GPA-WI does not perform on-site, on-the-fly adoptions. Our adoption process is similar to the adoption protocols of many animal welfare and humane societies. Our adoption process is:
- You complete an adoption application and pay a non-refundable application fee.
- Initial conversation to introduce you to your adoption representative, to answer any questions you have at the time and to explain our adoption process and timeline.
- We check your references, including your current vet and landlord (if applicable).
- A visit to your home by your GPA-WI adoption representative with his or her own greyhound.
- You meet potential greyhounds in our holding kennel in Burlington, Wisconsin or other location.
- Once you and your greyhound choose each other, your adoptable hound moves to a short-term foster home.
- Your adoption day arrives.
This thorough application and home visit process helps us develop a detailed profile of applicants. We then we aim to match the right greyhound with the right home. Due to this optimal placement procedure, not all the adoptable greyhounds featured at our website will necessarily be a good fit for your unique family circumstances. This process yields a higher percentage of successful adoptions, and most importantly, quality homes for the dogs. Additionally, GPA-WI offers a support network available to all adopters for the life of their ex-racers, and many adopters contact GPA-WI for a second or third greyhound.
Not everyone qualifies to adopt. If you are looking for a gentle, loving, family companion who will be a house dog, you’re our kind of adopter. If you don’t have adequate time, or you’re looking for a backyard or doghouse-style dog, greyhounds are not the dog for you; please don’t apply.
GPA-WI application process in more detail
GPA-WI does not sell greyhounds, nor do we give them away. We believe that getting a greyhound is an adoption process:
- Adoption application: All potential adopters are asked to complete an online or written application and submit an application, which gives us background information about the individual or family.
- Telephone interview: The application is followed up by a telephone interview conducted by a GPA-WI volunteer. During the phone interview, the volunteer answers questions and addresses the special needs of the ex-racing greyhound — those needs range from being on leash in the outside world to being a house dog to special medical requirements.
- Reference checks: We check the references you provided on your application, especially if you’re renting your apartment or home. It’s vital that we secure landlord permission to have a dog the size of a greyhound in your property. Likewise, if you’re already a pet owner, we’ll obtain your vet’s recommendation on adding a greyhound to your home.
- Home visit: The next step is an in-home visit where a GPA-WI adoption rep will visit the potential adopter’s home. The adoption rep will usually take his or her own greyhound so the adopters can envision a greyhound in their own house. We use this visit to gather information about what the family is looking for in a dog, the family’s schedule and the safety of the home environment as well as getting to know any other pets the family may have.
- Meet potential greyhounds: Once an adopter is approved, the adoption rep will schedule an appointment for the adopter to meet greyhounds at the GPA-WI kennel located in Burlington. The time between approval and visiting the kennel may be a few weeks, so please be patient! The wait is worth it. At the kennel, the adopter will meet currently adoptable dogs that best fit the adopter’s needs.
- Foster home: After the adopter selects a greyhound at the kennel, the greyhound will spend two weeks in a foster home. GPA-WI adoptions rely on greyhound-savvy families to act as foster homes for ex-racers to make the transition to home life to prepare for adoption; most retired greyhounds have never seen stairs, doors and windows.
- Formal adoption: A time is scheduled for the formal adoption. During this session, which lasts approximately one hour, the GPA-WI volunteer and adopting family will complete paperwork, and answer any additional questions. We ask for an adoption fee to help cover our expenses associated with placing the greyhound.
The time frame from application to adoption: your patience is most appreciated!
Due to our organization being 100% volunteers and your unique home situation, the time frame from application submission to adoption varies greatly. For example, if you’re located farther away from our core operating areas — Milwaukee, Madison, La Crosse, Eau Claire and Green Bay — it may take extra time to schedule for one of our volunteers to travel to your home. If you’re looking for a cat-friendly greyhound, it’s important to note that about 1/3 of our greyhounds will test cat-friendly, so there’s typically a longer wait time for a cat-friendly hound. Likewise, many of our volunteers perform multiple roles within our organization as well as their own paying jobs and lives. We’ll do our best to process applications as expeditiously as possible, but day and possibly weeks may pass. If in doubt, contact your GPA-WI adoption rep to get a status on your application and expected timeline. Your patience is most appreciated.