Frequently Asked Questions
Why have all of the phone numbers been removed from the website?
We’d love to chat to you all over the phone but unfortunately we were getting at least 30 phone calls a day when we had the phone numbers on the website. We all work full time and have families and pets that need some of our time as well. We found that with the volume of calls, we were not able to juggle our busy lives and respond to people as quickly as we would like. So we have chosen to ask everyone to email us as a first point of contact to allow us to get back to you as efficiently as possible. Please have a read of the frequently asked questions to see if they can answer some of your questions. If you still have other questions feel free to ask them via email. If you are interested in finding out more about a dog, please fill in the questionnaire as this allows us to establish which dogs are potential matches for your lifestyle. You will definitely be able to chat to someone down the track if we find a dog that is suitable for your family. Once we know which dogs will suit we will be better able to put you directly in contact with the person that knows the most about that dog and save wasting your time.
What is the process for adopting a dog?
Please click on the "Adopt" link above and complete the questions if you are interested in adopting a Labrador. We will not discuss specific dogs with you until you have completed this questionnaire as this allows us to establish which dogs are potential matches for your lifestyle. Once we have found a suitable match to your family, we will put you in contact with the appropriate foster carer who will discuss the dog in more detail with you. Once you are both satisfied that this is a good match you will be able to meet the Lab. If all goes well, you will be able to take the dog on a 2 week trial. You will complete the adoption paperwork and pay the adoption fee at this stage. At the end of the 2 week trial you will be able to adopt the Lab and we will submit the micro chip transfer to the appropriate authority.
Can I come out and meet all of the dogs?
Unfortunately, no, this is neither possible or something we would encourage. As you can appreciate, our Labs are in foster care all over the country. We prefer to match the right Lab to the right family so we don’t waste your time or ours in meeting Labs that will not suit your family. We would hate for you to fall in love with a Lab that was not suitable for your lifestyle. Please fill in the questionnaire above and email it to us to be matched with a suitable Lab. Then you will be able to meet that Lab.
Are your Labs kept in kennels?
We have a fabulous group of foster carers take our Labs into their homes and treat them like their own. Labradors do not cope well in kennels as they are extremely family oriented, therefore they behave very differently to how they would in a home environment. Having them in foster homes allows us to assess them in an everyday home environment to see how they behave in normal situations we expect they will come across once they are rehomed. Some of our foster carers have cats, some have kids, some have livestock, some have 5 foot fences, some have farm fences and some have 6 foot fences. Not all Labs will be tested with everything but they will be tested in a range of different situations that allow us to have a good idea of the types of homes that will suit and those that won’t.
Will you hold a Lab for me until I am ready to adopt it?
Our foster carers take our Labs into their homes and treat them like their own until a new home is found. This means we have very limited spaces available and we can’t hold the Labs for someone if there are other suitable homes available. We understand that you will already have plans that mean you can not adopt a Lab straight away. The reality we face is that there are Labs dumped in pounds every day. We can only take the ones we have space for and those that we can’t will be put to sleep by the pound sometimes within 24 hours if they are not adopted and we are unable to offer them a foster home. To avoid putting us in the situation where we are forced to say no, please contact us when you are ready to take a Lab today! We get several hundred Labs per year, there is unfortunately a never ending supply. If you are a great home, we will find you a great Lab!
Can I surrender my Lab to you today?
We have very limited spaces due to availability of foster carers and we can only take them when we have a spare foster home. This may only take a few days but it could also be a few weeks. We try to utilise our foster carers to save the Labs on death row at the pounds that have no other options. We understand that you are not able to meet your Labs needs, but by keeping them with you, you guarantee that they have a safe place to live while they wait for a new home and don’t risk being put to sleep in a pound. Labs also have a much better chance of being adopted directly from a home as they are much more settled than they are when they are terrified in a pound environment. Please complete the application under “Help Me Rehome My Dog!” to enable us to advertise your Lab on our website while we wait for space to become available in foster care.
Is it better to surrender my Lab to you or hold them until a fantastic home comes along?
We would quite happily retire from Lab Rescue and devote our time to looking after our own families and Labs. We do this as a volunteer service and work tirelessly to make sure that these Labs have a happy, stable home to stay in whilst they wait for their forever home. We would prefer that you look after your Lab until such time as you are able to find them a fabulous home that is able to offer them what you could not, this frees up our time to look after those dogs that have been dumped in pounds by irresponsible owners that have not honoured their commitments. When you purchased your Lab, you made a commitment to ensure that they are safe, happy and healthy for their entire lives. As you are not able to fulfil that commitment, we will do our best to help find someone that can.
If I wish to surrender my Lab, can you come and collect it?
Everyone in Lab Rescue is a volunteer. We do this as well as looking after our own families, animals and juggling our lives. We do not have the time or energy to go and collect all of the dogs that get dumped each week (we get over a dozen requests per week). If you want us to help you with your Lab, you will need to either deliver it to the foster carer that has agreed to look after your dog or pay for transport to have the dog delivered to the foster carer. Our foster carers do a lot of travelling picking up pound dogs and organising vet appointments for the Labs once they are in their care. We don’t want to burn out our foster carers, they devote a lot of time to the dogs in their care, so we aim to make their lives as easy as possible when we can.
What are the needs of a Lab?
