Are you busy and travel a lot (and don’t have time to have a dog) but enjoy the company of dogs?
Are you retired and have time to devote to volunteering for a good cause?
If you have already adopted a greyhound, then you can feel proud that you have helped one greyhound retire to a couch! But if you foster several greyhounds a year, think of how much that will mean to the lives of those greyhounds! You may worry that you would not be able to give up a greyhound easily once it’s been in your home for any length of time (and those of us who have fostered certainly understand that feeling!). But your initial bout of sadness and loss will soon turn to joy and satisfaction once you see your foster greyhound in a loving home and the happy adopters thank you for doing such a good job of getting him/her ready for a new life! You will understand the true meaning of selfless giving!
We are always in need of responsible and dedicated foster cargivers to help us. Foster families are the backbone of most greyhound adoption groups; therefore, your willingness to foster is a most important part of our work!!
THE GREYHOUND RANCH, INC. FOSTERING PROGRAM
You will be asked to take in a foster greyhound from a minimum of one week to a maximum of several months. You will also be required to be available to foster at least three times within a twelve month period before we can move forward with the time it takes to train you. There may be special cases where a greyhound will remain in foster care for a longer period of time, but we will not ask a foster caregiver to commit to any more than a month without prior approval. In most cases, a greyhound will only be in foster care between its arrival from our suppliers and its adoption into its permanent home. Note: Please do not volunteer to foster and then not follow through on the promise to the greyhound we will bring in to our program for you to foster. We do not have the resources to take care of a lot of dogs if you cannot live up to your commitment. It is also hard on a dog to go from foster home to foster home if you decide after taking your dog that you don’t have the time to take care of it and we have to find it another foster home. This is one criteria we must be firm about.
Experience and Training Required
Most people who have had experience with dogs or who have had dogs in their lives are qualified to foster for GRA, Inc. We require that if you have not had any experience with greyhounds (or the sighthound breed) that you read our greyhound Care Guide prior to deciding if fostering a greyhound is right for you. You will also receive a training course and a set of fostering guidelines to read after your approval to help you get ready to receive your first foster greyhound. You will also be mailed or emailed a short report on what the training will involve. During the training session, we will evaluate what type of greyhound would be most suitable for your home. Most of the greyhounds we receive are between the ages of two and five and are retired from the tracks. Older greyhounds are returned at times when their adopters can no longer keep them due to illness or other life-altering circumstances. We especially need foster homes for these dogs as in most cases they come in unexpectedly and when the “inn” is full at our foster homes. Most of these greyhounds do not need any special training at all and are easy to care for.
You will not be asked to supply any equipment and/or supplies to foster a greyhound. Our organization will supply a crate, crate pad and blanket, dog bed(s), muzzle, food bowls, leash and collar, a coat (if required), flea and tick preventative, heartworm preventative, toys, and all food, treats, etc., involved in taking care of a greyhound as long as it is in foster care! We will also be responsible for all veterinarian bills and other expenses while a greyhound is in your care. We do require that foster caregivers have a fenced-in yard, or are willing to walk a greyhound on a leash at all times if not in a fenced-in area.
Your foster greyhound will be depending upon you to help him/her learn how to transition from life in a crate to life in a house! This is not a hard process! It’s just a matter of teaching the greyhound that the house is a big crate. This is done at an easy pace from crate to house one room at a time. Your foster greyhound will learn how to navigate stairs, how to walk across tile floors, etc. You will introduce your foster to windows, mirrors, and all sorts of things they’ve never seen before. More importantly, you will give your foster love and affection that will be returned many times over!! If we can use an analogy, if you give a greyhound a crumb, you will get a whole loaf of bread back in return–guaranteed!!!
You will also be expected to make your foster greyhound available for meet and greet events, to meet potential adopters, and to “let go” when it’s time for an adoption. That means that you must check phone messages and emails regularly and be prepared to have your foster picked up or to bring your foster where needed (depending on how your foster agreement is worked out).