Our Adoption Process (updated 3-28-21)
With the closing of the Florida tracks at the end of 2020 and the declining number of greyhounds being bred and registered to race, we have made the decision to close our intake program. As a result, the dogs now in our program will be the last dogs available for adoption. We do have adoption applications on file and are working as quickly as possible to match these applicants with our adoptable dogs. However, we realize that our current applicants may not match up exactly with these hounds and want to keep the application process open for the near future.
Based on the characteristics of our remaining dogs and the requirements of existing applicants, we will no longer accept new applications from people who fall into any of the following categories: 1) live in an apartment, 2) have young children, and 3) have small dogs or cats in the home.
Our hope is that any new applicants will be able to take a higher prey drive dog. It is likely that these dogs will be the only ones left after we have worked through our current list of applicants. We appreciate your understanding and support.
Welcome to the first step in the process which we hope will result in your adding a beautiful and loving member to your family. Our adoption procedures are designed to ensure that a racing greyhound will be a good fit for you, your family and your lifestyle. No breed of dog is perfect for every family, so we encourage you to be honest and thoughtful in your responses. Adopting a dog represents a serious commitment in time, energy and money. Our Adoption Committee members will work with you during the adoption process and welcome your questions and comments after adoption to ensure your new greyhound is happy, healthy and has transitioned well into your home.
Retired racing greyhounds are unique in the dog world, not only for their personalities, but also because of the way they have been raised. We highly and strongly recommend that all prospective adopters read Retired Racing Greyhounds for Dummies by Lee Livingood. This book is an invaluable source of information and wisdom for the experienced greyhound owner as well as anyone new to our breed. It can be found at the library, most major bookstores (in paperback and Kindle editions) or at our office or gift shop.
Effective April 3, 2019, for Families with Children: GPA-Houston will NOT adopt to first-time greyhound adopters with children under the age of 8. Exception may be made for families who already have a greyhound with a child under the age of 8 who is dog savvy and displays appropriate behavior towards dogs. All adoptions for families with children will be made on a case-by-case basis.
The Adoption Committee carefully considers all adoptions according to the needs of both the family and the hound. For families with children over the age of 8, we require that you read Good Dog, Happy Baby by Mike Wombacher. Adoption approval will also be made on a case-by-case basis. This book can be found at our office or online gift shop.
IF YOU HAVE YOUNG CHILDREN, GRANDCHILDREN, YOUNG NIECES AND/OR NEPHEWS, ETC., PLEASE READ THE FOLLOWING HANDOUT.
Generally, greyhounds have not been exposed to young children during their racing careers, so we are very careful in adopting greyhounds to families with children. Since children and dogs of any breed are not necessarily a match made in heaven, an Adoption Representative will spend a great deal of time counseling families who have children.
*UPDATE 3-28-21: WITH THE CLOSING OF THE FLORIDA TRACKS AT THE END OF 2020 AND THE DECLINING NUMBER OF GREYHOUNDS BEING BRED AND REGISTERED TO RACE, WE HAVE MADE THE DECISION TO CLOSE OUR INTAKE PROGRAM. AS A RESULT, THE DOGS NOW IN OUR PROGRAM WILL BE THE LAST DOGS AVAILABLE FOR ADOPTION. WE DO HAVE ADOPTION APPLICATIONS ON FILE AND ARE WORKING AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE TO MATCH THESE APPLICANTS WITH OUR ADOPTABLE DOGS. HOWEVER, WE REALIZE THAT OUR CURRENT APPLICANTS MAY NOT MATCH UP EXACTLY WITH THESE HOUNDS AND WANT TO KEEP THE APPLICATION PROCESS OPEN FOR THE NEAR FUTURE.
BASED ON THE CHARACTERISTICS OF OUR REMAINING DOGS AND THE REQUIREMENTS OF EXISTING APPLICANTS, WE WILL NO LONGER ACCEPT NEW APPLICATIONS FROM PEOPLE WHO FALL INTO ANY OF THE FOLLOWING CATEGORIES: 1) LIVE IN AN APARTMENT, 2) HAVE YOUNG CHILDREN, OR 3) HAVE SMALL DOGS OR CATS IN THE HOME.
OUR HOPE IS THAT ANY NEW APPLICANTS WILL BE ABLE TO TAKE A HIGHER PREY DRIVE DOG. IT IS LIKELY THAT THESE DOGS WILL BE THE ONLY ONES LEFT AFTER WE HAVE WORKED THROUGH OUR CURRENT LIST OF APPLICANTS. WE APPRECIATE YOUR UNDERSTANDING AND SUPPORT.
Submit a Greyhound Adoption Application; PLEASE DO NOT USE A SMART PHONE TO SUBMIT THE APPLICATION AS IT WILL NOT REACH US. Please read the Application carefully and consider the importance of your responses. Adopting a Greyhound is a serious responsibility requiring a long-term commitment. You may print off and send in an application or complete an application online. YOU MUST BE AT LEAST 21 YEARS OLD TO SUBMIT AN ADOPTION APPLICATION. Please note that we only adopt within the Greater Houston Metropolitan area as we require a home visit.
If you submit an online Application, after submission you can pay via PayPal (a button will appear). You can also pay the Membership fee by calling the GPA-Houston Office with a credit card number during normal office hours or by sending a check or money order payable to GPA-Houston to GPA-Houston, 26214 Oak Ridge Drive, Spring, TX 77380 .
PLEASE NOTE THAT AN APPLICATION CANNOT BE CONSIDERED UNLESS IT IS COMPLETE AND A $25 MEMBERSHIP APPLICATION FEE HAS BEEN PAID. IF THE APPLICATION IS WITHDRAWN BY YOU, YOU WILL NOT RECEIVE A REFUND. ALL MEMBERSHIP APPLICATION FEES WILL BE DEPOSITED IN GPA-HOUSTON’S GENERAL OPERATING FUND. IF GPA-HOUSTON DECLINES YOUR APPLICATION FOR ANY REASON, WE WILL REFUND YOUR MEMBERSHIP APPLICATION FEE. GPA-HOUSTON RESERVES THE RIGHT TO DENY ANY APPLICATION FOR ADOPTION FOR ANY REASON AT ANY TIME.
After we have received your Application and payment, you will be contacted by an Adoption Representative within 72 hours to briefly discuss your Application. If after this initial conversation, you and the Adoption Representative agree that a greyhound may be a good fit for you and your family, an office visit will be scheduled.
Technology is a wonderful thing, but sometimes it fails us. If you are not contacted by email or telephone within 72 hours of submitting your Application, please let us know either by email , by telephone to 832-813-8419 or by fax 832-823-5326.
The Office Visit
The first office visit is the time for all of us to get to know each other, a chance to exchange ideas about dog training and behavior in general and greyhounds in particular. It is our time to answer your questions and to learn what you want and expect from a family companion. It is very important that ALL family members who will spend a great deal of time with the greyhound come to the office visit. If you have not had a chance to have a close encounter with a greyhound, there are always several dogs lying around in the office for you to pet. The office visit usually lasts about one hour.
The Home Visit
If you have not adopted from us before, a member of the Home Visit Committee will bring his or her personal dog to your home. The purpose of the home visit is to notice and alert you to any possible areas of your home or yard that may either pose a danger to a fast-moving greyhound or present an irresistible temptation to an inquisitive (and very tall) dog with a long tail. The volunteer can answer any questions you may have thought of since the office visit. After the home visit report is filed, your Application is submitted to the Adoption Committee for approval. Upon approval and depending whether we have fully vetted any available greyhounds who we think will suit your family and your lifestyle, it’s time for the final (and hardest) step – picking out your greyhound (actually, it is usually the greyhound who picks out his family).
If you currently have any pets or have had any pets in the past, we will do a vet check. We also call both your personal references and, if you rent your home, we do a landlord check to ensure a greyhound is allowed on the premises.
Based on your Application, office interview, Home Visit Reports and references, the Adoption Committee will have several dogs to recommend to you. During the process, we ask that you not fall madly in love with a particular dog you may see on the website (difficult as that may be) since there is no guarantee that that dog will be available when you are ready to adopt or that the dog is suitable for your home. Keep an open mind – on more than one occasion (probably closer to hundreds) a family comes in determined to leave with a small brindle female and departs joyfully with an 80-pound black male because he is THEIR DOG!!
Because adopting a greyhound is a very serious matter, GPA-Houston and the adopter(s) enter into an adoption contract that sets forth both parties’ rights and duties, a copy of which is furnished to the adopter.
The adoption fee for greyhounds under the age of eight is $300.00 plus applicable sales tax. For greyhounds 8 years old and above, the fee is $175.00 plus applicable sales tax. The adoption fees represent only part of the expense of vetting and caring for the greyhounds in our program. The remainder is raised through donations. Upon adoption, your membership application fee will pay your first year's membership dues; these dues are tax deductible and paid annually. The benefits of being a GPA-Houston member include, but are not limited to, access to all GPA events, subscription to the online monthly newsletter, monitoring by our 24/7 emergency answering service, and post-adoption support and counseling.
In addition to the greyhound itself, the adoption fee includes:
a special greyhound collar and matching leash
a greyhound muzzle
renowned dog behaviorist Patricia McConnell’s booklet "Leader of the Pack"
a GPA numbered ID tag identifying your dog and imprinted with our emergency number
a GPA adoption manual
(Dr.) Stack the Deck for Greyt Health
All greyhounds adopted from GPA-Houston have been spayed or neutered, have had their teeth cleaned if required (necessary in almost all cases), are current on their vaccinations (including Rabies, DHPP, Lepto and Bordetella), have been tested for heart worms and tick-borne diseases (and treated if necessary) and have been micro-chipped. The adopter will receive copies of all records of medical treatment of the greyhound while at GPA Houston. If the greyhound is due for heart worm preventative within one week of the date of adoption, we will provide a preventative tablet at no charge.
In January 2008, GPA Houston began testing its dogs for tick-borne diseases. While many people are familiar with Lyme Disease and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, there are other similar diseases spread by ticks which represent a danger to our dogs. Unfortunately, these diseases, which in the past were confined to limited areas of the country, are spreading. Since most vets who practice exclusively in urban areas have never encountered a tick-borne disease, they are often unfamiliar with the very wide variety of symptoms that a dog can exhibit, often confusing a tick-borne disease with another condition.
All of tick-borne disease testing is done through ProtaTek International, Inc. Protatek Reference Laboratory (PRL), a division of ProtaTek International, provides high quality animal health diagnostic testing and services and is considered a leading service provider for the detection of a variety of viral, protozoal, rickettsial, fungal, bacterial, and other animal health diseases. PRL has provided customized and exceptional services to veterinarians and researchers for over 15 years. A focus on quality service, rapid results, and in-house expertise distinguishes PRL from other reference laboratories.
Fortunately, tick-borne diseases are treatable. WE WANT TO EMPHASIZE THAT A HUMAN BEING CANNOT CONTRACT A TICK-BORNE DISEASE FROM A DOG. THE ONLY WAY A HUMAN BEING CAN CONTRACT A TICK-BORNE DISEASE IS FROM A TICK. Most racing greyhounds adopted in the United States are not tested prior to adoption. Our organization feels that, because these diseases represent a sufficient threat to the long-term health of our dogs, we will test for them and, if necessary, treat the animals prior to adoption.
Thank you for your interest in adopting one of these wonderful dogs. We look forward to receiving your Application and perhaps soon to seeing your picture with your new loving friend on the Adoptions page.
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