Being a greyhound myself, I am obviously interested in the rehoming of other greyhounds. So I asked a few questions. Some of the answers are a little unsettling.
1. How do you find out about the hounds that need homes? Do the kennels contact you or you go to them?
We’re mainly contacted directly from Greyhound Trainers, Kennel hands, Dog pound pullers, people forwarding us dogs at risk on Facebook, through different rescue groups or people needing to rehome their own dog.
Due to the reputation of BGP we are being contacted more and more for help, with other dogs not just greyhounds. Unfortunately we just haven’t enough foster homes, therefore we have recently rented some kennels. We are currently in the process of getting these to our required standard before the opening day on Saturday 28th June. BGP isn’t funded, therefore everything is funded by kind donations and regular fundraising.
2. How many do you have with you at the moment?
We currently have 20. 10 ex-racing Greyhounds, 3 Podenco’s, 5 Lurchers, 1 Galgo and 1 Staffy
3. Are they mostly healthy when you get them?
Healthy mainly, however usually in bad condition. The majority of the ex-racers we receive in require dentals (some requiring multiple teeth to be removed) this is a huge expense to BGP but they must have been so uncomfortable being left as they had. They often have sores (especially on their behind) from sleeping on low quality bedding such as straw or torn up paper for 20+ hours a day while in racing kennels. Some come to us with damaged tails, where they have hit them against the small cages causing them to split, this can take a long time to heal, requiring daily bandage changes, and occasionally the tail to be part amputated to aid the healing process. Mentally some are so terrified and this takes a lot of time and TLC to overcome.
Some of the older dogs we rescue stay with us for life due to their age/illnesses. They go into our forever foster homes, with BGP paying for their food & vets bills so they can live out their life in a loving warm home.
4. What checks do you do before you let someone adopt a greyhound?
I will do a phone interview with them first, to help find out their situation, why they want to adopt and try to match the right dog to the right person.
Usually people are on Facebook, or are friends of people we know which helps, but we also have to use our own instinct as much as possible, there’s only so much you can find out from internet searches .
We have experienced home checkers who will then visit their home, we have numerous set questions to ask (closed, open & situation based) which helps with our decision making, and we look at other things such as is their garden secure.
We then arrange a meet & greet, so they can see the dog & we can see how they interact.
They would not have been spayed / castrated when they arrive so BGP pay for this procedure; this helps to ensure they do not end up in the wrong hands being used for breeding.
All BGP dogs are registered for life with BGP on their microchips, this is another safeguard we do to ensure the dogs do not get sold on, or end up in another rescue.
5. Do adopters get advice on house training and how to look after them?
During the phone interview, home check, meet & greet and when they come to collect their new hound they will be advised on everything, from house training (they would have been told previously whether the dog was house trained or not), to how to fit their collars properly, feeding & exercise etc. Myself, along with the Foster carer will be in constant contact, and we have a fabulous Facebook group where people can always ask questions and receive responses from other experienced greyhound owners
We also have basic information available on our website
6. Do many of them come back to you to get rehomed again?
Thankfully only a very small percentage, but it is still heart breaking and really frustrating for us as it can really unsettle the dog being moved from place to place. It also means we have to say no to the dog that was going to take its place in the foster home, putting that dog’s life at risk.
7. What are the usual reasons for people bringing them back?
People decide that they can’t commit to a dog, they don’t realise the work involved in looking after another life regardless of the breed.
Also things like they haven’t settled, or they’re showing different behaviour (from being stressed) which actually would stop after a few days/weeks. People are prepared to work for months training puppies, but expect a rescue dog just to fit in straight away. Imagine how scary and worrying it must be being moved to a strange home with strange people, new smells, no one understanding what you really want, no one understanding how you communicate. It can take some dogs weeks, sometime months to settle properly. People must understand this, how can a dog truly be themselves if they are terrified and confused?
8. Do some colours get chosen more than others?
We always find any colour apart from black is chosen first, the black males are always the last to be adopted. This is a problem in pounds also, the black dogs are just always overlooked.
9. Do you keep in touch with all the hounds after they have been adopted?
We do as much as possible, especially for the first six months. We find that the majority of adoptive parents join our Facebook community, where they keep us updated with photo’s and stories, we love it! We also perform post adoption checks to ensure they are settling in.
10. Do you have one yourself?
I have 7 Greyhounds plus 1 galgo, 6 cats and 15 hens (all rescued). Who says greyhounds can’t live with other animals J.
I feel very lucky that my Mom didn’t feel that way when she adopted me.