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

1224 dogs adopted to date!


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

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Left in a small apartment, alone, for long hours…what’s a dog to do?  Evidently Jazzy decided to chew on something and instead of working with her the owners just dumped her in one of the state’s high kill shelters.  Jazzy is now a member of the Luvin’ Labs family and, quite frankly, we’ve seen no destructive behavior at all.  Jazzy is a happy one year old who loves to play.  She’s great with people and other dogs.  We’re looking for a home where she’ll have the companionship of another dog and higher fences.

If you are interested in meeting Jazzy 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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Josie, adopted to a home as just a small puppy and then left outside day and night with very little attention given to her.  Her owner felt that giving her food and water was enough…outside in the winter…outside in the summer…one has to ask why did he even get a dog?  Josie developed sores surrounding her eyes, early stages of arthritis and tested positive for heart worms.  Luvin’ Labs took this girl into the rescue, treated those sore eyes and effects of arthritis with medications, and Josie has successfully completed heart worm treatment.  This pure-bred 3 year old in her own mind has never seen a bad day.  Josie has the most positive attitude and always displays that big labbie smile.  She gets along great with other dogs and loves, loves, loves her person who right now is her foster mom.  We are committed to finding Josie a perfect forever home where she will get the love and attention she so deserves.  Could that be you?

If you are interested in meeting Josie 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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Handsome 3 year old Heath took a break from his pool time in the Luvin’ Labs play yard to pose for his new bio pictures.  Besides loving to play in the water, he also loves playing fetch…you throw, he jumps around, grabs and throws the ball in the air and then drops it at your feet to throw again.  He had all the volunteers laughing so hard.  Heath is a big boy, very friendly and loves people.  As he’s new to the rescue we haven’t yet had him out with other dogs, but we have no reason to believe that will be a problem.  He’s just a big happy guy!  We do know that Heath has the ability to jump a 6′ fence so we will be looking for a home with higher fences.

If you are interested in meeting Heath 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 be interested in fostering him call (505) 362-0331.

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Waylon, our sweet old boy, was found wandering on 4th street by a good samaritin. She stopped to help him and not knowing he was blind, spooked him. He ended up falling down a ditch and swimming in a canal unsure on how to get out. His angel wadded in the water, helped him to shore and held him until animal control officers arrived. Luvin’ Labs was notified and we all fell in love with this guy with such heart and spirit.  All attempts to find his owner failed and he now lives in a foster home spending his time socializing with the other dogs and exploring his new territory.  Being blind and arthritic hasn’t slowed this boy down a bit.  Waylon, however, deserves his very own forever home.  A home where he can be someone’s best buddy.  If you’re looking for a lab that will spend his days relaxing next to you, then give us a call.  Waylon is waiting for you!

If you are interested in meeting Waylon 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.

Max


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My name is MAX and I am a neutered male,choc and white Labrador Retriever mix.
The shelter thinks I am about 2 years.

For more information about Max call:
Albuquerque Animal Welfare Department – Westside at (505) 768-1975
Ask for information about animal ID number A1741028

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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.
 
  1. Luna4
    Introducing 10 month old Luna (formerly known as Celie)

Luna is a 10 month old beauty. …. she absolutely loves playing in water,  whether it’s sprinklers,  the hose or the pool.  Luna gets along fabulously with every dog and person she’s every been around.  She is loyal and such a people pleaser,  sits politely in her spot for her meals,  is house broken and sleeps through the night in her kennel.   Luna would enjoy having another canine sibling,  but would also be ok as an only dog if her people are home with her for the majority of the day.  She is a very active girl and would do great If she had a”job”.  If you’re looking for a dog who is affectionate,  playful and will enjoy your active lifestyle,  Luna is your girl!

If you are interested in meeting Luna 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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Strange sounds and smells, metal walls and a concrete floor…certainly not what these 2 precious pups expected when their owner took them on a little “adventure”.  Luvin’ Labs came to their rescue and now we’re looking for perfect homes for these perfect 5-month old sisters.  Aspen and Alaska are typical lab pups…friendly, energetic, happy, playful.  Although young, they are house and crate trained…way to go girls!  While the sisters can be adopted into separate homes, they do need another dog in the home for companionship.

While Labrador puppies are adorable they are not right for everyone.  We are extremely careful in our placement of puppies as each  has special needs that includes the time commitment for training, bonding, and supervising in order to make them the best canine citizens they can become.

If you are interested in meeting Aspen and/or Alaska 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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She was found as a stray and sat in the shelter for 12 days patiently waiting for her owner to come pick her up. When no one came to claim this sweet girl, 6 year old Libby became the newest member of the Luvin’Labs family – lucky us. She’s a more mature girl with a slight limp in one leg due to an earlier injury, but she doesn’t let that slow her down.  She’s a lover, loves to be brushed and fussed over.  She LOVES water and loves her toys but doesn’t put them together like some dogs we know.  She’s now just waiting for someone fun to show up and take her home.  You won’t be sorry.  She has the sweetest face and will be a dog by your side through thick and then.

