What is the adoption process?

Adoption starts with an approved application. Each application is processed by our adoption committee and it can usually take about a week to become approved, depending on our application load at the time. Once an application has been approved, it can be kept on file for up to 3 months, while you search for just the right new companion.

The adoption committee processes all inquiries for each pup in the order in which they are received. The first in line approved applicant, will then be offered the first meet and greet with that pup at our next Saturday adoption event. If the first in line family falls in love, they are then able to adopt and bring that pup home with them the same day. If they do not fall in love with that pup, they return the already met pup to the puppy area and the family can then meet any of our other available pups who do not already have meet and greets scheduled that day. We are unable to hold any dog for future meet and greet or adoption, nor can we hold an adopted dog for future pick up.

When a pup is posted as available, an approved potential adopter must be ready to come to the next adoption event if their name comes to the top of a pup's list. Please understand that if there are many inquiries on a particular pup, the committee may not know until Friday, who the first in line family will be. Sometimes a family who is high up on a pup's list isn’t available to come and then the next in line family is offered a meet and greet. This can result in not knowing your position until just prior to an event, but we do try to give each family as much notice as possible.

Can I bring my application to your adoption event?

You can visit us at our adoption events and bring your completed application or fill one out while there, but we cannot guarantee that we will have adoption committee members available to process applications during events. Some applications may take longer to process than is available in the limited time we have at events.

I saw a puppy on your site that I want to adopt, can I visit your shelter before your event?

We are a foster based rescue and all of our pups live in foster homes until they find their families. We do not have a shelter facility to visit.

All pups are brought by foster volunteers to the Saturday events to meet potential families. Pups who are currently available on our adoption page are already here in Maine and all available pups go to every Saturday adoption event until they find their new homes.

When are your adoption events? I can’t come to your event, can you hold the dog for me?

Adoption events are held on Saturdays in various locations in southern Maine. We are unable to hold any dog for future meet and greet or adoption, nor can we hold an adopted dog for future pick up.

I am interested in several of your puppies, can I meet all of them and let one pick me?

In order to be fair to all those interested in adopting our puppies, we can hold only one pup per family for a meet and greet. If you are interested in multiple puppies, please list your order of preference when you submit your application or request a meet and greet.

If after meeting your first choice puppy, you feel the pup is not a good fit for you, the already met pup is returned to the puppy area. You can then meet any of our other available pups who do not already have meet and greets scheduled that day.

I don’t live close to Southern Maine, but I want to adopt from MLR and have you ship my pup to me. Can you arrange that?

All adoptions take place in person in Maine at our adoption events or our office. We are unable to provide transport for a pup to adopters, nor do we arrange transportation for them to you.

Please note: Due to Massachusetts import laws, we are unable to adopt to MA residents. Any questions regarding these laws should be directed to Massachusetts Department of Agriculture.

I have an approved application, and I am interested in adopting but haven’t found my perfect match yet. What is the best way to know what pups or kitties are available?

We ask you to watch our adoptables album on Facebook each week to see who is currently available, here’s the shortcut directly to the album: When you see a pup (or pups) listed whom you would be interested in, you would then send us an inquiry and we put you on that pup's list of interested families.

I see that you have an album of available pets on Facebook, and you have a Petfinder page. Why are they sometimes different?

All available dogs and cats are posted on Facebook first. Sometimes the response to a particular pup or kitty is so overwhelming, it isn’t posted on Petfinder.  

Can I bring my dog to the adoption event to meet the dog I am interested in adopting?

Yes, if your dog travels comfortably and is ok in a setting where there are many pups and people of all different ages. We do ask that you first come into the event without your dog to meet any potential pup first. Once you have decided which pup you are most interested in adopting, one of our volunteers will bring the pup to a quieter area of our host’s store to help with an introduction to your own pet.

Maine Lab Rescue has the right to approve or decline applications without explanation. If we feel a specific dog is not a good match, we may decline to adopt that particular dog to you. A great deal of time and effort goes into placing our dogs and we want both the adopter and the dog to be happy.