.

Local Lab Rescue Hits Milestone as Need for Volunteers Grows

As the number of abandoned labs in the Washington, DC area rise, the Labrador Retriever Club of the Potomac is more in need of donations and manpower than ever.

A local dog rescue group celebrated its 1,000th rescue in a year Dec. 29 when volunteers took in a black Labrador and her 11 puppies — the highest number of dogs the Labrador Retriever Club of the Potomac has ever rescued in a single year.

Bailey, the 3-year-old lab, and her puppies were abandoned in Hughesville, Md. by their owner. Fairfax resident Yvonne Young, one of the LRCP's 200 foster parents, took them in.

While the rescue was a milestone for the group, founded in 1991, it's also a reflection of the growing number of labs that are abandoned each year — a problem that requires more donations and volunteers with each passing day.

Locally, LRCP is most recognized for the two adoption events they host each year at Weber's Pet Supermarket on Lee Highway in Fairfax City. But since the group started more than 20 years ago, it has grown to include more than 1,000 volunteers who rescue Labrador retrievers across Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, Washington D.C., Pennsylvania, West Virginia and North Carolina.

Volunteers foster the homeless dogs until they find a permanent home.

In the last six years, however, they've had to step up their volunteer duties and outreach because of the increase in homeless labs.

Lab Rescue has seen an increase of more than 50 percent in rescues since 2008, in part due to the recession. In 2011, the rescue took in 902 labradors.

"In some cases this is caused by people losing their homes and not being able to take their dogs with them," said Stephen Push, public relations director for the rescue group. "[Some have to move into] rental apartments that don’t allow dogs or have a weight limit that effectively excludes labs."

The group answered that sudden need by reaching out for more volunteers, foster homes and donations. But sometimes, like now, Lab Rescue takes in a full load of labs and can't help any others until some are adopted out. When that happens they redouble their efforts, Push said, and hope spaces empty out in time to save the dogs before they're put to sleep in shelters.

Read more about the rescue group at www.lab-rescue.org

Mary S. January 21, 2013 at 02:31 PM
I often wonder how this happens that we have more dogs with pups. The breeders I deal with always require the buyers to spay or neuter the the puppy once it reaches the appropriate age. Buyers are required to sign papers and send the paperwork from the vet to the breeder to verify the neutering or spaying of the dog. This is done only if the dog is bought as a pet and not for show. It is no sad to see these dogs go homeless or to kill shelters. Thank you to all the rescue groups!
Mary S. January 21, 2013 at 02:33 PM
I meant to say "so sad" not "no sad". thx for these stories and making folks aware of this tragedy.

Boards

More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »