SA Greys Adoption Process
Southern Arizona Greyhound Adoption has an adoption application process that is intended to find a good match between a potential adopter and one of our retired greyhounds. Our goal always is to ensure a successful placement.
Step 1. Learn about greyhounds
Greyhounds are unique. Because they have lived as racing dogs prior to being turned over to adoption groups, they are different from any other breed. Although most greyhounds adjust quickly and easily to life as a pampered pet, they all have much to learn.
There are many resources on the web, such as Greyhound 101 by Animal Planet, to assist you in learning more about the breed and ensuring they are a good fit for your family and your lifestyle.
Also consider your lifestyle and commitments, now and in the future. Is this the right time to adopt ANY dog? Can you commit to making a dog a integral part of your family for the next 10 years? Will you have the time and financial resources to keep them happy and healthy?
If after doing some research and introspection, you conclude you are ready to adopt a dog and a greyhound is a great fit for you, you’re ready to move on to Step 2.
Step 2. Fill out an online adoption application
The first step is to complete an adoption application. The application is available online on the website at http://sagreys.org/adoption-application/. Often, interested adopters have attended one of the many meet-and-greet events in the area, and have had one or more conversations with volunteers before the adoption application is filled out, to find out about greyhounds in general. We encourage you to ask questions, and to learn about the unique nature of our hounds!
Questions on the adoption application are designed to allow SA Greys to get a sense of your family, your home, why you are interested in greyhounds, and what you expect from a greyhound companion. Answers on the adoption application may indicate that a greyhound is not the perfect companion for you. For example, greyhounds are indoor dogs, so if you indicate that you intend to house your dog in the backyard, we can quickly determine that a greyhound may not be the best breed selection for you. Questions about pets and children help us to identify greyhounds that will or will not fit comfortably into your family. Please answer the questions fully, as it will help us to find the right dog for your lifestyle.
Step 3. Adoption Application Review
Once your application is submitted, it is reviewed by our adoption coordinator. The coordinator may contact you to clarify information on your application, or to complete missing information. When the application review is complete, it is then referred to an adoption counselor. This person is assigned to work with you throughout your adoption process. This volunteer will contact you to start a series of conversations by phone or by email, to provide information about greyhounds, to arrange your home visit, and to serve as a general resource for your questions about greyhounds.
Step 4. Home visit
The counselor will arrange a home visit convenient to your schedule. The counselor will use the home visit to answer your questions about greyhounds and greyhound adoption, and to talk with you about your family, your lifestyle and the type of companion you are seeking. The counselor will also talk with you about your home and any potential greyhound hazards. For example, many people are not aware that greyhounds right off the track know nothing about life in a home, and have never seen patio doors and plate glass windows, swimming pools, tile floors or cactus. The counselor will point out any potential hazards he or she sees, and will help you to minimize or eliminate any risk. In addition, the counselor will pay particular attention to your yard and fence, making sure your home is greyhound-safe and escape-proof. The home visit does not serve as a way for us to judge your home, housekeeping skills or decorating talent!
Step 5. Meet greyhounds!
Once the counselor has completed the home visit, and everyone agrees a greyhound is the right dog for the household, it is time to start meeting dogs! Our first priority is to match the right dog with the right home, so this may take some time – we want to do it right, not fast. Don’t get your heart set on a particular hound based solely on their appearance or coloring. Finding a hound with the right demeanor and personality for you and your lifestyle is much more important in the long run.
A way to meet dogs is to visit one of our weekend Meet and Greet activities at various events and venues around Tucson, Oro Valley, Marana and Green Valley. If there are particular dogs you would like to meet, we can arrange to have them at a meet & greet. This is something you will arrange with your counselor.
Many of our dogs are lucky enough to be placed in a foster home before adoption. If you are interested in a dog that is currently in a foster home, we will be happy to arrange a phone call or meeting, to find out more about that particular foster dog, and to arrange a mutually convenient time to meet. Naturally, a foster parent knows his or her foster dog the best, and is a great source of specific information about that dog.
