Ready to adopt a racing greyhound? There are plenty of books and resources to help you get off on the right foot. When you start the search for your greyhound, you will find that not all rescue groups are alike and each offer a different set of benefits. It should also be noted that the majority of Adoption Organizations are Non-profit. This means that the organization is run by volunteers and the fee they charge you for the adoption just barely off-sets their cost. Here are some things to think about in terms of cost and services that a rescue group might provide.

What do I get for my Adoption Fee?

Adoption fee?
Spay/Neuter? Gif of Dog reading a book
Teeth Cleaning?
Heart Worm Testing/Preventative?
Tick-Borne Disease Testing?
Cat/Small Animal Testing?
Personality Matching?

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Many groups have pamphlets that explain what they provide and here are a few pointers to WWW sites for nationwide adoption agencies that list what they provide. The initial adoption fee for a dog may or may not be the entire amount you need to spend to get your new dog home and healthy.
If the adoption group you choose is a "full service" group, remember that they probably don't cover all the costs with your adoption fee. In the future you should probably make donations to the group to help other people adopt a greyhound.
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Many of the small organizations don't alter before adoption. They cannot afford it. If they work with a great vet, you may want to pay them to take care of it for you. Many of the groups that don't alter first give you a grace period before they require proof of alteration. (This can cost $45-$100).
Editors Note:
There is an 1-800 number for Spay/USA (part of The Pet Savers Foundation). The organization has a database of low-cost spay/neuter programs in the US: 1-800-248-SPAY.
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The organizations that alter first will usually check the teeth while the dog is "out". Make sure you check and offer to pay extra to have the dog's teeth cleaned at the same time. One time anesthesia with two procedures is much better than performing anesthesia twice. If the dog is over three years old his/her teeth probably need to be done automatically. (This can cost $80-$200).
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Most kennels and tracks give DHLPP and kennel cough vaccinations just to prevent problems in the high density housing, but seldom are the records available. It's usually best to "give a second" if there are any questions. Very few track dogs have been given rabies vaccinations, but if the dog is being transported across state lines to come live with you, wait until arrival. Some states don't accept other state's rabies certificates. (This can cost $5-$25).
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Most groups are checking (especially in areas where heartworm is prevalent), but some smaller organizations cannot afford to start preventative on all their dogs. If the test is negative, preventative must be started within 10 days. (The can cost $25-$50 for testing and $20-$35 for preventative).
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Not all Adoption Programs test for these diseases, though I've been told that many Southern California rescue groups are starting. Greyhound Friends for Life offers testing a couple of times a year. Ehrlichoisis and Babesiosis, are two relatively unknown tick-borne diseases.
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Most groups worm for hook, whip, and tape. But if the dog has an ongoing problem with fleas he/she may need to be wormed again. Droncit is the recommended tapeworm wormer (Costs $12-$30) and many of the Heartworm preventatives include wormers for whip and hook.
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Many larger groups are providing martingale-type collars for their adopted dogs and loan or rent out crates to see if the dog takes to them. For people adopting from smaller groups, make sure you know what kind of collar and leash are best for greyhounds and, if you're going to buy a crate, get it from a mail-order place (much cheaper). (Collar $6-$10, leash $7-$9, crate (500 VariKennel) $80 mail order., $130 in pet stores).
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This is important even if you don't have cats or small animals. You need to know ahead of time what to expect of your new dog. Find out how they test. Some groups send the prospective dog home with a foster family that has cats, others have "test" dogs or cats around the kennel. Make sure that the testing method mirrors your home situation (if they test with Scottish Terriers and you have a shy Italian Greyhound you might need to test further). Additional Insight
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Most groups wash the dogs with a good flea shampoo and trim the nails. Some groups clean ears and express anal glands, too. (Cost $25-$45).
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This is a very important consideration. Assess your lifestyle: husband/wife, children, other pets and housing situation. Try to recognize your needs in a dog and try not to go through the "exchange program" (most rescue organizations will exchange or take back your dog if it doesn't work out). Spend time organizing your thoughts on what you want in a dog and when you begin to talk to rescue organizations determine if they are interested in what you have gathered. Organizations will want you to fill out a basic form and generally will want you to come meet the dogs the next time they get a shipment, this is all fine if the organization is sensitive to your needs.

Make sure you think through what you want and need and find an organization that will fill your needs. This dog will share your life for the next 5-14 years!


The prices listed are approximate and run from a low (usually found mail order or through vet clinics) to full-service vet offices. :-)
Good luck! If you'd like some more info about Greyhound Adoptions you can drop me a line at Adoption
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