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Tough Love Works

Posted on 07/03/2015

Greyhound Adoption Center’s high standards yield more adoptions, better retention

By Darren Rigg

Not everyone who wants a greyhound should get one. And not every greyhound is right for every family.

These two guiding principles – refusing some prospective adopters and giving approved adopters a carefully chosen few dogs to select from — are at the heart of the Greyhound Adoption Center’s (GAC) efforts. Over the past three decades, our high standards have proven themselves in both high adoption and high retention rates.

More often than not, potential adopters say they chose us because we are careful and thorough.

Collins is home! 2014-10-25 OFFTRACK SPRING 2015They mention, too, that they appreciate a greyhound matched to their family since it helps to ensure that people and dog will be happy from day one.

At over 90 percent, our retention rate is among the highest in the nation. Fewer than 10 percent of our adopted dogs are returned and of those returns, most come back to us for necessary reasons, like an owner’s death or debilitating illness. The rest are the result of life-changing and unpredictable human conditions.Bella Lathrem Jan 2015

While trained and experienced GAC volunteer placement representatives are approving adoptive families through a multistep process that includes an application, telephone interview and in-home visit, other volunteers at the adoption center are evaluating the dogs, creating a profile of every greyhound, from basic evaluations, like cat, small dog and other animal testing, to seeing whether the dogs enjoy children, can manage stairs and tile floors, require a savvy owner, need a dog friend or could handle being an only dog, and more. And when the family comes to the center on adoption day, we introduce them to a few dogs, or sometimes to just one that we believe is the perfect match.Kihei blog post Sept 2014So far 6,000 dogs have passed through our adoption center on their way to loving homes. Many of our adopters have returned to add more greyhounds to their families. Just as many have become volunteers, supporting GAC’s efforts in a variety of ways.

With more tracks closing and greyhound farms ceasing operations, there will be greater numbers of dogs to save. All of us involved in the care and welfare of greyhounds will be tasked more intensely, more demandingly.

This is not a time to lower standards.Adoption Day April 2015

To do the best job for the dogs, please use tough love. It works.

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