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    Frequently Asked Questions


  • Where do the Labradors come from?
  • What information do we know about them?
  • How do we inquire about a Labrador on this site?
  • What is the adoption fee for a Labrador and what does it include?
  • Are the Labradors Trained?
  • What if I want to give up my Labrador to rescue or have found a stray?
  • What are the typical excuses given by people relinquishing their pets to humane societies and rescues groups?
  • Why do you not adopt Labradors to people who wish to keep their dog outdoors?
  • Do you share testimonials from folks who have rescued dogs?
  • You seem a little bit angry. What's wrong?
  • Even if I'm not going to breed my Labrador, why do I need to have him/her spayed or neutered?
  • I can adopt a dog from the SPCA for less than $100. Why do you charge $325?
  • My application was declined. Why? Can I re-apply?
  • If I adopt a Labrador and it is not working out, can I bring it back?

    Where do the Labradors come from?
    Labradors in rescue come from everywhere. Typically, they can no longer be kept by their owners for a variety of reasons, have been surrendered to an animal shelter, or have been rescued as strays.

    What information do we know about them?
    If a Lab is being surrendered by an owner, we evaluate them prior to coming in to rescue. When a Lab comes in to rescue from a shelter, the shelter gives us as much information as they know. When a Lab is turned in to rescue as a stray, we evaluate them during their foster care. All dogs are evaluated for personality traits, training and habits while in Rescue and/or foster care so that we can properly place them into a forever home.

    How do we inquire about a Labrador on this site?
    To inquire about a Lab on this site, you can contact us by email at info@rescuealab.com. Prior to adopting, you will need to complete an Adoption Application. Please complete it honestly, as it is in the best interest of our Labradors. In order to place these Labs properly, we match the personality traits of your family with the Labs in rescue to the best of our ability. We do not always have exactly what you may be looking for at that particular time, but please be patient as we receive calls on a daily basis from shelters and persons wanting to put Labs into our Rescue.

    What is the adoption fee for a Labrador and what does it include?
    The donation to adopt an adult Labrador in rescue is $325 and to adopt a puppy is $400. The adoption fee is to help cover the expenses in caring for the Labradors. Caring for the Labradors includes feeding a nutritional large breed diet, proper veterinary care, baths, nail trims, and treatment of any ailments. The Adoption Fee includes the following:

  • Spay or Neuter
  • Up-to-date vaccinations for DHLP2, Rabies, and Bordatella
  • Heartworm Test to be negative and current on Heartworm Preventative
  • Flea Preventative (Advantage or Frontline+)
  • Home Again Microchip
    More exact costs listed in our How You Can Help section.

    Are the Labradors Trained?
    Labradors are easy to train, as they are working dogs and want to please their owners. It is their owners, however, that require the most training! Some Labs have had previous training, some have not, and some are puppies that have not yet had the chance to be trained. In foster care, we work with the Labs and make every effort to crate and housetrain them. We will be honest with you as to what we have found the Lab to know (i.e. commands, habits, personality traits). We strongly encourage all adopted Labs go through basic obedience training classes with their new families. This will not only help you understand dog behaviors and commands, but also helps in the bonding process of your new Labrador pet. We will be happy to refer a positive method trainer in your area as we do not believe in the "choke them and jerk them around" methods of training.

    What if I want to give up my Labrador to rescue or have found a stray?
    Please look through the Surrender a Lab section to complete the necessary forms and evaluations. You may also send email to info@rescuealab.com. While we make every effort to accommodate your Labrador, we cannot possibly take every lab. As such, there is generally a slight waiting period, and we will require general information and very good photos in order to be considered. We appreciate your understanding.

