Here at Labrador Welfare, we know every dog deserves a home and, somewhere out there, there’s a home for every dog but finding the right home for each and every dog needs the right approach and the information below will tell you all you need to know about our approach to finding dogs in our care their perfect match.

If you’re keen to join our Matching List AND you live in the area we cover, the Rehoming Team would be pleased to hear from you so, once you’ve read about how our matching process works, please do drop an email through to with some brief details of the following:

  • Who you are and where you’re based.
  • What age/gender of dog you’re looking for.
  • What, apart from love and care (which we believe should come as standard) you can offer a Labrador Welfare dog.
  • We’d also like to hear a little about any relevant experience you’ve had with Labradors or breeds of a similar size as well as any previous experience with rescue dogs.

We’re particularly interested in hearing from people who understand that, despite being the same breed, EVERY Labrador is different.

Those that find their way to us often come from very different backgrounds and all have very different needs so, although there’s some truth in the saying that ‘you’ll never get the dog you want - you’ll always get the dog you need’ you’ll understand that, for us at Labrador Welfare, it’s all about making sure our dogs are safely placed in homes that will understand and are seriously committed to meeting their individual needs.

Please do drop us a line if you’re in one of the areas we cover (as mentioned above), are committed to sharing your life with
a Labrador Welfare dog and would like us to email you an application form to complete and return to the Rehoming Team.

Once you’ve received your application form, please take some time to read it through before completing it.

As we’re unable to consider incomplete applications, you’ll need to make sure you answer ALL the questions on the form before returning it to us by email at or by post to the address at the foot of the form.

Please also ensure you’re familiar with the information below before you return a completed application so that you know how things work once you’ve submitted it and what to expect if you’re successfully matched with a Labrador Welfare dog.


  • What will happen once I have submitted my application?

When you apply to us at Labrador Welfare, you’re effectively applying to join our Matching List. 

The information you provide us with will help us consider whether you’re able to meet the needs of dogs that come into our care and provide them with the kind of home they deserve. You can find out more about what we generally look for in a home here.

Our Rehoming Team will let you know if your application to join our Matching List has been successful but if you haven’t heard from us within 3 weeks of the date of your application, you’ll need to assume that your application has been unsuccessful. 

  • What is the ‘Matching List’?

We know you will understand that our priority and primary duty of care rests squarely with meeting the dog’s needs and ensuring that we find exactly the right home for them. But it has to be right for you too.

For us at Labrador Welfare, getting the match right between any dog and its potential new home is at the heart of what we do.

We are very fortunate in having a very healthy Matching List which means we ordinarily have far more people on our list than dogs seeking homes! This will inevitably mean that, for many of you on the Matching List, there will be a wait to be matched with a dog – especially if you have quite a specific ‘wish list’.  Remember – our dogs have wishes too!

No matter how long the wait, we do need you to understand that, due to GDPR regulations, we will only keep your details on record for a period of 3 months from the date we acknowledge receipt of your application.

If, as that period of time elapses, you have not been matched with a dog but wish to remain on our Matching List, you will need to e-mail us to at to give us permission to retain your details for a further 3 months. If you do not contact us, you will roll off the Matching List.

  • How does the Matching List work?

Our Matching List does not work in the same way as a waiting list where you simply wait your turn.

We believe the best homes are worth waiting for and we’ll wait patiently for the right one to come along for each and every dog in our care that needs one. That’s why we will look carefully at the information provided to us by all applicants on the Matching List and consider which, if any, will best match the needs of individual dogs seeking new homes at that time.

Every dog that comes into our care has different needs which, together with information provided to us by the previous owner and coupled with assessment by the experienced staff at the kennels we use, are our primary consideration in any match with a potential new owner.

For example, it’s unlikely we’d consider rehoming a dog with no experience of young children to home where there are either resident or visiting young children. Similarly, it may be that applicants with resident dogs may be precluded from sharing their home with a particular Labrador Welfare dog simply because we know he or she would benefit from being placed in a home where they are the only dog.

