March 2, 2015

Volunteer to Foster!

One of the most important things that we do as a Greyhound rescue group is fostering. We’re looking for loving families and individuals to foster retired racing greyhounds and prepare them for life in their forever homes. Greyhounds are quiet, clean, affectionate, and eager to please. Each one deserves a chance at adoption.

Even though we have an Adoption Center, we occasionally need for families or individuals to take a Greyhound in to their homes until we can find a forever home for the dog.  Some of these dogs may be rehabilitating from a racing injury; others may have been homed previously, but due to no fault of their own, they have been given up.

Would you open your heart and home to a foster greyhound?  This is the perfect job for anyone who loves dogs, but doesn’t want to be “tied down,” and understands the responsibilities of pet-care.

For the dogs that need to go to a foster home, we check them over and place them in a foster home until we find a permanent home for them.  When we bring in Greyhounds off of the track, it is important that they begin to understand that they have a new life.  It is the job of our foster parents to show our retired Greyhounds how to be pets. During this time in the foster home, it is also the job of the foster parents to watch the behavior of the Greyhound to help us understand what kind of house he or she will fit into.  To assist us in finding a forever home for the foster dog, we would like for the foster parents to “show off” their dog to prospective adopters, by attending Meet and Greets and other public events.

RDRP will provide all pre-approved medical care and support for you while the dog is in your home. RDRP will also provide you with a crate, collar and leash, and muzzle.We ask that the foster home provide a high quality dry kibble, appropriate home training, a soft bed, and lots of love.  The foster family’s input is very valuable in deciding whether the foster hound is the right choice for prospective adopters.   If your situation does not allow for adoption of a greyhound at this time in your life, please consider fostering instead.

Your responsibilities as a foster parent:

  • Housebreaking the Greyhound. This should be a task that is not too difficult. Greyhounds are trained to not soil in their crates. You need to show the Greyhound that the entire house is their crate and that they need to ask to go outside to relieve themselves. For the first few days, you must watch him and take him out at regular intervals.  Praise your foster when he/she relieves themselves outside.  A crate will be provided if needed.  The greyhound will be transitioned to be out of the crate while in the foster home.  Some greyhounds don’t need a crate at all for this transition; some may need the security of a crate for a few days up to several days.
  • Greyhounds do not understand what things like mirrors, windows, sliding glass doors, floors, stairs, and other animals are. It is the responsibility of the foster parents to show them what each of these are. They need to understand what glass is and how to respond to it. They also need to be trained to go up and down stairs and how to walk across different styles of flooring. One thing that you will learn is that Greyhounds are quick learners.
  • Greyhounds have never been socialized with other people outside of the greyhound farm and racetrack, and other breeds of dogs. It is the responsibility of the foster parents to introduce the Greyhounds to new surroundings. Taking them to areas where you can introduce them to other people and other dogs will do wonders for a newly retired Greyhound.
  • Become our partner in helping us get your foster dog in to his/her forever home. Take the dog to Meet & Greets. Put an “Adopt Me” jacket on the dog to let people know the dog is available for adoption. Be a positive spokesperson for the breed and for RDRP, as with all public communications.  Direct all prospective adopters to complete an adoption application, as they will need to go through the regular adoption process.
  • Greyhounds have never had the chance to play with toys. Allow them to see if playing with toys is something that they enjoy. They have never had the opportunity to just have fun. Help them to learn that it is okay to play, but with boundaries.
  • Initial training of the Greyhound. Teaching them commands such as “no”, “stay” and “come”. This training allows the Greyhound to understand basic obedience that will allow it to adjust better to it’s new home.
  • If you have a cat or other pets in your home, we will provide you a foster Greyhound we think is “cat safe,” and you need to watch the reactions of your foster with your other animals to confirm it.  We will have opportunities to place “cat safe” Greyhounds in homes with cats and we need to know what the reaction of the Greyhound is so that we can let the adopter know what to expect.

How to foster.  If you would like to experience the joy of bringing a newly retired racer in to your home and teaching him or her how to become a pet in preparation for finding a forever home, we would love to have you volunteer to foster.  Please complete the Adoption/Foster Application.  In answer to the question “Why do you want to adopt?” – please indicate you want to foster and why.

Thank you for your interest in serving these wonderful dogs in this very important capacity.