Labs4rescue Logo

"Save a Lab, have a friend for life!"

Search Tips

Labs4rescue would love to help you find your new family member! We have adopted over 12,000 labs since we began in July 2002. Chances are, we currently have several labs happily living in your community, who along with their "forever family," would be happy to provide a reference.

Before you review our adoption process, we recommend that you watch the following video from the American Veterinary Medical Association that provides tips for adopting a dog.


Labs4rescue's Adoption Process


Please review the following information about the Labs4rescue program and then complete an adoption application online, which will automatically be forwarded to our Petfinder Contacts and Application Coordinators.

WHO WE ARE: We are a group of individuals from several states throughout the US, who work together to save homeless Labrador Retrievers. We are a Rescue, and not a traditional animal shelter. Our labs are fostered in private homes or sponsored by a shelter volunteer so they can be evaluated in a normal environment. As such, our labs are currently scattered across New England, the South and the Mid-West, depending on the availability of foster homes and our close partnerships with various shelters. We are constantly looking for foster homes, and will happily accept a foster home in any region. Our ability to save labs is dramatically impacted by the number of foster homes we have. Please let us know if you would like to provide a foster home to a lab in need.

WHY WE DO WHAT WE DO: While some of our labs are owner surrenders, most of our labs originated in high-kill shelters, where labs are one of the most plentiful breeds and very often euthanized. Several regions may have up to 100 labs in their local shelters at any given time, most who only get 3 days to be adopted. Labs4rescue is trying to make a difference, one lab at a time!

CHOOSING A LAB: Please review the available labs on our Current Pet List which is available on our Petfinder Site, carefully considering what you feel would be an appropriate match for your family. There are many more than we could ever save, so if the lab you are initially interested already has an adoption pending, I am sure we can find another you will equally love! Once your application is received, you will be in communication with the foster or sponsor for each lab available. Our fosters and sponsors are very detailed in their description of our labs, complete with the "goods" and "not so goods" and will work with you to make the right decision for your family. Our fosters/sponsors will communicate with you via email and telephone.

FINALIZING THE ADOPTION: If the lab is fostered in your area, the foster family may invite you to meet the lab. After a match is made, we will arrange a homevisit at your residence, to insure the safety of your home. If the lab is being fostered outside your geographical region, transport will then be arranged.

ADOPTION FEES: Our fees are: a $15 non-refundable application fee and a $385 non-refundable adoption fee for all vet expenses (spay/neuter, shots, etc.) and transportation to ensure your lab gets to you in a safe, professional manner. All fees may be paid using PayPal, cashier's checks, or money orders. Labs4rescue does not accept personal checks for application and adoption fees. More information about the cost of owning a lab is also available on our website, click here to learn more.

Residents of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts are required to pay an additional $125 fee, which defrays the cost of the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources mandatory 48 hour isolation and examination by a veterinarian licensed in Massachusetts.

Residents of the State of New Hampshire (NH) are required to pay an additional $125 fee, which defrays the cost of the New Hamphsire Department of Agriculture, Markets & Food mandatory 48 hour isolation and examination by a veterinarian licensed in New Hamphsire. All adopters must pay their Labs4rescue adoption fee prior to the rescue shipping their dog.

ADOPTER'S CHECKLIST, HELPFUL HINTS FOR ADOPTERS, and ADOPTION CONTRACT: Please download our Adopter's Checklist which outlines our process and offers many good suggestions. Click here to read our Helpful Hints for Adopters. Click here to review a Sample Adoption Contract.

If you have any questions, please feel free to email us these questions. We know that our program is different than a traditional brick and mortar shelter, and we would love to tell you more of the specifics. We are so proud of the labs we have saved and look forward to working with you to bring a lab to your family.


