The Adoption Process

Thank you for considering adopting a Labrador Retriever. Lab Rescue of LRCP, Inc., is a volunteer driven non-profit organization that rescues and places abandoned Labrador Retrievers.  We usually have between thirty and sixty dogs waiting for adoption at any time of all ages and colors and both genders. Please plan to visit a range of dogs to find the best one for your family.

On this page we offer information that's meant to guide you through the adoption process.  There are several steps involved and the process can take several weeks or longer. Try to be patient throughout the process.  You may feel ready for a lab to join you tomorrow but our process ensures that the right family is matched with the right lab.

We strongly recommend you purchase, Love Has No Age Limit: Welcoming an Adopted Dog into Your Home by Patricia McConnell. Even if you have a dog now, or have in the past, this booklet offers easy-to-follow and sensible suggestions on how to succeed with your new canine friend.

We also recommend that you try to be open minded about the lab of your dreams.  Even if you had the pleasure of knowing the greatest yellow lab as a child, remember that each dog is unique and will have his or her own personality.  Focus on personality not age and color.  There are plenty of high energy seniors in the lab community.

Before you complete your application, read this page thoroughly. 

Adoption Application  

Lab Rescue LRCP rescues dogs in Maryland, Washington DC, Virginia, West Virginia, Pennsylvania,  Delaware and northeast North Carolina. Adopters must travel to Virginia or Maryland with their family – human and canine – to meet the dog they want to adopt.

If you live outside of the Lab Rescue service area and would like to adopt, please review the list of rescues elsewhere in the country, available at, do a  Google search on Lab Rescue and your location, or search on or to find a rescue who places Labs near you.
You can complete an online Adoption Application.  It tells us more about you and the kind of lab you want to add to your family.  We ask for a lot of information about you and your family.  Our goal is to learn everything we need to make sure that a perfect match is made.

If you wish you can mail or fax or scan and email your completed application. You can download the printable application form here but please remember to email, fax or mail it in.

Send by Mail to:
Lab Rescue of the LRCP Inc
P.O. Box 1814
Annandale, VA 22003 

Fax to:  (888) 280-9798
Scan & Email:

You can also complete an application at our Adopt A Lab events.  Please visit table 1 for the application or print one and bring it with you. 

Please be aware that labs are coming in and being adopted all the time.  By the time you submit your application the lab you see on the website may be in the process of being adopted. 

Apply Online

You can complete your application online using our easy to complete form. Once complete, your application will be forwarded to an Adoption Coordinator. It can take a week and more for your Adoption Coordinator to be in touch.

Print and Send Application

If you are unable to complete our online application, you can download and print our application here.  Once completed, please fax to 1(888) 280-9798. Please note: Online applications are preferred.

Scheduling an Interview With a Lab Rescue Adoption Coordinator

 Completing an application is only step one in adding a lab to your family. A Lab Rescue volunteer Adoption Coordinator will contact you for an interview. 

It can take two weeks or more for you to hear from someone.  Bear with us, we are all volunteers and sometimes we get backed up.

If it's been more than two weeks since you sent in your application, please email and we will follow up.  Please tell us how you sent your application (online, mail, fax) and the date you sent your application in.

The Interview

  • Our Lab Rescue volunteer Adoption Coordinators will set aside some time to speak with you and walk you through the entire adoption process. This interview can take up to an hour. 
  • We will ask you questions about your home, your family and family members and your lifestyle.  All of these questions help us help you find the right lab for you.
  • At the end of the interview we will have a good idea about how to proceed.

Reference Checks

 Prior to approving your application we will follow up with your references, including your vet. 

Approval Status

 Not all applications are approved for adoption.  There's no hard and fast set of criteria that we have that determines whether we will approve your application.  Your Adoption Coordinator will notify you of your status.

If Approved; Begin Meeting Labs

 If you've been approved to adopt a Lab Rescue lab, you can start meeting labs.  Your Adoption Coordinator will send you information about labs available for adoption that might match your family. 

Let your Adoption Coordinator know who interests you.  They will help you with the next steps.  

Please remember, if there are several people who want to meet a Lab Rescue dog, it's first come - first served. You possibly may not meet the first lab that catches your eye.  There may already be families scheduled to meet that lab or others who are able to make the trip to visit the lab before you are able.

Visiting a Lab at a Foster Home

 If you visit at lab that is being fostered by Lab Rescue, you need to schedule time with the foster family.  Please be respectful of the foster family's schedule.  Every foster family is made up of Lab Rescue volunteers

All family members need to come.  That includes children and other family dogs.  Cats can stay at home.  The best way to determine whether the lab you're meeting is a good fit for your family is to have everyone meet them. Set aside enough time for everyone to meet and greet. It can take an hour or more for you to be able to get some quality time with the lab you're interested in adopting.

If you decide to adopt from a foster home, you can take the dog with you.  Please bring a collar and leash with you so that the foster family has equipment for their next foster. 

In Case You Adopt - Needed Equipment

 If you decide you want to adopt a Lab Rescue dog you'll need to be prepared.   At a minimum you need
  • A leash
  • A collar
  • High quality dog food for a few days
You may also need or want to consider:
  • Toys - balls and stuffed squeaky toys are usually a good start
  • Crate - some dogs do best crated; your foster family can tell you more about the dog they've been taking care of
  • Dog bed
  • Training treats

The Lab Rescue Contract

This area of the website does not replace your reading the full contents of the Lab Rescue adoption contract.  From time to time our adopters tell us that they are confused or unclear of their contractual obligations when the house check is performed.  Please note, that failure to adhere to the adoption contract can result in Lab Rescue of the LRCP taking the lab back into its care.

As an adopter you agree to 15 terms and conditions, only a few are highlighted here:
  • you are required to take your new lab to your vet within one week of adopting him or her
  • if the lab is not spayed or neutered, you are required to spay or neuter them
  • your lab is required to be on heartworm prevention for the rest of its life
  • your lab is required to be on flea / tick prevention for the rest of its life
  • your lab must have a name tag and collar at all times
  • you must pay an adoption fee
  • if, for any reason, you can not care for the lab you adopt, for the rest of its life, your lab must be returned to Lab Rescue of the LRCP
The lab you adopt is a member of your family and the Adoption Contract has been written to ensure that all labs who enter our care receive a humane and loving household for the rest of their lives.  If you have any questions or concerns about the contents of your contract, talk to your adoption coordinator.  

House Check

 A few weeks after you adopt we will call to schedule a house check.  The house check confirms that you and your lab have settled in together and that the conditions of the contract have been met.  

A Lab Rescue 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.