Adoption Policies


    MLRR does not adopt to families that want an "outside only" dog.  All dogs adopted from MLRR will live and sleep inside the home.  The dog will not be left outside unsupervised.
    The adopter must agree to never let the dog off-leash in an un-fenced area.  NO EXCEPTIONS.


    An electric or invisible fence system is not permitted for outside containment of a dog adopted from MLRR.  Although a fenced yard is not required, the adopter must agree to provide an appropriate method for outside containment that is consistent with the off-leash policy above and force-free positive training policies below.


    A 'tie-out' (a long rope or chain attached to a stake or other fixed object) is not an acceptable method of containing a dog to the adopter's property.


    The dog may not be adopted as a 'surprise' or a gift for someone else.  MLRR will work directly with the adoption applicant only (not family members, neighbors, etc.)


    Within 30 days after adoption, the adopter is strongly encouraged to enroll with the adopted dog in a basic skills/manners dog training class (or private session) that uses only force-free positive training techniques. If adopting a puppy under 5 months old, the adopter is strongly encouraged to enroll in a puppy socialization class immediately after adoption, and in the basic skills/manners class (or private session) within 30 days after completing the puppy class. MLRR can assist adopters in finding an appropriate professional trainer to comply with these requirements.


    The adopter must agree to use only force-free positive training techniques for addressing behaviors and general interaction with the dog throughout the dog's lifetime.  Positive training focuses on understanding how dogs experience the world and communicate, and uses positive reinforcement to reward and encourage desirable behaviors.  Training techniques based on fear, intimidation, pain, physical punishment, asserting dominance, being the alpha or similar concepts are strictly prohibited, including, for example, the use of shock collars, choke chains, prong collars, electric or invisible fencing, hitting, kicking, pinning, alpha rolls and leash-jerking.


    The adopter must be willing to obtain a crate and crate train the dog, if necessary.  This is especially important when a young dog is adopted. Crates are also helpful when potty training a dog and as tools to keep dogs safe when the owner is not present to supervise the dog.


    The adopter must agree to properly maintain the health of the dog by placing him/her on an annual vaccination schedule under the direction of a veterinarian.  The adopter must agree to have the dog tested annually for heartworm, and he/she will receive heartworm preventative by prescription from a veterinarian.  Illinois has one of the highest incidence rates for heartworm in the country.  As such, MLRR strongly recommends that adopters consult with their veterinarian and place the dog on year-round heartworm preventative.


    When an unmarried couple or roommates want to adopt a dog, the dog may only be adopted in one person's name, and only that person may sign the contract.  This helps to ensure that in the event that they split up, the dog will stay with the adopter.


    All family members, including any other household pets, must be present during the home visit and when meeting a prospective "adoptee" Labrador to be sure of a good match.


    Adoption applicants residing in a townhouse, condominium, apartment or rental property must provide written documentation stating that they have permission from the landlord/homeowner's association to add a dog (the size of a Labrador) to their household.  This letter/documentation should be given to the MLRR volunteer at the time of the home visit.


    MLRR reserves the right to contact any references or veterinarians named by the adopter on the application form.  Family members cannot be listed as references.
    Incomplete adoption applications will not be processed.


    The MLRR Board of Directors reserves the right to change these policies at any time.