Luvin’ Labs is a Labrador Retriever Rescue based in New Mexico.   We are dedicated to finding loving homes for Labrador Retrievers through rescue and rehoming.  We currently do not have dogs on site, rather we rely on donations for boarding and fabulous fosters to keep our labs until they find their forever homes!

Luvin’ Labs works with shelters and rescue organizations throughout the state.  We also work with owners of Labs who for a myriad of reasons need to find a loving home for their Labrador Retriever.

Click through the pages of our site and check back often for updated posts of available dogs as well as Lab related information.

Postings include dogs in our program, as well as Labrador Retrievers in danger in shelters throughout the state.


To visit dogs in immediate danger please click HERE

1337 dogs adopted to date!


Together saving one soul at a time.
Together we can save one soul at a time.

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Dawson recently joined the Luvin’ Labs family  after being rescued from a high kill shelter with just hours left.  He’s just a year old and has so much future ahead of him.  Dawson is a typical young lab…energetic, happy, friendly, gets along well with people and other dogs.  The only thing un-typical about Dawson is his tail…we’re not sure what happened, but it sure doesn’t affect his ability to wag it.  Those of us with labs know what chaos lab tails can do when they’re in full motion…well, you won’t have to worry about that with Dawson.

If you are interested in meeting Dawson click here for information on the adoption process. There you will find the online application which, when completed, can be emailed to applications@luvinlabs.com. Upon receipt of the application a volunteer will be in touch with you within 10 days. Should you have additional questions or want to foster him call (505) 362-0331.

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This beautiful 7 year old pure breed chocolate lab is Kona.  Kona’s owner got her as a small puppy and she’s been the constant companion to her owner for 7 years.  Unfortunately health issues have forced her owner to make a difficult decision…to find a new loving home for her best friend.  Kona has been well-cared for and is in great health.  She is a wonderful dog, loves to be with her person, house trained, and gets along great with other dogs.

If you are interested in meeting Kona click here for information on the adoption process. There you will find the online application which, when completed, can be emailed to applications@luvinlabs.com. Upon receipt of the application a volunteer will be in touch with you within 10 days. Should you have additional questions call (505) 362-0331.  Owner Listing

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Bo


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My name is BO and I am a male,choc Labrador Retriever.
The shelter thinks I am about 6 years old.

For more information about this animal, call:
Albuquerque Animal Welfare Department – Eastside at (505) 768-1975
Ask for information about animal ID number A1752939

This Thanksgiving weekend we’d like to pause for a moment and give a paws up for each of you … Thank you for supporting Luvin’ Labs, for adopting, volunteering, donating, transporting, sharing, advocating or any of the millions of little things that each of you do to help us continue on helping those without voices.

That said, we’ve currently seven dogs sitting in shelters in desperate need of a foster. Without a foster we cannot pull them, and truly their life is daily hanging in the balance. A sad fact is at holidays many folks simply drop their dogs off at the shelter in lieu of finding a pet sitter. Sad, alone and confused the dogs as owner surrenders are the first to be put on the euthanasia list. In some places they are literally walked from the front of the shelter to the euthanasia room.

Can you help us to make a difference in the life of just one lab? Can you set another doggie bowl at your table this holiday season and truly help us save a life?

 

 

 

 

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My name is TEXAS and I am a male,black Labrador Retriever mix.
The shelter thinks I am about 1 year and 1 month old.

For more information about this animal, call:
Albuquerque Animal Welfare Department – Eastside at (505) 768-1975
Ask for information about animal ID number A1752575

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Tonik is a female chocolate lab, 12 years old and blind. This morning she got out of her yard located near County Line Road and Crestview in Edgewood. She was wearing a collar; however no tags. She is microchipped. Her owners are desperate to find her. If you have seen her or know where she might be please call Chantelle at 505-400-5631 or Luvin’ Labs at 505-362-0331. With the cold weather it is essential that she be found soon.

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Shelter staff named me FLOWER and I am a spayed female,black Labrador Retriever.
The shelter thinks I am about 11 years old.

For more information about this animal, call:
Albuquerque Animal Welfare Department – Eastside at (505) 768-1975
Ask for information about animal ID number A1503357

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This handsome 3 year old is Winston.  He’s a volunteer favorite as he’s such a happy, friendly boy that loves people and other dogs.  Notice in the photos Winston’s tail is a blur…that’s because it’s always wagging!  His favorite activity is going for a walk and he is always eager to explore his new surroundings.    Winston came to Luvin’ Labs heart worm positive, but he has started his recovery treatment and doing well.  Winston would love to be in his very own home, or even a foster home, rather than spending his time at the vet’s office.

If you are interested in meeting Winston click here for information on the adoption process. There you will find the online application which, when completed, can be emailed to applications@luvinlabs.com. Upon receipt of the application a volunteer will be in touch with you within 10 days. Should you have additional questions or want to foster him call (505) 362-0331.

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O’ my darlin’ Clementine…This happy 2 year old is Clementine, a lab/shepherd mix who just wants to have fun.  She came to us from a family that couldn’t keep her as she liked to play chase with all the farm animals.  While Clementine had a great time, the pigs and goats didn’t.  Clementine loves attention and just being with her person.  She likes playing with other medium to large dogs.  Clementine has great house manners and would like nothing better than to snuggle up to a new best friend in the warmth of her new forever home.

If you are interested in meeting Clementine click here for information on the adoption process. There you will find the online application which, when completed, can be emailed to applications@luvinlabs.com. Upon receipt of the application a volunteer will be in touch with you within 10 days. Should you have additional questions or want to foster her call (505) 362-0331.

