Category Archives: Dog Days Of Summer

‘From here to the border’: Group rescues greyhounds from Tijuana, turns former racing dogs into family pets

Greyhound Rescue - La Habra Heights, CaBY MARLA JO FISHER / STAFF WRITER

Hours before dawn, Tom McRorie climbs out of bed at his house in La Habra Heights and gently pushes aside a bevy of dogs eager to greet him.

By 4:30 a.m., two volunteers are helping him hook up the long, low, specialized trailer with compartments for 14 greyhound racers to his Chevy Suburban, as they look forward to a quick stop for coffee on the road.

Everyone checks to make sure they have their passports as they pull out of the driveway, beginning a monthly trek that McRorie has been making for 25 years: Driving to Tijuana to rescue greyhounds from the Caliente Greyhound Park there.

A retired engineer who once worked on submarines, McRorie, 78, now has another avocation: helping dogs that have always lived as racing machines to find adoptive families who will give them the first homes they’ve ever known.

The sun comes up as the truck and trailer cross the border, drive through the deserted streets. By 7 a.m., McRorie and today’s volunteers – registered nurse Joe Umbrino and truck driver Ron Williams – arrive at the huge Caliente casino complex which, at one time, also featured horse racing. Read more