Have you got your own greyhound settled in and want to share what you have learned?
Do you think you might want a second greyhound, but not all the time?
Do you enjoy travelling but don't want to be tied down by ADOPTING a dog?
Are you retired and looking for a rewarding way to give of your time?
Then FOSTERING might be the answer for you!
If you adopt one greyhound this year, that's one life you have saved. By fostering even three or four greyhounds a year, think of how many greyhounds will have you to thank for their new lives!
Since we have chosen not to use a kennel to house our dogs, the people most important to Greyhound Connection are our foster families. These wonderful volunteers open their homes and give their time and energy to help our greys make the transition from racing dog to couch potato. Initially, it can be a hard, often emotional trip in relatively uncharted waters, but there are great compensations. Foster families are often the first to see their grey wag a tail or take a cookie or give a kiss. A tough moment comes when it is adoption time. After sometimes several weeks, it is necessary for the foster family to say goodbye to their house guest. However, they send them to their permanent homes ready to become part of the family and the foster family knows that whenever they meet, their grey will remember them and greet them as only old friends do.
Where do I start?
As with adoption, our foster program starts with an application. After your application is received, you will be contacted by a home representative who will make arrangements for a home visit. We do a home visit to ensure that the prospective home is safe for a greyhound and that the whole family understands what is required. We prefer that our foster homes have some prior experience with greyhounds - either owning or fostering - since taking in an adult dog who has only lived in a kennel presents unique challenges.
When can I expect to get a foster dog?
Greyhound Connection gets dogs approximately every month. However, it may be longer before you get your first foster because we try to match foster families with the appropriate greyhound just as we do in an adoption.
How old are the greyhounds when you get them?
Greyhounds who come to us are usually between 2 and 5 years-old. As a rule they adapt very easily to their new environment. They are naive but eager to please and love any attention given them. Most racing greyhounds are quiet, clean, gentle, good-natured dogs that get along well with other animals and with people.
What if I have a cat?
Part of our job before we place a greyhound in a foster home is to determine whether or not each one is "cat-friendly". Some greyhounds get along very well with cats and other small animals. Those who don't are placed in foster homes with only larger dogs.
How much teaching time will I have?
The mimimum your foster dog will stay with you is a week to ten days, and typically for no more than one month, though some greys take longer to place.
What kind of expenses will be involved?
Items we recommend include:
- Raised food and water bowls.
- A large dog bed or comforter.
- Baby gate (if needed).
- A few stuffed toys
- Rawhide chew toys.
- A soft brush or mitt.
- The book, "Greyhounds, A Complete Pet Owner's Manual"
What will Greyhound Connection supply?
Things you will take home with you besides your foster are:
- Wet and dry dog food.
- A Premier leash, collar and a Greyhound Connection tag.
- A coat (if needed).
- Antibiotics and/or dewormer, if needed
- Knowledge that support, advice and encouragement are a phone call away
What will I be doing with my foster dog?
This is the fun part. You get to take them on walks so they can become used to new sights and to being around people and other animals. You will introduce them to such everyday items as sliding glass doors, hardwood or tile floors, grass - maybe even a pool!. Best of all you will teach them that there are people in their world now who love them. You will give them the praise and attention that will help the process that will help them to trust their new friends.
How hard is potty training?
Some greyhounds come to us and never have an accident. At the race track they have been used to not soiling their crates. It is the foster's job to make the whole house their new dog's crate. Usually, within a few days, with consistent, loving attention and lots of hugs and praise when there is a success, your foster dog will know where to go and how to ask to get there.
What happens if my foster dog does not work out?
If a dog does not blend well in one foster home, we will find another home. It is in the best interests of the foster home and of the dog that a compatible match is achieved.
What happens when they find a home?
It is hard to say farewell to a new friend. Certainly there is every chance that you will see your foster dog again - at a show-and-tell or street fair or a visit to their new home. Your foster will remember you and always be delighted to see you again even though he is very happy in his new home.
If you are seriously considering applying to foster, please carefully read these two documents:
Then, when you are ready to foster, complete our Adoption/Foster Application!
Don't forget to tell your friends about Greyhound Connection and our wonderful dogs! Give us your ideas to promote our program and help more greyhounds.