 

 

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As a 501c(3) non-profit we are committed to transparency as regards significant changes in the rescue.  Recently our overall costs of providing our rescue dogs with the best possible care has increased to the point where we have made the difficult decision to increase our adoption donation.  Effective 11/1/2016 the donation to adopt a dog 9 months or older will increase to $175.00 and the donation to adopt a dog under 9 months will be $250.00.  As we have always done in the past, 100% of the donations received are used solely to treat the medical expenses and boarding costs for the dogs in our program and coming into our program.  All donations are tax-deductible.

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Want to help make a difference to the Labrador Retrievers in our program? We’ve two easy ways below … 
  
Sign up for a one time donation at the Paypal (paypal link at the bottom of the page).

Or sign up to be a monthly donor through our monthly donor Paypal program (monthly donor link below, select the amount from the drop down then click on the large “monthly donation” button).

Either program will help you to literally help us save the life of a Labrador Retriever waiting to come in to our program. All donations assist us in continuing our mission of rescuing, rehoming and rehabilitating Labrador Retrievers.
 
100% of funds are used to cover costs incurred from intaking, medically treating and boarding dogs in our program. As a 501 (c)(3) non profit all donations are tax deductible.
We are deeply grateful for your help.

Monthly Donation


 

Together we can save one soul at a time.
 

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Sophie, 6 years old and weighing only 35 pounds, is anxious to find her very own loving home.  Sophie found herself sitting in a high kill shelter with no one looking for her.  Being 6 years old and black were too factors against her getting out…but out she is as Luvin’ Labs knew this girl deserved a chance.  Sophie likes people, other dogs and ignores cats.  She would do best with someone who is home a lot as she thrives on having a best friend just to hang out with.

If you are interested in meeting Sophie click here for information on the adoption process. There you will find the online application which, when completed, can be emailed to applications@luvinlabs.com. Upon receipt of the application a volunteer will be in touch with you within 10 days. Should you have additional questions call (505) 362-0331.

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Oso


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Homeless?  How did that happen?  It seemed like the perfect spring day to take a walk around the neighborhood, but then Oso found himself in unfamiliar territory.  He hoped his family would find him, but they didn’t…why didn’t they get him microchipped?  While he had a place to stay at the shelter, it just wasn’t home.  He missed his family.  Oso is about 4 years old, on the small side for a lab (just under 60 pounds), and just a great dog.  Oso loves people and, while he likes other dogs, a structured introduction is necessary.

10/8/2016 Update From Oso’s Foster:

Oso has settled down well, he gets excited like all labs when it’s time to walk or get fed. 
He is social with all people and even little kids. He knows how to sit and we are working on stay. He is very smart and learns fast, loves to please. He loves to be petted. He is a little leary of new things,  but just like new dogs after a good intro his is GREAT. HE does not charge doors and waits to be told he can go out.

If you are interested in meeting Oso click here for information on the adoption process. There you will find the online application which, when completed, can be emailed to applications@luvinlabs.com. Upon receipt of the application a volunteer will be in touch with you within 10 days. Should you have additional questions call (505) 362-0331.

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Meet Skye…this 1-1/2 to 2 year old girl just can’t wait to have her own forever home.  She’s quiet, on the shy side, but loves to play.  She gets along great with other dogs and, for that reason, we are looking for an adopter with another dog.  Her foster mom says she is a player…loves to play with other dogs, loves to play fetch and loves playing with her toys.  For her life is good at her foster’s house!

If you are interested in meeting Skye click here for information on the adoption process. There you will find the online application which, when completed, can be emailed to applications@luvinlabs.com. Upon receipt of the application a volunteer will be in touch with you within 10 days. Should you have additional questions call (505) 362-0331.

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Aylee is a 2 year old black lab that has had some hard times.  Now that she is part of the Luvin Labs family she has gotten all the care she needs.  Aylee has arthritis in her front leg from an early injury, but she loves chasing lizards around the yard and it has never slowed her down. She just takes a daily dose of fish oil and glucosamine.  She knows basic commands, sleeps in her crate at night and chews only on her toys.  Aylee gets along with her two lab foster brothers and is always up for a game a fetch. Aylee never jumps on people and loves being petted but is never too demanding for attention. She is a weary of strangers but she warms up quickly. She misses her people when they aren’t around so she won’t do well if left alone for long periods of time. Aylee should go to a home without young kids or dominant dogs. Aylee is a beautiful young dog who deserves her forever home.

If you are interested in meeting Aylee click here for information on the adoption process. There you will find the online application which, when completed, can be emailed to applications@luvinlabs.com. Upon receipt of the application a volunteer will be in touch with you within 10 days. Should you have additional questions call (505) 362-0331.

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Seniors are the best and Sport is a perfect example of why.  At 9 years old he loves to play, but not in a rough way, and loves to sit at his person’s feet for hours.  Sport has lived in a home his entire life, but was recently surrendered as his owner was forced to move and had to down-size which included her dog. Sport is perfect in the house and gets along great with other dogs.  Sport has a twinkle in his eyes that tell you he is all about having fun!

If you are interested in meeting Sport click here for information on the adoption process. There you will find the online application which, when completed, can be emailed to applications@luvinlabs.com. Upon receipt of the application a volunteer will be in touch with you within 10 days. Should you have additional questions or want to foster Sport call (505) 362-0331.

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Found by a family just sitting in their driveway, all attempts to find the owner were unsuccessful.  Most likely this little 5-6 month old black pup was dumped.  Hard to believe as she knows basic commands, is house trained and so very sweet.  Taylor loves all attention, whether that be from humans or other dogs.  She even gets along with cats.  Taylor is now a member of the Luvin’ Labs family, all checked out by our vet as healthy, and ready to find her very own forever home.

