The evolution of the Retired Greyhound Trust31 May 2017
In 1975, a group of dedicated individuals involved in the National Greyhound Racing Club, formed the Retired Greyhound Trust, in an effort to help find homes for racing greyhounds when they left the track.
Our founders named us the ‘NGRC Retired Greyhound Trust’, but we have found ourselves more commonly called the Retired Greyhound Trust, and many shorten our name to RGT; whatever we have been called, our commitment to finding homes for retired racing greyhounds has never faltered.
Those first years were tough, with money and resources in short supply, but 42 years on and over 85,000 retired racing greyhounds have found homes. The Trust now consistently home 3800 - 4000 greyhounds annually; a number our founders would be proud of.
The Trust is proud to operate as an independent charity, we are not affiliated to any organisation, pro or anti-racing, we are simply driven by our determination to secure ‘a day when all racing greyhounds retire to loving homes and are treated with compassion and kindness’.
We are immensely proud of the diversity within our branches; from those who discovered their love for greyhounds as a pet, to those former trainers and owners that now dedicate their lives to retired racing greyhounds. The one thing that unites us all is our passion for greyhounds and our belief that greyhounds deserve a loving home when they retire from racing.
Recent years have seen new challenges to the animal homing sectors. Charities are under increasing scrutiny from donors and regulators, and face mounting competition to raise funds, find homes, and operate within a strictly regulated charitable environment. Public trust in charitable organisations has wavered and for many the effects of the 2008 global financial crisis continue to be felt, making fundraising a continual challenge.
At the same time, demand for the Trust’s services continues to outweigh our capacity. With close to 1000 greyhounds in our kennels, and another 1000 waiting for a space, we still need to do more, to make sure every greyhound can secure the retirement they deserve.
In a response to these increasing challenges, the Board of Trustees took the decision to evolve to the ‘Greyhound Trust’, to increase our reach and ultimately find more homes for retired racing greyhounds. A more consistent and cohesive national brand that resonates with the public, and leaves no room for interpretation over the greyhounds we represent, is essential for a sustainable future.
The Trust’s vision, mission, and values remain the same, we are committed to providing bright futures and loving homes for retired racing greyhounds and continue to strive for a day when all racing greyhounds retire to loving homes and are treated with compassion and kindness.
We understand that any change comes with questions and concerns, particularly around the cost and whether it impacts on our ability to continue to support the greyhounds in our care.
Due in part to the phased rollout of the refresh, and the pre-existing need for improved marketing and branding across our network, there has been no additional budget assigned to the refresh, it will be met through pre-existing Head Office budgets and branches will be supported through the evolution by the national team, led by the Chief Executive, and with oversight from the Board of Trustees.
The total cost per greyhound homed by the Trust in 2016 averaged £954, which is highly cost efficient. The most recent 2016 Annual Report and Accounts can be seen on our website.
The Trust is immensely grateful for the incredible commitment of our volunteers and for the kindness and generosity of each and every person and organisation who donates to us.
We are committed to meeting the challenges of the next forty years head on, with the same dedication and passion shown by our founders all those years ago, and believe that this natural evolution of the national brand puts us in the best position to do that.
Our name has evolved, our focus in the same; everything we do is for greyhounds.
Finding homes for retired racing greyhounds since 1975