Every year thousands of dogs are put in rescues because there are just not enough homes, and many of these dogs are the extremely popular Labradoodles.
In many cases, rescues are the last resort for these poor animals, but it’s also the opportunity for a lucky dog owner to save a Labradoodle’s life and find a life-long friend in the process.
We created this guide because we want to help make the process of finding a Labradoodle through a rescue as easy as possible.
Here’s what well be sharing with you:
- The benefits and drawbacks of using a rescue to find your Labradoodle.
- An overview of puppy mills and how to spot and avoid them.
- How you can find Labradoodle rescues and rehomes using Google and Facebook Groups, and some other creative ways to increase your results.
- The adoption process and what all it entails.
- How to navigate a long-distance Labradoodle adoption.
- Choosing the right rescue organization to work with.
Labradoodle rescues can be found across the country.
Some may be rescues that house various breeds and just happen to have some Labradoodles, and others may be strictly Labradoodle-only rescues.
What they all have in common is that these dogs were brought to these rescues either because they were found homeless or their owners turned them into the rescue for one reason or another.
Depending on the rescue’s policy, these dogs may be put down if homes are not found for them within a certain period of time.
If you are seriously considering adopting a Labradoodle in need of a loving home, don’t go into it blindly.
We have a complete owner’s guide to the Labradoodle that will walk you through all of the basics as well as provide key insights to the breed and practical tips that will save you time and effort. A must-have!
Labradoodles are very popular dogs (learn all about them here) because they usually possess the qualities that individuals or families desire in a dog.
- Low-shedding & Somewhat hypoallergenic
- Funny personality
- Very trainable
Because of their popularity, Labradoodles can be expensive to purchase. We give you actual pricing examples and explain why they cost so much in this article.
Getting a Labradoodle from a Labradoodle rescue can save their life and bring lots of joy into the new owner’s life.
Before getting a Labradoodle from a rescue, it’s essential to do your research on the different rescue organizations, understand how rescues work, educate yourself on puppy mills, and explore any Labradoodle rescue groups that might exist.
According to the ASPCA, more than 3 million dogs are put in shelters every year in the United States, and some of these dogs are Labradoodles.
Once a person or family decides to get a Labradoodle, the search for the perfect dog begins. While one person might want a puppy, another may desire an adult dog.
Labradoodle rescues usually deal with only Labradoodles so you’ll often be able to choose between a puppy (if you’re lucky) and an adult.
Here are some benefits in greater detail.
Save a Life
When you adopt a Labradoodle from a rescue, you’re probably saving the dog’s life. Rescues cannot afford to keep dogs there indefinitely and often end up euthanizing the dog.
Most rescues only have so much room in their facility and can only house so many dogs.
You’re not only saving the life of the Labradoodle you adopt but are also making room for the rescue to take in another homeless Labradoodle.
Avoiding Puppy Mills
When you get a Labradoodle from a puppy mill, you’re going to pay a higher price for a dog that you know nothing about.
The dog may have hidden health issues and may have been living in some very unhealthy conditions.
Rescue dogs have been seen by veterinarians and received treatment if necessary.
You’re also supporting the puppy mill industry, which is notorious for unethical and abusive breeding practices.
You have a much better idea of what you’re getting with a rescue.
Get a Fully Screened Dog
Labradoodle rescues don’t just get a dog in one day and turn around and place it the next day.
The dog is usually thoroughly screened by a licensed veterinarian and receives all necessary shots, vaccinations and health services.
The dog is also typically sterilized.
The Labradoodle may also receive a behavioral assessment to determine how the dog behaves with children, other dogs, other animals, etc.
You’ll want to ask questions to determine which of these have indeed been done.
You Pick Your Dog
Labradoodle-specific rescues will usually have nothing but Labradoodles of all ages and sizes.
When you visit the rescue and decide to adopt a Labradoodle, you’ll be able to choose which dog you want to adopt.
Learn About the Dog’s Personality
Because the pups are carefully screened and assessed during their time at the rescue, the rescue workers can give you an accurate assessment of the dog’s personality and behavior.
When you purchase from a breeder, you may be told only what they want you to believe.
When you adopt a Labradoodle from a rescue, you’re typically required to pay an adoption fee of $200 to $400 to cover all the care and health-related expenses.
This is substantially less than the $1,000 to $3,000 or more you might be paying for a purebred Labradoodle.
Because getting a Labradoodle, or any dog for that matter, is such a big responsibility, it’s important to do it in the way that best meets your needs and lifestyle.
