Commentary – Greyhound Adoption

We decided that the beginning of 2014 would be a good time to add a few posts to our news blog that explains our work and philosophy.  While all of this is explained on our web site, we feel that many people do not take the time to read all of the information we provide prior to submitting an application to adopt.

We hear the criticism from some people who make comments like “It’s harder to adopt a dog than a child” or “I don’t want to give up my life to be approved to adopt a dog”.  These types of comments will always exist in the animal adoption world.  People do seem to resent it when they are turned down for adoption.  But we can certainly say without reservation that we do not turn people down because we have the power or choose to turn people down just for the sake of turning people away.  How would it benefit us or the dog if we turned good people away?  There is always a good reason if we do not approve an adoption application.

We receive applications all the time that disturb us as we read the answers to our questions.  With all the experience we have had over the many years of placing dogs, we can recognize a potential failure when we see one coming.  Many people start off by making demands that would give anyone pause.  Perhaps people see a dog they want and they treat the process as they would if they were buying a car or plasma TV.  They look for the dog that appeals to them (after searching around various organizations) and then try to make that dog fit into all of the variables in their home.  This may work, but it also may not work.

For those people who work full time, some consideration must be given to how long a new dog should be left alone during the work day without a bathroom break and how that dog will react to suddenly being left alone when it has had dogs and people around it all its life.  To think that it is all right to leave that dog alone all day is not logical.  Just because the neighbor’s dog or the family dog is fine with being left all day does not mean that a new greyhound will also be fine.  We have to teach people that they have to change their way of thinking.  Some people are not receptive to our advice.

Some people think a dog should walk into a home and it will fit in without a problem because it has been fostered.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  Just as a human has to get used to a new job or a move to a new home, a dog also has to go through a period of adjustment.  It is frustrating when an adopter resists our advice about how to help a dog fit into its new home.

Of all the “demands” we get, cats are at the top of the list.  It always amazes us how people with cats will apply to adopt a greyhound and place the entire burden on the greyhound to get along with all of the cats in a home.  In fact, it’s not unusual at all when we ask the question “Under what circumstances would you return a greyhound?” that the response is,  “If it doesn’t get along with my cats.”  The cats may have been there first, but why would anyone want to bring a dog in to that home setting to disrupt the cats there?  Why adopt a greyhound, a dog that has been trained to chase that lure around the track?  We are still working on this one.

Although we place dogs in homes without a fenced in yard, there is a different  level of commitment due when a dog has to be leash walked during the day (and night) to relieve itself.  People often do not understand the time it takes to walk a dog long enough to have it do its business on a leash.  This is one big factor that causes problems that we hear about often.  Combine this with a stretch of bad weather and you have a recipe for great frustration and hair pulling.  We warn people in advance but it’s obvious that much does not sink in.

We try hard to match dog with humans.  That is the reason why we work so hard.  We do care and that is why we try to be honest with people.  We are being irresponsible if we don’t make people think about what they are getting into.  We do not place dogs on a lick (excuse the pun) and a promise and keep our fingers crossed that it works out.  We may seem difficult to work with to some people, but when we established our organization we never intended it to be anything else than for the well being of the dogs.  It is what they deserve.  We hope that people coming to us for a dog know what we are all about and are ready to make that commitment.




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