ABOUT FRIENDS OF RETIRED GREYHOUNDS
Friends of Retired Greyhounds is a 501c3 non-profit, all volunteer organization dedicated to working with kennel operators and other adoption groups to place retired greyhounds in responsible, loving homes. We work with veterinarians to insure that greyhounds adopted from us are vaccinated, spayed/neutered, and in general good health before placing them in homes. We also educate individuals and groups about greyhounds, their history, their lives as racing dogs, and our adoption program.
FORgreyhounds was started April 12, 2001 when seven friends met and voted to start an adoption group to help retired racing greyhounds find couches. FORgreyhounds, now Friends of Retired Greyhounds organization’s key mission then and now remains the same. Fast-forward twelve years and Friends of Retired Greyhounds is bigger and more efficient than before. With years of experience under our belts of placing greyhounds in their forever and loving homes, the sky is the limit with what we will be able to accomplish in the years to come.
What is our mission?
Friends of Retired Greyhounds strives to find loving forever homes for retired greyhounds and we work to educate the public about the breed as well as the life that greyhounds live as “professional athletes”.
Where we get our greyhounds
Friends of Retired Greyhounds works with race kennels across the U.S. to obtain as many retired racers as we are able. We also accept greyhounds from greyhound farms and shelters.
How does FORG help the Greyhounds?
The greyhounds are put through a very thorough medical check including: spay/neuter, dental cleaning, full shots, heartworm test, fecal test, micro chipping, and a full physical. Once they are medically cleared, they either go to private foster homes or the Cell Dog Program until they find their forever and loving home.
FORG’s Adoption Program
Our adoption program is the most important piece of the organization. Greyhounds are wonderful dogs, but may not be appropriate for every household. The adoption of a greyhound is a very involved process. FORG works hard to make certain the adoptive home is the right and permanent home for a greyhound, and the greyhound is the best match for the household. FORG works in partnership with each adoptive parent to place the best match with him or her. To begin the process an adopter will fill out an adoption application, which is than sent to our adoption director Lee Simpson, who reviews it and replies back to the applicant within 24 to 48 hours. Lee or one of her adoption coordinators then contacts the adopter and the process begins. The first step in the adoption process is a home visit. During our home visit, we answer any questions an adopter may have, give them necessary information about greyhounds in general and their transition from their role as an athlete to that of a pet and make sure the environment is favorable and safe for the grey. We make sure they have an understanding that a greyhound is a sight hound, that needs to be leashed when not in an enclosed area, and that they have very little body fat so they are not an outside dog (if you’re hot they are hot and if you are cold they are cold). We are also looking at the circumstances and conditions that are necessary for us to complement with an appropriate grey to match those conditions. Once we get a good feel for the dynamics of a household, we begin the process of matching a grey to the adopters’ situation. We will make recommendations of certain greys for an adopter to meet but it will be up to the adopter to find the one that he/she falls in love with. For many, it may the first one they meet. For others they will need to meet many. The timing of all this varies depending upon many circumstances. During normal times, the turnaround time from start to finish, is around two to three weeks.
FORG’s Foster Program
Foster families help our greys get used to a life of full retirement. Fostering is an incredibly rewarding experience that requires a real commitment. A grey comes from the track with no knowledge of a normal pet’s life. The private foster homes keep the greys until they get adopted and teach them the basics of home living. Patient fosters help a grey transition into the outside world and become a good prospective pet. The foster parent is one of the most important people in the greyhound's road to a forever home and happy life. It is one of the most important elements in forming the grey's hopeful future. We have found that foster homes are the best judge of what kind of home is the best fit for their foster dog’s particular needs. The wonderful part of fostering is knowing that you played a tremendous and extremely crucial role in getting a grey ready for its loving and forever home. Fosters really matter, and they make a big difference!
FORG’s Cell Dog Program
Friends of Retired Greyhounds is the only greyhound adoption organization in Colorado that is involved with a cell dog program. The Cell Dog program is a partnership between Friends of Retired Greyhounds and a medium security prison. Crowley County Correctional Facility (CCCF) and Friends of Retired Greyhounds have partnered to allow inmates to foster greyhounds that have been taken from the tracks and given a second chance. Formed in conjunction with the CCCF, our Cell Dog program offers retired greys and prison inmates an opportunity for personal growth and positive experience, while giving back to the community. Greys in the program, graduate with basic obedience and socialization skills that make them a great pet for a permanent family home. Inmates gain the emotional healing that comes from the unconditional love of a dog, formal dog training skills, and better parenting skills. Studies show that such programs raise self-esteem of inmates involved, raise general prison population morale for both participants and non-participants, provide rehabilitation, and teach valuable vocational and social skills to program inmates. Retired greys fresh from the track or farm life have the opportunity to bond with humans and receive the above skills making them a great prospect for permanent adoption into a loving home.