Hopefully, your Labradoodle will be with you for many years, so it’s important you get what you want.
Labradoodle rescues are a great way to get the dog of your dreams while also providing the dog with a loving home. However, rescues are not for everyone.
Here are some drawbacks in greater detail.
Not What You Want
When you adopt your Labradoodle, you may not be getting what you want.
Rescue dogs often behave entirely different once you get them home than how they acted at the rescue. This may change with time, or it may not.
Not for Competitions
If you aspire to have a Labradoodle who can compete in “Best of Breed” competitions or similar events, a rescue might not be right for you.
Very Strict Requirements
One of the biggest complaints of people adopting a dog from a rescue is the rigid requirements, such as personal references, applications, interviews, home visits, and requirements regarding fencing, pens, etc.
The rescue staff are not doing this to make your life miserable or to discourage the adoption.
They want to know the Labradoodle is going to a good home and that you’re adequately prepared for the dog.
(You can find a complete list of what your puppy will need in our New Puppy Checklist.)
Dog rescues often have a waiting period, so you may not be able to get your Labradoodle as quickly as you would like.
Some of the dogs at rescues have health issues or special needs.
While you may believe it’s love at first sight, that may change once you realize the extra care this particular Labradoodle may need his or her entire life.
You would be surprised how many Labradoodle dogs are available through puppy mills.
Considering what a popular dog the Labradoodle has become, maybe it wouldn’t be a surprise.
To an uninformed individual, the term puppy mill may sound like the ideal location to get the Labradoodle.
What is a puppy mill you might ask? The ASPCA describes puppy mills as large-scale commercial breeding operations that put money and profit above the health and well-being of the dogs.
Puppy mills often supply pet stores nationwide with the dogs they sell. But they can also advertise direct-to-customer through online classifieds and social media sites.
Here are some signs a dog breeder may be part of a puppy mill:
- Located in another state – Puppy mills often advertise all over the nation. As popular as Labradoodles are, you shouldn’t have any trouble finding a Labradoodle in your home state. The Midwest states, like Illinois and Missouri, are notorious for having puppy mills.
- Parents not present – If the breeder says he doesn’t have the parents on site or that you can’t see the parents, it’s probably a puppy mill, and you should run!
- Lack of Visitation – If you ask the breeder for his address and he suggests meeting someplace else, he probably doesn’t want you to see the conditions in which his dogs live. A common ploy is to suggest to meet halfway “for your convenience.” Don’t fall for it.
- Various Breeds Available – A reputable Labradoodle breeder cares so much about the breed and improving the breed that Labradoodles are the only breed they sell. Puppy mills are infamous for having several breeds on hand.
- Lack of Vaccinations – Reputable Labradoodle breeders will make sure all their puppies are given their first round of shots and can show documentation. Puppy mills often don’t even vaccinate the parents much less the puppies.
- No Contracts – Reputable breeders usually have contracts to give you (ours did!), such as spay/neuter agreements, health guarantees, and agreements that you’ll return the dog to them if it doesn’t work out.
- Cleanliness – Puppies that come from puppy mills won’t have the sweet “puppy smell” you that are common with puppies. Puppy mill dogs may look shaggy and smell dirty.
While Google is a great place to start, you might not find the results you were hoping for. This leaves many in search of a Labradoodle rescue quite discouraged.
Some of these ideas might improve your search.
With Labradoodles being such a popular breed, you might not find a ton of dogs available for rescue or rehome right away. If this is the route you decide on, be patient and understand that these pups get adopted quick so you’ll have to act fast when one becomes available.
Tips for using Google
- Search using the keywords ‘rescues’ and ‘rehomes.’
- Add your state or closest major city to the search.
Tips for using Facebook
Harnessing the power of social media is where most will see the best result.
Facebook groups and pages are extremely powerful when it comes to finding Labradoodles in need of rescue and rehoming.
Here are some tips for using Facebook in your search for a Labradoodle:
- Start by searching ‘labradoodle rescue’ or ‘labradoodle rehome’ in the Facebook search bar. Make sure you sort the results by ‘Groups’. See below:
- Join some of these Groups and keep an eye out on the posts that are being made.
- Many of the larger, more active groups are national groups. So you may want to start considering how far you’d travel to pick up a rescue.
- You can try something similar on Instagram by searching ‘hashtags’. Two popular hashtags are #labradoodlerescue and #rescuelabradoodle.
Here are some other site we’ve put together for you to check and monitor.
