Adopting a rescue Italian Greyhound is a
great way to go! The age range in rescued IGs varies and ranges from under one year to ten
Why adopt a rescue? Most are already housebroken, have gone through the puppy stage and are settled, well mannered dogs. Their personalities are already known and it is easier to match the perfect one to your lifestyle. It is also easier on the household if all family members are gone for great lengths of time from the home. Puppies need a lot of time, care and attention. Older dogs will not need the same amount of time for socialization and/or housetraining. There are many wonderful older Italian Greyhounds in need of homes. Adult Italian Greyhounds are some of the best pets you can buy. As an added bonus, you will be helping a great cause!
For more information on Adopting an Italian Greyhound through the Italian Greyhound Club of America's Rescue Foundation, please visit their website.
The above adopted dog is Dixie, owned by Faith and Bill Green.
Looking to Adopt???
What is Rescue?
At one time "rescue" was a term used for dogs who were taken from bad situations. Today this term means so much more. Usually a rescue animal is a dog whose owner has had to give him up. Reasons for this can vary but the folllowing are the most common: moving, death in family, dog didn't fit lifestyle, housetraining issues, dog becomes an "inconvenience".
Many people are hesitant to adopt a "rescue" because they assume that the dog has had a history of abuse. They're afraid of temperament problems that might exist due to a horrible situation with an abusive owner. While it's unfortunate that the occasional case of abuse does crop up....for the most part dogs that pass through rescue programs simply aren't wanted anymore.
Are "rescues" always older dogs?
The age of the dog can vary... from 12 week old puppies to 12 year old dogs. Based on my observations the age group that is seen most is 1 year to 4 years of age. But the other ages can and do come into rescue groups.
What Rescue is NOT
Buying a dog from a pet shop is not rescue. Taking back a dog that you've bred is not rescue. Breeders giving away dogs they've bred is not rescue.
Where are "rescue's" obtained?
"Rescues" are dogs that are being adopted out from such places as humane societies, shelters and breed-specific rescue organizations.
What happens when a dog is placed with a rescue group?
No matter what the circumstance (barring serious health issues) rescue dogs are always provided with innoculations, vet check-ups and spay/neuter. Breed specific groups place these dogs into private foster homes where they are re-trained (if necessary), and taught to live as a family member. These dogs stay with the foster home - no matter how long it takes until an appropriate permanent home is found.
How to adopt a "rescue"
When a potential new owner inquires about adoption he is: 1. asked a series of questions 2. a home inspection is completed and 3. then dog and owner are checked to make sure they will be a good match for each other. The adoption fee is minimal. Usually it just barely covers the costs of spay/neuter, vet check-up and shots. Rescue workers are committed to making the "next home" the "LAST home" for every dog in their care. Therefore they brief all prospective owners on any unusual qualities a dog might have such as whether the animal is good with children, should be the only dog, is social only with women and not men etc.
What happens if the dog doesn't work out?
In all breed rescue groups... no adoption is "final" - the dog is always welcome to be returned. Most rescue breed groups require that if the adopter no longer wants the dog it MUST be returned to them.
Why should anyone adopt a rescue?
"Rescues" can make WONDERFUL pets. They appreciate their owners for this "second chance" far more than those dogs which have lived in the lap of luxury since puppyhood. An older dog or young adult is sometimes the BEST choice for someone who doesn't want to deal with housebreaking, chewing and all the tribulations that accompany raising a puppy. Even a problem "rescue" can almost always be trained... with time, patience and love... into becoming a WONDERFUL pet!
But the best reason of all is that giving a dog that second chance - helps to save a life!
Fostering the Italian Greyhound
Do you find yourself in the following situation: You've entered the world of Italian Greyhounds and have found yourself enamored with the breed. You don't want to breed or you breed and you want to become more involved in rescuing unwanted Italian Greyhounds (I know, the idea of an unwanted IG is an impossible thought!).
What does it take to become a foster parent? It takes a lot of commitment, love and perserverance.
Sometimes a foster dog will come to you unhousebroken, untrained, unruly and/or in trouble with temperament. The foster home must have enough patience, love and caring ability to understand that the road ahead may be rough. Special skills in retraining dogs and understanding their special needs are only a bonus. (Remember that these skills CAN be acquired with a little extra education!) Communication skills and having the ability to deal with the public are also highly valuable tools. A foster parent needs a sixth sense to match dog to new owner. Above all, the ability to know when it it time to let go (which can also mean putting down a sick and/or fear-biting dog if necessary) is required.
Sometimes fostering can mean sinking your hard-earned savings into a dog that you know will never bring you any type of monetary reward. But the satisfaction of finding that dog the perfect loving home is a reward in itself. And that reward goes way beyond mere money! Fostering can mean putting your heart and soul into a dog, letting it go to that perfect family (and then crying your eyes out for days afterward). Fostering can mean keeping the dog for either its lifetime or for years until that perfect home comes along.
The rewards of fostering can be many. A phone call or letter from the individual who has adopted one of your special babies can bring the brightest smile on even the gloomiest of days. To see an animal that came to you scared, unloved and terrified slowly become an outgoing, loving and attentive individual can make mountains seem like anthills! Teaching a dog basic housemanners can even boost your spirits. The rewards are great on that first day (and continued days) of no accidents! Fostering a dog can lead to an enhanced appreciation of the small things in life which can be so enriching to us all!
Many people rescue on their own with no help from others. Many find that it is easier when affiliated with a rescue group, such as the Italian Greyhound Rescue Organization. Each path has its own rewards. However, the road is sometimes a little easier to take with the help and support of others when you're a part of a group.
It is impossible to cover all the details of being a foster parent in one short article. If you are interested in becoming one please contact me for more information.