Friday, June 24, 2011


If you read my blog, you know I rescue.  Well, not me personally, but I adopt from rescuers.  I have also become more involved in greyhound advocacy and am learning much about the type of rescue/adoption organizations that exist.

I can speak for myself, because I know what my heart believes.  Greyhound racing is an incredibly cruel sport and I am vehemently opposed to it.  But this is not the purpose of this post.

Perhaps it’s a beginner’s guide to adopting a greyhound from a rescue group?  Or maybe my journey to bring home my newest greyhound, Dee Dee.  I did far more research this time around.

There are so many greyhound adoption groups out there.  Some supply their own adoptees – those are essentially run by the breeders.  They will have a continuous supply as they continue to breed, race and “retire” their racers.  I won’t “soap-box” on this group.  They fit into the second paragraph above…

There are groups who have no stated stance on racing.  There is a fear in some that by speaking openly against racing, they will no longer receive rescues.  I don’t believe in that passive stance, but this is their choice.

There are groups that take them in, “foster” in untenable conditions and claim they are serving the greater good.  Unfortunately, they really do exist.

Then there are those who stand strongly and vocally against the cruelty of racing.  They do have their rescues to adopt out and I believe they work the hardest to make them ready for adoption.  As was the group from which I adopted Dee Dee.

If you’re thinking of adopting a greyhound, do your research.  Ask questions. 

About the group:
  • How long has this rescue/adoption group been in existence?
  • Are they a registered non-profit in their state?
  • Are they a 501(c)(3) organization, defined by the IRS as a charitable organization?
  • Who is the group’s vet?  You can always verify the dog has, in fact, been treated by this vet.
  • Do they spay and neuter the dogs?

[side note:  one of my rescues (non-greyhound) was from an abusive and neglectful home.  Despite the owner’s assurances that she was current on her shots, she had, in fact, not been there in four years.  8 or 9 years of age, not spayed, unvaccinated and filled with tumors.]

Also, research the greyhounds.  Are the greyhounds fostered?

If they are not fostered:
  • Are they socialized using human and other animal interactions?
  • What type of kennels do they stay in?
  • Are they allowed access to a run?

If they are fostered:
  • What type of foster environment are they in?
  • What type of kennels do they sleep in?
  • Have they been socialized?
  • Have they been coached in stairs and doors and windows and furniture?

If they haven’t been fostered but have been socialized, as was Dee Dee, you have the added bonus of teaching a few things.  But a socialized greyhound is very adaptable.  And, at times, there are no toxic residues from an unfortunate foster situation or prior adoption.   A socialized non-fostered dog carries a sense of wonderment each time they encounter something new.  Remarkable and memorable.

It’s critical to ask about the conditions of the fostering and see where they were fostered.  Berry was fostered in a wonderful, loving home.  Some are fostered in nothing more than airline crates are rarely let out.  Knowing the kind of environment in which they were fostered is a door into how personalities may have developed.

I’ll never stop adopting (albeit abiding by my city’s limit), but I have become more educated in the process.  I would never trade any of my prior/current kids and wouldn’t have done things differently at that time.  All were excellent choices for me.

Going forward, for the future Kid of Nan, we have a better education and are more knowledgeable and equipped.  And I’ll take a well-socialized non-foster over what some of those groups offer.  Not all, but some.

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