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  • What does it cost to apply & adopt from Lab Rescue?
    Effective April 10, 2024, the process for adopting a dog from Lab Rescue LRCP includes both an application fee and an adoption fee. You can view the full fee information on our Adoption Fees page. Before completing the application, we recommend that each applicant carefully read our adoption process, as well as confirm that you meet our adoption criteria in the checklist on the first page of the adoption application. To help keep the Rescue's administrative costs down, we prefer to accept adoption fees via personal check.
  • What do the application & adoption fees cover?
    Many Labs who join the Rescue are not only seeking a happy forever home, but a helping hand when it comes to their health and wellbeing. Many are strays or come from situations where vet care was not consistent or prioritized. As a result, they require comprehensive vetting and often require treatment for pre-existing diseases and conditions. One of the key aspects of the Lab Rescue mission is coordinating and ensuring full veterinary services for all dogs who enter into our care. This can include a comprehensive physical exam, necessary vaccinations, blood tests for heartworm and tick-borne disease, spay/neuter procedures, microchipping, and treatment of conditions such as heartworm disease, tickborne diseases, orthopedic injuries, and other health concerns related to neglect. The Rescue works with trusted & experienced veterinary partners, all of whom graciously reduce service costs to support our mission. The average cost of care for a Lab Rescue dog is $1000. The adoption fee covers only a fraction of this cost, and donations from supporters make it possible to fully provide the remainder needed for each Lab’s care. Please note that the application fee and the adoption fee are not tax deductible, per the IRS guidelines that state that there is no deduction to 501(c)(3) organization when “goods” (i.e. your new furry friend) are exchanged. However, all charitable donations to Lab Rescue are tax-deductible.
  • Do I have to live in a certain state to adopt from Lab Rescue?
    Yes! 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 to foster homes in Maryland, Virginia, or Washington, DC, with all residents of their household—human and canine—to meet the dog they would like to adopt. If you live outside of the Lab Rescue service area, please look for rescues in your area by searching online for “Lab Rescue” + “your location.” Alternatively, you can search on or to find a rescue that places Labs near you.
  • Why are many dogs from Lab Rescue only approved for children age 10 and up?
    In an effort to ensure the safety of young children, Lab Rescue requires that a dog has successfully lived in a home with young children to be placed with young children again. The age of the youngest child with whom the dog has lived determines the approved age for adoption. Dogs for whom there is no documented history of living with children are approved for children 10 and up. If you have children in your home who are under age 10, it may also take more time to find a dog that can be safely placed in your home. Because of the demand for dogs approved to live with young children, they will often be placed quickly and may not be posted on this website. To learn more about these dogs, it is best to submit an application and work with an Adoption Coordinator. This policy takes into consideration that living with young children places many demands on a dog and can include tail pulling, hugging, and other well-intended actions. These actions can be too much for some dogs, while others will thrive on the interaction. The friendliest dogs may also jump up on a child while playing and can easily take a child off his or her feet with no ill intent. Puppies under 4 months of age may be placed with children of all ages. Careful attention is required as puppies grow, as they can become mouthy and jumpy in their “teenage” months. In all instances, careful parental supervision is always recommended as a new dog settles into a home. For some helpful guidance on introducing and facilitating interactions with children (your own and visitors), please review these resources:
  • Do you have specific policies around dogs in townhomes & apartments?
    Yes, we do. In short, we do have dogs who will thrive in townhomes, either because they successfully lived in a townhome setting prior to Lab Rescue or, over time, they have proven to the Rescue's evaluators that they would do well in a townhome setting. We rarely have adults dogs who will thrive in apartment settings; however young puppies are often approved for apartment settings. Over the past several years, we have shifted our intake to rural areas where there are an overwhelming number of Labs in need. These dogs are typically well-loved family pets in need of a new home, but they often come to us with a very limited view of the world: they have rarely left their home, never been in a car or near traffic, have had little training or acclimation to walking/using the bathroom on a leash, never shared a space with a dog they don’t know (like at a dog park), and aren’t used to seeing people or hearing noises they don’t know. In many cases, they roamed free or lived outdoors year-round, and have never been confined in a home or a crate. Thus, a new and different life is often overwhelming and extremely frightening for the dog—often resulting in fearful behaviors like excessive barking, withdrawal, and anxiety. Because our mission centers around the welfare of our Labs, our consulting trainers have recommended that we do everything we can to create a slow environmental transition. For this reason, we often require that dogs who are new to the Rescue be adopted into standalone single-family homes in a suburban neighborhood or rural area. These areas/situations offer a more gradual shift for an active, large breed dog coming from a rural environment. If a dog has been in a foster home for several weeks and has shown signs of thriving in other environments, we may expand placement to townhomes or more urban settings. It is extremely rare that these dogs become acclimated for apartment living, so we regretfully cannot accept applications for adult dogs from apartment-dwellers at this time. This is not a reflection of the apartment dweller as a dog owner—rather, it is with concern for the best possible transition for the dogs. Apartment dwellers can adopt young puppies.
  • How do you determine your fence requirements?
    The Rescue tries to ensure each dog will succeed in their adoptive home. Some of our dogs have never been on a leash in their prior home, so they may need a fence as they learn leash manners and how to go to the bathroom on leash, or they may be fearful and need a protected spot to settle in. Other dogs are high-energy and need a place to run multiple times a day.
  • Why is heartworm prevention so important?