    What are the typical excuses given by people relinquishing their pets to humane societies and rescues groups?
    There is not enough room on this page to list them all, but some of the most common are:

  • The dog barks (Really?! You're kidding!)
  • The dog has fleas (Are you sure it's the dog who has fleas? If so, one flea treatment will solve the problem.)
  • Cries at night (This was a dog that was locked in a storage room.)
  • He was cute as a puppy, but now he's not (We could probably say the same about you!)
  • He chews (This was, of course, a 3-month-old puppy cutting teeth.)
  • She's pregnant (And whose fault is that?)
  • He sheds (Newsflash: so do you.)
  • Won't stay off the furniture (Two Words: obedience class)
  • My girlfriend hates dogs (And yet, your dog loves her. Can't you work out a compromise?!)
  • He digs (Because he is bored. Throw him a tennis ball once in awhile.)
  • We're having a baby (Congratulations! Your labrador will love your new child...child = food crumbs!)
  • We're moving (Excellent! Labradors love new places.)
  • Eats too much (Translation: you feed too much.)
  • He runs along the fence and now we can't get grass to grow (A bag of grass seed costs around $7.00, straw is free. Problem solved.)
  • We aren't home much (Then why did you get a dog?)
  • My girlfriend loves dogs, but she hates this one (Are you sure it's the dog she has a problem with?)
  • Sleeps too much (Probably because he/she is bored.)
  • Don't have time to walk him (You can't spare 20 minutes a day? Come on! It's good for you, too!)
  • Demands too much attention (Probably because he/she is bored.)
  • His barking is irritating (I'm sure some folks say the same thing about your talking, and yet...)
  • Poops too much (What are you feeding it?!)
  • We didn't know that it would cost so much to have a pet (Surprise! Having a pet is like having a child, only more furry.)
  • We got new carpeting (And that is your dog's fault? Who was there first?)
  • Is now blind (And so you want to send it to a strange place?!)
  • Growls at my mother (No comment...)
  • We're going on vacation (And your dog can't come with you? Can you board him/her for a few days?)
  • We bought our dream house (Wonderful! Sounds like your dog will have more space, too!)
  • Having kids and a dog is too overwhelming! (Trust me - the dog will take less time and energy than the children.)
  • We got a new dog (What a great idea! Labradors love other dogs!)

    We just wonder when people will learn to be responsible pet owners, have their pets spayed or neutered, and realize that owning a pet is a long-term commitment. Until everyone learns that a pet is not "disposable", animals will continue to be destroyed in record numbers in humane societies throughout the country. Please, if you are going to own a pet, be a responsible dog or cat owner- or, don't own one at all! If you find yourself thinking, "Oh, it's just a dog" or "It's just a cat", think long and hard about whether or not you really want to own a pet.

    Why do you not adopt Labradors to people who wish to keep their dog outdoors?
    There are too many reasons to list, but for starters...

  • Above all else, the Labrador instinct is to search and hunt, and most Labs are extremely intelligent and get bored quickly. As such, when left alone outside, Labs tend to find ways to amuse themselves...usually by digging holes, chewing things up, or finding a way to get outside their fenced-in surroundings either by jumping, climbing, digging under, or chewing through. And if a Labrador spots another animal, be it another dog, a bird, a squirrel, or anything else that catches the attention, you can bet that your Labrador's inquisitive nature will take over and he/she will try to get it. It's the natural, instinctive reponse. An overwhelming majority of the "behavioral problems" that we encounter can be corrected by simple supervision.
  • We receive countless numbers of strays each year. We have no idea how some of these Labs have become such adept escape artists, but none of them would have gotten away if they had been under proper supervision. Leaving your dog outdoors provides far too many chances for escape.
  • Keeping your Labrador outside drastically increases their exposure to injury and disease... even if your pet is up-to-date on all of his/her shots.
  • Labradors are ferociously loyal and are the consumate companion dogs. Typically, they want to be with you and want to please. Leaving them outdoors lessens the opportunities for your pet to bond with you and increases their desire to wander off. Your Labrador is a member of your family and should be treated as such.
  • Finally, allow us to present you with an actual, real-life scenario that we have encountered too many times:

    A family gets a healthy, playful puppy. The children and parents dote over the pup, and for the first few months of his life, he is the center of attention. But soon the puppy grows into a large, active dog. The children lose interest, and the parents can't be bothered. The dog ends up on a four-foot chain in the backyard.

    The dog is fed table scraps when anyone remembers. In summer, no one thinks to give him water. In bad weather, he has no shelter. Sometimes, he's left for days at a time with nothing to eat. The dog is never walked, never exercised. Eventually, he's never even noticed.

