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How to Adopt a Labrador Retriever from a Rescue Organization

Adopting a Labrador Retriever from a rescue organization is a great way to find a lovable companion. Many Labrador Retrievers are waiting patiently for new homes in breed rescue programs. Many of these dogs are adult dogs who are wonderful, devoted, well-trained family members who just got the short end of the bone for one reason or another and no longer have a place to go.

An older Lab can be the ideal dog. Older Labs generally require far less work than puppies and are likely already trained in good behavior. Sure, an older Lab may not have the lifespan ahead of her that a puppy would, but the years she does have left can be filled with joy for both of you. Please consider adopting an older Lab who has lost her home.

Labrador Retriever rescuers — all of whom are volunteers — love the breed and are committed to finding appropriate homes for Labs found at shelters or abandoned by individuals who can no longer keep them. And all too often, Labrador Retriever rescuers take in dogs that have been cruelly treated or otherwise neglected.

If you're interested in adopting an older Labrador Retriever, consider contacting one of the following organizations:

  • Labrador Retriever Club, Inc.: The club's Web site includes a page of links to Labrador Retriever rescue groups from all over the United States.

  • Petfinder: This national online database of pets that need homes lists Labrador Retriever and other breed rescue groups from coast to coast. The Petfinder Web site also allows you to search directly for a Labrador Retriever by zip code — although most of the hits you'll get will be Labrador Retriever mixes.

  • Internet Search: Try doing an Internet search under the keywords Labrador Retriever rescue.

Like adopting through a shelter, expect to fill out a detailed application and answer a lot of personal questions. Remember rescue workers want to ensure that the dogs are going to be going to a great home. They may even want to come to your home to make sure that is suitable for a Labrador Retriever.

After the Labrador Retriever enters rescue, the group assigns the dog to a temporary home — or what rescuers call a foster home. While there, the dog receives any necessary medical care and is observed, so that any deficiencies or behavioral problems can be identified. The rescue group then takes steps to deal with those issues.

Before you take on a rescued Lab, spend some serious time getting to know the dog. Work with the rescue group to determine whether you and your potential pet are a good match. If the dog seems to have serious problems, enlist the help of a good canine behavior consultant. Be persistent. A good rapport can be an important step in overcoming problems.

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