How to adopt a retired Racing-Greyhound

General information
Are fences required?
Ready to adopt? What to consider
The application
The house visit
The adoption fee
Preparation to bring your Greyhound home
Items you will need
The big day - bringing your Greyhound home
After the adoption

We want each potential adopter to take the time, before they adopt, to learn about retired racing Greyhounds to fully understand the type of dog they will be adopting. This way, a potential adopter can be sure that a Greyhound fits their expectations and lifestyle.

If you decide a Greyhound is right for you and your situation and you are interested in adopting a Greyhound, we recommend reading one of the following books on greyhound adoption: Adopting the Racing Greyhound by Cynthia Branigan (Revised Edition), or Retired Racing Greyhounds for Dummies by Lee Livingood. You can also attend one of our Meet & Greets and talk to other adopters about your needs and Greyhounds. If you have young children, we strongly recommend that you read Childproofing Your Dog by Brian Kilcommons. The more you know, the happier your dog and you will be.

You MUST keep your Greyhound on a leash whenever it is outdoors unless it is in a fenced-in area. Never trust your Greyhound to not run away. They can be very difficult to get back and percentages show that the majority of Greyhounds are hit by cars if they get loose. While in a fenced in yard, keep a lock on your gate. The majority of greyhounds escape through an unlocked gate. We will supply information on how not to become a member of the runaway club.

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are required when there are children in the home. Occasionally exceptions are made if the children are older.

Invisible/underground fencing is not an acceptable containment system for your Greyhound. Greyhounds can reach racing speed in just a few strides and they will go right through any invisible fencing. Also, tie-outs and clothesline type runs are also not acceptable and very dangerous for your Greyhound. When a Greyhound reaches the end of the line at 45 mph, they are likely to break their neck. Greyhounds are house companions and that is the only acceptable environment for your new Greyhound.

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Joey’s Greyhounds will not place a greyhound in a home with children under 5 years old.

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Are You Ready to Adopt? Consider the following:
  • They need an annual health check.

  • They need to be on heartworm preventative.

  • They need to be fed a premium dog food.

  • They will need flea and tick control during the warmer months.

  • They can become sick or injured and need medical treatment.

Greyhounds will come to you as adults. Greyhounds may live to 12 or 14 years of age therefore requiring a long-term commitment on your part. They have already been socialized at the track and that is their only life experience.  Since they have never had anything of their very own, in the beginning your greyhound may not know how to share a favorite toy or coveted item. Greyhounds are used to a regimented routine at the track. Their entire world consists of their crate, turn-out pen, training, and racing. If your Greyhound sees food, he or she will think it is meant for them and will not know that the food on your kitchen counter or in your trash can is off limits to them.  Greyhounds are not used to being awakened by touch and some greyhounds may react in a defensive way. Initially, they can become overwhelmed with too many people and too much attention.

Your greyhound has been tested for heartworm and is currently on a heartworm preventative. After adoption, it is your responsibility to make sure your greyhound is on a heartworm preventative. All current dogs in a prospective home must also be on monthly heartworm preventative and up to date on vaccinations before we can place a greyhound in your home. Exceptions may be made for a senior dog.

The good news is that Greyhounds are one of the most adaptable breeds in the world. They are quick learners and intelligent dogs which makes them wonderful companion dogs. Your Greyhound will look to you to teach it how to live in a new, exciting, and vastly different world. You are responsible for giving your Greyhound a second chance at a new life. The rewards are great for both owner and Greyhound.

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The Application
You can call for an application to be mailed to you, e-mail us or print out the application from the website and email it to us or you fill out our online-form. Once your application is received, someone will call you to schedule a telephone interview and home visit. If you do not hear from us within a few days, please call since occasionally technology fails.

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The Home Visit
During the home visit, we will go over how to care for your Greyhound. We will also be looking for safety issues that may need to be addressed before you bring your new Greyhound home.

We will work closely with you to match the right greyhound with your family’s needs. The better we get to know you, the easier it will be to find the right match for your family. Our goal is to find the right greyhound for you.  We want our adoptions to last forever!

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The Adoption Fee
Adoption fees help cover the Greyhound's spay/neuter, dental, vaccinations, heartworm check, worming, new collar and leash, physical exam, transportation, and care while the dog is fostered. The regular adoption fee is $250.00. The adoption fee for senior or special needs Greyhound is $150.00.

