AGR's ADOPTION PROCESS
Every greyhound needs a home, but not every home needs a greyhound. We do not adopt our greyhounds as first come first served; but rather, we make an educated and conscientious attempt in matching the right dog with the right home.
At this time, AGR only adopts to families with children 15 years of age and older.
In an effort to match each greyhound with his or her best possible home, Arizona Greyhound Rescue has a multi-step adoption process that allows our volunteers to get to know potential adopters, and to provide the information and support necessary to ensure a successful placement.
1. Fill out an adoption application.
The first step is to fill out an adoption application, which can be picked up at any of our Meet and Greet locations, or filled out online on our website. Very often, interested adopters have one or more conversations with volunteers before the adoption application is filled out to find out about greyhounds in general. We encourage questions! But the first official step toward adopting one of our greyhounds is to fill out the application.
The questions on the application are designed to allow us to get a sense of your family and homelife, what you expect from a pet, how you will provide for a new dog, and any problems or issues you have had in the past regarding pet ownership. Sometimes the answers on the adoption application will indicate that a greyhound is not the pet for you. 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 won’t fit your needs. In addition, questions about pets and children help us to identify dogs that will or will not fit comfortably into your home. Please answer the questions fully and honestly, for both your sake and the dogs.
2. Adoption Application Review
Once the application is submitted, it is reviewed by the adoption committee. If everything looks okay, or even if we have some minor questions, the application is then referred to an adoption counselor. This counselor contacts the potential adopter, and starts a series of conversations by phone or by email, to provide information about greyhounds, to answer any questions or resolve any concerns, and to serve as a general resource as to all things greyhound.
Please note that AGR does not currently adopt to families with children under 15 years of age.
3. Home visit
The counselor will also set up a home visit. The home visit does not serve as a way for us to judge your home, housekeeping skills or decorating talent! Instead, the home check is a chance for you to show the counselor how you intend to care for and provide for your greyhound, and for the counselor to survey your home for any greyhound hazards. For example, many people are not aware that greyhounds right off the track can try to walk through plate glass windows, across pools, or even through cactus. The counselor will point out any potential hazards he or she sees, and helps you come up with ways to minimize any risk. In addition, the counselor will pay particular attention to your yard and fence, making sure they are greyhound-safe and escape-proof.
4.Meet the hounds after a successful home check
Once the counselor has made a home visit, and has had a number of conversations with the potential adopter, he or she will report back to the adoption committee. If that report is favorable, it is time to start meeting dogs! Sometimes a potential adopter will settle on a dog before the home check is completed, or even before the adoption application is filled out, but Arizona Greyhound Rescue will not agree to place any dog until both the application and the home check have been completed. Our first priority is to match the right dog with the right home, to the best of our ability and judgment.
A way to meet dogs is to visit one of our weekend Meet and Greet activities at various PETsMARTs, PETCOs, and Bookman's around Tucson and Green Valley. If there are particular dogs you would like to meet, we can arrange to have them shown at the meet & greet. This is something you would work out with your counselor, in consultation with our volunteer coordinator.
Some 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 give you the foster parent’s phone number or e-mail, and you are welcome to contact them directly, to find out more about that particular dog, and to arrange a 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.
Once you have found the perfect dog, we try to arrange the actual adoption on a weekend, or a time period when someone can be at home with the dog for a few days. Whether coming from the kennel or a foster home, 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.
We ask that you bring your 2- and 4-legged family to our kennel space to complete the adoption process. There will be some paperwork to fill out. Arizona Greyhound Rescue requires a signed contract, which details the level of care you agree to provide, and also ensures that if you even have to give up your greyhound, that you will return the dog to AGR. In addition, as a Petsmart Luv-a-Pet charity, we have paperwork from Petsmart for you to sign that documents the adoption and makes us eligible for matching funds from Petsmart Charities.
In addition, at the time of adoption you will pay an adoption fee, which covers some of Arizona Greyhound Rescue’s costs for the rescue of your dog. (Our adoption fee includes spay/neuter; bloodwork and initial check up by veterinarian; rabies vaccination; vaccinations for: distemper, adenovirus type 2 (and hepatitis), para influenza and parvovirus; de-worming medication; topical for ticks and fleas in the summertime; microchip; kennel cost; cost of food; and AGR identification tag. In reality, we spend at least $450 on each dog (often much more), and the adoption fee helps to defray at least some of those expenses. The adoption fee is non-refundable.
Don’t think that once the adoption is complete, that you are on your own. Absolutely not! Your adoption counselor is more than happy to answer any questions that may come up in the next days, weeks, months, even years. Adopting a dog from Arizona Greyhound Rescue means always having 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 be having, we’ve dealt with it before! We love to hear from our adopters, and have a yearly get-together for hounds and humans, so we can see old faces and get reacquainted.
Greyhound adoption seems more formidable in writing than it actually is, and we hope the process doesn’t intimidate you. We are always thrilled to receive new inquiries and applications, and can’t wait to tell you all about why greyhounds are such wonderful pets. We are all working toward the same goal, of finding just the right hound for you!
6.Mentoring: Think tech-support for your greyhound
A new adopter is assigned an experienced adopter to help work though issues and problems that might arise with the new adopter and to support and encourage them along the way.