The purpose of this page is to provide you with information. It is not intended to portray any other adoption group in a negative way. Almost all adoption groups have the best interest of greyhounds in mind. There are, however, important differences in the way that adoption groups operate. Knowing and understanding those differences will allow you to make an educated decision about how and where to obtain your greyhound, and may directly affect the experience that you have with your new friend.
Why is Fostering Important?
Fostering a greyhound before placement with an adopting family accomplishes a number of goals. For you, it means that you will have a much better relationship with your greyhound.
Fostering allows the placement service to evaluate the greyhound before placement. Most groups will place the greyhound in a foster home that is as close to your lifestyle as possible (especially where children and other pets are concerned). This allows the fostering family the opportunity to be as certain as is humanly possible that the dog will accept children and other pets. Not all dogs do. It also allows them the opportunity to work with the dog to begin the transition from racer to pet. They can handle housebreaking the dog, introducing it to stairs, automobiles, vacuum sweepers, televisions, and the other facets of everyday life that we take for granted. They will also have an opportunity to learn if the dog has any bad habits, such as chewing.
For the greyhound, it provides an opportunity to begin healing from the spay or neuter. It also allows the greyhound the opportunity to begin adjusting to home life in a controlled environment, with people and other greyhounds that have already shared this experience. What could possibly be better for both the greyhound and for you?
The foster family will bring you into the fostering process by allowing you to visit your pet. You can thus get acquainted, which will make the transition between homes much easier. Please do not ask to take the greyhound home for a night, or to take it somewhere on your own. Most adoption groups will not allow the greyhound to be with you unattended until it is released to you. That is for the protection of everyone involved. Remember that the fostering family has not yet finished their evaluation of your pet. They will also take time to educate you about the breed, about the greyhound's life at the track, how to care for your new friend, and what to expect during the adjustment period.
They will also pass along any other information, such as how well the dog crates, sleeps, plays, etc., and will answer any questions that you may have. All of this brings us to our second topic, which is "support".
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Why is support important?
"Support" means a number of things. It means that there is probably a fostering program in place. Support means that there is local assistance available to you both before and after placement. But let's look at these items individually.
"Support" means that the group will probably have a fostering program in place. "Support" means that they will take the time to educate you about the breed, the greyhound's life at the track, and the adjustment period. "Support" means that there will be someone available who can answer your questions. "Support" means that there will be someone who can share valuable personal experience about their life with their greyhound. "Support" means that the group will probably have a comprehensive veterinary package that is completed before placement. And all of this is available before you even get your greyhound.
Support is also important after placement. "Support" means that there will always be a real live person to answer your questions. "Support" means that there will probably be someone close enough to you to visit and offer additional after placement assistance as needed. "Support" means assistance in the event that your greyhound does something that you are not certain about. "Support" means assistance if you have a medical question or concern. "Support" means assistance if your pet should get loose or otherwise be lost.
It is very likely that there is a local adoption group within reasonable driving distance of your home town. But not all adoption groups provide all of the services discussed above. You need to research the group and ask questions before making a decision whether to adopt from them. There are also a number of "mail order" style programs available. These programs operate just as the name implies. After your application is reviewed and accepted, they will make arrangements to ship a dog to you, often by airplane. In most cases, there is no local support from a "mail order" style adoption program. You receive your greyhound along with an instruction book and an 800 telephone number for questions or concerns. Some locations may have a local chapter available to assist you, but their services and support may be very limited. Again, you must research the group and ask questions to determine what is right for you. But ask yourself these questions. Which type of program would you prefer to work with? What will you do and who will you turn to if your greyhound does have a behavioral problem? What if the dog should bite your child or other pet? Remember, all dogs are capable of biting. Who will you contact if you have a question or concern? What if you need an immediate answer? And what if, for some unexpected reason, you need to return the dog?
Fees charged by adoption groups vary. But cost does not determine what services and support are available. There are many adoption groups that offer a complete line of services and support at very low prices. There are also more expensive adoption groups that offer limited services at best. Some do not even spay/neuter before placement. Again, research and asking questions will be the key to your success.
Grey-Save strongly recommends that, as first time adopters, you look for an adoption group that offers the following:
- Pre-placement screening, including home visits, that will allow you to decide whether a greyhound is the pet of choice for you.
- Pre-placement comprehensive veterinary services.
- Follow-up assistance after placement.
Fostering and support are not fail-safe mechanisms. They give both you and your greyhound the best chance of making an excellent connection and assist you to get started on the right track. Remember that you are dealing with a live animal whose breeding and race training have taught it to make its own decisions. With that thought in mind, we believe that fostering and support should be a part of every adoption. Please feel free to contact us if you have any specific questions or concerns.
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