    Heartworm is a parasite that is spread through the bite of a mosquito. Many dogs do not display any symptoms, especially in the early stages of the parasite entering their body. Untreated, heartworm can kill your dog, which is why prevention is so important. Preventing heartworm is as easy as giving your dog a tasty heartworm prevention tablet, prescribed by your veterinarian, at regular intervals. Annual heartworm tests should also be run when your Lab has his/her annual checkup. Lab Rescue gives every Lab in our care a heartworm test commonly known as a 4DX. If they are heartworm-positive, Lab Rescue will pay for their treatment as long as it is done at one of our partner veterinarians who has expertise in treating this disease. Heartworm treatment is very effective, but your dog will need to be kept calm and cannot have exercise for 1-2 months after the treatment.
  • Why is flea/tick prevention so important?
    Fleas and ticks can transmit a number of different diseases to your dog, including Lyme Disease, anaplasmosis, and ehrlichiosis. Fleas can even cause anemia. Prevention is the key to keeping your dog healthy. Monthly topical prevention is easy and it is a low-cost way to keep your Lab free of discomfort and disease. There are also several oral options. Controlling fleas on your dog also makes it easier to avoid fleas within your home.
  • A Lab in a local shelter could use Lab Rescue’s help. What should I do?
    Please send all of the information you have about that dog to and a member of our intake team will reach out to the shelter. In many instances, the rescue has an established relationship with the shelter and may already be working with the shelter.
  • Why are so many Labs available for adoption?
    Labrador Retrievers are one of the most popular dog breeds in the United States. Here are some of the common reasons why Labs come to Lab Rescue LRCP: They are abandoned and become strays that are rescued by a shelter or kind individual rescuer. Families have had to give up their Labs for financial reasons. Sometimes families move and they cannot take their Labs with them. Labs are sometimes given up because their owners face medical or financial challenges. Some families find that a Lab requires more time than anticipated because they are a high-energy breed. From time to time, Lab Rescue is asked to help with an abusive situation. In short, many of our Labs have clearly been well-loved family pets that need new homes. Others are looking for new families to offer them love and care that they have never been able to experience. All of our Labs are searching for new homes that will accept them with love and provide the care and training that they need to be members of your family.
  • Why can’t I breed my adopted Lab?
    All dogs who come to Lab Rescue LRCP are spayed or neutered. As we are busy with the nearly 1,000 Labs that need homes each year, we don’t want to see that number grow. In addition, spaying and neutering can reduce some health and behavioral problems
  • What should I consider before adopting?
    Below are some questions you should ask yourself before adopting a dog: Do I have the time, right now, to commit to a dog? Most Labs, especially young Labs, need lots of exercise and mental stimulation. That translates to two nice long walks each day, play time, and ideally lots of interaction with other dogs and people. If you are out of the house for 9-10 hours a day and enjoy after-work social events, ask yourself how that lifestyle will be impacted once an active Lab enters your home? Are you ready for that type of change in your life? If you travel a lot, for business or pleasure, adding a dog to your home will require extra logistics and costs. Am I committed long-term to caring for a dog? Remember that this is a lifelong commitment. You are going to be committing your life to being responsible for feeding, watering, and caring for this animal. If you have never owned a dog before, you’re in for a treat. With a lot of love, and a great relationship, you’re going to find that this dog will give back to you everything you give, and so much more! Can I afford a dog? The adoption fee is just the starting point. Adding a dog to your home includes a fair amount of upfront investment for supplies, such as a crate, beds, toys, leashes, and food. Veterinary costs, including routine care and flea and tick/heartworm medication, also need to be considered. As a Lab gets older, additional trips to the vet and medications may be required. How will my other pets feel about a new friend? Sometimes, the resident dog may prefer to be a solo pet. You may want to consider how your dog does with canine visitors. Will I be able to balance caring for a dog with caring for my children? If you feel “your hands are a little full” right now due to caring for other family members, adding a Lab to your household may be too much. Remember that they still need walks even when the kids are sick or participating in numerous after-school activities.
  • What happens if my adoption doesn't work out?
    Sometimes, things get off to a bit of a rocky start. We are pleased to lend our support to help you with the adjustment process. You can always reach out to us, through your Adoption Coordinator, or at, and we will try to offer advice and assistance. Contractually, your Lab must come back to Lab Rescue if the relationship just doesn’t work out. The services of Lab Rescue LRCP are available for the entire life of your Lab.
  • How long does it take for my adoption application to be processed?
    Once you’ve submitted your application, you should expect to hear from your assigned Adoption Coordinator within a week. It probably feels like a long time to wait but please remember that our Adoption Coordinators are all volunteers who dedicate a portion of their week to helping make happy endings for our Labs. Please watch your spam or junk email folders. Your Adoption Coordinator may email you from a variety of accounts that your own email provider may not approve without your intervention. Once you and your Adoption Coordinator have connected, you control the schedule, including when the interview and different stages of the adoption process will occur.
  • Will my Lab be microchipped?
    As of April 2012, Lab Rescue has had a microchipping program for the Labs we place. This ensures that if a Lab gets lost it can always find its way back to Lab Rescue if you cannot be located. To learn more about microchipping, visit our Microchip section of the website.
  • Should I take my Lab to training classes?
    The simple answer is: “Yes”! Whether your Lab already knows commands or seems to have never heard the word sit before, training can offer you great value. The most important outcomes that training classes offer are bonding and communication. You will learn how to communicate with your dog and, in return, he/she will bond with you faster. Even experienced dog owners find value in a refresher class and leaves more confident in their ability to control their Lab in every socialization situation. Your dog will also get to spend time with a lot of dogs and will benefit from the socialization experience that a training class offers. Labs, like all dogs (and humans, too), respond best to positive training, and we require all applicants to use that as a screening mechanism in evaluating possible classes and instructors. Praise good behavior and feed them tasty treats and 99.99% of Labs will do anything you want! Negative corrections and punishment are not effective and not appropriate choices. For more information, visit: There are many great training classes available—ask your Adoption Coordinator for references in your area or check out this handy guide:
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