If you are interested in meeting Taylor click here for information on the adoption process. There you will find the online application which, when completed, can be emailed to applications@luvinlabs.com. Upon receipt of the application a volunteer will be in touch with you within 10 days. Should you have additional questions or want to foster her call (505) 362-0331.

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Hi everyone! You ready to meet a little bit of chocolicious love? That’s me and I’m ready to meet you : ) I’m still a pretty young girl, right around one and a half years old and I love the zoomies and playing with my foster brother Logan! I’m finally feeling better after my first elderly owner surrendered me to Luvin’ Labs … they couldn’t take care of me and boy did it show! I had mange : ( That means that I only had about 30% of my coat. I’m sure glad that it’s growing back in glossy and shinny … you get to see what a beautiful chocolate covered girl I truly am! They tell me I have something that’s called secondary addisons disease … I don’t know what the heck that is but guess what? I’ve got the amazing folks of Luvin’ Labs behind me sponsoring the twenty dollar a month meds I need to keep me feeling right as rain! I’d really love to meet you, I’m a great girl once you give me a bit of time to get to know you. I love other dogs and going on walks and I even run every day with my foster mom! I’m house trained, and sweet, and they tell me I’ve been through so much I really deserve a wonderful home. Can I have that wonderful home thing with you? See you soon! Love, Heather.

If you are interested in meeting Heather click here for information on the adoption process. There you will find the online application which, when completed, can be emailed to applications@luvinlabs.com. Upon receipt of the application a volunteer will be in touch with you within 10 days. Should you have additional questions call (505) 362-0331.

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Looking for a beautiful friendly black female lab with a big blocky head…then you’re looking to meet Bridgette.  Bridgette is 3 years old, gets along well with other dogs, has a tail that wags constantly…the only good thing she’s missing is her very own forever home.  We plan to change that!

If you are interested in meeting Bridgette click here for information on the adoption process. There you will find the online application which, when completed, can be emailed to applications@luvinlabs.com. Upon receipt of the application a volunteer will be in touch with you within 10 days. Should you have additional questions or want to foster her call (505) 362-0331.

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Our young boy Rocky at 1-1/2 to 2 years old is indeed a fighter like his namesake Rocky Balboa.  Rocky was found in a small community shelter suffering from a broken leg, but still displaying a happy, friendly attitude, just anxious to get out and on with life!  His leg has now been repaired (thanks to our awesome vets at Good Shepherd) and he can brag about the new pin he has to keep everything together.  Rocky still has his cast on, but will soon be as good as new!  Rocky gets along with other dogs and can’t wait to find a new best friend.

If you are interested in meeting Rocky click here for information on the adoption process. There you will find the online application which, when completed, can be emailed to applications@luvinlabs.com. Upon receipt of the application a volunteer will be in touch with you within 10 days. Should you have additional questions call (505) 362-0331.

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Jax


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Handsome Jax has been loved and cherished since being adopted from a shelter almost 5 years ago, but his owner was recently faced with the dilemma of her job putting her in the position of having to find him a new home.  Jax is 11 years young, super friendly with dogs of all ages and sizes, kids, infants, seniors…you name it, Jax gets along.  While classified as a senior Jax still has as lot of sparkle in his step and just wants to be that perfect best friend.  Jax is now a member of the Luvin’ Labs family and is looking for his new forever home.

If you are interested in meeting Jax click here for information on the adoption process. There you will find the online application which, when completed, can be emailed to applications@luvinlabs.com. Upon receipt of the application a volunteer will be in touch with you within 10 days. Should you have additional questions call (505) 362-0331.

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What better way to show your support for Luvin’ Labs then by wearing one of our custom tee-shirts!  We have several styles available in sizes ranging from men’s small to x-large.  These awesome high-quality shirts can be purchased at Good Shepherd Animal Clinic, 4601 Menaul NE in Albuquerque Monday thru Friday 9 am to 6 pm, except Wednesday 9 am to noon.  All tee-shirts are priced at $15.00 each and  proceeds go directly to the care of our rescue labs.

Can’t get to Good Shepherd…we can mail the shirts to you.  Use the donation button below to pay via paypal or credit card.  In “Special Instructions to Seller” let us know the style, color (if applicable) and size.  For up to 2 shirts, add $8.00 shipping and handling.  (Please call for shipping costs if ordering more than 2 shirts.)  Make sure we have your mailing address and email (for questions).

 

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Detailed views of these shirts can be seen by clicking here.

Owner Listings are posted as a courtesy with Luvin Labs acting as a facilitator in this process.  We will receive applications, send them to the owner, and work with both parties to find a suitable home.  However, Luvin Labs has not evaluated these dogs and has only provided information supplied by the owner. We make no representations of, either expressed or implied, as to the health and/or temperament of courtesy listing dogs.

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Meet Joppa, a 4-5 year old labradoodle, beloved by her family, but because of her size (about 60 pounds) and her energy level too energetic for the family’s very small child.  Joppa’s owner describes her as “extremely athletic and taking her for a jog for a couple of miles is a warm up. She loves to play, one of her favorite toys is an empty plastic coffee can that she “dribbles” around the yard with her mouth and feet. She loves to put her head in your lap for some petting and laying upside down with all her paws in the air. She would love a family who jogs or hikes with her daily. She likes to play with older kids but can is too bouncy and strong for small children.”

Joppa has great house manners and is crate training.  She gets along with other dogs, but cats are an unknown.  Being very athletic Joppa is capable of jumping a 5′ fence, so she needs a home with a higher fence or direct supervision.

