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Complete an Adoption Application

The adoption application is our way of getting to know you. We ask questions about your home, family, and lifestyle so that we can match you with a Lab that will thrive in your care. We encourage you to apply when are you are ready to have a Lab join your family. There is a $25 application fee that is collected as part of the application submission process. This fee is non-refundable, including for those applicants who decide not to adopt, who are not approved to adopt, or who return a dog that they adopted from Lab Rescue. Please learn more about our adoption process and confirm that you meet our adoption criteria by reviewing the checklist on the first page of the adoption application.

Speak with an Adoption Coordinator (AC)

Within a week of applying, you will be paired with an Adoption Coordinator (AC) who will schedule a phone call to discuss your application and learn more about you. If you don’t hear from an AC immediately, please be patient as we are all volunteers. If you have a question about your application before hearing from an AC, please contact us at

Veterinary & Reference Checks

After speaking with you, your AC will call your vet’s office. Lab Rescue places dogs in adoptive homes that have positive veterinary care histories for current/past pets (dogs & cats).


This includes:

  • Consistent annual wellness exams & heartworm testing

  • Core vaccinations (parvovirus, distemper, canine hepatitis, and rabies) or titers

  • Proof of consistent heartworm and flea/tick prevention (either via vet or through product receipts)

  • Current pets are neutered/spayed

  • No history of injury or illness due to owner neglect


Your AC will also reach out to your personal references to learn more about you from someone who knows you well, so we can be fully confident that a prospective Lab is placed in the best situation to thrive.

Looking for the Right Lab(s)

Once your application has been approved, there are two ways to meet potential matches—(1) visiting a Lab at his or her foster home or (2) attending one of our monthly adoption events.


If you prefer to meet dogs in their foster homes, then your AC will begin searching for Labs that would be a good fit for your home and family. Our ACs have access to an internal database that contains profiles on all of our Labs. Please note that these profiles are much more detailed than what is on our website or Facebook page; thus, your AC is your best resource for finding the right match.

Arranging to Meet a Potential Match

Once you find a potential match that you’d like to meet in person, your AC will connect with the dog’s foster family to learn more about the Lab and ensure that all needs and preferences sync up. If all is well, then you will receive the foster’s contact information to schedule a home visit within 4-5 days. Please remember that, at times, there may be multiple potential adopters who want to meet the same dog. In these cases, we begin by setting up an appointment with the first appropriate match to schedule an appointment.

Visiting a Lab at a Foster Home

Adoption visits happen at our foster homes in Virginia and Maryland, and they typically take about an hour. It is required that all members of the household, including dogs, be present. If you decide during the visit that you would like to adopt the Lab, then you must do so as part of the meeting and bring him/her home with you. Unfortunately, we cannot “hold” a dog if you are unsure or need more time to think about it. If you meet a Lab and he/she is not the right fit, then you can continue your search.

The Adoption Contract

Once you decide to adopt a Lab, your AC will distribute the adoption contract and collect the adoption fee. At that time, the Lab you adopt has become a member of your family. The Adoption Contract has been written to ensure that all Labs that enter into the care of Lab Rescue will go on to receive a humane and loving household for the rest of their lives.

Post-Adoption Check-In

A few weeks after you adopt your Lab, a volunteer will reach out to schedule a check-in to confirm that you and your dog have settled in together and that the conditions of the contract have been met. As part of the check-in, the volunteer will come to your home, meet your newest family member, and ask a few questions about how everyone is adjusting. The adoption is not final until a successful house check has been completed.


Adoption Geography
Service Map.jpg

We only place dogs in forever homes that are located in:

  • Virginia

  • Maryland

  • District of Columbia

  • Pennsylvania

  • Delaware

  • West Virginia

  • North Carolina


Adopters must travel with all residents of their household—human and canine—to foster homes in Maryland or Virginia to meet the dog they would like to adopt.


If you live outside of the Lab Rescue service area, please perform a web search for rescues elsewhere in the country with the terms “Lab Rescue” + your location. Alternatively, you can search on or to find a rescue that places Labs near you.

Meet Some of

Our Available Labs

Get to know some of the Labs who are in search of their forever homes.

Fill Out an

Adoption Application

The application is the first step in the adoption process and helps us get to know you better. 

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