    Alone day after day, the dog becomes bored and frustrated. He barks, and the neighbors complain. Passing children tease and annoy him. Because he has nothing to do, he becomes listless...and then aggressive. Finally, he has to be destroyed.

    .... the children start begging for a puppy.

    This kind of pet ownership is cruel and irresponsible. Make your pet a part of your family - for everyone's sake. If your neighbor's dog is chained and is suffering or creating a nuisance, please contact us and we'll try to do something about it.

    Do you share testimonials from folks who have rescued dogs?
    Absolutely! Feel free to browse through the Sucess Stories to read about some of our past adoptions. Here is an example:

    Ten years ago I adopted a female black lab. She was several years old and very afraid of people. The vet said she may have been badly abused as a puppy. I talked to her all the way home, where I introduced her to my two other dogs, showed her around the house, then took the leash off. She immediately ran into the spare room and hid behind the rocking chair. I told the other dogs to let LuLu get used to us.

    They would go to the doorway of the room and look at her, then go play. I made sure that I passed the room many times during each day and always talked to her. Every time I put the leash on to take her outside she seemed to just tolerate me. After several days I noticed she was sitting in the middle of the room watching us during the day. A few days later she started sitting by the doorway of the room.

    About a week after I brought her home she came out of the room and started joining the other two dogs in their play and came over by me and rubbed my hand or my leg. About a week after that she started losing her scared look and started holding her tail up (until this time she kept her tail tucked between her legs). When I first had her home and would pick up any kind of stick she would cower and shake real bad. So every time I took her out I would show her a twig on the ground, tell her what I was going to do, then pick up the twig, and we would walk to the back yard where I would throw it on the twig pile. After several days, she no longer cowered or shook when I would pick up a twig, but would lead me to the twig pile so I could get rid of it.

    LuLu was part of my family for ten years and was such a lovable dog all those years. She learned to trust me and gave me her undying devotion. I never fussed at her, raised my voice to her, or hit her. She was a very good dog and I miss her a lot. She died of cancer and I was able to keep her home with me until the end. She drew her last breath in my arms - I wouldn't have done it any other way.

    Throughout my life I have rescued dogs from shelters and from families that no longer wanted the dogs they had (some said the dogs wouldn't listen). Each time, within a few weeks, I had them eating out of my hand and well on their way to being trained to be the best dog they could be. It would only take me a couple of days to house train them. All you need is a lot of patience and plenty of love, and your reward is their complete devotion. What more can you ask for?

    All my life I have had one or more dogs around and I do not want to know what my life would be like without any dogs. They are such wonderful companions and fill each day with such joy and love. Right now I have a dachshund, Katrina, three-years-old, I rescued from a family when she was about 3-months-old. They didn't want her because they couldn't get her house trained! The same day I got her I had her house trained. Again, it just takes a lot of patience and love and the rewards are a lovable, well trained pet that will give you their undying love and devotion the rest of their lives. Also, I have always spayed and neutered my pets for their own health and safety and I have never regretted these decisions.

    You seem a little bit angry. What's wrong?
    There is a difference between anger and passion...and we are passionate about what we do. We are in the business of saving lives. We are in the business of helping to create families. We are in the business of showing people how much love, affection and happiness a rescue dog can bring into your life. When you spend as much time with these dogs as we do, you get attached to them - and you want to make sure they end up in good homes. Dogs do not come into this world aggressive, bored, listless, or destructive. Those words mean absolutely nothing to them. They are products of their environment, which means there are no "bad dogs", only "bad environments". If a dog growls and is suspicious of a person, somebody did something to that dog to make it act that way. The good news is that dogs are a thousand times more forgiving than humans. "Bad" or "disruptive" behavior is generally easy to correct in dogs. Just like with people, all it takes is a little bit of time, patience and understanding.

    Even if I'm not going to breed my Labrador, why do I need to have him/her spayed or neutered?
    We'll do our best to keep this short, but...
    In general, animal welfare organizations and veterinarians agree that spaying and neutering pets is a responsible decision that will benefit both pets and owners. Pet health care professionals insist that problems can certainly be avoided with these simple procedures. With proper dog care, you will also avoid excessive animal care expenses. Maintaining your dog's health through spaying and neutering is a sure way to prevent unnecessary costs.