Of course, your needs matter to us too but we’d ask you to understand that, the nature of breed-specific rescue means we cannot guarantee that a dog whose needs match those on your own ‘wish list’ will come along during the period for which your application is valid.

It may also help you to know that we see very few bitches coming through and the majority of the dogs that come to us for rehoming are males between the ages of 1 to 8 years.

Dogs of 9 years and over are rehomed through our lifetime foster scheme and applicants wishing to life time foster one of our older dogs will undergo the same matching process as an applicant hoping to adopt a dog from Labrador Welfare.

We understand that you might also be looking at other rescues and would only ask that, if a dog from another rescue (or reputable breeder) is fortunate enough to find its way to your home while you’re on our Matching List, you let us know so that we can amend our records.

If our Rehoming Team feel you may be a potential match for a particular dog in our care – you will be the person or people they will contact – irrelevant of your position on the Matching List.

  • How do we take a potential match forward?

Our Rehoming Team will contact you to talk about a dog identified as being a potential match with the home and life you’re able to offer.

With the exception of abandoned or stray dogs or those whose owners have sadly passed away, we will have taken as full a background history as we can from previous owners prior to admitting the dog into our care. This is, of course, taken on good faith which is why we allow our dogs some time to settle in the kennels that we use so that kennel staff experienced in rescue have some time to observe and assess each and every dog and provide us with any relevant feedback.

In this way, if the team contact you to talk about one of our dogs, they should be able to provide you with as much background as is possible and couple that with any feedback received from kennels.

If, on the basis of what you have heard, you would like to meet the dog, we will ask you to come to the kennels we use for a Meet and Greet on neutral ground.

Please be aware that we will be unable to progress a potential match in the event you are unable to travel to kennels to meet the dog you have potentially been matched with.

You also need to know that we do not allow open viewing of any of the dogs in our care and all meetings are by strict appointment made through the Rehoming Team.

If you already have a dog or dogs of your own, you MUST be prepared to bring them along to the meeting as it’s important to make sure your dogs will get on well with the prospective new member of your family.

If there are justifiable reasons that preclude you bringing your dog(s) to kennels for a meeting you’ll need to let us know when you make your initial application to join our Matching List so that the Rehoming Team can take them into consideration.

  • What happens at the Meet and Greet?

If you’ve taken your own dogs with you, we advise that they remain in or safely near your vehicle until you have been able to spend a little time with the dog you have been invited to meet.

Kennel staff will bring the prospective new addition to your family to meet you in secure outdoor paddocks where you will be able to have some off-lead time with him or her. This provides you with the opportunity to interact with the dog and see how they respond to you. Some dogs may take some time before approaching you as they may be far more interested in all the other sights, sounds and smells of the surrounding area. Others, however, will happily say hello without too much encouragement and will likely inspect you from head to toe to see whether you’re carrying (healthy) treats or a ball!

We suggest those of you that have taken your own dogs to the Meet and Greet introduce them to their potential new canine companion only after you have spent some time in the paddock with the dog. Kennel staff will be on hand to ensure dog to dog introductions are as smooth as possible.

Following a successful introduction, we then we ask that you take a walk around the fields the kennels are set in with the dog (and yours too if you’ve taken one – or two - along) on lead. This is an essential part of the Meet and Greet process as you’ll be able to get a proper, hands on feel for the strength of the dog, consider whether or not you are able to safely handle it and/or whether you’ll need to think about undertaking any further training that both you and the dog may benefit from.

We’d advise you to spend as much time with the dog as you can so that you can make a fully informed decision as to whether or not he or she is the dog for you or, perhaps more importantly, whether you are the right person for the dog.

  • What happens after the Meet and Greet?

In the majority of cases, unless you have been home visited by a representative from Labrador Welfare in the 2 years prior to your visit to kennels, we will ask you to return home without the dog following your Meet and Greet.

