Adding a furry friend to your family is always exciting. You can make a big difference by choosing to adopt from a lab rescue in Florida. These locations will have senior labs for adoption, along with a variety of other breeds. If you’re looking for labrador retriever rescue groups near me, these seven are the best in Florida.
Best Lab Rescues in Florida
These seven rescues have a variety of labs for you to meet. Some might have silver labs for adoption, while others have labrador retriever adults available. There are also plenty of lab puppies in Florida.
1. Labrador Retriever Rescue of Florida
LRROF began in 2000 and is entirely volunteer-run. They don’t even have a physical location because all dogs are in foster homes. That gives you an idea of how much they focus on keeping the labs safe and healthy while they find the right forever home. They also spay, neuter, and microchip their labs.
After you submit an adoption application, a volunteer interviews your veterinarian and conducts a home visit. They want to see if you have a yard or if the dog will stay in a crate most of the time. Then you’re able to meet the dogs, including Dudley labs for adoption.
Along with the volunteer you’ve worked with, foster families also have a say in who adopts the dog, so you know you’re going to get the right pup for your family.
2. Florida All Retriever Rescue
For people looking for a lab mix rescue, FARR has just what you’re looking for.
The organization is a non-profit run by volunteers—all adoption funds and donations go to keeping dogs healthy before they’re adopted. The volunteers spay or neuter the dogs, and they all have current shots and heartworm tests before they go home with you.
FARR’s detailed adoption form helps you understand what’s needed before you can even meet a dog. You have to prove you have an acceptable place for them to sleep, list other pets in the home, and give your vet’s contact information for a reference.
3. Heidi’s Legacy Dog Rescue
If you’re searching “labs for adoption near me,” Heidi’s Legacy Dog Rescue is a great option. The organization began in 2002 in honor of Heidi the German Shepherd. Volunteers run this non-profit.
Foster families quarantine new dogs for two weeks to ensure they’re healthy and able to socialize with other dogs. While in their foster homes, volunteers spay or neuter, vaccinate, and test the dogs for heartworms. They’re socialized and, if they need training, the volunteers ensure they get it before adoption.
To adopt through Heidi’s Legacy Dog Rescue, you fill out an application. Volunteers review your information and match you with the best dog. You’ll meet the dog at its foster home to ensure you get along.
While the website implies you need to have the right home and fenced yard for a dog, there’s nothing that clarifies if the volunteers make a home visit.
4. Everglades Golden Retriever Rescue
You might wonder why the Everglades Golden Retriever Rescue is on this list. People interested in lab adoption in Florida might also want to know about golden retrievers. These beautiful dogs are in the same family as labrador retrievers, so it’s worth seeing what pups are available at this rescue.
In addition to surrendered and rescued dogs, EGRR has “Turkey dogs” for adoption. People abandoned these dogs in Istanbul and EGRR is hoping to find them homes in the United States.
To adopt from EGRR you first fill out a detailed application. After a telephone interview, the volunteer contacts your vet and then conducts a home visit. When you meet your potential pet, the visit takes place at the foster home. You should bring all your family members to this visit.
The foster family has the final say in the adoption. If you’re approved, you’ll give them a copy of the adoption contract before bringing home your new pet.
5. Big Dog Ranch Rescue
Big Dog Ranch Rescue started in 2008 and has already matched almost 50,000 dogs with new owners. They have many different types of dogs, so if you’re looking for an English labrador retriever rescue, this is the place to look.
After filling out the detailed application, the agency contacts you for an appointment. You get a chance to meet the available dogs, though they also have community events every so often.
Big Dog Ranch Rescue not only contacts your vet, as other rescues do but also runs a background check. They require proof from your landlord or HOA that you can have a dog in your home.
The website is very detailed and transparent. You get to know the founders and Board of Directors—and their dogs! The organization runs programs in addition to adoptions, so you can also find out about their education, training, and disaster relief programs.