If you are interested in meeting Joppa click here for information on the adoption process. There you will find the online application which, when completed, can be emailed to applications@luvinlabs.com. Upon receipt of the application a volunteer will be in touch with you within 10 days. Should you have additional questions call (505) 362-0331.  Owner Listing

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This pretty 10 month old young lab mix is Koko, described by her owner as very energetic, loves her belly rubbed and getting treats, cuddly, playful with other dogs, and very much a people dog!  Koko’s owner wants the best for this pup, but realizes that going to school, having no fence and other dogs in the home who are not nice to Koko is not what he wants for her.  Koko spends a lot of time in a crate which for an active pup is not ideal.  Koko is house trained and always eager to learn other good dog qualities.

If you are interested in meeting Koko click here for information on the adoption process. There you will find the online application which, when completed, can be emailed to applications@luvinlabs.com. Upon receipt of the application a volunteer will be in touch with you within 10 days. Should you have additional questions call (505) 362-0331.  Owner Listing

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Cocoa has had a lot to deal with in her 3 short years of life.  She was abandoned about a year ago, blind, and taken in by a loving family.  She is described by her current owner as a very sweet, loving, playful dog who enjoys cuddling.  While her new family loves her very much they have small children and Cocoa has a hard time with the activity level of the household.  As she can’t see, she can be easily startled.  She finds security in her crate, considering it her safe place.  Cocoa does not like female dogs or small dogs, and would do best in a quiet home.  Cocoa is good in the house and used to being alone for several hours.

If you are interested in meeting Cocoa click here for information on the adoption process. There you will find the online application which, when completed, can be emailed to applications@luvinlabs.com. Upon receipt of the application a volunteer will be in touch with you within 10 days. Should you have additional questions call (505) 362-0331.  Owner Listing

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Roxie is a beautiful 9 year old yellow lab who, together with her 7 year old son Rex, needs to find a new home.  Roxie loves people and other dogs, but due to her owner’s travel spends the majority of her time outside with only the companionship of her son.  The owner would love to find them a home together, but realizes that may not be possible.  If you are interested in adding a mature lab to your family, consider Roxie.

If you are interested in meeting Roxie click here for information on the adoption process. There you will find the online application which, when completed, can be emailed to applications@luvinlabs.com. Upon receipt of the application a volunteer will be in touch with you within 10 days. Should you have additional questions call (505) 362-0331.  Owner Listing

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Rex is a handsome 7 year old black lab who, together with his 9 year old mother Roxie, needs to find a new home.  Rex loves people and other dogs, but due to her owner’s travel spends the majority of his time outside with only the companionship of his mom.  The owner would love to find them a home together, but realizes that may not be possible.  If you are interested in adding this gentle lab to your family, consider Rex.

If you are interested in meeting Rex click here for information on the adoption process. There you will find the online application which, when completed, can be emailed to applications@luvinlabs.com. Upon receipt of the application a volunteer will be in touch with you within 10 days. Should you have additional questions call (505) 362-0331.  Owner Listing

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Bailey is the sweetest young pup of just under a year old. Previously underfed and under-cared for,  Jemez Pueblo Animal Rescue (JPAR) has taken her over to give her the care she needs until she can be adopted out into a really good home. She is shown as special needs only because she had a broken leg at some time that wasn’t repaired, so she has a strange little gait as she walks. Vet says she is not in pain and no surgery to repair is needed, but she may have arthritis as she ages. She is gaining weight quickly now with proper care and is very eager to have her own forever home. If you are interested in her, please call Samuel of the JPAR at 505 328 2312.  Courtesy Listing

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This is Little Man, a male dog, breed unknown (possibly chihuahua mix). We think he looks like a very tiny Labrador with funny ears. L.M was taken in by a Luvin’ Labs foster family when they found him wandering along the ditch bank, emaciated and with what appeared to be bite marks from another animal. They have nursed this adorable guy back to health and he is now ready to find a forever home. L.M. is a lapdog and a snuggler who likes to sleep curled up on the pillow next to his people at night. He gets along great with other dogs and cats and adjusted to his new foster home very quickly. L.M.’s foster mom says he’s a keeper and if she didn’t already have a full house she would love for him to stay and be part of her family. Do you have a little bit of extra room on your pillow? If so, Little Man would love to occupy that spot. Oh, and we encourage his future family to tell everyone that this guy came from Luvin’ Labs and that you believe him to be mostly lab… It’ll be funny to see who pretends to believe you.

If you are interested in meeting Little Man click here for information on the adoption process.  There you will find the online application which, when completed, can be emailed to applications@luvinlabs.com. Upon receipt of the application a volunteer will be in touch with you within 7 days.  Should you have additional questions or be interested in fostering Flower call (505) 362-0331.

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Following are postings for dogs in immediate danger in shelters throughout New Mexico, and Texas, as well as courtesy listings for other shelters and owners looking for homes for their labs. The postings contain contact information on the shelter, as well as the dogs identification.  For more information on specific animals please contact the shelter directly.

Luvin’ Labs works with other rescue organizations throughout the states, and has resources that may be able to help with transport via the puppy express … a network of fabulous volunteers who donate a bit of their time to move dogs across the country pony express style.  For more information on transport assistance please call 505/362-0331.

 

This video shows the harsh reality of owner surrenders to our shelter system in this country. Please think long and hard before surrendering your family member to a shelter. And if you choose to do it, don’t kid yourself into believing the shelter is going to find them a good home. It just doesn’t happen.

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This adorable 7 month old black lab puppy needs to find a new home.  Vinnie was rescued from the side of a busy road by his previous owner while just 10 weeks old; all attempts to find his previous owner were unsuccessful.  While Vinnie was much loved by her, with 2 senior dogs, her’s was not the ideal home for him.  Vinnie’s owner describes him as “pitch black with one tiny white spot on chin and splash of white on chest..   very beautiful markings- beautiful body, very energetic, happy loving puppy. Likes to play and needs a playmate – or another younger dog to wrestle with, knows how to toss and retrieve – stay – sit – very smart –  working on release but he drops toy – at your side – typical puppy activity.  This little dog is a treasure!”

