Fostering Follies: The Fun, Frustration and Focus of Fostering

Aug 05, 2022

Fostering a retired greyhound is one of the most rewarding things a person can do. But how do you decide if you’re ready to do it? Would you like to know more about what’s involved? We are here to answer all your questions!

When I first discovered Greyhounds as Pets, I honestly immediately dismissed the idea of fostering. I assumed it would be too hard, and that I wasn’t anywhere near knowledgeable enough to manage it. It is by sheer luck (or rather, my partner’s apprehension about adoption) that I ended up a foster parent in 2018.

Fostering was the perfect start for us – it meant we could spend some time with a beautiful hound, with no pressure to keep them after the foster period. Sure, there were some bumps along the road – but ultimately it was the best decision we ever made.

Through Greyhounds as Pets, the foster period fills the ‘gap’ between racing life and pet life. It can be very daunting for retired greyhounds to enter pet life – they have never done it before, and there are a surprising number of things they’ve never encountered before. My first foster hound, Bean, ran straight into our glass back door – she sure learnt that lesson fast!

Other things that a hound might be new to are things like the TV, kitchen noises, and sharing space with yourself, other family members, and other pets. Some hounds seem to have come from another planet for the first few days as a pet – everything is brand new and overwhelming. A good routine and a bit of patience go a long way.

Greyhounds as Pets is always looking for foster carers of all kinds – the only inherent requirements are that you are over 18 and have at least a 1.5m fencing - if you do have a yard as well as some shade/weather protection. Despite common belief, you do not need to be home all day to be a foster carer! Greyhound fostering is suited to all kinds of household makeups.

When you foster, you are fully supported by GAP – they have a 24/7 emergency phone line and vet care is covered. If the dog you are fostering is completely unsuited to your home, they do have the capacity to move it to a more suitable carer. Your foster hound comes with food, a muzzle, a coat, and a lead – all foster gear is provided by GAP so there are no costs to foster carers – unless you want to buy your greyhound something special

Okay – this all sounds great – but what if you fall in love? I won’t hide the fact that I did. My first foster hound was a ‘foster fail’ – she’s still mine now, four years on. All foster carers are given the first option to adopt and this decision is made just before or at the time of the greyhounds Green Collar Assessment. This is a big misconception within fostering and homes with the idea that foster carers can't keep their fostered greyhound, however, no greyhounds are matched until we get confirmation you, the fosterer, don’t want to adopt. . Simply let GAP know as soon as possible, and you can call your beloved foster yours forever.

So, what next? My first recommendation is to head to the GAP website and read the wealth of information housed there. If you’re still sold, then it’s time to give them a call and chat about meeting your first foster baby!

Thinking of fostering a greyhound or want to learn more? Come visit the GAP SA team at our Foster and Adoption day on Saturday the 13th of August. The GAP team will be there from 11 am till 1 pm to assist you whether you need more information on greyhound fostering or helping you foster a greyhound now. 

Author: Charlie Jayde
Greyhound Owner for 4 years / GAP Volunteer
Experienced Dog Trainer

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