Adopt a Greyhound
Learn more about the adoption process below:
Adopting a greyhound requires a lifelong obligation to love and care for your new family member. Think realistically about your life style to determine if you have the time needed to ensure a happy pet. Do your homework on greyhounds by reading:
Lee Livingood’s Retired Racing Greyhounds for Dummies
Cynthia Branigan’s Adopting the Racing Greyhound
Families with children under 12 must purchase-
Colleen Pelar’s Living with Kids and Dogs……Without Losing Your Mind
These books may be purchased from the VAGA online store, or you may purchase them through our website.
Everyone in your family agrees that a greyhound is the perfect dog and you want to begin the adoption process. It’s easy! Simply click on the link below to get started. There is no cost or obligation when you apply. Families with children under 3 years old are required to have a fence. Click here to apply today!
Within a few days of submitting an application, a friendly VAGA volunteer will be in touch with you to chat about greyhounds. We know how excited you are so we do our best to make contact within a few days. If you don’t hear from us within a week, please contact us.
Once a successful Telephone Interview has taken place, we will make an appointment with you to conduct a Home Visit. We will bring at least one greyhound with us for you to enjoy as we discuss specific information about the greyhound you’d like to adopt. Great care is given to find out exactly what traits your dog will need to be compatible with your lifestyle.
As soon as your application is approved, the search for your greyhound begins. We use the information on your application, as well as the Phone Interview and Home Visit reports, to help us find your new pet. If we have local foster dogs on hand, you can make arrangements to meet them to decide if one of them may work with your family. If a foster dog does not match your profile, we begin to search the rescue kennel in Florida.
We have a long and very successful relationship with the rescue kennel and some of the racing kennels in Orlando. The rescue kennel has profiles on the dogs in their care. Each greyhound is cat tested several times. You can see some of the available retired racers by visiting the GPA-Greater Orlando webpage.
The Orlando webpage is updated weekly but please don’t get your heart set on a specific dog in case he or she is no longer available or will not make a good match for your family. Our program is successful because we allow the experts to make recommendations about what dog will work for you. You will have a voice in selecting your greyhound. We will contact you with the names of recommended dogs. It’s up to you to pick the dog you want.
Our adoption events are held in several locations, and you will be advised to attend the one closest to your home. Plan to spend approximately three hours with us but rest assured that we will take as much time as needed to answer any questions you may have. We will go over everything you need to know to feel confident about taking your new greyhound home. We usually begin the lecture part of our program before the dog transport arrives with our volunteers. Once the dogs arrive and you’re introduced to your new best friend, you will have an opportunity to shop in our adoption store. We have your greyhound specific supplies, such as crates, food, squawkers and greyhound sized coats. We also have plenty of goodies for you too!
The adoption fee is $300.00 and is payable at the time of your adoption. This fee includes the required pre-adoption medical expenses such as spay or neuter, a complete dental including extractions if needed, a 4D snap test (tests for heartworms and tick diseases), all needed vaccines to bring the greyhound current, a fecal test, nails trimmed and worming meds and an Embroidered ID collar to be worn 24/7.
We also give you the racing muzzle and any paperwork that accompanied the retired greyhound when leaving the track. You will also receive a new martingale collar and lead set of your color choice, a thick adoption notebook packed with wonderful information and 24/7 support from our experienced staff after adoption. Your greyhound will also be micro-chipped.
We do not hand over a dog to you and expect you to be on your own. We pledge to give you support for as long as you have your greyhound.
VAGA requires you to place an embroidered ID collar on your dog before you take him home. This collar should never be removed except to launder it. An ID collar is your greyhound’s ticket home if he gets lost. It can also be a lifesaver if he is injured while lost, and requires medical attention from a county shelter. They will not treat an animal they can’t identify. VAGA will provide your greyhound’s Embroidered ID collar on adoption day.
You will want to purchase a crate if the Home Visit volunteer suggested that you will need one. You new greyhound will also need a coat, bed, raised feeding station (bowls), soft stuffed toys, and general maintenance items (nail trimmer or Dremel, shampoo, dietary supplements, etc.) Don’t forget a doggie carpet cleaning product just in case of an accident.
VAGA will have squawkers and greyhound sized coats in our adoption store. You will be given a supply list at the time of your Home Visit that covers everything you’ll need, including an embroidered ID dog collar with a name and phone number where you can best be reached in case your dog becomes lost.
Greyhound noses have no trouble reaching your kitchen counter tops. Begin the habit of placing all food out of reach or risk it disappearing.
Keep garbage containers in a kitchen cabinet or in a strong trash can with a lid that can’t be nosed open. Remember to also empty the waste baskets in bathrooms and other areas of the house.
Tape a few sheets of paper to your sliding glass doors to alert your dog that something solid is there. If that doesn’t work, usually one bump on the head is all it takes for him to learn about glass.
Begin to practice keeping toilet lids down to prevent Racing Rover from using the toilet as a punch bowl. Automatic toilet bowl cleaners are toxic so please don’t use them.
Your new dog may be afraid of slippery floor surfaces,especially if light makes it appear shiny. If so, it’s important that he not fall and become afraid of walking on these types of surfaces. Place slip-proof throw rugs or runners in problem areas. In a week or so, start to remove the rugs one at a time until your greyhound is comfortable walking around the house.
If you plan to use a crate, place it in a central location where your greyhound can see the family while he is resting. If you crate your dog during the day while you’re at work, do not crate him at night too. Greyhounds enjoy sleeping contentedly on a dog bed in your room. Greyhounds seldom wander once asleep so there is no reason to confine him to a crate.
VAGA is a very member friendly group and we’d love you to be an active part of our family. You will be invited to join our message board forum so you can stay informed about our events. We strongly encourage you to attend our Meet and Greets and other events with your greyhound(s). A newly retired racer benefits from the social interaction with other greyhounds and you’ll enjoy the company of other greyhound owners. In between spreading the word about adoption, you’ll have time to swap stories and get advice from the VAGA members. This is a great time to make new friends for you and your greyhound.
Most of our greyhounds finish their racing careers in Orlando, Florida. GPA-Greater Orlando (GPA-GO) has a listing of available hounds for viewing on their own webpage. Please keep in mind that, while the page is updated regularly, you may fall in love with a greyhound that is already spoken for.
While many factors are considered beside the greyhound’s characteristics listed on the web page, we encourage you to inform VAGA on your application if you like a certain greyhound as that will help us in selecting the right greyhound to join your family.
Before clicking on the link to GPA-GO’s rescue kennel, please be aware that not all the available retired racers will be pictured.
GPA-GO’s rescue kennel can house about 55 greyhounds. If their kennel is full, and it IS ALWAYS FULL, many retired racers are left without a safe place to go when their racing careers are over. It’s up to the racing kennel manager and/or the greyhound’s owner to decide how long they will hold a retired racer while he waits for a crate to open up in a rescue kennel. Some managers/owners will hold their dogs for weeks while other dogs are not so lucky.
When possible, and certainly in a crisis, VAGA works directly with the racing kennels in an attempt to take some of the dogs who are in desperate need of sanctuary.
It is not possible to list the names of the greyhounds waiting on the racing compound or offer pictures of them, but you can be sure dogs are always available in great numbers. If you do not see a retired racer on GPA-GO’s site that interests you, we will search the racing compound until we find a match for you.
There’s always an endless supply of retired racers in Orlando that need homes. VAGA is determined to help as many of them as we can. The number of greyhounds we rescue is determined by the number of adoption applications we receive. Thank you for your interest in retired racing greyhounds and for helping us save the lives of these gentle, loving dogs.