  1. Go to our Petfinder Current Pet List. Choose the labs that you are interested in.
  2. Fill out an adoption application online, which will automatically be forwarded to our Petfinder Contacts/Adoption Coordinators.
  3. We will get back with you on the status of the lab (adopted, has many applications, etc.) and also schedule a phone conversation to determine the fit with your family.
  4. When there is a match, we will confirm with you and call your vet for a reference. If you don't have a vet currently, we will ask you to choose one and the call will be made after your first visit.
  5. We will then request a homevisit and schedule you for transportation if your dog is fostered in the South. If your dog is fostered in New England, then you can work out a pick-up date and time with the foster family. Our transports run most weekends and you should inform us if there are any weekends that you cannot meet the transport.
  6. Within a week, someone will contact you to schedule the homevisit. If you have not heard from anyone, please contact your Adoption Coordinator for more information. Remember, all family members must be present for the homevisit.
  7. After the homevisit is approved, your Adoption Coordinator will contact you to confirm.
  8. During the week before your transport, you will receive a notice of the times/places for pickups. You will need to provide a number where you can be reached in case of delays due to traffic or weather. The location will be selected by the transporter and you will be notified the week of the transport with the details.
  9. You will also receive your Adoption Contract by email when you are matched to a dog. Please send a signed printed copy of your contract and adoption fee (payable to Labs4rescue by check, money order or PayPal). If you choose to pay by PayPal, please include a copy of your PayPal receipt also.
  10. TAKE YOUR NEW FAMILY MEMBER TO HIS/HER NEW HOME!!!!! Don't forget to make an appointment with your vet within 10 days!


Please ensure that you can receive mail from Labs4rescue and be sure to check your Inbox AND Spam folders DAILY during the week before the transport for important details. For more information click here.


  1. When do I need to start the process to adopt? You can fill out your application at any time, but you should begin to look at the site about 2 - 3 weeks prior to when you would like to adopt. Our labs move so quickly, that the ones available today may be adopted next week.
  2. If I've submitted an application, will someone email me when a lab that meets my description is available? Due to the volume of emails we receive, we ask that all families check the site often themselves. The site is updated almost daily. Then email the Petfinder Contact listed on the description.
  3. I've tried to adopt several labs and I seem to always miss out. What can I do? Unfortunately, this does happen due to the popularity of our labs. If you would like guidance on this, please Contact Us for assistance picking an available dog.
  4. Are all of your dogs spayed or neutered, even the puppies? Yes, we require this prior to sending to a home. Our vets specialize in pediatric spay and neuters because of the pet overpopulation problems we have.
  5. What shots are included in your program? All labs have rabies, bordetella and parvo/distemper shots, a fecal exam for worms and treatment, a heartworm test and treatment if necessary. Puppies under 6 months of age have the appropriate boosters that are needed, although your vet may recommend additional shots. Puppies under 6 months of age will not have a rabies shot as those are done at 6 months. None of our labs originating in the south will have the Lyme vaccine as it is not available in the South.
  6. How soon should I go to the vet after receiving my lab? We recommend you go within 10 days. Your vet should review the paperwork that is sent with your lab and work with you on flea, tick and heartworm prevention. In addition, he/she should do a fecal exam to test for worms as some labs will need treatment in addition to the one given originally.
  7. How and when do I pay? You pay the adoption fee when you receive your Adoption Contract. You can pay by PayPal, cashier's checks, or money orders. Labs4rescue does not accept personal checks for application and adoption fees.
  8. What can I do to help Labs4rescue? The easiest thing you can do is to promote the program! Wear your tshirt and give out business cards to tell people about the program. Post a brochure or poster in your vet's office, dog park, pet supply store or any other community bulletin board. All of these materials are available on our website or Contact Us for more information. Other things that you can do is work with your local pet store to set up an information table (we can provide you a list of other adopters in the area to help sponsor the event. We get many donations from these (we always have a lab in need that can be posted) as well as some excellent applications! And finally, we do need foster homes...from just an overnight stay to a longer stay. Please visit our Foster Page for more information on foster our program.

Print this page Print This Page.    Email this page E-mail this page.   Like us on Facebook Like us on Facebook.   Follow Us on Twitter Follow us on Twitter.

Labs4rescue, Inc., P.O. Box 955, Killingworth, CT, 06419. | Contact Us | Privacy Statement | Site Map | Terms of Use | AddThis Bookmark Button |