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Volunteer Opportunities

Meet and Greets Drivers Foster Homes

Meet & Greets

Much of our contact with the general public comes at places like pet stores or at special events or festivals. Chinook Winds Greyhound Rescue Foundation (CWGR) holds Meet & Greets (M&G’s) at various venues in Calgary, Red Deer and Edmonton every weekend. M&G’s are usually two hours in length and held mostly on Saturdays. Information about each M&G is available on our website calendar. The purpose of our Meet & Greets is to educate the public about greyhounds in general and greyhound adoption in particular. It also gives members of the public, most of whom have never met a greyhound “in person”, a chance to pet some greyhounds and find out first hand about the possibility of owning one of these wonderful animals.

If you have a foster greyhound, we ask that you make arrangements to have him/her at a M&G every weekend. Getting an available dog to a M&G is the best way to find it a home as it gives the dog exposure to the public. If you do not have a foster dog but would like to help out in this way, you are more than welcome to bring your own greyhound(s) to our M&G’s. It’s a good idea to contact the Booth Operator or Host (noted on the calendar section of the CWGR website) if you are interested in volunteering at a certain M&G. Some stores have restrictions on the number of volunteers/greyhounds they can accommodate.

When you are at a M&G, not only are you promoting greyhounds, but you are promoting Chinook Winds Greyhound Rescue Foundation. Make sure you have read and understand informational materials (Greyhound Owner’s Manual, Volunteer Handbook, booth materials, etc.). If you have questions, please ask the Booth Operator or other senior volunteer.

For more information about volunteering at a Chinook Winds Greyhound Rescue Foundation Meet & Greet, please contact any of the Booth Operators or Hosts of the M&G’s as listed on the website calendar.

Drivers

Chinook Winds Greyhound Rescue Foundation transports greyhounds from tracks all across the United States. To get these greyhounds to Alberta, vehicles and drivers are required. A driver must have his/her own van to transport the greyhounds in, and have a co-pilot for the entire trip. The greyhounds are muzzled but not crated, and usually sleep during most of the ride.

It is a good idea to make one or two runs as a co-pilot prior to transporting greyhounds. This lets you see first hand what transporting greyhounds entails. To prepare for the trip, cover the floor in the rear of your van with old blankets and comforters. Insert a barrier behind the front seats to discourage the greyhound who wants to ride in front with the driver and co-pilot. Take a spray bottle filled with water to get your point across should there be some growling and grumpiness from any of the greyhounds. As many as seven greyhounds travel together in one van, and this method of traveling is entirely new to the dogs. They aren’t used to sharing their space, and inevitably there is one who protests at being stepped on by another! Paper towels are sometimes useful for unexpected accidents. The dogs are not fed the day that they are transported, but stress and anxiety occasionally lead to upset tummies, and although it is rare, accidents have been known to happen.

If the trip is longer than 4 hours in length, a stop will be made to give the dogs a chance to stretch their legs and empty their bladders. No other stops will be permitted, so make sure you have everything you need prior to beginning the trip. If for some reason you must make a stop aside from turnouts, NEVER leave the greyhounds unattended. There must always be someone with the dogs as long as they are in transit, even when stopped.

It is sometimes necessary to transport greyhounds from one foster home to another, which may entail a trip to Red Deer or other city in Alberta. From time to time we require foster greyhounds to be picked up and driven to and from Meet & Greets if the foster family is unable to do this on any given weekend. Short trips are just as important as the long ones, and we appreciate it if someone is able to help out in this regard as well.

For more information about transporting greyhounds, please contact an Adoption Representative as listed under Contacts on the website.

Foster Home

Chinook Winds Greyhound Rescue Foundation gets its greyhounds from tracks all across the United States. When these greyhounds come to us, they have never before lived in a home environment. Because we do not have a kennel in which to house the greyhounds while they await adoption, we rely solely on foster homes to care for the greyhounds until they find their forever homes.

The duty of a foster home is simple: to help the retired racing greyhound make the transition from crate to couch. The hardest part of being a foster home is watching the greyhound you’ve so lovingly cared for leave for its new home with someone else! But it is also the most rewarding part, and it’s hard to understand it until you experience it.

To foster a greyhound for Chinook Winds Greyhound Rescue Foundation, a Foster Care Agreement must be completed and signed. The Foster Coordinator will go over this agreement with you in depth, to ensure that you understand your role and to answer any questions you may have. Once you get your greyhound foster, the Foster Coordinator will check in with you on a weekly basis to ensure all is going smoothly for both you and your foster! S/he will be available at any time in between check in calls for help if it is needed.

You will need a crate for your foster, and if you do not own a crate, Chinook Winds Greyhound Rescue Foundation will supply you with one. You will be given a muzzle for your foster greyhound and asked to keep the greyhound muzzled when s/he is not crated. Crates and muzzles are tools that ensure the safety of both the foster greyhound and the resident animals that the greyhound is learning to live with, especially those small pets whose movements may catch the eye of a newly retired racer. The crate is also useful as a housebreaking tool. Greyhounds are crate trained but not housebroken, and while it is in its crate, it will not soil. Left with the freedom of the house, a newly retired racer, not knowing how to ask to go outside, may sneak off while your back is turned to do its business in another part of the house. It is in the greyhound’s best interests to be kept safe and secure in its crate while no one can supervise it.

Chinook Winds Greyhound Rescue Foundation supplies food for your foster greyhound, as well as any veterinary care that is necessary. As with the adoptions that we do, we attempt to put the right greyhound into your home, so that your fostering experience is a positive one. If there are any problems that arise at any time that cause you to become unable to continue to foster a certain dog, whether for personal reasons or due to the actions of the dog, the Foster Coordinator will remove the foster from your home immediately.

One of the ways we promote our available greyhounds for adoption is to get them out to the Meet and Greets that we hold at area pet stores every weekend. M&G’s are the biggest chance the greyhounds have of getting exposure and finding an adoptive home, so this is something we don’t want the dogs to miss! If you are unable to get your foster to a M&G on any given weekend, please contact the Foster Coordinator, and arrangements will be made for another volunteer to transport the dog to and from the M&G.

You are under no obligation to foster a greyhound just because we contact you. If the timing is bad for whatever reason, let us know. We will go on to the next foster home, and contact you the next time we are looking for foster homes. Some of our foster homes accept one foster after another with little to no break between dogs, where others like a breather before taking a new foster once the old one has left! Whatever works for you, works for us. We appreciate any fostering you can do for us!

Please contact the Foster Coordinator or an Adoption Representative if you think fostering a greyhound might be something you’d like to consider. If you are hesitant, please remember that the more foster homes we have available, the more greyhounds we can bring into our system and ultimately find adoptive homes for. It is the greyhounds who win, and that is what it’s all about.

For more information about fostering, please contact an Adoption Representative as listed under Contacts on the website.


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