Adoption Process Overview
Retired racing Greyhounds are a breed unlike any other…….. and Greyhound adoption groups like GPA-Lexington operate somewhat differently than all-breed adoption/rescue groups.
Greyhound Pets of America-Lexington takes steps to prepare and educate potential adopters through-out the process to adopt a greyhound. This group, similar to most greyhound adoption groups, do not do “on the spot adoptions.” We frequently set-up “meet & greets” at area pet stores and other locations to introduce people to the breed and begin the education process to aid potential adopters in determining if this noble breed is a good fit for their lifestyle and needs.
First , GPA Lexington requires an adoption application (with a $50 application fee) which will be reviewed and processed by several board members. Second, we conduct a vet reference check to determine how the applicants previous/current pets are cared for (i.e. are they spayed/neutered, up-to-date on vaccinations, have they had yearly heartworm tests, and have they been on year-round heartworm &flea/tick prevention). Thirdly, we arrange an in-home “Home Visit.” This visit occurs between the adoption/foster representatives and the applicant- in the applicant’s home. This visit typically takes 1-1.5 hours, and we request that all family members living in the home be present. We spend this time providing information about the breed in general (transition from track-to-home life, medical idiosyncrasies, unique behaviors, and safety etc.). We also take this time to inspect the family’s fence(condition, height etc)and gates. If the family does not currently have a fence, they must understand the grave commitment they will be undertaking to adopt a greyhound, and the requirements of taking the dog out on leash 4-5 times per day. We also take time to meet the family’s current pets to help us determine which foster dog may be a good match. We also provide a copy of the Retired Racing Greyhounds for Dummies book, if the applicant doesn’t already have a copy. After this visit, the board discusses the information obtained and whether or not a greyhound would be a good fit for the family’s needs, lifestyle, and expectations of a pet.
Fourthly, pending approval by the GPA-LEX board, the family will be introduced to a foster greyhound whose needs match the family’s needs and home environment (some greyhounds need a canine companion, some need a home without cats etc). This introduction is done at a second visit to the family’s home, so all family members and pets have a chance to meet and get acclimated. This 2nd visit also provides time for the foster family to be present and give additional information about the potential match (feeding/walking schedules, likes/dislikes, progress on stairs/hardwood floors etc). Finally, we will schedule the adoption day on a separate day back at the family’s home. This is a separate (3rd) visit to the family’s home which will allow them time to purchase needed supplies and make final preparations before their new family member comes home. At this time we will review and sign the Adoption Agreement.
Our Adoption Agreement, in part, stipulates the that the adopter will 1. Keep the greyhound on leash, or a completely fenced-in area at all times, 2. The adopter will notify GPA-Lexington immediately if the dog is loose, lost, stolen or deceased., 3. The adopter agrees that the Greyhound will wear a collar and identification tag with GPA-Lexington’s contact information at all times. 4. The adopter agrees to administer monthly heartworm and flea/tick prevention medications.5. If the adopter can no longer keep the greyhound, the adopter agrees the dog will be returned to GPA-Lexington.
Sound exhausting? Three visits to someone’s home? And several phone calls even before the adoption?Well, we like to think of our process as “thorough”, and most of our adopters thank us for taking so much time with them, and providing such detailed and comprehensive information about the breed. We have also seen evidence that this thoroughness up-front, helps our greyhounds stay in their forever homes. Our return rate is very low and is most often due to life-changes within the family, not because of any fault of the dog. GPA-Lexington is a 501c3 non-profit group, and all of our members (including the board members) are un-paid volunteers. We are a dedicated group of volunteers who focus on quality placements, rather than quantity. All of our greyhounds are housed in private foster homes- our awesome foster homes are the backbone of this organization. This small group of volunteers are committed to acclimating off-the-track greyhounds to a home environment in preparation for placement in their forever home. We love what we do, and more importantly we love our greyhounds. GPA-Lexington is dedicated to each and every greyhound we take in to our program before and afteradoption. We provide continued support and guidance after adoption. Thank you for your interest and feel free to contact us with any questions!