm drain, near our hill. It was clear at first they were happy to be fed, by many different people, but not wanting to make human contact. Both Jane and I made regular visits to make sure they had fresh water. Our caravan is situated at the top of our hill, and after finishing work at the refuge, we returned to the caravan, only to find, two little heads peering at us from beneath the caravan. We felt so honoured that they had chosen to come and stay with us. Each morning the dad would come to the caravan door, he was very vocal, and demanded their breakfast. These two were inseparable , and he was teaching her all he knew and taking care of her. They had been free spirits for some time, but finally, he decided, to come to us for a stroke and fuss, but he made sure she was not allowed. I think he was testing us first, to see if they were safe. After a short time, she was allowed to come over to us, and take food from our hand, but she would not let us stroke her yet, we hoped that would come later. They still wondered off each day, to where, we don't know, but always returned for their afternoon sleep, then off they would go again, but always returning at night for their supper and their sleep. As usual, Monday morning they were at the caravan door, demanding breakfast, they ate a hearty breakfast and we left to go down to the refuge, to start work. When we returned to the caravan, they were not there, nothing unusual, as they loved to wander. As night came and still they had not come back, that's when we became very concerned. We called and called  but no sign of them, really concerned now. Tuesday came, still no sign of them both. Wednesday morning came, first thing we did, was look under the caravan, to see if they had returned, we were so pleased to see them, only to realise, it was the male, no baby. He looked very sad and weak, we called him out from under the caravan, only to see him covered in blood and shaking his head. Instinct told us he had been shot, a quick call to our vet, who said to bring him to the clinic, where an xray showed, he had been shot by a 12 bore shotgun. He was sedated and operated on immediately and the shot, removed. Luckily none had done any permanent damage. He will survive the shotgun, but not the loss of his sole mate. He is at home with us now, but does not bother to talk to us like he did, when he had his little girl with him.  When we collected him from our vet, we could see so much sadness and pain in his eyes. We know we will have to keep him shut in now, as we know he wants to find his little girl, we know she wont return now and we never did get to stroke her. All we can do now, is care for him, and keep him safe, and hope we can find him a loving home, to help heal his pain. (Please see pictures of the 2 dogs on the main page.)

Posted on July 31, 2013 by Beryl and David Brennan

Here's an update from Jane:

"The tragic story of Tomas, the Spanish water dog, who was left with us (see main photo), with two bones broken in his left front leg and no other injuries. We managed to locate the owner of Tomas, and the story unfolded. We were horrified that a dog was left in this condition, but after meeting the owner, a young woman in her mid thirtys, with two young boys, and hearing her story, we began to understand. Her husband had left her, and taken all the money, not even supporting his two young sons, she was due to hand back the keys to her house, as the bank had taken possession of her home. She did have a glimmer of hope, as her father had managed to get her and the boys accommodation in the next village, things turned bad again for her, when her father who had a seven hour drive to help her and the boys get settled in, unfortunately never completed the journey, he fell asleep at the wheel, crashed the car and died in the accident. It transpired that Tomas went missing when they where moving house and he returned with his leg injured, it was obvious she could not afford the treatment for Tomas, as the cost for us, is 500 euros, for her it would have been more, she did what she thought would be the best thing for Tomas, to take him to a protector of animals, us. Unbeknown to us at the time, this woman is a relation of a very close friend of ours, who confirmed the story to be true."

Posted on July 25, 2013 by Beryl and David Brennan


I have told you why I was going to do a parachute jump.  It was not because it was something I had always wanted to do, because I hadn’t.  It was inspired by a man approaching 80 years young who wanted to do a charity parachute jump to raise much needed funds for the rescue and re-homing of Galgos from Spain.  You will have read that tragically this wonderful, caring man, who loved Greyhounds and their close cousins, Galgos, died suddenly in February, leaving his beloved wife, Donna and their rescued Greys, and some unfinished business.  I undertook some of that unfinished business and did it for Charlie at 1100 hrs on Tuesday 23 July 2013 when I scrambled aboard a light aircraft with a large hole in the side of its fuselage.

Altitudes ( is a small company based at La Rochelle Ile de Ré airport in France, who are passionate skydivers and who provide the facility for anyone to experience the exhilaration of skydiving without the necessity of going through the extensive and expensive training and medical testing.  Christian Bontet, the proprietor, is a jovial man who is able (he says) to communicate in most languages, and is the principal skydiver.  In the briefing Christian told me the basics of what would happen and what he expected of me, which was effectively “Do as I tell you and you won’t get hurt!”  I was told how to position myself in the aircraft before falling out, what to do with my arms and legs at the start, during and at the landing at the end of the jump, and relax and enjoy the jump.

The plane was small.  It had a high wing and one seat, for the pilot.  For a small additional donation I will tell you ladies about the handsome young pilot!  We skydivers sat on the floor facing backwards.  Before embarking we donned our harnesses and Christian carefully checked the fitting and tightness.  Then onboard we were firmly clipped together and the plane took off.  Conversation was nigh on impossible as the noise of the engine was so loud.

We reached the jump altitude of 3000 mtrs (10,000 ft), the plane levelled off, the engine note reduced, we swung our legs out of the plane, arms in the instructed position, and the only part of me in contact with the plane was my bum.  “Ready?” said a voice in my ear.  I nodded and we were gone.  Immediately the first surprise happened as we turned a full summersault before settling in the skydiving position of arms and legs spread wide.  Surprises came thick and fast – apart from the force of the wind as we fell, deforming our cheeks, there was absolutely no sensation of falling.  Looking down and all around the ground that we were rushing towards everything seemed to be in slow motion, it felt as though we would take ages to get down.

A tap on my hand told me that the parachute was about to open and seconds later I was feeling very thankful for the earlier careful checking of my straps as the pull of gravity was arrested by the ‘chute and my groin took the full force of the braking.  The noise of the rushing air stopped and we were again able to hold a conversation.  It was very peaceful with the only sound being the flapping of the canopy as the air exited.  Only when we started to approach the designated landing field did things start to happen quickly.  Suddenly the ground was approaching at an alarming rate.  My mentor gave the anticipated instruction “Legs up – DON’T TOUCH THE GROUND!” and we landed, making contact with the ground with the same part of the anatomy that had been my last contact with the plane.  It was over all too quickly.

The views from the sky above of La Rochelle, the Ile de Ré, the beautiful curving sweep of the bridge joining the two, the submerged oyster beds and the sailing yachts were breathtaking.  I had wanted to take my camera to get some shots but it was not allowed, very wisely so.

Would I do it again?  Too right I would, but only to raise money for a worthy cause!  What did I say as we left the plane?  “This is for you Charlie!”  His picture did the jump with me.  I hope he would have approved.

Beryl’s note.

Christian had told us where to go outside the hangers, so we would be able to watch everything.  There was a big grass area which was the landing point so our friends and I positioned ourselves with cameras ready.  We could hear the drone of the plane high in the sky but the only specks we could see were birds.  Roger was manning David’s camera with its big telephoto lens.

The plane’s engine noise changed – we craned our necks, where were they?

Roger spotted them first, ‘they’re out,’ he shouted as he pointed the camera and started snapping.

We watched the small black speck in the sky floating and swinging, gradually getting nearer – magical – and a perfect landing.

Around the lunch table afterwards, we were all ears while David talked us through the jump and his feelings.

We had a great day which was even better when we got home and David found his sponsorship had increased hugely and the monetary target was within reach.

An incredible and very memorable day.

Posted on July 24, 2013 by Beryl and David Brennan
David's done it! He jumped out of an airplane and had a blast! Please see Beryl's Website for details ( and pictures! Some pics also posted on this page. Thanks to your help, we raised over 5,000 Euros for the Brians. They are over the moon!

Posted on July 16, 2013 by Beryl and David Brennan

WHY am I jumping out of an aeroplane over the sea?  I’ll tell you why.........

I’ve loved dogs for as long as I can remember.  My love of Greyhounds, and subsequently Levriers and Galgos started in England when an abandoned greyhound turned up at our home early one morning, and never left.  I’m passionate about anything to do with dogs and their welfare, and when my wife Beryl started “Galgo News” in November 2007, and later “Podenco Post” I was happy to support her work any way I could.  Inevitably my support was largely passive as she built a vast network of global contacts trying to make a difference to the plight of the poor dogs of Spain. 

During the network building Beryl was contacted by a gentleman in USA called Charlie Brannan.  Over the months Charlie became a good friend who was passionate about greyhounds and supported Beryl’s work in many ways.  Charlie was in his late 70’s and had done a sponsored parachute jump as part of his 70th birthday celebrations. He had decided to do another in September 2013 for his 80th to raise funds to help appeals. 

Sadly, Charlie will not get to do the jump he was so looking forward to as he had a heart attack and died suddenly earlier this year.  When we heard of Charlie’s death I thought it would be fitting to continue some of the work he han’t been able to complete.  As Charlie had been planning a parachute jump I decided to do one in memory of him to raise much needed funds for one of the appeals being published by Galgo News.

I’ve never done a parachute jump before. In fact I’ve only once been in a light aircraft, as a special birthday present for my 13th birthday – I was terrified.  So I’m hoping for a calm day, and that light aircraft have developed considerably over the last 54 years!   I’m a little nervous about jumping out of a plane, but I’m keeping my mind occupied with fundraising and trying not to think about what I’ll actually be doing on Tuesday 23 July. 

It’s my first jump so I’ve chosen to do a tandem jump, which means that I’ll be firmly (I hope) attached to an experienced skydiver.  Also, as I‘m not going solo I don’t have to undergo extensive and expensive training, just half an hour on the day, and then do as I am told!  My chosen venue is the La Rochelle Ile de Re airport on the coast as it is a beautiful area from the air.

The weekend of 20/21 July is “National Greyhound Remembrance” weekend in the UK, so I felt that 23 July would be appropriate to help support all the activities going on around then.

I’m jumping to raise money for Pepis Dog Refuge, Pedrera in Southern Spain.  Over the last 12 months they’ve suffered one catastrophe after another; two mud slides overran the kennels and piled up against the house, the house has been deemed unsafe; poisoned food was thrown into the kennels killing one dog and causing severe illness in others; the main electricity generator died leaving them with only emergency lighting; the health of the owners, Jane and Alan, has taken a hit this year with both having to be admitted into hospital, fortunately on separate occasions.  And at the last count they were looking after 74 dogs – with all that stress I’m not surprised they are having health problems.

It’s about time the wheel of fortune turned in their favour, I’m doing my bit and all I need is YOU to sponsor me to really make a difference. 


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