Am I guaranteed that I will adopt the dog whose name I put in my application?
While we ask which dog you are interested in to get a sense of what you are looking for, we cannot guarantee that the dog you want will be available upon completion of your application. Our goal is to find the best possible match for your household and our dogs and sometimes the dog you like from a picture is not the a good match for your family. The application process assures that you are approved to adopt A DOG from us, but we plan on working with you until we find the right dog that fits what you are looking for. While we do not know your family as well as you do, we have years of experience and we spend a lot of time getting to know our dogs and their needs: we hope that you will trust us and let us help you find the right dog for you.
What can I do to assure a good adoption?
Usually people that come to us have in mind already what they are looking for (sex, color, age) or they have seen a picture of one of our dog and fallen in love. While we know everyone has preferences we recommend that you put the least amount of restrictions on the physical characteristics and focus on personality: We try to capture the personality of our dogs in our pictures but do not let a picture decide for you. Come to us with an open hear and be honest about your lifestyle (very active, no so active, very busy at work, very energetic kids, a couch potato dog at home etc) and let us help you direct you toward the dogs whose personality fit your lifestyle better. A dog is a 10+ years commitment and personality is a lot more important than look.
Where do your labs come from?
Most of our labs come from the local shelters and from shelters from the neighboring states. The animal shelters are last chance opportunities for these homeless pets to be saved, and when the shelters become full, which occurs regularly, the ones still left unclaimed or not yet adopted are destroyed to make room for new homeless pets coming into the facility.
How much is the adoption fee?
The adoption fee is $275.00. On rare occasions, we may have lab puppies available for adoption, and they require an additional $100 spay/neuter deposit along with the $275.00 regular adoption fee. The $100 deposit is refunded after proof of spay/neuter is received when the puppy has reached the appropriate age for the operation.
Are you dogs current on vaccinations? Are they healthy?
All our dogs are current on vaccinations appropriate for their age. The adoption fee include vaccinations, a vet visit, microchip (most of the times), spay and neuter (for adult dogs), and a temperament test (in same case a professional evaluation or training). We try our best to make sure the dog we adopt is healthy. If the dog has any health of behavioral issues we know of, we fully disclose all the information we have and provide documentation.
Do you have papers on your labs?
Very rarely would we have registration papers on our labs. We make the assessment of a dog based on the look and behavior of a standard Labrador Retriever. We cannot guarantee that a dog we refer to as a full lab or lab mix is purebred or not. Many lab mixes have the look of a full lab, and some labs have mis-marks that give them the look of a lab mixed breed.
Do you spay/neuter your dogs?
Yes, we do spay/neuter our dogs. Pet overpopulation is a big problem. There are nearly 150,000 Labradors registered with the AKC each year, which is the number one breed in the country. The second most popular breed doesn’t even come close to this number. With thousands of Labs in shelters and in need of rescue, we believe very strongly that breeding should be done solely for the long term endurance and improvement of the wonderful breed of the Labrador. Breeding should be done by knowledgeable professionals who work to maintain the breed standard for health, temperament, and form.
Breeding should not be done because you want to show your family the miracle of birth, or because you, your friends or your family want a dog just like your own dear, wonderful pet dog, and most importantly, breeding should NEVER be done to make money.
Do you have a facility or office where we can come to visit the dogs?
No, we do not have a dedicated kennel or other facility for our dogs. We are an all volunteer organization, and there is no staff or any one person employed to work for Labrador Friends of the South on a full or part time basis. We rely on volunteers and foster homes to rescue, house, and help the labs in our program in their spare time. In urgent need cases, where no foster homes are available, we will board the dogs to save them, but with boarding costs and other expenses, we can only save as many as we have foster homes available. Please check out our Fostering section.
We do hold regular adoption day events, where people are welcome to visit with us and interact with the labs. Please check out our News and Events section. We can also schedule individual appointments as needed.
Why do I need to get approved before seeing the dogs?
Our dogs are all over Atlanta and we all have full time jobs. So making appointments to see a dog take a lot of coordination and energy for us. We need to make sure you are approved before we can schedule an appointment. Everyone is welcome to come to our adoption days, you don’t have to be approved to come and play with our dogs at adoption. At the same time, it is rare that we can approve you on the spot at adoption so you may miss the chance to adopt a dog you like if you are not approved already.
Notice that your application is not a commitment to adopt. Once you are approved we keep your application on file for at least 6 months so you can adopt at any time. The application also allows us to learn about your situation and to recommend the dogs that would be the best match for you and your family.
Do you have a return policy?
Our adoption contracts have a strict return policy. This said we encourage you to work with us closely to assure that the dog you adopt is a good match for you. Dogs do not like changes so our goal is to avoid too many changes for our dogs. This said, is after giving the dog a fair amount of time to adjust to his new environment, things are not working out you can return the dog to us. In fact, our return policy states that you are bound to return the dog to us at any point in his life for any reason. We take all our dogs back at any point for any reason. Once a dog is a LFS dog is a LFS dogs for the rest of his life.
Why do I have to pay for $15 fee even before seeing your dogs?
The $15 we ask at the time of your adoption application is a small processing fee. This is just a small token to make sure you are serious. 100% of those $15 will go back to saving even more dogs!
Will an adult dog be able to bond with me?
Yes! Forming a strong connection with a pet has little to with the animal’s age at the time of adoption. An adult animal who is given a second chance with a loving, adoptive family, is very likely to be one of the most loving, loyal companions you’ll ever find.
I want to help, how can I get involved?
There are many ways in which you can get involved. If money is not an issue but time is, just make a donation. If you want contact with our dogs but cannot foster, come to adoption days or offer to give a day out for one of our dogs in boarding. If you have free time and a car, offer to transport. If you like to organize events, offer to organize a fundraiser event. We also always need people with computer skills to help with our website. If you are very organized offer to help us file all our paperwork. Just keep in mind that our biggest need are foster homes, money and committed volunteers. We offer credit our for high school students.
What is the difference between adopting and fostering?
When you adopt you commit to a dog forever. When you foster, you commit to keep the dog and work with us until we find a permanent home for the dog.
What are you looking for in a foster home?
Foster home should be in the Atlanta area. Ideally fosters should be able to come to adoption days, which are once a month for the most part (but not exclusively) in Alpharetta and stay with the dog for the few hours of the adoption days. This is important as fosters know the dog the best and can help answering questions and assure that the find the right home for each dog. We cover any vet expenses and training if and when necessary. Fosters help teaching the dog to leave in a house, basic doggie manners and socialization, and just being a happy family dog. There is no special requirements to be a foster home, just a desire to help, a big heart and a love for labs. A fenced yard is ideal but not required.
Will I choose which dog to foster?
Not always. When you apply to become a foster home, we spend an extensive period of time discussing with you and your family which type of dog would fit your home and lifestyle better. We then accommodate your needs. Within these parameters, we then follow the order in which dogs are waiting to get into a foster home.
How long do usually dogs stay in a foster home?
It depends on the dog and the time of the year. We had dogs being in a foster home anywhere from one day to months. Moving from foster to foster it is very stressful on a dog so we do ask that, unless the dog does not work out in your home, you commit to a dog until a permanent home is found. Of course life changes sometime and we understand, but we do ask that you are ready to keep the dog for more than a few days. If you have to travel, we ask that you tell us ahead of time and we make arrangement for a substitute foster home or boarding.
What if I cannot foster for more than one week at the time?
We always also need temporary fosters to help when our regular fosters travel, especially around the holidays. Just tell us this is your wish and we will keep you in our database for emergency fosters.