Am I in your placement area?
Our placement area is continuously expanding. At the moment, our primary placement area includes DC, MD, and NoVA.
Our ability to serve an area depends on the availability of a volunteer to do a home visit. If you are curious about our ability to work with you, please email firstname.lastname@example.org to ask. Please be assured that we make every effort to try and work with qualified applicants!
Could you tell me more about your adoption process?
Our adoption process is simple - the goal is to learn as much as we can about an applicant in the week or so we dedicate to the process. This helps us help our applicants with adopting the right dog for them. We're not just trying to be nice! A well-placed dog is a happy dog.
To kick off the process, an applicant fills out an adoption application. An initial email response generally goes out within 24 hours. Over the course of the week, we might contact you by email or phone. If things get that far, we schedule a home visit, and then make a decision. Our primary means of communication is by email, so once you fill out an application, please check your email regularly.
Do I need to have a fenced yard? Do I need to have a large house?
Greyhounds are sprinters, and expend all their energy in little bursts. In fact, with just a few minutes of sprinting a couple of times a week, all a greyhound needs is a long daily walk.
Trust us, no house is large enough for a greyhound to really exercise in, so the size of your house or apartment does not matter. This is especially true as sprinters spend the better part of the day preparing to sprint (sleeping). Greyhounds routinely catnap for 18 hours a day! As long as your apartment or house has the space for a crate and a dog bed, you have the room for a greyhound.
Some of the happiest greyhounds live in homes without yards. In doggie lingo, "no yard" translates as "four walks a day!"
Do you place to homes with children?
Greyhound Welfare does not place to homes with children under the age of 6. Families with children over 6 years old will be considered on a case-by-case basis. If you have children under 6, we will be happy to refer you to other groups who do place to families with small children.
We place dogs to applicants 21 years and older, whose lifestyle allows the addition of a dog. Part of our application process is a home visit. Since our volunteers drive out to you on their own time, we may have to refer you to an alternate group in case we do not have a volunteer local to your area.
How are dogs fostered?
All Greyhound Welfare greyhounds spend at least a week in the home of a volunteer "foster" who helps the dog make the transition from the track to life in a home. This makes the work of the dog's new family easier - your greyhound may already have been introduced to stairs, cats, other pets and children. During the fostering period, the volunteer learns about the dog's personality and needs, which gives you, the adopter, necessary information about a potential greyhound to ensure a good match with your family.
How do I apply to adopt a greyhound?
To start, please fill out our adoption application. Once we receive it, you will hear from one of our volunteers promptly. The form should take 10-15 minutes to fill out and gives us the information needed to have a productive conversation with you.
Click here to view our current (adoptable) greyhounds!
How do I meet a greyhound nose-to-nose?
We hold open houses frequently, where you can meet greyhounds already settled into home life, as well as greyhounds that are recently retired and looking for a home. There are usually volunteers and adopters on hand to answer your questions. The setting is generally quite informal. Although it depends on the venue, your other pets are usually welcome. For a list of events, please visit our events page.
How large is a greyhound?
Greyhounds are a large breed of dog, but their gentle and quiet demeanor can make them seem invisible. In fact, people end up being more sensitive to a dog's personality rather than size - a small, active dog can seem to be 10 times larger than a quiet, large dog. Females typically weigh between 50 and 75 lbs, with the vast majority weighing around 60. Males can weigh anywhere from 55 to 100 lbs. Most of them, however, weigh between 70 and 80 lbs.
We think of greyhounds as being perfect when it comes to size -- they are large enough to make a shady character think twice about approaching you, but gentle enough to have the neighborhood kids come and pet them.
How old are the greyhounds?
Most of the dogs retiring from the racetrack are between two and six years old. Sometimes, dogs are held back for breeding, so we may occasionally have an older dog.
How will a greyhound fit in with my family?
Your greyhound will want to be treated like any other member of your family-with love and respect. Greyhounds generally adjust fairly easily to the rhythms of your home and family. You will need to build time into your schedule for walking/exercising your greyhound, feeding, and training. Since the dogs have come from such a different environment, they need some space and some patience as they learn about you and your home.
Tell me more about the home visit?
The last, and most important step, of our process is a home visit, in which an adoption counselor visits your home with a greyhound. This is a fantastic opportunity for everyone in your household to meet a greyhound in your own home. We give all of you important lessons and tips in everything from grooming to crate placement to helping you dog-proof your home, greyhound style!
Some family members who are less involved in the adoption process will have their own questions for us. At the home visit, they are all invited to participate, and ask us anything they would like to know about.
While at your home, we need to take a look at all the areas the dog would be allowed in. This is not to invade your privacy, as much as to help identify potential hazards and help you fix them.
Getting to know your home environment is a time-consuming step for our hard-working volunteers. However, we are committed to getting to know you as well as possible for two important reasons - a) helping guide your choice of dogs, and, b) helping you work through any problems and issues that might arise after adoption. The more we know, the better we can help you, and the better the chances the adoption will be a happy and successful one.
What is a greyhound's lifespan?
Greyhounds are phenomenally long-lived. As you know, in general, the larger the dog, the shorter the lifespan. However, greyhounds buck the trend, and have an expected life span of 12-14 years. (For more information about greyhounds, click here.)
What physical condition are the dogs in?
Racing dogs are athletes, and are generally in extremely good physical condition. Beyond injuries any athlete might sustain (the occasional cut, scrape, fracture or dislocation), they have few health problems. Some of our dogs may limp a little as they heal from a past injury. In most cases, once healed, the injury does not bother them anymore. As a breed, greyhounds do not have hip dysplasia, and do not have a tendency to get arthritic.
What vet care have the dogs received?
Our dogs are spayed or neutered before they are placed. They are treated for internal and external parasites, so they are free of worms, ticks and fleas. All dogs are heartworm tested prior to surgery. If needed, we have dental work done as well. The dogs are inoculated for rabies and distemper. While in our care, dogs are kept current on heartworm preventative and flea and tick preventative.
Adopters are given all the information we have on a dog's history, as well as original copies of vet work and vaccination records. Approved adopters can keep in touch with the fosters of dogs they are interested in, and can learn all about an individual dog prior to adoption. We encourage the sharing of information, since we want every placement to be successful.
Where do the greyhounds come from?
Our ex-racers come to us from tracks in the Mid-Atlantic and South, and the dogs are transported to our area by truck. Our volunteers meet the truck drivers at rest stops off the highway, pick up our dogs, and after giving them a chance to stretch their legs, take them home. For most of these dogs, this is their first car ride, and boy, are they good at fogging up car windows as they gaze out at the world! Once they come home to their foster homes, dogs are groomed and bathed, fed and walked, and given a well-padded crate to rest in after their long journeys.
Will you hold a dog for me? (or, I am interested ONLY in this particular dog)
Our goal is to find the right placement and move the greyhound to his forever home, while making room in our foster program for new dogs. We will hold a dog for up to one week, only for approved adopters that have already met the dog.