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Nittany Greyhounds Aims To Find Homes For Retired Racing Dogs

If you’re missing your pet from home or simply wish to find a new way to give back to the State College community, Nittany Greyhounds may be the philanthropy for you.

Nittany Greyhounds, located right outside State College, has been finding loving homes for retired racing greyhounds for 22 years. To date, the organization has found permanent homes for more than 1,700 greyhounds. Greyhounds are born to be sprinters, but they typically retire somewhere between ages 2 to 5.

Nittany Greyhounds is also a place for volunteers of all backgrounds, whether they hope to eventually adopt a dog or not. The organization is 100 percent donation-based — all proceeds directly support greyhound adoption and awareness for the cause. You can even temporarily foster a greyhound.

(Photo: Nittany Greyhounds)

Nittany Greyhounds originally got its start in 1997 when Elaine and Joe Skidel adopted a special needs greyhound named Lily. The pup stole their hearts and inspired them to start the organization shortly after.

The organization grew quickly after the Skidels decided to begin a small kennel program at their house. Adoptions soon popularized throughout central Pennsylvania as the organization hosted various events throughout the community and volunteers generously contributed both time and financial support. Before the couple knew it, 1,000 greyhounds were placed in loving homes.

Three-year-old greyhound Peyton is one of the many hounds available for adoption (Photo: Nittany Greyhounds).

Several years later, the Skidels sold both their home and the kennel. However, the Nittany Greyhounds Board was determined to keep things going. The group was able to raise enough money to start a replacement kennel, and though it took six years to raise enough support for a down-payment, the crew quickly found a new location for Nittany Greyhounds. By 2008, the board was able to purchase Rooo Valley. The area included 20 acres of spacious land with a kennel in place, a home, and a barn — all within five miles of State College. After Elaine moved to Arizona to be close to family and Joe relocated to Washington D.C. for business, Toni Duchi took over as the organization’s president.

By 2008, the board was able to purchase Rooo Valley. The area included 20 acres of spacious land with a kennel in place, a home, and a barn — all within five miles of State College. After Elaine moved to Arizona to be close to family and Joe relocated to Washington D.C. for business, Toni Duchi took over as the organization’s president.

Luke, a two-year-old greyhound, is currently looking for a home (Photo: Nittany Greyhounds).

Nittany Greyhounds keeps busy through events such as its State College Meet and Greet at PetCo, Greyhounds in Gettysburg, Petapoolaza at Central Penn College, and Gathering of the Greys — the organization’s own picnic at Rooo Valley. You might have also seen them on campus this week thanks to UPUA.

“We continue with our mission of adopting retired racing greyhounds to loving homes,” Nittany Greyhounds says on its website. “We are committed to our local community, to our events, to our adopters, and to our supporters and donors, and we thank everyone who has ever been involved for caring so much and helping us to continue helping these wonderful animals.”

About the Author

Carolyn Popescu

Current senior studying Advertising and Visual Arts, Carolyn has a passion for entertainment and music. She also loves photography, film, graphic design, social media, and all things in between. She's the current Sony Music Marketing Representative for State College, so be sure to reach out to her with any local music scene questions, ideas, proposals, or if you just need someone to geek out about music with.

(Contact her through [email protected] or [email protected])

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