In many areas, you can choose from several or even dozens of local adoption agencies. Even in the most remote locations, you can select from one of several national placement services. How do you choose? Here are some of the issues to consider:
Many groups are very protective about the home environment in which the Greyhound will be placed. Some groups will not place dogs into apartments or homes without fenced yards. Some will not place dogs into homes with cats, toddlers or stairs. Often, the application, interview, approval and placement process can be quite lengthy. Before you apply, describe your home environment to the agency representative and ask whether you are likely to be approved. Be sure to inquire about the placement time frame.
Many groups place their Greyhounds into a home environment for a brief period before they are placed. The foster families introduce the dogs to many of the new experiences of retired life, such as televisions, stairs, mirrors, couches and children. They also make sure the dogs are housebroken. During the foster period, many groups clean the dogs teeth and spay or neuter. Fostering is usually a great way to ease the transition. The foster family may teach or allow behavior that is unacceptable to you, such as sleeping on beds and couches. Some adoption groups do not have the resources to foster the dogs; often they will come to you straight from the kennel.
Cat Testing / Personality Testing
If you have a cat or other small pet, be sure to ask for a dog with a low prey drive. Some groups test their dogs to determine whether they are cat-safe. Other agencies ask the trainer about their dog's prey drive. In any case, you must still exercise extreme caution when introducing the dog to its new housemates.
Some groups will make a real effort to evaluate the Greyhound's personality (primarily through fostering or through a close relationship with the dog's trainer) to ensure a good match.
Some groups strongly oppose dog racing, and others are operated directly by the dog tracks. Many groups remain neutral to preserve their relationships with the trainers or to avoid jeopardizing monetary support from the tracks.
All groups should clip the nails, test for heartworm, and provide basic shots (rabies, distemper) and de-worming medicine. Many groups now test for babesia and ehrlichiosis. Some groups also scale (clean) the teeth and spay or neuter. If spay/neuter is not included, most groups will require that it be done within 45 to 60 days. Ask for information about discounted services in your area.
Cost is usually not a major factor. Be sure to compare medical services provided. Most groups charge from $400 to $800.
Many groups pride themselves on providing extensive support (as needed) after the dog goes home. Often this support makes the difference in whether the dog stays or gets returned.
Some national placement services or distant local agencies do not have a local representative. Be sure that you are given a phone number to call if you need advice or if you have an emergency.