GAS Adoption Process:
What you need to know
The Greyhound Adoption Service adoption process is relatively simple. An understanding of the process will help you as you proceed through the adoption.
The First Step
The first decision you need to make is whether adopting a greyhound is right for you, your family and any other pets in your home. The internet provides access to a great deal of information. Read everything on the GAS web site before you email or call. Articles like THINK Before Adopting offer valuable insight into making the right decision. Please read "Welcome Home" now. This article will give you an idea of what to expect when you bring your greyhound home. After reading this, you may feel that you or your home cannot provide what is needed for a greyhound. Among important considerations are:
Do you have other pets? Cats and small pets can be a problem with some greyhounds. Please read about greyhounds and other pets. If you have only had cats and never dogs, read A Greyhound Is Not A Cat.
Do you have children under the age of 6 years old? Please read the article Babies First.
Are you away from home all day? If so, are you willing to provide the services of a dog walker?
Will you commit to always walking your greyhound on a leash, and only releasing it in a totally fenced and secured area?
Do you have a veterinarian?
Do you have allergies to dogs? Greyhounds seem to be "less allergenic" than many breeds, but for people with severe allergies, this can still be a problem.
Do you own or rent your home or apartment. If you rent, a letter from your landlord approving the adoption is required.
Attending one of the GAS meet & greets is another good way to become familiar with the dogs. These occur throughout the spring, summer and fall. If you have children, having them meet the dogs at one of these events is a very good idea. You will be able to determine if your child is intimidated by the dogs' large size. Check our events page.
Before You Call for an Appointment
After reading and considering all of the information, and you make a decision to adopt a greyhound, the steps are as follows:
Go to the web site and look at the dogs available for adoption. You may see a few that you think are possible matches for your family. Please do not set you sights on just one dog. More often than not, a person will come to the kennel with a particular dog in mind, only to choose an entirely different one. All adopters must come to the kennel to choose their companions. It increases the odds of a successful match between humans and dog.
Prepare your home for the arrival of the dog. Get any necessary equipment such as a crate, food and water bowls, food and a dog bed. If you will be using a dog walker, have that arrangement in place before you bring the dog home. When you are prepared - then and only then should you call the kennel for an appointment. GAS kennels are not set up for casual visiting. It usually takes only one visit to select your companion. In almost every case, the dog will go home with you that day as long as the dog has been spayed or neutered. No dogs are released for adoption prior to spay or neuter. We cannot hold dogs for more than a day or two, so if you are not able to take a dog home with you, wait to schedule your appointment until you can. You do not have to schedule an appointment too far in advance. If you find that you cannot make a scheduled appointment, please be courteous and call to cancel. That gives us the opportunity to schedule another adopter.
At the Kennel
There is an adoption form which you will need to fill out. If you live in the state of Massachusetts, it is not necessary to fill it out before hand. You should bring with you the name of the veterinarian, a personal reference who can serve as an emergency contact, a letter from your landlord if you rent, and the adoption fee of $350. GAS does not accept credit cards - cash or checks only. Out of state adopters need to fill out the adoption form ahead of time, and return it to GAS at least one week prior to your appointment.
Please arrive at your scheduled appointment time. Do not arrive early. There may be an prior appointment which needs to be completed before yours. You should bring with you all members of your family who will live in the house with the dog. Many children are intimidated by the size of a greyhound. It is better to know that before hand. Greyhound Adoption Service makes adoption decisions based on what is in the best interest of the dog. Fearful children indicate that your family is not yet ready for a greyhound. GAS has a great success record in matching dogs to families, and tries to avoid any adoption scenarios which may lead to the return of a dog.
Once inside the kennel, you will have the opportunity to meet the dogs. Do not come dressed in your Sunday best clothes. You will be playing with the dogs, and taking them for walks outdoors. Dress appropriately. Marilyn, who runs GAS, will discuss each dog you are considering with you. As you choose two or three likely candidates, you will have the opportunity to take the dogs, one at a time, for a walk. During that time, you can get a feeling for the dog's personality, how it responds to you, and it if "feels" right. Based on your family, work schedule, other pets, children, prior experience with dogs, Marilyn will help you make a correct decision. Marilyn has two decades of experience matching dogs with adopters. Please heed her advice. She has the ultimate makes decision on all adoptions.
Once a decision has been made and approved, the greyhound will be readied to go home with you. This will involve a bath always a fun, interesting and sometimes soaking experience! You will be given a copy of all the dog's records. You will be provided with information regarding medications needed such a heartworm. Information as to what and how to feed the dog will be included. You will sign a legal contract which includes the conditions that you will always walk your greyhound on leash, you will return the greyhound to GAS in the dire event that it is necessary, that you will always keep the GAS ID tag on the dog's collar, and other important considerations. Your adoption fee must be paid in full at this time.
If You Already Have a Dog
If you already have a dog in your family, please bring the dog with you when you come to the kennel to adopt. When you arrive, leave your dog in your car. After you have met the greyhounds and selected a few possible dogs that you think may fit well into your family, then GAS will help you introduce the candidates to your first dog. Outside, we will ask you to bring your dog out of the car on a leash. One at a time, GAS will bring the greyhounds out on leash to meet your dog. If the signs are good, we will ask you to take both dogs for a brief walk. By the end of the walk - about a block up and back - there should be indications whether the dogs will get along. This process will be continued with each greyhound. Please come dressed for the weather since introductions will always take place outside.
The goal of Greyhound Adoption Service is to place the greyhounds into loving, caring homes. We are looking for each greyhound's forever home. This can take a little time, so be prepared to spend from 2 -4 hours at the kennel. The process is designed so that when you leave the kennel with your greyhound, you are both about to embark on a lifelong journey of love and loyalty. If you do not find your companion that day, do not despair. New dogs arrive at the kennel weekly. It is far better to go home with out a dog if the right match just can't be made. Fortunately this does not happen often.
When you arrive home, re-read "Welcome Home." Remember that you dog needs patience, love and time to adjust. As much as you will be tempted to have everyone you know come over to meet your beautiful new greyhound, do such things gradually. Do not overwhelm your companion. Remember that your home is now your dog's forever home, so there will be plenty of time to show him/her off to the neighbors. If you have any problems, please do not hesitate to email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or call (978-462-7973). Problems are most successfully solved if corrected in the early stages.
When you drive away from the kennel, our hope and commitment is that you and your companion will form a lasting bond. GAS knows that there is a big, furry lifetime of love and loyalty going home with you.
Article & photos by Deborah Schildkraut
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