Road to Adoption
Things to consider when deciding to adopt a retired racing greyhound from Greyhound Crossroads.
This page is intended to give you a serious look at the steps to adopting a greyhound. As much as we love greyhounds, we also recognize the simple truth that they aren't for everyone. Please read this page and the other information under the "Adoption" heading. There is more under the "Info" heading too. We believe that the better we educate you, the better adoption experience you and your greyhound will have. You should be able to find the answers to most of your questions on our website and our adoption reps will be glad to answer questions you still have.
Have you watched this video with the basics of greyhound adoption yet?
Step 1: Choosing to adoptConsider the question "Does a greyhound fit my lifestyle and desire for a family companion?" We encourage you to research by reading books (we recommend Greyhounds For Dummies by Lee Livingood), asking questions of adoption group representatives, or talking to folks who have adopted already. Living requirements for greyhounds are really the first major things to consider. Most groups consider these the first three big requirements for adoption. Our volunteers have started calling these "The Big Three"..
Greyhounds must be kept as inside pets. This is for two main reasons: 1) Their lack of body fat and short coat cause greyhounds to be sensitive to extremes of temperatures either hot or cold. With little padding or insulation they don't do well laying on the hard cold ground either; and 2) they will pine away without you because your family becomes THEIR family.
Greyhounds must be kept leashed or fenced whenever outside. This is for one very good reason - they LOVE running!? They have been bred to run and chase for thousands of years. They have not been bred to look to humans for direction like other some other breeds. They run so fast that you only have one or two chances to call them back before they are out of earshot. Only greyhounds that are incredibly focused on racing and winning are ever bred. A running greyhound will not look out for his own safety and can run into traffic. They often can't fi nd their way back home if they do survive the roads. Said in hard plain fact, a loose greyhound is a dead greyhound most of the time. it's a terribly tragic way to end a life that you have saved.
Greyhounds must never be kept chained or tied up. While we don't think it's fair to chain dogs anyway, greyhounds can literally break their necks on a 10-foot chain. They reach full speed at three strides. That means that they can be moving at the speed of 40+ miles an hour when they hit the end of the chain. That would be BAD. Another terribly bad way to end a splendid life.
More info on things to consider before you adopt
Step Two: Choosing your group...
As you consider adoption, we believe this is one of the first most important steps in making it a successful one. In the beginning of the adoption movement, foilks were lucky to find a group witin a day's drive of their home. Thank goodness, in today's world there are many more groups out there all working towards the same goal. All groups will choose to do things a bit differently, though...organize differently, have separate criteria for adoption, are larger or smaller, use kennels or foster homes etc. At Greyhound Crossroads we realize that every family is different, too, and your choice of adoption groups should reflect that, particularly for first-time greyhound owners who usually have more questions in the beginning. We think there are so many greyt reasons for choosing the group first!
Making the best match - the group that knows you, your family members, and your lifestyle the best will be the best equipped to help you make the best choice among the dogs available.
Repeat adoptions - adding another dog to your family pack can be very successful or not, depending on the personalities of the dogs you're mixing. A group that knows all the dogs in your home is best able to judge and evaluate this factor. Repeat adoptions happen a lot in greyhounds!
Support after adoption - The more comfortable you are with your group, the more likely you are to seek assistance when you need it. Choose a group you feel relaxed with and become a part of the family - your hound will love it, too.
Advance adoptions - Many groups have dogs 'waiting', ready to come into the program. Having advance information about possible placements and a clear understanding of each family's needs may allow the groups to specifically bring in dogs that would be a good match for homes on their waiting list. This helps eliminate waiting time and means even more wonderful greyhounds will find their couches.
Involvement before adoption - Even before you choose your greyhound, families can often participate with their chosen group in local activities. This allows families to become acquainted with more involved members, gives them time to learn from their experience, and helps ease the transition into greyhound ownership. Depending on the group you select, they may have public events you can assist with, a forum for members to share knowledge, members activities, or even play groups where you can go meet the dogs!
We encourage every family to talk to the various groups in their area: ask questions, review their goals and stance on issues that are important to you. Speak to members already involved in that group - and in the end find the group you'd like to devote your efforts to. We feel that helps ensure the adoption process runs as smoothly as possible. After all, when you choose to adopt a greyhound, you're really joining a group of folks that can help you along the way.
Step Three: Choosing your greyhound...
After coming this far, you'd be ready to proceed to the fun part! Congratulations - you've done all of your research and you're sure that a greyhound companion is perfect for you. The actual adoption process includes:
The Application - this form helps you further evaluate your potential greyhound choice by giving us the information we need to help you. To take the nex step visit the adoption application page.
The Dogs - to see the dogs for adoption, visit our Available Hounds page and meet the fosters and their volunteer caretakers in person.
The Welcome Visit - This invaluable service happens after we receive your application. A volunteer will ensure that you have all the information you need, your home doesn't have any hidden dangers to your greyhound, and that someone can quickly find your location in the event of an emergency. This is NOT an inspection of your home but rather an opportunity for us to get acquainted and help you make the best choices available.
The Adoption Donation - The retired racing greyhound that you choose to adopt is free. However, there is a required adoption donation of $250 to help us continue the work we do. This helps to cover the cost of all the medical work that is completed on your dog after it arrives in our program. Our standard work includes spay or neuter, heartworm test, de-worming, vet wellness exam, nail trims, grooming and dental inspection with cleaning whenever necessary (most dogs get a full dental). Additional financial assistance from families who wish to do so is very much appreciated, but absolutely not required or expected. Often the needed medical work on our dogs rises to $500 or $600 which must be covered with fundraising and other activities.
The Online Forum and Facbook Group - We maintain a Facebook group for GC members as a great way to make contact with everyone in the group. They provide a place for asking questions, planning events, sharing good times and bad, or getting help in emergencies.
The Adoption - By this point you've done your homework and done a great job! You've gained a group of friends for support, chosen the best match for your family, and experienced the thrill of learning a whole new way of looking at dogs. The day finally comes and your companion changes your life forever. : )
Fun Greyhound Fact!
The 1, 2, and 3 number boxes you see above are 'blanket colors'. Typically greyhound races have 8 starting boxes, and each greyhound wears a racing jacket displaying it's box number just like jockeys and their mounts do. These colors are standardized, with the only addition that some tracks use an additional number nine.