Step 6. Adoption Day!
Once you have found the perfect dog, we arrange the adoption day on a weekend, or during a time period when someone can be at home with the dog for a few days. The transition to a new home is a big and sometimes scary change for any dog, and having a human around can avert a lot of initial problems.
When your counselor brings your dog to your home, they will assist you in completing the required paperwork. Southern Arizona Greyhound Adoption requires a signed agreement, which describes the level of care you agree to provide, and also ensures that if you ever have to give up your greyhound, that you will notify us, return the dog to us, or involve us in any rehoming you undertake.
At the time of adoption you will pay a $350 adoption fee, which covers a portion of SA Grey’s costs for your new greyhound. Our adoption fee covers some of our veterinary costs, including spay/neuter; blood and fecal testing; current vaccinations including rabies , distemper combo and bordetella; de-worming; flea/tick and heartworm prevention; microchip; and an SA Greys identification tag. Adopters also receive a martingale collar, leash, muzzle and your greyhound’s first toy. Our expenses total over $700 for each dog (often much more), and the adoption fee helps to defray at least some of those expenses. The adoption fee is not a donation so it is not tax-deductible. The adoption fee is non-refundable once an adoption is completed.
The greyhound adoption process may seem complex. We hope the process doesn’t intimidate you. The process is intended to result in a good match between adopter and greyhound. We are all working toward the same goal, finding forever homes for our greyhounds, and finding just the right hound for you!
Step 7. After Adoption
All new adopters become a part of our extended SA Greys family, become Honorary Members of SA Greys, and are welcomed (and encouraged) to attend events and to become active in our organization. Our adoption counselors stay in touch with adopters, will follow up frequently during the first few weeks of adjustment, and will be available to help work though issues and problems that might arise with the new greyhound to provide support and encourage them along the way.
When you adopt a dog from Southern Arizona Greyhound Adoption, you have access to greyhound experts who will answer questions and provide advice for as long as you have your dog. No matter what problem you might have, we’ve dealt with it before!
And we love to hear from our adopters. We have a yearly Ice Cream Social get-together for hounds and humans, so we can see old faces and get reacquainted. And we always want stories and photos from you and from your grey, on their latest adventures, news and updates.
A Note about Adoption Fees
The SA Greys Board of Directors voted, at the May 2017 Board meeting, to increase the adoption fee from $300 to $350, effective for adoptions finalized after July 1, 2017.
Surely, that is not necessary, right? With racing gone, surely SA Greys expenses must have gone down a lot? Well, no, not really.
Every greyhound we take in from the Kansas and Oklahoma farms receives full veterinary care:
|Initial Health Screen||90|
|Fecal sample testing||74|
|Average Total Vet costs||$440|
Average total cost per dog approaches $600 when there are no exceptional medical needs.
While we are mostly out of the broken leg business, farm dogs have proven to have their own challenges and opportunities.
One example: Many of the brood moms come to us with serious dental issues. Dental extraction procedures average $860.
Another example: A number of the younger dogs have arrived with foot injuries – which is why they are “retired” so young. Charges for toe amputations average $750. Two recent arrivals, Crash and ZeeZee required more extensive surgery and rehab, and are still in recovery.
Proving the most problematic, many of the farm dogs have arrived with parasite problems that have been difficult to resolve quickly, so have had fosters and adoptions delayed until the problems are cleared.
*All of these conditions require longer treatment and recovery periods, which in turn have increased our boarding costs.
Since the closing of TGP in June of 2016, we have finalized 96 adoptions. In fact, with 30 adoptions (and several more pending) so far in 2017, we are on pace to get close to the number of greyhounds we placed in forever homes last year.
The track is closed, racing is ended, SA Greys is very much in business and vet and boarding costs are a fact of life. The increase in the Adoption Fee is one of several steps we are taking to ensure our financial health as we continue to find forever homes for our hounds.