Fostering Guide

Foster a greyhound!  We’d love to have you on the SA GREYS team.

Every retired racing greyhound we place into foster care is one step closer to finding a loving forever home.  Your foster greyhound will experience many firsts such as living in a house, walking on tile or stairs, playing with squeaky toys, watching TV, and meeting other dog breeds, cats, and perhaps children. As a foster family, you will guide your foster dog through the transition from retired racing hound to beloved pet.

The foster guidelines below provide a general overview of what is required of our foster families.  More detailed policies and rules are set out in the foster contract.

Foster Guidelines

Qualifications

  • Foster families must meet the same requirements as adopters.  The first step in the process is completing the foster application on the website.  This provides vital information about your family members including those with fur and your living environment.
  • All fosters must be at least 21 years of age.
  • All other animals (dogs/cats) in the foster home must be current on vaccines, and be spayed or neutered.
  • All pets in the household should be on a heartworm and flea preventative.
  • Once you have completed your application, the foster coordinator will call you to discuss the program and set up a home visit.  We conduct these checks to ensure the safety and health of the foster hounds and to educate those new to greyhounds.
  • After the home check, you and the foster coordinator will sign the foster contract and you are approved to foster.

Preparing for Your Foster Greyhound

  • Once approved, you will receive a weekly update from the foster coordinator.  The weekly update will provide information about each hound in our care, which are seeking a foster home and the proposed date of placement.
  • When you are ready to foster a dog, you simply respond to the foster coordinator to let her know you’re ready and which dog seems to best suit your home environment.  The foster coordinate may reach out to you if we have a critical need to place a hound, or have a hound who would fit well into your home.
  • We strive to provide each foster greyhound a stable, loving temporary home while they are awaiting their forever home. As a result, it’s nice if a foster can stay in one home until he is adopted.  This can vary from a couple weeks to several months, depending on the dog.  However, if you decide for ANY reason that you want us to move the foster out of your home, we will.
  • SA GREYS will provide respite foster care when you are out of town or just need a few days off. You simply notify the foster coordinator who then seeks a respite foster family for those dates.
  • SA GREYS can loan a crate, exercise pen, dog bed, raised feeding dish, and belly bands for male dogs, if you wish. Fosters generally pay for their foster hound’s food, but SA GREYS can provide dog food, upon request.

Caring for Your Foster Greyhound

  • Providing the dog a safe, loving home environment is job one – high-quality food, clean water, a soft bed, exercise, and positive interactions with people and other pets.  Your secondary responsibility is preparing the hound to be a well-behaved member of a household such as house training, walking well on a leash, responding to basic commands, and basic manners.
  • You will be asked to complete a detailed questionnaire about your foster dog approximately two weeks after you receive him.  Thereafter, you will be asked for updates on his development, cute stories and good photos.  We use that information to educate potential adopters about each hound, both on the website and in one-on-one discussions with adoption coordinators.  We need to have a good idea of the dog’s character in order to place the dog in the best possible home.
  • You will be asked to take the greyhound to at least one meet and greet or special event per month unless the animal is deemed “excused” by the foster coordinator for medical/behavioral reasons.
  • If you foster an injured or ill greyhound, you will be required to follow the veterinarian’s instructions. For example, you may have to crate a hound with a broken leg and only allow him or her outside on a leash to potty.  (No caving in to pitiful let-me-out whining!)
  • It is also extremely important to give all the prescribed medications, as directed.  If you think the medication is having an adverse effect on the hound, contact the operations director immediately.

Medical Issues

  •  Foster parents must report any potential injuries, illnesses, and/or behavioral issues to foster coordinator immediately.
  • Foster parents usually transport their foster hound to appointments.  However, SA GREYS has a great cadre of transporters who can assist with transport, if required.
  • In an emergency, the foster family must transport the dog to the nearest animal hospital, and notify the foster coordinator or operations director upon arrival at the veterinary office.
  • In non-emergent situation, the foster family must obtain approval from the operations director BEFORE taking the animal to our vet.  If veterinary care is not pre-approved, SA Greys is not responsible for re-imbursement [except in cases of emergency].
  • SA GREYS will pay for your foster hounds approved veterinary visits, medications and treatments unless it is determined that the foster parent was negligent in his/her care.  An example of negligence would be allowing the hound to run off leash in an unfenced area and be hit by a car.
  • Medical costs are billed directly to SA GREYS, so fosters are not required to pay any up front expenses.
  • Our primary veterinarian is Dr. Nausley at Briarcrest Veterinary Care Center, (520) 298-4123, 7313 E. Tanque Verde Road, Tucson.
  • We will occasionally authorize appointments at Twin Peaks Veterinary Center (West Side), Pantano Animal Clinic (Southeast Side), Broadway Animal Clinic (Central) and VSCOT (Specialists).
  • SA GREYS will provide to a monthly HeartGuard and Frontline for the foster dog.  It is important to give the HeartGuard medication on the same date each month.  Notify the foster coordinator well in advance if you need a HeartGuard or Frontline.
  • Do not give your foster dog any medications or supplements not prescribed by our veterinarian and/or approved by the operations director.

Adoption and “Foster Failure”

  • An adoption coordinator will contact you when a potential adopter is interested in meeting your foster dog.  Feel free to ask questions about the potential adopter and to provide detailed information about the hound, to ensure your foster is a good fit for that particular family.
  • When you meet potential adopters either at M&G events or one-on-one, please assist us in determining whether they are suitable adopters and a good match for your foster.  Communicating with the adoption coordinator and operations director is key to a successful match.
  • Oftentimes, the greyhound is just so darned lovable, the foster family cannot bear to part with him or her.  If the foster decides to adopt their foster greyhound, they will have first option to do so provided they notify the foster coordinator PRIOR to the hound meeting with a potential adopter.  Once the hound has been scheduled for a meeting or home visit with an interested adopter, that potential adopter will be given the first option to adopt.
  • The standard adoption fee and adoption contract is required of all fosters/volunteers.

Please consider joining the foster team.  Foster families are the most important aspect of transitioning retired racers to beloved pets.  The number of hounds waiting to leave the track and start their pet lives always exceeds the number of available foster homes.  The more fosters we have, the faster the greyhound pipeline will flow.  In addition to participating in a worthy cause, fostering a retired racer is a rewarding and fun experience!

Complete your foster application to get the process started!   If you simply cannot foster, consider sponsoring one of the hounds in our boarding kennel.  SA GREYS pays $8 per day, per dog for loving boarding care.  Every sponsorship dollar supports a hound who is waiting for his or her opportunity to move into a foster home.  Sponsor/Donate Here