What is fostering?
A foster home is a temporary home for a newly retired greyhound from the track and acclimating it to your home while awaiting adoption. Most of our homes will have their foster hound from weeks to months. It just depends on how long it takes for your new foster to find a family. Foster homes are very important to Allies for Greyhounds. While we have an adoption kennel, a foster home will create more room in our kennel for more newly retired hounds and help them transition from being an athlete to a family pet.
Do I get to pick my foster?
Generally yes, as long as the greyhound is currently not in foster care. All greyhounds that come to AFG are cat tested before foster placement, so if you have cats a cat safe greyhound would go into your home, not a greyhound that not cat safe. We also do not move greyhounds that are already in a foster home to another foster home unless there is a specific issue or the greyhound is not a good fit in the current foster home. The cat safe or not cat safe information can be found on our website next to the individual greyhound information. The available hounds that have “I’m now in foster care” are not available to new foster homes. In each dog description will also be listed if they are cat safe or not and will have an icon listed. If you do not have cats, it will be suggested that you foster a dog that does not get along with cats. They deserve families too and often take a little longer for forever homes for!
What are my responsibilities as a foster parent?
Fostering does have many responsibilities. Here is a basic run down:
- Taking your foster dog to monthly Meet and Greets which are usually on Saturdays from 11am to 3pm: We suggest getting them out to Meet and Greets as often as you can to be seen by potential adopters. That is a very good way for him/her to find a family of their own. We strongly suggest at least 2 per month.
- Introducing your foster to the home environment and appropriate behaviors: Introducing your foster hound to other family members such as cats, dogs, and children. Greyhounds have never seen stairs in a home, TVs, washers, dryers, vacuums or any household items before and will need to be introduced and slowly in some cases. Greyhounds are quick learners, so it doesn’t take much to get them acclimated to a home. If you should run into issues with your foster hound, there is many other fosters that can offer you advice. Here are few other things that you will be teaching your foster hound: potty training/house training, walking nicely on a leash, acceptable behavior inside and outside the home and proper behavior with other pets.
- Filling out the AFG Foster Profile form: The profile link will be sent this via email and should be filled out within the first 2 weeks. The profile should include the basics about the hound and should also include a small biography of the hound that will be displayed on the website.
- Pictures: AFG highly encourages pictures. Pictures in the home, outside, in the car, at meet and greets and even sleeping! They do help in getting your foster adopted.
- Commitment: Fostering a greyhound does take an emotional commitment. Your new foster hound will require understanding and patience as they transition from a kennel enviroment to that of a home enviroment. The time your foster hound is in your home will vary. Sometimes it is weeks and sometimes it is months. There is just no guarantee of the length of time they will be in your home, we ask that a foster home stay committed to their foster hound until adoption.
What does AFG provide foster families?
AFG will provide you with a collar, leash, muzzle, crate, and a very large support group should you have any questions or problems with your foster. We will also take care of vet bills as long as we are notified PRIOR to the greyhound being seen by the vet and everything is approved. The only exception to this policy would be emergencies. The foster greyhound will already have been spayed/neutered, up to date on vaccinations, tested for heartworms and treated for parasites, so it is a very rare occasion that the foster greyhound will need to see a vet once he/she is in your home. Foster homes will provide the food for their hound.
What happens when it’s time to give my foster to his/her family?
When an application to adopt is received and they are interested in your foster hound, an AFG representative will contact you with the specifics. You are encouraged to come along on the home visit and interact the potential adopters about your foster. If you are unable to attend, arrangements can be made accordingly. This can be an emotional experience for most foster homes. We need to remain professional, calm, and collected at all times. There will always be another foster greyhound waiting for your love and care!
What if I want to adopt my foster?
There have been many cases where the foster homes fall head of heels for their foster hounds and decide to adopt. AFG foster homes have the first right of refusal. Meaning, you have the first opportunity to adopt your foster hound before anyone else. While we are happy a hound finds their home, we do encourage you to foster a couple of dogs before you keep one if you can. If you decide your foster is staying permanently, we ask you notify us right away and complete the adoption as soon as possible. We don’t want to confuse potential adopters by having dogs up on our website that aren’t actually available.
If fostering is not a possibility, please consider making a monetary donation that will help kennel operating costs, food, meds and transportation. Even a simple donation of your time is more valuable than you know.