Vinnie is healthy, neutered and up-to-date with all vaccinations.

Vinnie is available at Roswell Animal Humane, 703 E. Mcguffey in Roswell.  (575) 622-8950

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Shelter staff named me POPPY and I am a spayed female,black Labrador Retriever mix.
The shelter thinks I am about 7 years old.

For more information about this animal, call:
Albuquerque Animal Welfare Department – Westside at (505) 768-1975
Ask for information about animal ID number A1749017

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Shelter staff named me CHICKPEA and I am a spayed female,sable Labrador Retriever mix.
The shelter thinks I am about 3 years old.

For more information about this animal, call:
Albuquerque Animal Welfare Department – Westside at (505) 768-1975
Ask for information about animal ID number A1748933

Moe


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Shelter staff named me Moe and I am a neutered male,black Labrador Retriever mix.
The shelter thinks I am about 2 years old.

For more information about this animal, call:
Albuquerque Animal Welfare Department – Westside at (505) 768-1975
Ask for information about animal ID number A1741184

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My name is OREO and I am a spayed female,black and white Labrador Retriever mix.
The shelter thinks I am about 3 years old.

For more information about this animal, call:
Albuquerque Animal Welfare Department – Eastside at (505) 768-1975
Ask for information about animal ID number A1145763

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Shelter staff named me CHRYSANTHS and I am a female,black and white Labrador Retriever mix.
The shelter thinks I am about 1 year and 7 months old.

For more information about this animal, call:
Albuquerque Animal Welfare Department – Westside at (505) 768-1975
Ask for information about animal ID number A1745960

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Amazon.com has teamed up with Luvin’ Labs Rescue through AmazonSmile to help raise funds for the rescue and rehoming of Labrador Retrievers and lab mixes throughout the state of New Mexico.  When purchased through their AmazonSmile site, Amazon will donate 0.5% of eligible purchases to Lodestar Dog Ranch (that’s us!) benefiting all the amazing pups you see on the Luvin’ Labs site!.  While shopping at Amazon (prices, services and guarantees), you’ll be donating to the amazing labs in our program and waiting to come in to our program…how simple is that!  With the holidays just around the corner what better way to make a difference in the life of a lab!  Click on the “Learn more” button below and start shopping.

Lodestar Dog Ranch Inc

Did You Know:    Black dogs are particularly doomed when they are brought to a pound because they are passed by for lighter colored dogs.  This is especially true of  black labs or lab mixes.  They are euthanized at a horrifying rate at many pounds & shelters. If you are thinking about adopting a dog , please don’t overlook black dogs because they are just as loving & wonderful as lighter colored dogs!   Martin County Animal Shelter, Fairmont,MN

 

 

Reprinted with permission from Debbie at thankdogphotography.com

I recently read an article by a woman complaining about her difficulty in adopting a dog from a rescue organization.  Several commenters agreed and relayed similar experiences.  It got me thinking…

First, I don’t know the author.   Nor do I know anything about the rescue organization she was trying to adopt from (I think everyone was from New York).

Second – I’m far from an old hand at this.  I’ve fostered 1 adult dog and 7 puppies, including Jet.  And these are only my own thoughts and opinions – I’m not speaking for any rescue organization or volunteer.

So… do I think it’s “harder” to adopt from a rescue organization than from your local shelter?  In a word, yes.  But there are a number of good reasons why…

We have the time to be more selective.  The dogs in the rescue organizations are no longer on death row.  The threat of euthanasia is gone.  They aren’t going to die if they aren’t adopted in just a few days. Once a dog is within the rescue organization, he or she is safe.  We can take the time to do home visits, check vet references, etc.  We can care for them through all their vetting, illnesses or whatever.  The urgency is gone.

We become attached.  Most rescue organizations are all volunteer, and the dogs are in foster care.  This means they live in our homes and share our lives – sometimes for months.  Jet has been with me for almost 3 months now.  The little stinker sleeps in my bed.  Belle, the Queen of Disdain, has fallen for him.  So do I want him going somewhere that’s “fine” or “okay”?  No, not really.  I want him to go to the perfect home for him.  Even if/when that home comes along, will I cry?  Almost certainly.  Do we all seriously consider keeping (one or more) of our fosters? Of course.  Am I considering keeping Jet?  You bet.  The attachment we have to our fosters makes us really want to find great homes for them – homes where they’ll thrive and be happy.

We know the dogs.  I know Jet.  I know he’s a high energy puppy who loves other dogs.  I also know he’s noisy (I hear him from the driveway – coming and going), he can be destructive (so far, the tally is one shoe and a bathroom cabinet), he’s smart but stubborn, he has sweet moments, and he has a well-documented tendency to eat inappropriate things. Because I know him, I know what type of home he needs – and what type of home would not be a good fit.  We have turned down an application on Jet – very nice and well meaning people, but everything about the circumstances spelled disaster and future behavioral issues.

We’ve had dogs returned.  You might be surprised by how often this happens – sometimes a few days or weeks later, sometimes months later. Frequently the issue is a mismatch of energy between an existing pet and the new dog (or a clash of personality).  Sometimes it’s a new boyfriend or girlfriend who doesn’t like the dog or the dog doesn’t like him/her (though I would guess it’s always the former).  Other times it’s a realization that they don’t have the time needed for the dog they adopted (some are high maintenance, no doubt about it!).  By being more particular with the original adoption, we hope to avoid this.  We can’t always.  Don’t get me wrong – we want them returned to us versus the shelter.. but we also obviously would prefer neither.

