Getting to know…

The Labrador Rescue Trust – Paul Watson, Regional Coordinator & Trustee

The Labrador Rescue Trust was founded in 1988, originally named Labrador Rescue South West, due mainly to being based in the South West of England. The Trust changed its current name when granted National Status in 1993. This year, 2018, is our 30th Anniversary, and during these 30 years we have successfully rehomed in excess of 11,000 Labradors. Here Companion Life finds out more about The Labrador Rescue Trust.

How important is the work that you do at the Trust?

Every dog that comes into our care is special. A great deal of care is taken to ensure that the dog’s needs are met and that a suitable new forever home is found where the dog will be happy for the remainder of its life. We consider our work vitally important, in as much as it is essential that the unwanted (for whatever reason) Labradors are given the best possible chance and go forward to enjoy a happy, healthy and pleasant life. The Trust retains ownership of every Labrador that comes into its care and they are rehomed on an adoption basis. This ensures that the dog’s future is safe, and its welfare is our paramount concern.

We have a huge ongoing financial commitment to the Supported Adopted Dogs (SAD) – these are the ones that come into our care with an existing medical condition and therefore the new home would not be able to take out insurance cover for the said condition. Donations from the public are vital to help cover the costs of veterinary treatment and kennelling – our two biggest expenses – as well as the day to day running of The Trust. Our dedicated helpers and supporters do a huge amount to help with raising funds with events such as Fetes, Dog Shows, Coffee Mornings, Street Collections etc., all of which are necessary to help with the funds needed.

Why do you think that Labradors are so popular?

Labradors are a very popular breed, as they are seen as gentle, affectionate, intelligent and loyal, and this is why so many people choose them as the ideal family pet and companion. They are also a renowned working breed and excel at what they are trained to do.

What advice would you offer owners who might be considering getting a Labrador?

My advice to anyone considering getting a Labrador as a pet is to “do your homework thoroughly”. First and foremost is do you have the time to give the dog what it needs. Regular daily exercise, feeding with a good quality food and maintaining a healthy diet, not forgetting spending time with your dog and sharing your life with it. There is also the ongoing expense of regular parasite and flea control, annual inoculations and veterinary care, if and when required. If seeking to purchase a Labrador puppy, please consider adopting a Rescue Labrador. “Don’t buy – Adopt”. You will be pleasantly surprised by the result!

What reasons do people give when asking for your help to rehome their Lab?

People asking us to rehome their Labrador do so for a variety of reasons and often reluctantly, because they haven’t considered what options may be available to them. Advice is always given in the first instance, in order to help them make an informed decision before giving up their dog. Most dogs come into our care because of drastic changes in family circumstances, where they can no longer give the dog what is required or are simply unable to afford the ongoing expense of keeping and maintaining the dog’s welfare etc. Others are as a result of family break ups and simply cannot cope and if having to move into rented accommodation are not allowed by their landlords to keep pets. We also have welfare cases to deal with, which can be very traumatic, these are however in the minority, but we will always be there to assist.

There are other Labrador Rescue Organisations out there and should The Labrador Rescue Trust be unable to assist, for whatever reason, e.g.; we do not operate in a particular geographical area etc, we will always put a person in touch with a reputable and trusted Rescue.

Anyone wishing to contact The Trust should do so by visiting our website, www.labrador-rescue.com