Adoption Process

Thank you for expressing interest in adopting a greyhound from Erie Shore Greyhound Adoption of Ohio (ESGAO). We are a fully volunteer-operated, local non-profit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to finding homes for retired racing Greyhounds. ESGAO operates throughout the Greater Cleveland/Erie Shore area—from Sandusky to Eastlake, and extending south from Mansfield to Akron/Canton.

To ensure that our greyhounds find the perfect home, the adoption process averages 2-4 weeks and is outlined below.

Step One: Research

Before deciding to adopt a greyhound, please review our adoption requirements and then invest some time in researching and learning about retired racing greyhounds. While they make great family companions, they may not be the best breed of dog for every family. We recommend the following books to help you decide if a greyhound is the right dog for you:

  • Retired Racing Greyhounds for Dummies, by Lee Livingood
  • Adopting the Racing Greyhound, by Cynthia Branigan

Finally, you may want to visit us and our greyhounds at one of our “meet and greet” events.  Please check our website under “Event Calendar.”

 Step Two: Application

If you have decided that a greyhound it right for you and your family, the next step is to fill out the online application. The application allows us to get to know you and consider whether a retired racing greyhound is a good match for you and your family. We review references and perform a background check of all applicants to ensure they are responsible pet owners. Applications are reviewed in the order they are received and must be submitted with each new adoption.

After your application has been approved, you may submit a $75 deposit if you are interested in a particular greyhound—provided that you have already met the dog at a meet and greet, an ESGAO event or through one of our foster families.

The deposit is a temporary hold on the dog (provided that it is available) while you proceed through the rest of the adoption process. Please note that a deposit does not guarantee that you will get the dog you requested. As we advance through the process, we will work with you to determine whether or not this is the best home for the dog.

While we certainly want families to get the dog they want, our responsibility is to place the dog in the best home possible—based on the dog’s traits and personality. If a match is not made with the dog you wanted, or another dog that you like, your deposit is fully refunded to you.

Step Three: Home Visit

For the safety of the greyhound and your family, we perform a home visit of potential adopters. The process takes a couple of hours where we learn more about your family, the home the greyhound will be living in, discuss compatibility with other pets and offer some tips on living with a greyhound.

Step Four: Selection

In the selection process, we work with you to determine which greyhound might be the best fit for you and your family. Since our greyhounds are placed in foster families, we have some insight into their traits and personalities—and may be able help you select the perfect greyhound for you. Considerations include other pets, the age of children in the home and whether there is a fenced in yard. If you placed a deposit on a particular dog, that dog will be our first consideration.

However, please realize that ESGAO’s first priority is the welfare of our retired racing greyhounds. While we would like potential adopters to have their first choice of dog, the final decision lies in the judgment of the Adoption Coordinator. With input from the foster family, the Adoption Coordinator will work to pair you with the perfect greyhound!

Step Five: Delivery

At the time of delivery, the Adoption Coordinator (and maybe the foster family) will bring the new family member to your home. At this time, the adoption contract and release of liability will be signed and the balance of the adoption fee will be due. The adoption fee is held for two weeks to ensure that the greyhound has found his/her forever home. 

Please Note . . .

Please note that if at anytime during the process we decide that a greyhound is not the right fit for your family, it does not mean that we did not find you to be warm and loving pet owners. Our Adoption Coordinator relies on years of experience in determining which families are best suited for a greyhound. There are of course many other dogs and breeds of dogs which may be perfectly situated for your environment and in these cases we hope you will consider giving another dog a warm and loving home.

Greyhounds are fast, prey driven animals which do not respect or understand the road or dangers of cars. And because Greyhounds can never be tied out on a chain— homes without a fence, near busy roads are particularly difficult placements. There can be exceptions, but this is probably the most common reason we find a home unsuitable for the care of a Greyhound. A Greyhound can never be off leash or run free in an unsecured area.

Adoption Requirements

For the safety of our greyhounds, we have the following adoption requirements:

  • Adopters must be adults over the age of 18.
  • Adopters must obtain and read the book, “Retired Racing Greyhounds for Dummies,” by Lee Livingood.
  • Adopters who do not own their home must have the written permission of their landlord to house a Greyhound.
  • All adults in the household must agree to adopt a Greyhound.
  • Generally, will not place a Greyhound in a home with children under the age of 5 years.
  • We require that all adopters provide recent veterinary and/or personal references for a “background” check to ensure the applicants are responsible pet owners.

We would like your home to be as safe for a greyhound as possible. A fenced in yard is the recommended environment for a greyhound, but we do make special exceptions based on our evaluation of your references. However, electric fences are not approved for greyhounds.


In most cases, the cost of adopting one of our greyhounds is $300 and it is a reimbursement of 

Veterinarian expenses related to the Greyhound.

The adoption fee includes:

  • Some incurred veterinary expenses
  • Spaying or neutering
  • Basic dental cleaning
  • Heartworm test of negative
  • General physical exams
  • Required vaccinations
  • Micro chipping
  • ESGAO Tag

The adoption fee also includes a collar, leash and muzzle.

Contact Information

Please leave us a message at 440-973-6412 or email us at and we will get back to you as soon as possible. Please note that we are an all-volunteer organization and on occasion it may take a day or two to contact you. 

Submit your Application to Adopt »

Dogs Adopted to Date
1094 Dover Drive
Medina, Ohio 44256
Phone: (440) 973-6412
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