Screening and Placement
After a few days, when you have had time to somewhat evaluate your foster, you will receive an email inviting you to join the SEGA Foster Yahoo Group page. We will also email you a “Foster Dog Report Card” asking you some basic questions about your foster Greyhound’s temperament and behavior in your home. Please fill the Report Card out as soon as you feel you can relay helpful information and send it back to your foster coordinator. This information will help our Screening and Placement Committee find a good match for your foster Greyhound.
Please feel free to make ample use of the SEGA Foster Yahoo Group if you have any questions or concerns. Several families have been fostering for SEGA for years and they can offer valuable insight into your experience. Also, please post to the Foster Yahoo Group page with comments on your foster and send any photos you would like to share.
Once a prospective adopter has been approved for a Greyhound, Screening and Placement will try to “match” him or her with one of the Greyhounds in foster care or in the adoption kennel. They will then call you and give you the prospective adopter’s name and number. They will also let you know if these people are going to “browse” among all of the Greyhounds available or if your foster is the best possible match for them. Once they give you the name and number, please contact your prospective adopter to arrange a meeting.
There will be times when you will be asked to bring your foster Greyhound to the adoption kennel if the prospective adopter is going to meet several hounds. Please be prepared to make yourself available to answer questions about your foster, but do not hover. This may deter the potential adopter. It is important for the adopter to have alone-time with the dog in order to establish a connection. You may choose to drop off the foster at the kennel and return a short time later.
If you and the potential adopter live far from each other, please arrange for the prospective adopter to meet your foster Greyhound in a mutually convenient place of your choice.
If the potential adopter comes to your home, please don’t let your own dogs take center stage. Your own Greyhounds probably look sleek and beautiful after years of home life and can make the Greyhound off the track look a little rough. Also be aware that the foster may seem a little more stand-offish than your dogs because his/her personality may not have emerged yet.
While you are “showing” your foster Greyhound, please be as candid as possible. Answer questions strictly considering your own experience with that particular Greyhound. We all have a tendency to tell stories about our pets, but all dogs are different. For example, a prospective adopter might get the impression that all Greyhounds love their crates if you explain that yours do. The opinions that you express should only be those concerning your foster dog. Help the prospective adopters learn as much as possible about the foster Greyhound and not every other Greyhound you know.
After you feel that you have answered most of the prospective adopter’s questions, give him or her some time alone with the dog. We don’t want anyone to feel pressured into an adoption. Each adopter has to “take ownership” of his decision – we are not there to decide for adopters. They also may want to look over the Greyhound further, without wanting to appear to be too picky. Some of the most commonly asked questions will be about the minor scrapes that are in the process of healing, happy tail, elbow calluses and “bald thigh syndrome.” Answer to the best of your knowledge and feel free to ask a SEGA representative if you are unsure of an answer. Please read and follow SEGA’s Guidelines for Volunteers, which is also posted to our website.
Finalizing the Adoption
If the prospective adopter decides to adopt your foster Greyhound after the visit, it is time for you to “close” the adoption. It is very important that the finalizing of the adoption in the foster home be done correctly and completely. Follow these procedures:
- The adopter must have the adoption contract explained paragraph by paragraph to him or her, and must sign the agreement before taking the Greyhound. Also, the adopter must give you a check in the sum of $450 made payable to SEGA. Do not allow the adopter to take the dog unless you have a signed contract and a check.
- If possible, send a baggie of the food you have been feeding with the dog when it goes to its new home. If the new owners are feeding something different, they can slowly mix that in with what they use.
- If your foster Greyhound is “crate-hesitant” be sure you show the prospective adopter the gentle shove behind the hind quarters it may take to get him in.
Don’t be surprised if you are a little sad or if your house seems strangely quiet after your foster Greyhound is gone. It is like parenting — the real statement of the good you have done happens after your charges “leave the nest.” Of course, you will have the wonderful memories and peace of mind that you have truly done something to help another creature, not to mention the limitless gratitude of a wonderful dog whose days might have been numbered if not for programs like ours.