We’re all volunteers.  Most of us have other jobs.  So if it takes a little while to respond – or if the whole process is slower than you hoped, please have patience.

Basically, yes, it probably is more of a process to adopt from a rescue organization.  But it’s because we truly want to match the dogs up with the best homes — and vice versa.  If you let us know about you, your lifestyle, your family, etc., we’ll do our best to pair you up with a dog that will be a good match for you.  We’re not trying to be difficult, we just honestly want what’s best for everyone involved (especially the dogs, as that’s where our attachment lies).
So what if you’ve found a dog you’d like to adopt?  Here’s a few tips to help the process along:

  • Show your excitement.  Ooh and aah over the dog and how wonderful and adorable  s/he is.  It shouldn’t really matter, but it does.  We want the dogs to be loved and adored.
  • Think about it.  Sure that dog’s adorable, but do you have the time to housebreak him? To train him? What if he pulls a Jet and runs up $1000 worth of vet bills by eating a still-unknown something?   Let us know you have given the idea of adding a new dog to your family some thought.
  • Complete the application.  Yes, sometimes they’re a little long.  They ask for stuff like your vet’s name.  Trust me when I say we look at them.  If you have pets but don’t have a vet – a red flag is raised.
  • Work on any behavioral problems your current pets have.  Some are fine (Belle countersurfs when I’m not home – not good behavior, but I know now not to leave anything on the counters).  But if your dog doesn’t like your son or snaps at your husband or is repeatedly getting in fights, it’s not cute.  It’s a sign that there’s an issue and you’re not doing anything to resolve it.  We figure the same will happen to your next dog.
  • Demonstrate you have some basic knowledge about dogs.  Don’t let your kids grab at unfamiliar dogs.  Learn some of the basic signs dogs give you when they are uncomfortable, anxious or unhappy.  It’s not hard, it only takes a minute, but it shows us you are serious about being a good and responsible owner.
  • Listen to us.  Dogs often act differently at adoption events than how they do at home.  If we say a dog is very high energy, but he doesn’t really appear to be… listen to us.  Adoption events are stressful for some of the dogs – a necessary evil, I suppose.  The dogs don’t always act like themselves.  Likewise, if we say the dog would do better as an only dog, don’t assume that because your dog gets along with everyone, he’ll get along with the new one too.

Yes, our dogs are rescues, sometimes from awful circumstances, other times not.  But just because they made it to a shelter does not mean they do not deserve a good home.  Indeed, many of them have gone through enough already – they deserve us spending a little time and effort to make sure the next chapter in their lives is a happy one. That’s all we’re trying to do.  So please be patient and understanding – it’ll be worth it.

to volunteer with Luvin’ Labs please email colleen@luvinlabs.com or call 505/362-0331

A few years ago, Julien Roohani of Portland, Oregon, was at work when her roommates spontaneously decided to go on a hike. Not wanting to exclude Julien’s six-month-old Shepherd/Border Collie mix, Niña, they threw her into the back of their pickup truck and set off for an adventure.
Niña had never been in a truck bed before. Whether she was scared or just spotted something of interest, she managed to jump out during the drive. Panicking, the roommates called Julien, who rushed Niña to an emergency veterinary clinic where she was diagnosed with a broken spine and other severe injuries. Julien had no choice but to allow her young pup to be humanely euthanized.
Unfortunately, stories like Niña’s are all too common. It is never safe to drive with an unrestrained pet—especially with that pet in an open truck bed.
“When you drive with a loose dog in the back of your truck, you’re taking a huge risk and placing your dog and other motorists in danger,” says Chuck Mai, a vice president with AAA Oklahoma. “Even if a dog is trained, we’re talking about an animal who responds to stimuli on impulse. This irresponsible decision can start a deadly chain reaction on the road.”
Is It Legal?
Transporting unrestrained dogs in low-sided truck beds has been banned in a handful of states, including California and New Hampshire, and municipalities including Indianapolis, Cheyenne and Miami-Dade. However, in the vast majority of jurisdictions, it’s not even illegal to transport children in this manner, so we must rely on common sense and education to protect children and pets alike.
How You Can Help
One can feel terribly helpless witnessing a loose dog in a pickup truck. The best course of action is to try to get the vehicle’s license number (if you can do so while remaining safe) and call the local police. Rather than dialing 911, Jill Buckley, ASPCA Senior Director of Government Relations, suggests storing your police precinct’s phone number in your cell phone.

A Rescued Dogs Prayer

Thank you for rescuing me … I know you’ve thought long and hard about a new friend
Something about my soulful eyes and soft fur touched a very special part of you.
I wanted to share with you a bit of me,
and what might help me to be the best pup for you.
Up until a few weeks ago I had the perfect dog life,
and then one day, a day like every other,
Ended with me being abandoned.
I’ve been at the shelter, on the end of a chain,
In a field, or sitting on the side of the road
Waiting, scared, moved from place to place
With no idea of who to trust or what is going to happen.
Thankful for the fresh water, food, a warm place to sleep and sometimes kind people.
And then you chose me …
Please give me time to adjust to you and to learn your expectations of me.
All I want is to please you, I just do not know how to yet.
I ask you to please give me patience and understanding.
I don’t yet know what you want of me.
Teach me softly, consistently,
Outside, down, fetch, sit, good dog!
If you don’t understand my behavior,
It may be because I have been abused, abandoned, neglected.
Sometimes I may be afraid of you, of other people, of loud noises or sudden movements.
Time and patience will help me learn to trust again.
Please forgive me if I am protective of my food.
I was so very hungry for a very long time.
Someday I’ll understand that my food bowl will never again be empty.
Adopt me because you want me,
Because under my faults and flaws you see who I really am,
You understand that each of us is not perfect,
That our imperfections actually show our individual beauty.
And last but not least, please give me the precious time
I need to adjust to your house, to your home, to you.
I will bond to you … be it today, or tomorrow … or next week
And I promise with all that I am that I will be
Your most loyal, loving, forever friend.

