Fostering involves taking a homeless hound into your home and teaching it how to be a pet dog in a house. Many of the homeless hounds may never have been in a home environment and need to learn basic skills.
Whilst you are fostering we will ask you about things like how does the dog walk on the lead? Can it be left alone ok? Has it been around children? How is the dog with other dogs? This is the kind of thing we need to know to find the right home.
What support does SGS give fosterers?
You will have an allocated fostering co-ordinator, and another one as back up to cover holidays etc. They will be your main point of contact, but the rest of the team is also on hand should you need them.
We also have an online foster feedback questionnaire which will help guide your assessment of the dog, which helps us match a home. You'll get support from all the other SGS fosterers in our facebook group and the forum is a great place for getting advice and sharing updates.
When a possible forever home has been found, we will exchange your details with the applicant so they can find out more about your foster dog. Your fostering coordinator will then set up a meeting between you. Once a dog is matched to a home we try not to delay moving him or her on to avoid them becoming too attached to you.
How long will I have a foster dog for?
It just depends on how long it takes to find the right home for the dog, this could be in a matter of days or it could go into months, your SGS team will keep you updated on any potential homes for your foster dog.
Will my foster dog be house trained?
Most greyhounds are used to life in kennels so they are ‘kennel trained’, which means they are mostly clean in their kennels. You need to reinforce this routine by taking the dog outside frequently at first and praising them when they toilet. There's a useful help sheet in our information section.
Most adult dogs are usually clean in the house quite quickly but some take a bit longer and you do need to expect a few accidents at first.
Your SGS fostering team will be on hand with help and advice if you're having difficulty toilet training your foster dog.
What will my foster dog arrive with?
Every foster dog comes with an SGS collar, identity tag, muzzle, lead & a coat in the winter.
We can provide crates and food if necessary.
Can I foster more than one dog?
We do have fosterers who foster more than one dog; it depends on your individual circumstances, eg other pets, and your level of experience with dogs.
If you want to foster more than one dog please discuss this with the SGS team.
What happens if I have a problem with a dog?
Most of them do settle quite quickly, but occasionally it can be more of a challenge for them.. The most common issues we see are separation anxiety, fear aggression and generally not knowing how to live in a house. They need patience and understanding.
However if you are struggling with your foster dog we ask that you contact SGS right away. SGS will support you to work through these issues, and in a worst case scenario we might move the dog to another foster home. We would rather not do this as the less a dog has to move around the better. The SGS team are all very experienced and we have an on team Behaviourist that can offer specialist advice if needed.
Issues are more likely to occur in foster homes that have other dogs, cats and other 'small furries'. If a hound doesn’t settle well around your other pets and you feel they are at risk we ask that you keep the dog separate from them until we can find another foster home.
Your SGS fostering team will be on hand to help you with any problems you may encounter.
Most foster dogs have come from kennels and have never lived in a house so they need time to settle and get used to a very different life.
What happens with veterinary care?
SGS will cover all veterinary fees for your foster dog while they are in your care, providing the vet trip has been discussed and agreed with a member of the team beforehand (except in emergencies of course).
We'll ask our fosterers to take their dog to the vets
if they require any of the following:
• Microchipping/scanning for microchip and passing
the number to the fostering team.
• Teeth cleaning if required (this must be discussed
with your fostering co-ordinator first)
Also if they have any existing racing injuries.
SGS has accounts with veterinary surgeries throughout Scotland we will book the greyhound
into the closest surgery to you. In the case of a life threatening emergency we ask that you take your foster to the closest vets and get in touch with your fostering contact or phone the SGS number 0845 6439335
Will my foster dog need to wear a muzzle?
SGS insist that all ex racing greyhounds and ex working lurchers are muzzled whilst in public at all times to ensure compliance with our public liability insurance.
Can I foster if I go out to work?
Yes, if your work pattern or your circumstances are quite flexible. When a new dog arrives he or she does need at least a few days to settle in before they can be left so fostering does not suit everyone who goes out to work.
It depends on your individual circumstances so please contact SGS to discuss this.
Can I foster if I have young children?
Yes, as long as we are satisfied that you understand the need for constant and close supervision of dogs around young children, and that you will provide this.
You also need to understand that the dog will not have been assessed around children before they go into a foster home. That is part of the role of the fosterer. Take a look at our information sheet on Greyhounds and Children.
Can I foster a greyhound if I have a cat?
Yes, SGS attempt to assess our dogs around cats, this is only a brief assessment to assess if the dog can be trained to live with cats and not an assessment to say they are 'safe with cats'. If you
have a cat and would like to foster please read our information sheet on Greyhounds and Cats.
What if I fall in love with my foster dog and decide to keep it?
Don’t worry, this is a common occurrence! Often fosterers become very attached to their foster dog and wish to keep them.
Scottish Greyhound Sanctuary is more than happy to accommodate this as long as a potential adoptive family has not already met the dog and agreed to adopt it. If a foster home wishes to keep a dog, please contact your Fostering contact asap and you can join the exclusive FF (Failed fosterers) club!