Lab Rescue of the LRCP Rescued Record 900 Labs in 2011.
The number of dogs saved by Lab Rescue has increased in each of the past five years, with a 37 percent increase in the three-year period since 2008. “We've rescued more Labs thanks to the expanded efforts of our dedicated volunteers, who have responded to an ever-growing need due in large part to the economy,” said Lab Rescue President Sterrie Weaver of Yorktown, Va.
Increasing numbers of responsible Lab owners have been forced by financial circumstances to give up their dogs. In some cases, owners have lost their homes and moved into apartments with no-dog policies or weight limits that exclude dogs the size of Labs. “The economy makes it difficult for everyone,” said Lab Rescue Vice President Wendy Finn of Bethesda, Md. “Good families that want to keep their Labs just can't, and we are here to help them.”
This year Lab Rescue also helped Labs displaced by extreme weather conditions, including tornadoes, heavy rains, flooding and Hurricane Irene.
Lab Rescue must raise an additional $75,000 to continue to meet the growing need. Ninety-seven percent of the rescued Labs spend their first days with Lab Rescue at a veterinarian, receiving basic tests and veterinary care. For some it is the first vet visit they have received in years. Some of these Labs need special care and many need to be spayed or neutered. Lab Rescue provides vaccines and treats skin conditions and nurses Labs through kennel cough, Lyme disease, heartworm disease and other illnesses so that the dogs can start their new lives happy and healthy. On average, Lab Rescue spends $375 on each dog, even with deeply discounted veterinarian rates. Adoption fees cover only part of this expense, and fundraising efforts must make up the difference.
“We know that turning away a Lab can lead to euthanasia, and we just don't want to see that happen,” said Lab Rescue Treasurer Jen Norris of McLean Va. “But without donations, saying 'no' becomes a real possibility.”
The first dog that Lab Rescue will save in 2012 is a good example of why more funding is needed (see photograph). Buck is an emaciated three-year-old yellow Lab whose owners moved and left him chained to a doghouse with no food or water. A Good Samaritan took him in and will bring him to Lab Rescue next week.
Founded in 1991, Lab Rescue of the LRCP Inc. is a volunteer-driven, nonprofit organization that rescues, fosters and adopts Labrador retrievers to approved applicants. The group serves Virginia, Maryland, Delaware and Washington, D.C., as well as adjacent parts of Pennsylvania, West Virginia and North Carolina. Labs available for adoption can be seen, and donations can be made, at www.lab-rescue.org.
Lab Rescue of the LRCP Inc.
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