As you’ll see, not all are specific to Labradoodles, so be prepared to sift through the results a bit. Again, be patient with this process.
- Humane Society, The Shelter Pet Project
- Doodle Rescue Collective
- Poo-Mix Rescue
Creative Ways To Find Labradoodle Rescues
Ask Your Local Veterinarian
They can be a good source of information. Most veterinarians have a bulletin board with business cards and pictures of different dog breeds available for adaption.
If you don’t see anything on the board, ask if they are aware of any Labradoodle rescues.
Contact Local Breeders
Most reputable breeders have dog owners sign a contract before they take their puppy home.
One condition they commonly agree to is letting the breeder have the first claim of the dog if the owner can no longer care for them.
When this happens, the breeder needs to rehome the dog.
Make contact with the breeder and let her know you’d like first pick of any potential rehomes that come up.
One would think that adopting a rescue Labradoodle would be a simple process requiring nothing more than going to the rescue, picking out the dog, paying a fee, and taking the dog home.
One would also be very wrong! Adopting a rescue Labradoodle, or any dog breed, is a big deal.
It’s a big deal to the person getting the dog, it’s a big deal to the dog, and it’s a big deal to the rescue agency.
Rescue dogs are very important to rescue groups.
Their sole purpose is to find the dogs good homes, prevent overpopulation and eliminate having to euthanize the dogs.
A staggering 670,000 dogs are euthanized every year in the United States, and the rescue groups’ main purpose is to ensure this doesn’t happen to their dogs.
They’ve invested a lot of time and money into getting and keeping them healthy as well as finding them the right home.
Rescuing and adopting a Labradoodle involves an entire process from the time a person first visits the rescue to the time they take the dog home and then even beyond that sometimes.
The Typical Process Of Adoption
- Visit the shelter
- Talk with the shelter agency about what you want
- See the dogs
- Select the dog that you’re interested in adopting
- Fill out an application
- Go through an interview
- Submit to a home visit
- Sign contract agreements the rescue agency might require
- Pay the adoption fee
- Bring the dog home
The contracts that a new dog owner may be required to sign will vary by the rescue agency.
Here are examples of different kinds of contracts someone adopting the rescue dog might have to sign.
- Spay/neuter contract – In most cases, the dog has already been spayed, but sometimes the agency will require the new owner to have the dog sterilized within a certain amount of time after being adopted.
- Vaccinations – This requires the owner to keep up with any required vaccinations the dog may not have already received at the rescue.
- Fencing – Many rescue agencies require the dog to be kept in a fenced yard.
- Medical/Behavioral – This contract states that the owner is aware of any special needs the dog may have, and they agree to acknowledge these needs and provide the dog with whatever treatment the dog might need.
- Return policy – This contract states that if things don’t work out with the dog, for whatever reason, the owner will return the dog to the rescue agency.
Because Labradoodles are such a popular breed, finding one as a rescue can be difficult at times.
When one does become available, they’re usually scooped up pretty quickly. Chances are you’ll be doing your search online and through Facebook Groups.
And chances are when you find a Labradoodle rescue that’s available, they’ll be in another state and possibly across the country.
Getting a Labradoodle from a long distance can be difficult and often costly, but it’s still very possible.
One of the most difficult things about long-distance adoptions is the traveling aspect.
You’ll probably want to actually see the dog before committing to the adoption, and the agency may also require a face-to-face meeting and interview.
Some agencies are willing to talk on the phone or send videos of the shelter and the dogs.
As much as the agency wants to check you out, you should also check out the agency. The internet is a great place to do reviews on dog rescues.
Simply search the name of the rescue followed by the word ‘reviews.’ Check these out thoroughly so you know who and what you’re dealing with.
Here are some questions and concerns to cover when exploring a long-distance rescue:
- What are the adoption fees?
- Does that specific state have any laws regarding the transport of rescue dogs?
- What type of transportation is being used?
- Who will pay for transportation?
- What procedures are in place to ensure the dog remains safe and healthy until he or she reaches your home?
- Is the dog current on all shots and vaccinations?
- Can they provide with you a health guarantee stating the dog is healthy?
- Has the dog been evaluated by one or more veterinarians?
Is A Labradoodle Rescue The Right Choice For You?
Anytime you’re getting a dog from a rescue, you’re taking a chance, and Labradoodles are no exception.
Despite Labradoodles being wonderful dogs and one of the most popular breeds of dog today, you don’t know what kind of baggage is coming with the Labradoodle.
You may not know what circumstances led to the Labradoodle being put in the rescue; the rescue group may not even know much about the dog’s history.
