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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi there, this is somewhat of an unorthodox dilemma, but I am hoping for some input.

I have recently decided I would like to foster, and am excited to provide a loving temporary home for dogs in need waiting for their adoptive families. Upon looking into many local rescues I stumbled upon retired racing greyhounds. I was drawn to the breed's characteristics, and contacted the closest organization that arranged the dogs retirement from racing. When chatting on the phone with a rep, she said that this should in no way be looked at like a rescue situation. The dogs they receive for retirement are extremely well cared for, and have a good quality of life. They will remain in that good care until foster/adoptive families are found.

My last three dogs have been rescued from shelters and it's a cause I am passionate about. It's in the back of my head that these greyhounds will be ok if I don't open my home to them, but a dog on death row or in serious need won't be.

I am contemplating saying no to the greyhound facility and applying to an all breed rescue. Am I overthinking this? In the end, a dog gets to move on to a loving home, and that is the goal of fostering.
 

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That is something you really just have to listen to your own heart about. You have to feel like what you are doing is something you can live with. If you feel like you are always going to be thinking about those dogs that desperately needed it as opposed to the Greyhounds - that while need it - may not need it as desperately.. well. I think you have your answer.

I personally would be more comfortable in the Greyhound situation because I don't want to feel the weight of the world on my shoulders. I can't handle high stress rescue situations. BUT it sounds like you really want to make a difference for dogs that really need the help. You might be better off helping a rescue that really needs the help or the dog may be out of luck. They need people like that.

So. In conclusion. LISTEN TO YOUR HEARRRT. ;)
 

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There will always be an animal that needs more. Giving a dog in a low-risk situation a chance in foster, does not increase the chances of death row for another dog in a different rescue. I think you should do what YOU want, and rest easy knowing that you are doing a good thing no matter what! I think fostering is selfless as it is, and people need to be a little selfish so that their personal welfare is not sacrificed.

For example, let's say an elderly woman is looking to foster dogs and looks at a greyhound rescue... great fit! But there's this high-kill pittie rescue full of adolescent dogs and she goes to them instead out of guilt. The high energy pittie is chewing on her arms, knocking her down, chewing up her house... I don't see that as better for the dog or for the person. Another example.. some people just like certain breeds over others, or want a specific size and not others, or can tolerate a certain energy level and not others. That's all okay! There is potential for burnout in fostering too. You want to ENJOY your experience because sticking in the foster world longer is what's going to help the most dogs. Lastly, how an organization operates will impact your experience. An organization that is disorganized, judgmental, and non-communicative is not fun to work with, no matter what dogs they have. A good organization has great communication and support for their foster families, and can even make it easier if a person is fostering something outside their comfort zone.

Basically, don't beat yourself up over it too much. Pick the one you feel more drawn to, and dive in :)
 

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Hubby and I have been fostering off and on for the last 7 years. Our last foster dog, a Lab, was adopted a week ago. We’ve fostered for a couple of German shepherd rescues and a Lab rescue.

Personally, I prefer to foster for rescues that take in dogs from shelters and help dogs that would otherwise be euthanized. However, if you are just getting started, there is definitely no harm in taking in a greyhound that has come from a loving environment. You are probably not going to have to deal with a bunch of behavior problems and it will be less stressful. Once you get a feel for fostering, you can determine if you want to continue volunteer for them or find a rescue that take in dogs from shelters.

Like the other posters said, listen to your heart. Just because you foster for them once, doesn’t mean you are stuck with them forever. Other than the dogs, how organized a rescue is will make a big difference as well.

Good luck and thank you for fostering!
 

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I thought about fostering (to give back) but most of the fosters that desperately need help are Pit Bulls or Pit Bull mixes (in my area). With their hard wired trait to fight other dogs, I finally elected not to do this. The rescue dog in front of you may not have that hard wiring but you just don't know and if that wiring is triggered. I simply could not risk my own dogs.

Maybe you could look at other breed rescues for fostering? I did (was looking at Border Collies) but then things changed at home and a foster no longer would work out.
 

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Agreeing with others.. I will also add in that I was immediately burned from fostering because the rescue refused to work well with me. Part of that was me also not standing my ground and letting them push me into more than I was ready to handle.. but meh.

A lot of these dogs come with either mild or major behavior issues and there might be something you aren't willing to live with for several weeks/months - year. Definitely make sure you work with a rescue that is willing to find another foster for a dog that just doesn't work in your household. If you get burned out.. none of the dogs are being helped. So do what you feel you can handle.
 

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I just want to add a different viewpoint to 3GSD's post... Although I agree that traditionally speaking, pitbulls were bred to have very high prey drive and a propensity to fight/never back down, and are still known to be dog selective at best.... Pitties today are highly overbred and bred away from their traditional tendencies. Yes, you might still have dog selective or dog aggressive ones in shelters. But most of them are 'watered down' and nothing like what they used to be. IE, they are friendly with dogs, playful, larger in size, and often mixed with something else.

I work in a shelter and sometimes the pitties are too high arousal, rude, or even selective, to be around other dogs. I've also seen some pitties be so appropriate and good-with-all that they are used to dog-test other dogs.

Also, many shelter dogs regardless of breed have some home histories, or they mix dogs at the shelter. This helps you determine with some degree of confidence how that dog might do in a home with other dogs.

Point being, do what you are comfortable with. But with shelter dogs especially, I would judge home history and observation of behavior over (potential) breed.

I'm not going to go too much into it. But I posted here a while ago about a very large series of studies that show how breed labels are not only often wrong in shelters, but that they affect adoption rates. Breed labels removed, all adoption rates rose (especially for bully breeds). Which is to say, discrimination kills. Now, I am talking about bully breeds in shelters. I have higher confidence that a purebred APBT would be dog selective.
 

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As an aside, I very much agree with Canyx on breed labels for shelter dogs and dealing with the dog in front of you vs a breed guess for shelter dogs.

Overall, I think the key to successful fostering is working with a group that has good management. Honest bookkeeping, reasonable adoption policies, supportive main volunteers. Even an "easy" foster can be hard when you do not get support for adoption events or vet care but a "hard" foster can be a manageable learning experience when you have support for training and an interested populace of potential adopters. Etc.

Even breed specific rescue groups get a variety of dogs in terms of age, health and temperament. Greys coming off the track might not be rescues in the same way that a dog in a high kill shelter is but individual greyhounds may be rescues from homes that cannot keep them for example.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Hi everyone,
Thank you so much for all your thoughts and sharing them with me. I listened to my heart and it was saying, "Bring in those shelter dogs!" I withdrew from furthering the foster application with the Greyhound group and have joined an all breed rescue. Long story short - we have a dog coming our way shortly, and I rest easy knowing that we are welcoming a dog in need and freeing up space for another dog at the shelter. I will post photos once we have her home! Thank you again everyone, I appreciate it.
 

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Thanks for the update! I hope you have a wonderful fostering experience!
 

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Hi everyone,
Thank you so much for all your thoughts and sharing them with me. I listened to my heart and it was saying, "Bring in those shelter dogs!" I withdrew from furthering the foster application with the Greyhound group and have joined an all breed rescue. Long story short - we have a dog coming our way shortly, and I rest easy knowing that we are welcoming a dog in need and freeing up space for another dog at the shelter. I will post photos once we have her home! Thank you again everyone, I appreciate it.
Good to hear! Feel free to share with us your foster pup and how the experience goes. :)
 
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