Labs are extremely social dogs, both with humans and other animals. Labs require lots of human interaction every day. They require at least an hours exercise every day, preferably off lead running around and playing with other dogs. If you can not offer a Lab this amount of time as a minimum, then we suggest you get a more independent breed.
If my kids have been bugging me for a Lab and they tell me they will look after it, do you think they will?
NO! Kids can barely look after themselves. If you are the adult, you will be responsible for walking the Lab for an hour everyday. You will be responsible for feeding the Lab and ensuring that they have fresh water. You will be responsible for training the Lab. You will be the one to keep the Lab for the next 15 years while your child goes to sports, goes out with their friends and moves out of home to somewhere they are unable to take the Lab. If you are not ready to make this kind of commitment, do not adopt a Lab!
What's the difference between adopting a dog from you and getting a puppy from elsewhere?
We primarily save dogs from death row in. By adopting a dog from us you are preventing the deaths of perfectly good Labradors throughout Australia. We also 'road test' all Labradors that come through our care. We can tell you the personality, the general health and any bad habits or behavioural issues that the dog has. We can't guarantee a perfect dog, but we can guarantee that we will be as frank as possible about the dogs in our care.
We pride ourselves in putting a lot of work in matching the right dog to the right home. So we not only screen test our dogs, we assess everyone applying for the dogs too. We work with people to manage their expectations and understand exactly what's involved when adopting a Labrador. We want these dogs to go to a safe, secure forever home and to NEVER end up in the pound again.
To ensure the dogs are permanently placed in new homes, we give you a 2 week trial where you can return the dog with a full refund. However, we will not give you a dog if we are not 95% sure it is a great match!
There are a lot of people out there who will sell a puppy to anyone, regardless of their expectations or plans for the dog. By adopting a dog from us you will be more aware of the commitment you are getting into. You get far more support from Labrador Rescue than you do from any other place.
Where is the best place to purchase a puppy?
From a properly registered and reputable breeder. They must be registered with the Australian National Kennel Council (ANKC). If you wish to purchase a puppy, then contact all of the registered breeders in your area. The fact that they are registered provides yo with some level of assurance over the health checks of the parents. To find out if they have the dogs best interests at heart you can ask them the following questions:
Can I have a 8 week old puppy from Labrador Rescue?
Because we are getting dogs from the pounds, we very rarely get young puppies. We occasionally get dogs around 6 months old but you may have to go onto a waiting list to be considered.
Are you sure about the puppy? If you asked any of our experienced foster carers if they would take care of an 8 week puppy they would be very cautious. Puppies need lots of care and stimulation. They need toilet training, socialisation and a LOT of work. Make sure you are prepared before searching for a puppy.
If you do decide to purchase a puppy elsewhere, PLEASE desex your dog. We need to cut down on the needless or accidental breeding of Labradors.
Can I have a dam for breeding?
NO! There are so many perfectly good Labradors being destroyed in pounds across Australia. Labrador Rescue have their work cut out for them trying to rescue them. There is no need to bring more Labs into the world, just to end up in the pounds. This is completely against our work as a rescue group.
Please don't contact ANY rescue group for a dam. It is illegal to rehome any dog without first getting it desexed. It simply will not happen. You will get the same response from anyone you contact.
If you wish to become involved in breeding Labradors, we strongly encourage you to talk to other Labrador breeders that are registered with the ANKC and find out what is involved with breeding. There is a lot of genetic testing that needs to be done to help wipe out issues such as hip dysplasia that is such a common problem. We would love to see it eradicated in our favourite breed, but to do this, we need to stop Labradors being bred by people who have little or no understanding of how to fix this problem. Too many Labradors die premature painful deaths due to health issues such as this that could be stopped if ALL breeders took into account the welfare of the dogs before breeding. DON’T add yourself to the list of uncaring Labrador breeders. If you want to do it, do it right!
Why do I have to pay so much for a rescue dog?
We encourage you to contact your local vet and enquire as to how much it would cost if you were to get them to desex, microchip, vaccinate and worm a dog.
I guarantee that it would be significantly more than the adoption cost for one of our rescue labs. We endeavour to recover the veterinary costs associated with preparing the labs for adoption and whilst there is a small margin on dogs who don’t require excessive vet care this is quickly absorbed by dogs who need extra vet care and in routine costs such as wormers, flea treatments, dog bedding, treats and toys etc. It would not be possible to put a price on our time or effort or the incidental costs associated with rescuing the labs like mileage and fuel for collecting dogs from pounds and attending vet appointments etc.
If you adopt a lab from us you can expect them to be microchipped, desexed, vaccinated, heart worm treated, wormed for intestinal worms, clean and flea free. If that doesn’t represent excellent value I am not sure what does. You can be sure that the adoption cost you pay goes entirely towards the costs directly associated with the rescuing of Labradors and without it we wouldn’t be able to continue to help Labradors in need.
Has the dog got good hips?
Unless stated the rescue dogs in my care have NOT had their hips x-rayed. Unlike a pup one of the great things about adopting an adult dog is that what you see is what you get. If a lab shows signs of limping or similar and we feel it is warranted they will be x-rayed at the time they are desexed. During their health check their joints are rotated by the vet and movement is assessed. We tell all our new families that we are rehoming in good faith – we didn’t breed the dog and we didn’t raise it but they have been vet checked and deemed fit and healthy for adoption. Any known medical problems will be disclosed when the dog is advertised or before you meet them. We encourage all families to have their new dog independently vet assessed towards the end of the trial period for peace of mind.