  • Health... Female dogs are less likely to develop cancer and/or pyometra, and unwanted pregnancy is avoided. Male dogs are also less likely to develop cancer, and tend to be less aggressive when neutered. Males that haven't been neutered, on the other hand, are more likely to run away, in search of a female in heat.
  • Aggressiveness... Neutering and Spaying is not a cure for aggressiveness, but it will lessen the urge to fight for sexual dominance, which is the prime cause of dog fights. Less fighting means less pain for the pet and less expense for the owner.
  • Population Control... The total population of dogs and cats is in excess of 110 million. Yes, you read that right... 110,000,000. As a comparison, the entire state of California is home to just over 36,000,000 PEOPLE. So, to put it another way, there are almost three times as many dogs and cats as there are people in California. And with that many animals, you might guess that the birth rate is quite high...and you are correct. It is, unfortunately, not just high, but astronomical. The hourly birth rate of dogs and cats is over 2,500 per hour; 420,000 per week; and 22,000,000 per year. In comparison, the human birth rate is a little over 400 per hour.
  • Euthenasia... What this means for the 14 million dogs and cats that are turned in to animal shelters yearly is that, for most, no one wants them - no one needs them - and they shouldn't have been born. Every year, between 8 and 14 million animals enter U.S. shelters; some 4-6 million of these animals are euthanized because there are no homes for them.
  • Over-breeding... The most difficult people to deal with are those who think it unnatural to have their pets spayed or neutered. With the domestication of the dogs and cats and the intensified breeding for specific traits, culture has permanently altered and accelerated the breeding habits of these animals. The compulsion to reproduce is no longer as nature intended. It has reached epidemic proportions resulting in chaotic, antisocial behavior and health problems that threaten the lives of the animals we love so much.

    PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE SPAY OR NEUTER YOUR PET!!!

    I can adopt a dog from the SPCA for less than $100. Why do you charge $325?
    First of all, there is absolutely nothing wrong with adopting from the SPCA. In fact, we encourage everyone to research the SPCA, Human Societies, and Rescue organizations when they are searching for a new pet instead of looking for a breeder or pet store. The reason our rates are higher is due to the amount of care and feeding that we put into each animal. When you adopt from Labrador Retriever Rescue of Cincinnati, your Lab is already spayed or neutered, up-to-date on all vaccinations, on some sort of flea preventive, and given a Home Again ID chip. When you adopt from the SPCA or Humane Society, the cost is less because they generally do not give vaccinations. So while our cost is higher up-front, we are saving you a $325+ trip to the vet for your Labrador's first round of shots. Trust us...we spend far more on each Labrador than we bring in with the adoption fee, but we take this extra step to ensure the health and well-being of our Labs. The adoption fee merely helps us keep our doors open. And to give you some idea of the costs involved in Rescue, take a look at the How You Can Help section, or simply look at our vet costs alone over the past few years:

    2002: $11,258.15
    2003: $26,746.86
    2004: $34,498.03

    ...and that does not include food, water, kennel rent per day, or the other typical operating costs of the Rescue. But since Labrador Retriever Resuce of Cincinnati has no paid employees and no overhead, 100% of the adoption fee goes towards the care and feeding of the Labradors.

    My application was declined. Why? Can I re-apply?
    We do not like declining applications, but it is sometimes necessary in order to ensure a safe and healthy living arrangement for our Labradors. Please do not take a declination personally, as some criteria is specific and non-negotiable. Normally, yes - if your application is declined, you may re-apply once the reason for decline is corrected. We take a great deal of pride and put a great deal of effort into matching a Labrador to your lifestyle, which is why so few of our adoptions are unsuccessful. The application is only a small part of the process.

    If I adopt a Labrador and it is not working out, can I bring it back?
    Yes. In fact, per the Adoption Agreement, you must. We make every effort to make sure we find a Labrador that is a good fit for your personality and lifestyle. Though rare, in the event that the relationship is not working out, we ask that you return the Lab to our rescue so that we may re-evaluate and re-adopt the dog. No hard feelings... Signing the Adoption Agreement is a legal, binding contract stating that you will not relinquish the Labrador to any other Rescue, Humane Society, SPCA, or organization, nor will you simply turn the animal loose.