WASHINGTON, DC - It’s Sunday morning and at the Duke Ellington Track and Field in Georgetown, that means another gathering of the "Sunday Greys”, a group of people and their rescue greyhounds.
"They’re really a part of the community, these dogs, they really bring all of us together. We get together regularly, we’ve all become fast friends,” said Ivan Bailey, whose been with the group for about six years.
The group has been meeting on-and-off at sites around Georgetown for the past 15 years.
"It’s good for them to reestablish and see big groups, because that’s what they’re kind of used to being around. And they love to run, obviously, and so that’s another benefit. And, you know, selfishly, I think we all enjoy it, too,” added Bailey.
The dogs in this group used to be found on the dwindling number of live greyhound race tracks across the country. The greyhound protection organization Grey2K USA Worldwide states there are only 18 tracks still operating in five states.
"We’re very hopeful and optimistic that dog racing will end entirely within the United States within the next few years,” said Christine Dorchak, president of Grey2K USA Worldwide.
In Bailey’s case, he adopted his dog, Gigi, from a racetrack in Florida.
"Gigi used to be one of the alpha greyhounds who would get them started, and she was always the first one to take off and then they’d all chase after her and she’s now a cancer survivor, so we don’t let her off the leash. She was diagnosed with bone cancer nine months ago and she’s licked it and beat it and she’s now here to support all of her friends,” said Bailey.
Bailey added there is always room for more members.
"They touch your heart and you’re doing such good work for them. You will be the one that will be happier than anything in taking care of them. They’re just amazing."