The Greyhound Supporters began its adoption program in 2009 in response to an increasing demand from interested individuals and families in the Ottawa area.
If you are interested in adopting a retired racing greyhound and would like to work with the Greyhound Supporters, we recommend that you do some research about these retired athletes. The more information you have, the more you will understand your greyhound once you bring it home, and be able to help it through its transition into your home.
Some recommended reading includes:
- “Retired Racing Greyhounds for Dummies” by Lee Livingood (ISBN 0-7645-5276-7) and
- Adopting the Racing Greyhound” by Cynthia Branigan (ISBN 0-87605-193-X)
Additional reading if you have young children:
- “Childproofing Your Dog” by Brian Kilcommons (ISBN 0-446-67016-2)
How Do I Adopt?
The Greyhound Supporters commits to every dog we place through adoption, and every family with whom we place a retired racer. We work very hard to make sure that each hound goes into a loving home that understands the needs of the retired racing greyhound.
Outlined below is the process for adoption of a retired racing greyhound through the Greyhound Supporters.
Complete the application form and submit online or in person to Laura Simmermon, Adoption Co-ordinator of the Greyhound Supporters (613-986-8097) along with a processing fee of $50.00. The fee can be in the form of a cheque or money order if sent by mail, or cash if delivered in person or via etransfer or PayPal. If you have not heard from us within a week of sending your application, please contact Laura via email at email@example.com, or call the telephone number above.
Reference checks will be undertaken using the contact information you provided on the application form. Once the reference checks have been completed, a Greyhound Supporters’ representative will contact you to set up a home visit. The home visit is conducted by two representatives of the Greyhound Supporters, accompanied by one of their own greyhounds or a foster hound. This visit provides you with an opportunity to ask questions and permits the representatives to see how your family interacts with the greyhound. It also gives us the chance to offer suggestions about how potential situations may be addressed if you were to adopt a greyhound, such as sliding glass doors, hardwood floors, holes in fencing, etc. Another important aspect of the home visit is to establish the profile of a hound that best suits your family and its needs which are discussed during the home visit.
After the home visit has been completed, you will be advised if you and your family have been approved to adopt a retired racing greyhound through the Greyhound Supporters. The next step is to determine the best way to introduce you to some hounds that meet the profile established as a result of the home visit. There may be suitable hounds in our foster program for you to meet. If not, then as soon as arrangements are made to bring up more greyhounds through a greyhound haul, you will be notified so that you may meet the hounds when they arrive. The entire process usually takes between 4 and 8 weeks – depending upon whether or not we have foster hounds in our program or if we have to wait for our next haul.
Support to the adopting family
As part of our commitment to you and your greyhound, we are available to answer questions and try to help with any problems that may arise after the adoption. We won’t always have the answers, but we work with an extensive network of experienced greyhound owners and veterinary professionals.
One of the key features of our adoption program is the post-adoptive support program. In addition to the support provided on by the Adoption Coordinator on essentially a 24/7 basis as well as the Assistant Adoption Coordinator, all new adopters are connected with an “adoption buddy”. Your adoption buddy is an individual or a family that has had experience with greyhound adoption and who can also provide support to you in the event that you have any questions or concerns.
There is also a very active greyhound community in Ottawa – the Greyhound Supporters host a monthly drop-in social at Beyond the Pale, we host workshops, have an annual picnic and we have an active Facebook page. All of these provide great opportunities to chat with fellow greyhound adopters and build your own support network.
It is important to understand that when you adopt a greyhound, it is a serious commitment to give that hound the very best possible for the rest of its life, which could potentially be 12 to 14 years. We will remain in contact with you to ensure that your new greyhound and your family are adjusting well.
Greyhounds are sensitive and loving dogs that are capable of developing a very strong attachment to the people surrounding them. Being returned to the adoption group can be a painful experience for them and the rest of the family, but on occasion, it cannot be avoided. We understand this and if the problem or situation cannot be resolved, we want to bring the greyhound back into our program and work to find another home for it. Given the unique characteristics and needs of retired racing greyhounds, it is best that the greyhound be re-homed by a greyhound adoption group to ensure that it is placed in a loving and appropriate home.
Your commitment to your greyhound
As part of your commitment to your new canine companion, you and your family:
- Agree to keep ID tags on your greyhound at ALL times.
- Agree to use only a martingale-type collar on your greyhound with the exception of a tag collar.
- Agree to keep your greyhound on-leash unless in a completely fenced area.
- Agree to keep your hound inside as a family pet and not keep it outside.
- Agree to maintain routine vaccinations, dental health and heart worm medication.
Agree to provide contact information and allow the Greyhound Supporters to follow-up with you in regards to the greyhound, its whereabouts and its well-being.