If you are interested in meeting Libby 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 be interested in fostering her call (505) 362-0331.

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Too often we see a dog in a shelter that is on the urgent list and ask how that dog ever got there.  Winnie is one of those dogs.  She’s a 2 year old owner surrender to a high kill shelter…reason…they just didn’t have time for her.  Winnie is great with other dogs, both large and very small, loves kids and just wants to have fun.  Give her some toys or put out a baby pool with water and you’ll see one happy lab!  This girl is going to make someone a perfect forever best friend!

If you are interested in meeting Winnie 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 be interested in fostering her call (505) 362-0331.

Zola & Winnie

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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.

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 or want to foster him call (505) 362-0331.

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It’s hard to resist the cuteness of a lab puppy and Luvin’ Labs Jaydon is no exception.  He’s just 4 months old and has already seen his fair share of the world, lucky for him he had a mom (Luvin’ Labs Zola) that made him her #1 priority and kept him safe until we rescued them.

Jaydon’s foster mom has this to say about him:  Jaydon is remarkable.  I would of course preface everything with he is a puppy and still has puppy behaviors (puppy biting and chewing) but he is super calm and gentle and  smart.  He wants to be with either us or the other dogs.  He’s been around a bunch of young kids and he is amazing.  He of course will try to jump but he stops when you tell him to and he loves to sit and be petted.  He gets along well with all the dogs but I don’t think he needs other dogs if for instance he was with people who were retired or worked from home and would spend lots of time with him.  He is housebroken with a dog door (not sure how he would do without one, but I’m sure he’d be fine).  He is crate trained and sleeps all night.  He sits for treats.  I could see him as a therapy dog with his gentle temperament.  

While Labrador puppies are adorable they are not right for everyone.  We are extremely careful in our placement of puppies as each  has special needs that includes the time commitment for training, bonding, and supervising in order to make them the best canine citizens they can become.

If you are interested in meeting Jaydon 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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Jenga’s owner was moving and planned on taking this little pup to the shelter; however an acquaintance of her’s offered to take him into her home and find him a new family to love.  She asked for our help and we just knew we needed to make him a Luvin’ Labs pup.  He’s just 8 months old, house trained, and very calm for a puppy.  Jenga is very aware of what’s going on around him and is good about alerting his foster mom when someone or something strange is approaching.  He absolutely adores kids and gets along well with female dogs.  His previous caretaker described him as “one of the best dogs I have every met”.

If you are interested in meeting Jenga 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 about him call (505) 362-0331.

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Layla and her lab sister Zoey had been best friends for all of Layla’s six years, but the arrival of a new baby changed all that.  Zoey decided that there wasn’t enough room in the house for 3 “children” and had become very aggressive toward Layla.  All efforts including vet input and training could not resolve this situation so it has become apparent that one of them must go.  As Zoey is a senior, the family decided that Layla deserved a new home.  Who better to find that new home than Luvin’ Labs!

Layla’s previous owner describes her as “the sweetest, most loving, mellow dog. She’s a leaner and loves attention. She loves to play and take walks. She has grown up with an alpha female (Zoey) and is definitely a follower. She’s great with kids, and other dogs, she hesitantly barks at strangers until she warms up to them but she is not aggressive at all.”  Layla is used to being outside when her family is at work, but probably would do best with someone who is home a lot or another dog to keep her company.

If you are interested in meeting Layla 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 be interested in fostering her call (505) 362-0331.

 

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Life just wasn’t looking up for this 2 year old petite girl…It’s Christmas and she found herself locked in a kennel with nothing but a cold hard floor to call home.  This beautiful girl got our attention but unfortunately her out date was the day after Christmas; we would just have a celebrate a day later.  Then the great snow storm hit the area and poor Seneca was locked away for another week.  Imagine our joy when we got the news that she was out and would soon be on her journey to Albuquerque as a Luvin’ Labs dog to find her new forever home.  She’s here now and just as sweet and beautiful as we knew she would be.  She loves people and gets along with other dogs.  Now just to find that perfect home.

2/10/2016 Update from her foster mom: Seneca is a very energetic little girl.  Very loving.  Great with other dogs of various sizes,  both male and female.  House trained,   kennel trained.  Great on a leash.  Must have chew toys to keep her from chewing my shoes and couch pillows.  She really is a sweet girl.

If you are interested in meeting Seneca 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 Red and Razzle, 2 full breed lab sisters in need of new home.

Red is a mellow girl with a touch of diva…loves to lay around especially in the sun (always working on keeping the perfect tan) and go for leisurely walks.  Her sister Razzle lives up to her name…high energy, a constant companion who loves to ride in the car.  These 5 year old sisters weigh in at a perfect 70 pounds each.   Both dogs love children and adults, Red loves all dogs, Razzle isn’t too fond of little dogs.  Cats are an unknown.  They behave well in the house alone as their previous owner worked long hours.  We want to see them go together as they have never known a life apart

If you are interested in meeting Red and Razzle 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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Soft, sweet and cuddly…that’s Luvin’ Labs baby girl Avery.  She’s 3 months old, very calm and definitely on the shy side.  Puppies should grow up with lots of love and attention, but until Avery got into foster she really hadn’t experienced a lot of that.  Fortunate for Avery her world is full of love and attention now!

While Labrador puppies are adorable they are not right for everyone.  We are extremely careful in our placement of puppies as each  has special needs that includes the time commitment for training, bonding, and supervising in order to make them the best canine citizens they can become.

If you are interested in meeting Avery 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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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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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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Nothing better than the fun you can have with lab of your own…unless of course that’s 2 labs.  Meet Luth and Boss, a pair of 5-6 year old pure bred siblings.  They are described by their owner as sweet and loving…typical labs for sure!  So why are they looking for a new home?   Luth and Boss love the outdoors and exploring…for years they have lived within the confines of an invisible fence, but recently discovered if they run fast enough they can leave the boundaries and the world is their playground.  Unfortunately their owner is unable to erect a secure fence.  They are not jumpers, are house trained, display no separation anxiety and love other dogs and kids.  We really need to find a safe home together for this bonded pair.

If you are interested in meeting Luth and Boss 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.  Owner Listing

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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Shelter staff named me HILARY and I am a spayed female,black and white Labrador Retriever mix.
The shelter thinks I am about 4 years old.

For more information about Hilary call:
Albuquerque Animal Welfare Department – Westside at (505) 768-1975
Ask for information about animal ID number A1739444

Jax


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Handsome Jax has been loved and cherished since being adopted form a shelter almost 5 years ago, but his owner is now 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.

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.  Owner Listing

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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

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Papa Murphy’s Take and Bake Fundraising Cards are now for sale with Luvin’ Labs! For $5.00 you’ll receive 8 specials including a FREE large Pizza, free cookie dough, free cinammon wheel plus discount coupons … an easy sell!

To purchase please stop by Good Shepherd Animal Clinic or visit us at any of our events.

If you are able to help us sell the cards please email colleen@luvinlabs.com
All proceeds benefit Luvin’ Labs dogs in the program and coming in to our program.

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

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November 21:  Jazmine is still missing.  We believe someone must have taken her in since she has not shown up at the shelters and there have been no sightings of her.  Do you know of a neighbor who has a black female lab they found around the 4th of July?  This could be our Jazmine.  She is miscrochipped, but had no collar.  Please, call if you know of her. 

September 11:  We have still had no news of Jazmine.  We are hoping that some kind family took her in, and we are hoping they will call us and help us get her back to her family.  At this point, she could be anywhere.  Have you seen her?

July 18th Update:  We are still looking.  Jazmine could be near Phoenix/Washington/Menual area, she could be near the open space near Costco on I-25/Montgomery, she could have followed a bike path and traveled up to the Chelwood park area.  She has been missing for over two weeks!  Please, if you have time go out to these areas and take a look.  We have put up flyers, but if you can also help with that please call us.  We are hoping someone has her and will call.  She is microchipped!

July 16th Update:  It is believed that Jazmine was seen in the vicinity of Chelwood Park near Lomas and Tramway today.

Jazmine’s owner is desperate to find her…Jazmine is a 3 year old female black lab who got out of her family’s yard on the 4th of July.  Last seen in the vicinity of Phoenix and Carlisle NE in Albuquerque on the evening of the 4th.  Jazmine slipped out of her collar, but is microchipped.   If you see her or know where she might be please call 505-720-6806 or 505-362-0331.

 

 

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!

Today is a sad day for the rescue community around the world. Every once in a while, a story comes along that seems to unite the world. Lennox, a family pet, the victim of breed specific legislation, was just that sweet soul. Lennox was euthanized today in Belfast, Northern Ireland because he looked like a banned breed, a pit bull. His family fought for 2 years to free him, to no avail. They were not even allowed to see him before he was pts and last they heard, they might get to have some of his ashes. Our hearts go out to his family and we wish Lennox peace and freedom at the rainbow bridge. To read more about Lennox, please visit the link: http://www.lifewithdogs.tv/2011/03/lennox-sentenced-to-death-in-trial-by-tape-measure-appeals-planned/

Luvin’ Labs alumni Rigel his brother Tenner play in the snow!


 

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