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The Preparation to Bring Your Greyhound Home
Locks for your gates. Locks are required on all gates before adoption. The majority of greyhounds are lost from backyards through an open gate left open by a serviceman or child. The second most common way of escaping is out the front door. Clean up your yard. Make sure your yard is free of all sticks or other sharp objects that may cut or injure your Greyhound. Remove any mushrooms growing in your yard as they are often toxic.

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Items You Will Need:

  • ID tag for your Greyhound. We suggest that you put on the tag the following: “I am Lost”, then your name, two phone numbers, and address.

  • Martingale Collar. A Martingale collar and leash will come with your dog. Regular dog collars should not be used as they will slip off too easily due to a Greyhound’s sleep and thin head.

  • Raised Dog Feeder Stand and Bowls. It is more comfortable for Greyhound to eat from 14 to 16 inches from the floor. It puts less strain on their back and legs, especially as your Greyhound ages. You can make your own feeder stand.

  • Soft Dog Bed. Greyhounds have thin skin and need soft beds. You can purchase one beforehand or use a combination of sleeping bags, comforters and dog beds. Make sure you buy a size large enough for a Greyhound. Their bed is where they spend a great deal of time and they will not seek out your bed if they have a very soft tempting place to sleep.

  • Baby Gates and Crates. If you plan on crating your Greyhound in the beginning, make sure you have the appropriate size and type of crate. We recommend a 48” long crate. If you plan on using baby gates, we recommend metal baby gates. Wood ones are very tempting chews! Please ask if you have any questions about crates and gates.

  • Groom Mitt. Greyhounds have sensitive skin. We recommend a rubber-nubbed mitt. If you desire, you may purchase a groom mitt on the day of the adoption from us. The cost is $5.50 (+S&H).

  • Toys. Greyhounds love to play with stuffed toys and will be happy with anything that squeaks, grunts or any combination thereof. Most greyhounds have never had toys and it might take them a few weeks to learn what toys are all about, but it is important that you provide them. They will love you for it!

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The Big Day - Bringing Your New Greyhound Home!
We supply a one-inch, plain martingale collar, tag, leash, and muzzle.

You will be required to sign an adoption agreement on the day of the adoption. The adoption fee is due at this time. Adoption fees help cover the Greyhound’s spay/neuter, vaccinations, heartworm check, physical exam, transportation, and care while the dog is fostered. You will also receive medical records and additional articles on how to care for your Greyhound.

You should have on hand a good premium dog food (download our info "How to grade your dog's food" by clicking here) and yogurt which often helps the food transition go more smoothly.

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After the Adoption
Obtain a dog license.

Schedule a wellness visit with your vet so you can purchase heartworm prevention for your Greyhound.

Our Commitment to you and Your Commitment to your New Greyhound:

We follow up with calls and visits, as needed, to ensure that your new greyhound's transition is smooth. Please call us if you have any questions or concerns about your Greyhound. Any dog - at any time, for any reason - is welcomed back.

You are making a commitment for the life of the dog. Greyhounds possess a certain magic. Many adopters opt to chip and swear you can’t have just one Greyhound. So please be sure to call us when you are ready to chip and adopt another!

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Additional Options

...for Joey’s Greyhound Friends. Thank You!

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Please download the "Joey's Greyhound Friends" Adoption Application Form here or fill out our online-form.

If you submit an application to adopt or foster a greyhound and do not receive a phone call from a Joey’s Greyhound representative within two days, please call us as sometimes technology does fail. Thank You!

Please learn here more about Greyhounds, Greyhounds and Children, small animals and Greyhounds and much more...

Greyhounds actually come in many colors. Here you can download the Color Chart!

Greyhound Tatoos
What do those ear tattoos mean? The number in the right ear is the date of birth which should be three digits plus one alpha digit. First digit signifies the month of birth, the next digit is the year of birth and the last digit – the alpha character – signifies the order in which they were tattooed. The number in their left ear is the litter number.

For example, a tattoo in the right ear that says 53C means the greyhound was born in May (5th month) of 2003 and was the third in the litter to be tattooed.