6. Brooke’s Legacy Animal Rescue
Brooke’s Legacy Animal Rescue is one of the no-kill lab shelters in Florida. All the animals they have available were at risk of euthanization before this rescue took them in.
You can specify which dog you’re interested in from their website, and meet that animal once volunteers approve your application. One great thing about Brooke’s Legacy Animal Rescue is that cats and guinea pigs are also available for adoption! You might go in wanting a lab but fall in love with other animals in the process.
This rescue doesn’t bill itself as a non-profit, so if you adopt from them or choose to donate, make sure to clarify any questions with them first. They have a lot of information on their website, but there are some gaps if you want a vetted non-profit.
7. Happy Trails Animal Rescue
Happy Trails Animal Rescue serves Central Florida because the available dogs are in foster homes throughout the area. Therefore, after you fill out the application and pass the screening, you’ll visit the dog at the foster family’s home. Happy Trails also completes background checks and contacts your references.
Volunteers will come to your house to ensure the dog has enough space to be comfortable. If you have other pets in the home, the volunteer will make sure the animals get along.
The organization spays or neuters all adoptable dogs, along with testing them for heartworms and vaccinating them. Your dog will have a microchip before you adopt it.
One major perk to adopting through Happy Trails is their training program. Not only do they socialize the dogs before they’re adopted, but they offer training support for life after you take your new pet home.
What You Need To Know Before You Adopt
You may have always had the dream of having a dog, but the reality is something you need to be fully prepared for. There are several things you need to know about before bringing a dog home:
- Dogs need lots of exercise and must be walked multiple times a day
- You need to be financially prepared for vet fees, pet insurance, adoption costs, as well as day-to-day expenses, like toys, food, and dog accessories
- Dogs need training, sometimes even ones that have been trained. Your dog may have anxiety being in a new place, so they may need to have their training reinforced or act out. However, that doesn’t mean they won’t be the perfect pet for your home!
The Costs Associated With Adoption
Depending on which shelter or rescue you use, there will be a different cost. There are different adoption fees, which could be as low as $40. However, you also need to be prepared for other costs: pet insurance, vet fees, and the “start-up” costs of all the things you’ll need, including:
- Food and water bowls
- Pet-proofing materials for the house
- Waste cleanup tools
- Crate and bedding
- Leash, collar, tags
- Puppy pads if you adopt a puppy
Best Tips To Get Approved for Adoption
Reputable rescues will want to do a home visit before they consider you for adoption. The best way to get approval is to show that you’re already ready for a dog.
To do that, have everything you’ll need: all the pet supplies, ready to go, a yard that’s fenced in with any poisonous plants removed, and a house that’s pup-proof.
You can demonstrate that you’re ready by asking questions about the adoption, about the dogs available, and about the rescue itself. This shows that you’re engaged and thoughtful, emotionally prepared to adopt a furry friend.
If you’re asked to fill out any paperwork or answer a questionnaire, provide as much information as you possibly can. Be detailed, accurate, and ready to answer even more questions.
Tips for First-Time Pet Owners
The best way to prepare for your new pet is to do all of the above: get your house ready before your pet arrives. However, it’s also a good idea to do the following, to set yourself up for success:
- Research and find a vet before you adopt
- Figure out what kind of food you want to give your dog based on breed, age, and budget
- Take a training class or two to understand how best to communicate with your dog
- Think about the routes you want to take when walking your dog
- Look at different dog parks in your area and see which works best for you
- Know local laws pertaining to dogs
Why Adopt a Rescue?
By adopting a rescue dog, you’re giving an animal a second chance at life. Many of these labs were close to euthanization, and now you’re welcoming them into your home and giving them toys and love! That’s enough to make the choice crystal clear.
But if you want to know other perks—adopting a rescue is cheaper than getting a dog from a breeder. Foster families socialize these dogs, and you’ll get welcomed into that community as well.
I hope you enjoyed this list of seven rescues in Florida. They give you plenty of options to find the perfect lab to adopt. Remember that adopting a dog from a rescue is the best way to make a difference when you’re adding a pet to your family.
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