By Luvin’ Labs


A Rescued Dogs Prayer was written with input from all of us at Luvin’ Labs to try to help new owner’s understand that their newly rescued lab needs some time to adjust.  Thanks to each and every one of you for your input!

Pictures are of Sir Lancelot, a 3 year old yellow Labrador Retriever rescued from the Garland, Texas shelter by many rescues working together.  He was an owner surrender who knows sit, shake, and lie down and was just left there, and rescued hours before being put to sleep.  The “Sad Lab” picture at the top of post circulated all over the internet waiting for a rescue to commit to him.  The “Happy Lab” picture at the bottom was after he was rescued, and safe, in boarding.  We are happy to say that Sir Lancelot is living his happily ever after with his new family in Albuquerque, NM!


 

It came to me that every time I lose a dog, they take a piece of my heart with them. And every new dog who comes into my life gifts me with a piece of their heart. If I live long enough, all the components of my heart will be dog, and I will become as generous and loving as they are.
~ Unknown

 

When God made me, he spelled his name backwards and called me Dog.

I am a dog. I am a living, breathing animal. I feel pain, joy, love, fear and pleasure.

I am not a thing. If I am hit – I will bruise, I will bleed, I will break. I will feel pain. I am not a thing.

I am a dog. I enjoy playtime, walk time, but more than anything, I enjoy time with my pack – my family – my people. I want nothing more than to be by the side of my human. I want to sleep where you sleep and walk where you walk. I am a dog and I feel love…I crave companionship.

I enjoy the touch of a kind hand and the softness of a good bed. I want to be inside of the home with my family, not stuck on the end of a chain or alone in a kennel or fenced yard for hours on end. I was born to be a companion, not to live a life of solitude.

I get too cold and I get too hot. I experience hunger and thirst. I am a living creature, not a thing.

When you leave, I want to go with you. If I stay behind, I will eagerly await your return. I long for the sound of your voice. I will do most anything to please you. I live to be your treasured companion.

I am a dog. My actions are not dictated by money, greed, or hatred. I do not know prejudice. I live in the moment and am ruled by love and loyalty.

Do not mistake me for a mindless object. I can feel and I can think. I can experience more than physical pain, I can feel fear and joy. I can feel love and confusion. I have emotions. I understand perhaps more than you do. I am able to comprehend the words you speak to me, but you are not always able to understand me.

I am a dog. I am not able to care for myself without your help. If you choose to tie me up and refuse to feed me, I will starve. If you abandon me on a rural road, I will experience fear and loneliness. I will search for you and wonder why I have been left behind. I am not a piece of property to be dumped and forgotten.

If you choose to leave me at a shelter, I will be frightened and bewildered. I will watch for your return with every footfall that approaches my kennel run.

I am a dog – a living, breathing creature. If you choose to take me home, please provide me with the things that I need to keep me healthy and happy.

Provide me with good food, clean water, warm shelter and your love. Do not abandon me. Do not kick me. Do not dump me when your life gets too busy. Make a commitment to me for the entirety of my life, or do not take me home in the first place.

If you desert me, I do not have the means to care for myself. I am at the mercy of the kindness of people – if I fall into the wrong hands, my life will be ruined.

I will experience pain, fear and loneliness. If I wind up in an animal shelter, I have only my eyes to implore someone to save me, and my tail to show you that I am a friend. If that is not good enough, I will die.

I am a dog. I want to give and receive love. I want to live. I am not a thing. I am not a piece of property. Please do not discard me. Please treat me with kindness, love and respect. I promise to repay you with unconditional love for as long as I live.

By Jim Willis, 2001

When I was a puppy, I entertained you with my antics and made you laugh. You called me your child, and despite a number of chewed shoes and a couple of murdered throw pillows, I became your best friend.  Whenever I was”bad,” you’d shake your finger at me and ask “How could you?” — but then you’d relent, and roll me over for a bellyrub. My housebreaking took a little longer than expected, because you were terribly busy, but we worked on that together.  I remember those nights of nuzzling you in bed and listening to your confidences and secret dreams, and I believed that life could not be any more perfect.  We went for long walks and runs in the park, car rides, stops for ice cream (I only got the cone because “ice cream is bad for dogs,” you said), and I took long naps in the sun waiting for you to come home at the end of the day.

Gradually, you began spending more time at work and on your career, and more time searching for a human mate.  I waited for you patiently, comforted you through heartbreaks and disappointments, never chided you about bad decisions, and romped with glee at your homecomings, and when you fell in love.  She, now your wife, is not a “dog person” — still I welcomed her into our home, tried to show her affection, and obeyed her.  I was happy because you were happy.  Then the human babies came along and I shared your excitement.  I was fascinated by their pinkness, how they smelled, and I wanted to mother  them, too.  Only she and you worried that I might hurt them, and I spent most of my time banished to another room, or to a dog crate.  Oh, how I wanted to love them, but I became a “prisoner of love.”

As they began to grow, I became their friend.  They clung to my fur and pulled themselves up on wobbly legs, poked fingers in my eyes, investigated my ears, and gave me kisses on my nose.  I loved everything about them and their touch — because your touch was now so infrequent — and I would have defended them with my life if need be.  I would sneak into their beds and listen to their worries and secret dreams, and together we waited for the sound of your car in the driveway.

There had been a time, when others asked you if you had a dog, that you produced a photo of me from your wallet and told them stories about me.  These past few years, you just answered “yes” and changed the subject.  I had gone from being “your dog” to “just a dog,” and you resented every expenditure on my behalf.  Now, you have a new career opportunity in another city, and you and they will be moving to an apartment that does not allow pets.  You’ve made the right decision  for your “family,” but there was a time when I was your only family.

I was excited about the car ride until we arrived at the animal shelter.  It smelled of dogs and cats, of fear, of hopelessness.  You filled out the paperwork and said “I know you will find a good home for her.”  They shrugged and gave you a pained look.  They understand the realities facing a middle-aged dog, even one with “papers.”   You had to pry your son’s fingers loose from my collar as he screamed “No, Daddy!  Please don’t let them take my dog!”  And I worried for him, and what  lessons you had just taught him about friendship and loyalty,  about love and responsibility, and about respect for all life.  You gave me a good-bye pat on the head, avoided my eyes, and politely refused to take my collar and leash with you.  You had a deadline to meet and now I have one, too.  After you left, the two nice ladies said you probably knew about your upcoming move months ago and made no attempt to find me another good home.  They shook their heads and asked “How could you?”  They are as attentive to us here in the shelter as their busy  schedules  allow.  They feed us, of course, but I lost my appetite days ago.  At first,whenever anyone passed my pen, I rushed to the front, hoping it was you that you had changed your mind — that this was all a bad dream … or I hoped it would at least be someone who cared, anyone who might save me. When I realized I could not compete with the frolicking for attention of happy puppies, oblivious to their own fate, I retreated to a far corner and waited.

I heard her footsteps as she came for me at the end of the day, and I padded along the aisle after her to a separate room.  A blissfully quiet room. She placed me on the table and rubbed my ears, and told me not to worry.     My heart pounded in anticipation of what was to come, but there was also a sense of relief.  The prisoner of love had run out of days.  As is my nature, I was more concerned about her.  The burden which she bears weighs heavily on her, and I know that, the same way I knew your every mood.  She gently placed a  turniquet around my foreleg as a tear ran down her cheek.  I licked her hand in the same way I used to comfort you so many years ago.  She expertly slid the hypodermic needle into my vein.  As I felt the sting and the cool liquid coursing through my body, I lay down sleepily, looked into her kind eyes and murmured “How could you?”

Perhaps because she understood my dogspeak, she said “I’m so sorry.” She hugged me, and  hurriedly explained it was her job to make sure I went to a better place, where I wouldn’t be ignored or abused or abandoned, or have to fend for myself — a place of love and light so very different from this earthly place.  And with my last bit of energy, I tried to convey to her with a thump of my tail that my “How could you?” was not directed at her.  It was you, My Beloved Master, I was thinking of.  I will  think of you and wait for you forever.  May everyone in your life continue to show you so much loyalty.

The End

A note from the author:
If “How Could You?” brought tears to your eyes as you read it, as it did to mine as I wrote it, it is because it is the composite story of the millions of formerly owned pets who die each year in American and  Canadian animal shelters.  Anyone is welcome to distribute the essay for a noncommercial purpose, as long as it is properly attributed with the copyright notice.

Please use it to help educate, on your websites, in newsletters, on animal shelter and vet office bulletin boards.  Tell the public that the decision to add a pet to the family is an important one for life, that animals deserve our love and sensible care, that finding another appropriate home for your animal is your responsibility and any local humane society or animal welfare league can offer you good advice, and that all life is precious.  Please do your part to stop the killing, and encourage all spay & neuter campaigns in order to prevent unwanted animals.

Want an easy way to help us to rescue and rehome Labrador Retrievers? Giving couldn’t be easier or cheaper!  Create your free membership at IGive and access over 600 brand-name merchants like: PETsMART, Amazon, Travelocity, Drs Foster and Smith, Best Buy, Barnes & Noble, Eddie Bauer, Lands’ End, Overstock and receive super savings and deals everyday….  a portion of your sale will result in a donation to Luvin Labs… As you shop you are helping Luvin’Labs rescue and rehome labs!!  Join IGive and then sh/op til you drop.


“I looked at all the caged animals in the shelter…the cast-offs of human society. I saw in their eyes love and hope, fear and dread, sadness and betrayal. And I was angry. “God,” I said, “this is terrible! Why don’t You do something?” God was silent for a moment and then He spoke softly. “I have done something,” He replied. “I created YOU.” ~ Jim Willis ~

Her eyes met mine as she walked down the corridor peering apprehensively into the kennels.  I felt her need instantly and knew I had to help her.

I wagged my tail, not too exuberantly, so she wouldn’t be afraid. As she stopped at my kennel I blocked her view from a little accident I had in the back of my cage. I didn’t want her to know that I hadn’t been walked today. Sometimes the overworked shelter keepers get too busy and I didn’t want her to think poorly of them.

As she read my kennel card I hoped that she wouldn’t feel sad about my past. I only have the future to look forward to and want to make a difference in someone’s life.

She got down on her knees and made little kissy sounds at me. I shoved my shoulder and side of my head up against the bars to comfort her. Gentle fingertips caressed my neck; she was desperate for companionship. A tear fell down her cheek and I raised my paw to assure her that all would be well.

Soon my kennel door opened and her smile was so bright that I instantly jumped into her arms.

I would promise to keep her safe.
I would promise to always be by her side.
I would promise to do everything I could to see that radiant smile and sparkle in her eyes.

I was so fortunate that she came down my corridor. So many more are out there who haven’t walked the corridors. So many more to be saved. At least I could save one.

I rescued a human today.

by Janine Allen