This is so that you can take a little time to think carefully about how your visit has gone and whether or not you feel the match would be right - not just for you but also for the dog you have just met.

Our Rehoming Team will contact you to talk about how you feel the meeting went and to discuss whether or not you would like to proceed with adopting (or lifetime fostering) the dog you’ve provisionally been matched with.

We appreciate honest feedback following a meeting with a dog – particularly if you feel the match may not be quite right and you don’t wish to proceed with rehoming that particular dog. In those rare cases we will retain your details on our Matching List in accordance with GDPR regulations and will contact you should you be identified as a potential match for another dog during the period your application is valid for.

It may be, however, that you would like to have a second visit to see the dog before making a final decision and this is something that we would encourage in order that you - and we - are sure the match is right - not just for you but also for the dog.

If, however, you are already 100% certain that you are right for the dog and the dog is right for you and that you’d like to proceed with adopting or lifetime fostering him or her, then we’ll ask one of our Home Visitors to come and see you.

  • What does a Home Visit entail?

We pride ourselves on adhering to the standards set by organisations committed to animal welfare at national level and will undertake pre-adoption or fostering home visits in accordance with our Responsible Rehoming Policy.

The Home Visit is not a test but more an opportunity for us to ensure we are placing our dogs in safe, secure and loving homes. It’s also an opportunity for you to meet a representative from Labrador Welfare who can provide first-hand guidance should you need it.

Following their visit to you, our Home Visitors will feed back to our Rehoming Co-ordinator who will then contact you – hopefully with the good news that you’re able to move forward and adopt (or lifetime foster) the dog you’ve been matched with.

More information on what our home visits entail can be found here.

  • What happens on Gotcha Day?

Our Rehoming Co-ordinator will liaise with both you and kennel staff to arrange a mutually convenient date and time for you to return to kennels to complete the relevant paperwork and collect your dog.

On the day you collect your dog, you will be asked to pay a non-refundable adoption donation and sign an Adoption Contract. If you’re lifetime fostering one of our older dogs, you’ll be asked to sign a Foster Contract. Although we do not ask for an adoption donation for our lifetime foster dogs, we do welcome donations to help us continue our work.

Both contracts outline our terms and conditions with regard to adopting or life-time fostering a dog from Labrador Welfare. They also explain the level of obligation you, as new adopters or foster carers, will need to commit to when you share your home with a Labrador Welfare dog.

Whether you are adopting or lifetime fostering, we will have ensured your dog is neutered or spayed prior to leaving our care (unless there is a medical reason this cannot be done) and also that their vaccinations are within date. Once we’re happy that the dog is settling with you, we will also change the microchip into the family name.

This is all done for you so that all you need to think about on the day you collect the new addition to your family is getting them safely home and settled.

  • What about back up?

You can expect our Rehoming Co-ordinator to contact you 24 hours after you’ve adopted or lifetime fostered your dog and again approximately 2 weeks later. This is so we can ensure you have everything you need and you can assure us your dog is settling and happy in their new home.

As a small breed-specific rescue, each of our dogs are like family and we do like to keep in touch which is why, after our initial follow up, we will contact you from time to time and, in the case of dogs who are lifetime fostered, will follow up at regular intervals. We will also come and see you and your dog approximately 12 – 18 months after their rehoming.

All our new (and returning) adopters and carers are provided with a direct means of contacting our Rehoming Co-ordinator who will always return a call or e-mail as soon as is practically possible to provide support whenever it is needed.

We are committed to ensuring the ongoing welfare of all the dogs we rehome and will stand beside them and you as their new owner or carer for the rest of the dog’s natural life.

Finally … you may find it helpful to take a look at what you can and can't expect when you share your life with a Labrador Welfare dog  We’ve also put together an Information Sheet with some useful pointers on settling a rescue dog in its new home.

If you live in the area we cover, like the sound of the way we work and genuinely believe you can offer the kind of home and caring commitment every Labrador Welfare dog deserves, please drop us a line at

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