© 2018 by New England Lab Rescue, Inc. 

Created by Meghan Hogan Design

About Us

New England is a region of the country with a high demand for Labrador Retrievers. As a result, very few are actually found in the local shelters. Our Rescue Team realized that with funding and a lot of hard work, we could rescue this amazing breed from shelters in Southern States and bring them to New England for adoption.

NELR is an approved, licensed and registered 501c3 Non Profit Rescue in the States of NY, CT, MA, NH, RI, VT, ME, NJ, TX, SC, NC.

We are a 501c3 Non-Profit as of 2010. NELR has placed over 3,000 labs into forever homes all over New England and the East Coast of the US.

Frequently, owners surrender their dogs for a variety of reasons. They may bring their dog to the shelter when they realize they are unable to provide the exercise, training, socialization, and veterinary care that a typical Lab requires. Some Labs are surrendered when owners realize that Labs do not fare well when left alone all day. Some dogs that disregard invisible fencing are surrendered, or when their human loses a job or has to relocate. Many dogs are surrendered when marriages end in divorce and neither owner can care for the Lab. As families grow, parents find the responsibility of caring for children and a dog can be overwhelming and the Lab must go. People age or become ill and become incapable of caring for their dog.

Shelters in southern states constantly face overcrowding and must create room for more animals. Animals surrendered to shelters are the most likely to be euthanized first when a shelter needs to make space. Many animals are saved in their final days, even hours, by rescue organizations. Our Labs come from these shelters. Most are healthy, loving Labs that were once part of a family. We aim to give these dogs a successful second chance at life. They are Labs that have been surrendered by owners, picked up as strays, or even seized from their owners due to neglect. Once rescued, we use various transport services to bring our dogs safely to New England.

How long will it take to get a dog? A suitable rescue Lab may be available in a week, six months, or even longer. Fill out your application now, so when you see a lab come through that meets your expectation, you will be prepared. Please let the adoptions team know you are doing this in advance and want to be on a “waiting list.”

As a rescue organization, we have no control over the Labs that are available for adoption. People willing to adopt a senior Lab or one with special needs may get a Lab sooner. Applicants requesting a specific gender, color, or age range can expect a longer wait.

We encourage applicants to be flexible. Male, female, black, chocolate, yellow, young, mature, and senior Labrador Retrievers all make great companion dogs. We rarely have puppies available that are under 2 months old. Puppies and young 1 to 3 year-old dogs require more exercise, additional socialization, and obedience training. Mature 4 to 7 year-old dogs and seniors are over the energetic stage, and they usually settle into new homes quite readily. We guarantee it will be worth the wait when you are successfully matched with your new family member!!


“Govvie” was rescued by NELR in 2012 from a northern US high kill shelter. His shelter name was “Big Yellow Taxi” which we immediately changed !   He came to us as “un-adoptable” and had serious medical issues at only 2.  He has since been to the University of Missouri where the world renowned Dr Jimi Cook implanted  new hips and Gov also wears a custom made orthotic prosthetic brace to walk.  He is our ambassador of goodwill because he has had so much trauma and pain from structural medical issues, has been in a kill shelter without hope of adoption,  yet remains one of the most loving labs you can ever meet, and typifies the true lab personality.  Goofy, fun loving, loves to eat and sleeps in your bed !

He has been featured on Channel 23 News, a CBS affiliate and featured in many news and magazine articles.  He is on all our literature and goes to as many shows and events that his health allows.  We are thankful that all our labs find themselves in loving forever homes, but Governor remains the sole property of NERL and has many, many fans who love him.  He lives in permanent foster care with NELR’s founder in Limerick, Maine.  He is greatly loved, cared for and he brings joy and laughter to everyone he meets.