NCC Goes to the Dogs — Again!

A greyhound in profile

At NCC, we pride ourselves on our ability to integrate the needs of our employees and the greater community, working to deliver a GOOD future to all whose lives we touch.  We think we’ve found a pretty good combination with a non-profit organization we are pleased to officially sponsor: Greyhound Rescue, Inc.  We are proud to already support a local food pantry, Arlington Food Assistance Center, and we’ve shown our love of the canine family through our enthusiastic support of Hero Dogs.  We just can’t get enough of locally-based dog-loving organizations, and Greyhound Rescue strikes a perfect balance between the two.

Danielle petting greyhound

Greyhound Rescue, Inc., was founded in West Virginia in 1989 by John and Denise Davis, who were concerned about the conditions and often harsh treatment endured by racing Greyhounds, and sought to educate people about what good pets these beautiful dogs could actually be.  The organization has since found loving homes for over 2,000 Greyhounds throughout not only West Virginia, but also Virginia, Maryland, and Washington, D.C.  This May, Danielle Marquez (CEO Chris Marquez‘s wife!) visited NCC with Gracie, her own rescued Greyhound, to talk to our employees about the organization, its mission, and its successes and obstacles.

Danielle informed us that Greyhounds are one of the oldest breeds of dogs known to man, and their sleek build and sharp sense of smell led them to be highly prized both as hunters and companions long before the advent of Greyhound racing.  In ancient times, pharaohs were buried with their Greyhounds at their sides, and in medieval times Greyhounds were considered such noble creatures that they were reserved solely for the aristocracy; anyone outside of the nobility who dared keep a Greyhound could face severe punishment.

Greyhound with a tennis ball in its mouth

Greyhound racing first began in the 18th Century in London and later became a popular gambling event in America as well.  Today, though the popularity of the races is declining in favor of the more instant gratification of slot machines and other casino amenities, about 75,000 Greyhounds are bred every year to be racing dogs.  They are born and raised on farms and begin training to race at six months in preparation for their “maiden race” at one year of age, often while living in crates and without adequate care.  The sheer number of Greyhounds leads to trouble when the dogs are eventually retired from racing, and Greyhound Rescue, Inc., was created to ensure that as many as possible were taken in to recover and go on to lead happy lives with a new family.

Greyhound's muzzleThe span of Greyhound Rescue’s efforts involves four main steps: transferring the dogs from the tracks to prepare them for adoption; giving them any necessary medical attention; coordinating foster homes; and community outreach.  Racing Greyhounds are surprisingly gentle animals considering their past misfortunes, as Gracie demonstrated by staying calm and quiet throughout Danielle’s presentation, neither balking nor barking at the many new faces in the room with her.  There are many retired Greyhounds who have yet to find a happy home, though, and that’s where Greyhound Rescue comes in.  Find out how you can help on their website; there are many opportunities, including adopting or fostering a Greyhound, becoming an ambassador for the organization, donating your time or money, and more!