By C. Warner Sills
NASCAR racer Greg Biffle and fiancé Nicole Lunders established the Greg Biffle Foundation to put unwanted animals on the fast track to new homes. The couple sat down with us to share their passion for pets.
Briefly describe the purpose and goal of the Greg Biffle Foundation?
The purpose of the Greg Biffle Foundation is to create awareness and serve as advocates to improve the well-being of animals by engaging the power and passion of the motor sports industry. Our goal is to educate people on the issues of animal welfare. We raise money and donate it to non-profit no-kill shelters, humane societies, and spay/neuter clinics across the US.
How and why was the foundation created?
The foundation was created in 2005. We began to recognize problems that animals were having and wanted to be a voice for those animals in need. We created the NASCAR Pets Calendar, which featured drivers and their pets. The money raised from the sales went to the various groups across the country that needed help.
Why is it important to create awareness and improve the well-being of animals?
It’s important because they do not have a voice for themselves. The passion that we have for animals has gone far in promoting animal issues and problems. Greg has been the national spokesperson for the North Shore Animal League, as well as HSUS. There are so many issues dealing with animal welfare, but the one that Greg tries to get out there the most is to spay and neuter your pets. With that being done, the rates of euthanasia would be drastically reduced and the over 4 million animals put to sleep each year would be greatly reduced.
How do you decide where your donations go? What are the criteria for a shelter or clinic in need of your support?
Nicole is the director of the foundation, so she looks over all of the applications that come in. The 2006 grants were chosen based on those who were in greatest need. As the foundation grows we receive more and more applications from groups all over the U.S. so it is hard. First and foremost they have to be a non-profit group and no-kill. We take a look at the area and circumstances of the requesting organization and compare it to other applications we have received and choose the ones most in need.
How have you created awareness of your foundation in the NASCAR world?
Many of the drivers have supported our efforts with the Greg Biffle Foundation. We have them in the calendar photos each year with their pets, and family members. Nicole has also helped many crew members find and adopt pets in need. The NASCAR community has been a great help in assisting with many of the programs that we support.
What kind of response have you received from your fans?
We have received tremendous support from the fans! On many occasions we are told that what we are doing is so great since there aren’t many out there speaking up for animals. Many people see how we love our pets like family, and they too have that love and concern for pets.
Tell us about your own pets.
Foster is the oldest dog, and our first “baby”. He is a full blood Boxer with a great personality. He is very laid back and sweet. He is very recognized in the NASCAR world due to being on TV and the different ads that Greg has done. Our dog Gracie is Foster’s daughter. She is the Princess! She is very sweet and loving and has big beautiful eyes. She reminds us of a deer the way she bounces around and plays! Savannah is our first rescue dog. She came from a high kill shelter in Georgia. She’s a Boxer mix, who was one day away from being put down when we saved her. She was abused by a previous [person] who burnt her front paw with chemicals. She too is sweet and has adjusted very well. Finally, there is Daisy. She is the latest dog, a Collie/Jack Russell mix. She was dumped by her previous [person] at our home.
What are you plans or goals for the future with the Greg Biffle Foundation?
We have big plans for the future. Our goal is to reach many people on the issues that are so important to animal welfare. We are working with groups to help change animal welfare laws, as well as spay/neuter initiatives. The 2008 calendar is in the works and the 2007 is currently being sold on the website as well as at many retailers across the US. We also are in the works with a company creating a new product aimed toward family education and fun.
For more information visit GregBiffleFoundation.com.