Giving Up Your Lab to SCLRR
Thank you for considering SCLRR to help you find a new, loving home for your Labrador Retriever. This information will explain the process of relinquishing ownership to SCLRR.
Note: Foster space is extremely limited, and priority is given to dogs in danger of being put to sleep. If you can keep your dog in your home until a new home can be found with our help, please see our Re-Homing Your Labrador page for options other than surrendering your Lab to us. If you are not sure which option is best for you and your dog, or if you know of a dog in urgent need of being rescued, please contact us.
SCLRR will need to evaluate your dog for intake. In scheduling an evaluation, you may be asked to drive your dog to a location or, in some cases, a volunteer may be able to visit you and your dog at your home. Pure bred Labs are given priority for intake over Lab mixes. All dogs are evaluated as to whether they have any obvious medical conditions or any behavioral issues. Our volunteers are trained in behavior assessment techniques in order to identify potential issues such as aggression or anxiety. We do not accept either people-aggressive or dog-aggressive dogs, and often times our volunteer will have a dog of his/her own for testing with your dog. If we accept your dog into our group and aggression occurs in our foster home, you will then be asked whether you want your dog back, as at that point we will no longer be able to place this dog through our organization.
Once an appointment has been made to evaluate your Lab, we ask that you print out and complete our Surrender Questionnaire, so that you are prepared to give it to our Lab Rescue volunteer at the time of the evaluation (do not mail it to us). Please be honest and disclose any current or potential behavioral issues that your dog may have because the evaluation—or subsequent in-home fostering—will likely uncover them, anyway. Behavioral issues include: chewing, barking, digging, escaping, lack of house-training, etc. The more we know about the dog, up-front, the better we’re equipped to find a matching family who can handle or prepare for such behaviors. Otherwise, your Lab could end up with new owners who are unhappy because of unexpected and unwanted surprises from their new dog—and the placement might prove unsuccessful.
At the time of the evaluation, you will be asked to sign an owner release form releasing your liability from the dog and giving SCLRR legal rights of ownership. You must be the current legal owner of the dog in order to sign this form. This form protects the new owners and SCLRR from claims by any past owners.
In addition, we request a $50 donation for dogs that aren’t current on vaccines and, for dogs that aren’t spayed or neutered, a $100 donation to cover our costs in getting that done. Although neither these donations nor their amounts are mandatory, your financial contribution will help SCLRR in providing these services for your dog(s).
After your dog has been evaluated and taken into SCLRR’s adoption program, the dog will be fostered a minimum of a week and listed for adoption provided all behavioral and medical in-home evaluations check out. For the next step, an approved family is matched to an available Lab and an appointment will be set up for the family to visit the dog at the foster home. Only families who have had their home visit and been approved for adoption will be considered for an SCLRR foster dog.
If your dog is aggressive with people, or has ever bitten anyone without provocation, you can’t in good conscience give him to anyone else. Could you live with yourself if that dog hurt another person, especially a child? Can you deal with the lawsuit that could result from it? You stand to lose your home and everything else you own. Lawsuits from dog bites are settling for millions of dollars in damages. No insurance company will cover a family with a biting dog. And to be perfectly honest, no responsible person in his/her right mind would want to adopt an aggressive, biting dog.
No matter how much you may love your dog, if your dog is aggressive and will bite a human with little or no provocation, and you absolutely cannot keep your dog and work with it, you only have one responsible choice — take him to your veterinarian and have him humanely put to sleep. Don’t leave him at a shelter where he might be frightened and confused and put other people at risk. And please don’t pass your problem off to a rescue group or to another family who will be forced to make the same decision you should have reached.
As hard as it is to face, putting a potentially dangerous, biting dog to sleep is the only safe and responsible thing to do.