Unfortunately, breed rescue groups are an overlooked resource when many people are thinking of adding a dog to their household. This is a shame, especially if the prospective dog owners are looking for a specific breed of dog.
According to Kimberly Kenny Board Member and Home Visitation and Intake Coordinator for Midwest Labrador Retriever Rescue Organization (MLRR) “There are breed rescue organizations for virtually every breed of dog.”
The list provided by Tails is an excellent example of what Kenny suggests. It provides the names of breed rescue organizations in the Chicago area for everything from afghans to wirehaired pointing griffons.
MLRR serves the greater Chicago area and will have up to 20 dogs available for adoption at any given time. The dogs come from a variety of sources including animal control facilities and shelters and owner surrender.
Overwhelmingly, the dogs are surrendered not because of temperament or behavioral problems, but because of a change of circumstances. Those cirumstanes can include the owners becoming divorced, having financial difficulties, allergies, or moving to a place where the dog isn’t allowed.
Kenny claims that the way MLRR operates is similar to most breed specific rescue organizations. “The dogs are placed in foster homes until a forever home can be found. Foster homes are where volunteers of MLRR provide a stable and loving environment for the rescued labs until forever homes are found for them.”
The fostering process is less traumatic to many dogs than the experience of being kept in a shelter. The dog receives much more attention, and the MLRR foster volunteers can learn much more about the dog or dogs that are in there charge.
The combination of individual attention and knowledge about the individual dog is a benefit for both the dog and the potential adopter. Through observation the foster parents become aware how the foster dogs react to young children, or to strangers, or to other dogs. The profile they develop is helpful in matching a dog and a family, which can mean a better match.
“Be warned,” says Kenny, “Just because you want a dog, doesn’t mean MLRR will place one of our charges with you. Our mission is to place our Labs in loving homes, not to satisfy the whims of the public.
The process includes first filling out an application. That is followed by a visit to the home to check out things such as the back yard and the other conditions the dog will be subjected. When the prospects visit the dog attention is paid to how they react, and a final assessment is made on whether there is a match.
Sometimes the assessment may be that a particular dog and family are not suited for each other because of young children, or other issues. Such a decision is a good one for both the dog and the humans involved.
The matchmaking process is a valuable one because it assures that there is less of a chance the dog will be returned. In return the new family will be having a vetted, neutered dog with all its shots coming to live with them, and a dog whose personality matches the circumstances it will encounter in its new forever home. All for a vary reasonable fee of:
- Puppies (9 months and younger) $300
- Adult Labs (10 months to 5 years) $250
- Senior Labs (6 years and up) $175
This year MLRR is on track to place 300 dogs and in its 11 years of existence has placed more than 1500 dogs in forever homes.
MLRR is always on the lookout for volunteers and people who are in search of a lovable lab. Their website provides information on these and other subjects and activites relative to the group.
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