If the dog was the result of poor or irresponsible breeding, the dog may have health problems prevalent to Labradoodles.
Even though Labradoodles are very intelligent, loving dogs by nature, this particular dog may have behavior problems stemming from how he or she was treated in the previous home.
Many of the issues the dog may have may be easily treatable, but just be aware that you’re probably not going to get the “perfect pet” right out of the gate.
If you do decide to get a Labradoodle from a rescue, be ready to put in the required time and energy, and you may end up with a wonderful dog.
The most important thing to remember is that if you’re going the rescue route to get your Labradoodle to get all the information you can on the dog so you have some idea what to expect.
Before agreeing to take the dog home, be prepared to make the full commitment.
Few things are more heartbreaking for rescue dogs than to be put into a new home, become accustomed to the home and then be removed and sent back to the rescue because the owner got more than they expected.
Why Are Labradoodle Rescues Necessary?
Since its origin, the Labradoodle has become very popular because of its intelligence, loving personality, and good looks.
It’s often unfortunate when a breed suddenly gains rapid popularity because it results in a lot of breeding by unscrupulous or inexperienced breeders, many of which are puppy mills.
Despite the Labradoodle being a cute and popular dog, the breeders are often left with more puppies than they can responsibly handle if they’re not able to sell them all.
Like most dogs, Labradoodles have the tendency to develop certain health problems.
Lacking the knowledge of the dog’s genetics, the puppies may be born with hereditary health issues or may develop them later in life.
Many breeders look at Labradoodles as a way to make some easy money. This is why there is a need for Labradoodle rescues.
There are so many of these beautiful dogs that are homeless and in need of good homes.
Having Labradoodle rescues makes it easier for true Labradoodle lovers to find the perfect Labradoodle to match their lifestyle and provide the dog with a good home.
Once you’ve decided you want to get your Labradoodle through a rescue agency, you may think the hard part is done, but you couldn’t be more wrong.
This is just the first of several steps. You want to make sure that the rescue group you’re choosing is the right one and that it’s reputable.
Here are some tips and things to look for in a Labradoodle rescue organization.
- Does the rescue have various volunteers?
- Do they have a board of directors?
- Are they a registered 501 (c) (3) charity?
- Are they willing to answer any questions you may have about the agency?
- Does the facility appear to be clean and well organized?
- Do they respond to your inquiries or calls in a timely manner?
- Are they willing to talk over the phone?
- Are they in compliance with the state laws regarding the number of dogs or kennel licenses, etc.?
- Do they have a good reputation in the community in which they’re located?
If you want to check on a specific Labradoodle rescue group, there are some sites that may prove helpful.
If Labradoodles are such popular dogs, why do so many of them end up in shelters and rescues?
Unfortunately, many dog owners choose Labradoodles just because they’re Labradoodles and are such adorable dogs.
Once they get the dog home, they realize the dog needs more than they’re willing or able to give. This is not always the case.
Sometimes, dogs end up in rescues due to unforeseeable circumstances, such as family moving and unable to take the dog with or death of the dog’s owner.
If I’m getting a Labradoodle from a rescue and saving his life, why do I have to pay an adoption fee?
This is a question asked a lot by people wishing to adopt a dog.
The rescue incurs a lot of fees when they take in a rescue dog, such as neutering/spaying, rabies shots, vaccinations, wormers, and dog food, and that’s provided the dog was relatively healthy.
The adoption fee, which is substantially less than the fee to buy a Labradoodle from a breeder, is to help pay for some of these fees.
If I find it’s not working out, can we return the Labradoodle to the rescue?
Returning the dog to the rescue is not only allowed but often required.
Some rescues make a stipulation in the contract that the dog should be returned to the rescue if it doesn’t work out.
This is the main reason why it’s so important for a potential dog owner to weigh all the pros and cons of getting a rescue Labradoodle so they know what they’re doing and what to expect.
That’s A Wrap!
Getting a Labradoodle is a big responsibility and one that should not be taken lightly.
If your main purpose of getting a Labradoodle is to have a pet, why not consider checking into a Labradoodle rescue before checking with a breeder?
You may be bringing home the best dog you’ve ever owned and saving the dog’s life at the same time. It’s a win-win for everyone!
If you’re seriously considering adding a Labradoodle to your life, be sure to grab your copy of our book, The Owner’s Guide To The Perfect Labradoodle.
I’ve packed it with information and tips from own personal experience with the breed. You’ll learn everything you need to know about: