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Filling the GAP: Foster care prepares greyhounds for adoption

Fostering is a rewarding way to help greyhounds transition from racing to retirement. One of GRV’s key goals is to rehome racing greyhounds through the Greyhound Adoption Program (GAP). Once greyhounds successfully pass GAP’s training program and temperament assessment, they are given a green GAP collar and are ready for adoption.

Some greyhounds take more time to adjust to life after racing. These dogs are placed in trained foster homes with volunteers who genuinely care about greyhounds and want to see these dogs find new homes.

Jenni Jobling is a GAP volunteer. Her family had a whippet growing up and she loves the greyhound breed. She owns a greyhound named Jet, a newly retired Delta Therapy dog, who used to visit Geelong hospital and retirement homes to comfort patients.

“We had done many years of volunteering for GAP at Adoption Days and other Community Events. We then wanted to try to find a suitable companion grey for Jet,” Jenni said.

“Fostering was the ideal way to help GAP whilst learning about having a second dog in the house, as well as making sure we found a dog with a temperament to suit our very laid-back Jet.”

She began fostering greyhounds in September 2017 and says it is a privilege to teach greyhounds to be a pet.

“Fostering is an ideal way for people to actively support GAP and assist greyhounds transition from their kennel/racing life to their new ‘forever’ home. It is so fun to teach the greys all about little things that we often forget are so new to them – stairs, windows/doors, children, bicycles, etc,”she said.

“It is a positive experience, knowing that the foster hounds are so well cared for and are certain to go to a wonderful home.”

Jenni has fostered three greyhounds for the GAP and is pleased the dogs have all found homes since they stayed with her. She recalled a blue greyhound she fostered named Jay. Following foster care, Jay passed the GAP assessment and was ready for adoption.

Some time later, Jenni was setting up her booth at the Meadows Community Day and met a young family who had arrived early to be the first to see a greyhound. They wanted to adopt Jay and she was able to tell them all about him. The family took Jay home and Jenni was delighted to help him. “That particular dog was always go, go, go. He really needed to go to a family with kids,” she said.

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“It is very special to be able to see a new family select the foster dog you cared for, knowing that they will be very happy together.”

While fostering can be challenging, it is incredibly worthwhile. Foster homes help greyhounds adjust to life as pets and to get adopted. To learn more about fostering greyhounds, please visit http://gap.grv.org.au/volunteering/foster-care/.

The next Adoption Day will be held on December 2, 2018 in Shepparton.