About Our Rescue Group...
GREAT, Inc. is a non-profit Greyhound rescue and adoption organization located in central Florida. We find homes for Greyhounds that can no longer compete in racing. GREAT has placed over a thousand greyhounds since 1990.
Although we are not affiliated with the racing industry, we do receive our dogs from the trainers and owners who want to place their retired racers in private homes. We also take in stray greyhounds that have been surrendered to animal shelters.
The Greyhounds we receive are evaluated through our foster care program. Foster care provides a temporary home for the Greyhound during its transition from track to home.
Our main objectives are to achieve greater public awareness about retired racing Greyhounds available for adoption, and to provide education on how wonderful Greyhounds are as house pets.
The success of our organization depends solely on the efforts of volunteers, our network of foster parents, and donations from the community.
Volunteering is a way you can help. GREAT always needs volunteers to help with the dogs at public appearances and other functions, such as fundraisers and special events throughout the year. Please call 813-971-4732 if you are interested in becoming a volunteer.
Our Adoption Process...
A greyhound can be a wonderful pet. They tend to be mellow, calm, quiet, and easy-going dogs. The breed is typically gentle and affectionate. Most require little exercise and are frequently described as the "world's fastest couch potato". The greyhound stands approximately 24 to 29 inches. Males are about 65 to 85 pounds; females are about 55 to 70 pounds. Greyhounds come in three patterns: solid, parti-colored (white with patches of another solid color or brindle), and brindle (a mixture of stripes of color). The colors are red, fawn, black, white, or blue (gray). Given proper care a greyhound can live to be 12 to 15 years old. Greyhounds available for adoption are usually between two and five years old.
Most greyhounds that have been racers have had limited exposure to children. Even though their temperament is very gentle and affectionate, due to the inability of very young children to understand dog safety rules, GREAT does not place greyhounds in households with children under the age of six. Also, because they have spent their racing careers in kennels, they are not technically house-broken, but they are kennel-broken, meaning they have been trained to eliminate outside and not to soil their kennels. Before a greyhound is available for adoption he/she stays with a foster parent for at least two weeks. During this period a schedule for "going-out" is established which sets a routine for the dog. Adoptive parents can reinforce this training by establishing a schedule and sticking to it. The organization will loan the adoptive family a crate (for a refundable deposit) for three weeks to aid in the dog's training. During the dog's stay with the foster parent their temperament is evaluated to see, among other things, what his/her reaction is to other dogs and small animals. The majority of greyhounds placed by GREAT live harmoniously with cats and other dogs. During this period they are also switched from a diet that consists of mostly raw meat to a diet of a pet store quality dry dog food. Their foster parents introduce new situations such as sliding glass doors, furniture, stairs, and windows and train them to handle such situations.
If you would like to find out more about adopting a greyhound, call the GREAT line at (813) 971-4732. If you wish to adopt a greyhound, fill out the Adoption Form online and submit it to GREAT. All questionnaires are evaluated by the Adoption Committee. After the review has been completed and eligibility is established, a representative will contact you to arrange a time to meet you in your home for a home advisory. The home advisory is to answer any questions you might have and provide helpful information. Because of the home advisory, only applications from Hillsborough, Pinellas, Polk and Pasco Counties in Florida can be considered.
The adoption fee is a $200 non-refundable donation. This fee includes a solid leash & collar, muzzle, and GREAT tag, and micro chip, and also covers spay or neuter surgery, teeth cleaning, an occult heartworm exam, a Parvo-distemper booster with Corona, a Bordetella and Rabies vaccination, and a fecal exam. Deworming is provided to all foster dogs and all dogs are started on heartworm medication. The state of Florida requires that all dogs placed for adoptions by a shelter are to be surgically sterilized within 30 days of the adoption. GREAT's policy is to handle this procedure before a greyhound is placed in a home. You will need to take the greyhound to your veterinarian within two weeks for an exam, heartworm preventative, and rabies license tag. This will be at your expense. After you have done so, you will need to mail your receipts to GREAT to fulfill that part of the adoption requirements.
There are books recommended for reading if you are considering adopting a retired racing greyhound:
ADOPTING THE RACING GREYHOUND
by Cynthia Branigan
RETIRED RACING GREYHOUNDS FOR DUMMIES
by Lee Livingood
A COMPLETE OWNER'S MANUAL
by D. Caroline Coile
Procedure to adopt a greyhound
1. Complete the Adoption Form, located on www.great-greyhound.org.
2. Your application will be reviewed and processed.
3. Once the application is processed and the information is satisfactory, you will be called and a home visit will be scheduled. This meeting is to answer any questions you may have and provide helpful information about introducing the greyhound into your family.
4. Within 24 hours after the home visit, you will be contacted by the adoption coordinator and told whether or not you have been approved for adoption. If approved, you will work with your adoption coordinator on finding the best match for your home and family.