Surrender FAQs

Brookline has helped place Labs coming from all types of situations – shelters, abusive homes, and even homes that were forced to give up their family member due to an unforeseen change of circumstance that could not be avoided. This page addresses some of the questions we most often receive from families who are considering re-homing their Lab through our rescue.

Note: As with many rescues right now, we are receiving lots of requests from a variety of sources for dogs that need to be re-homed.  We are a foster based rescue, so we rely on our foster homes in order to bring a dog in and help them find their forever homes.   The number of homes available at any point in time is in a constant state of flux, so there may be a delay in available space.  We ask for your patience as we work to find openings for dogs that need to be re-homed.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How do I contact Brookline for assistance in re-homing my lab?

    First, you need to confirm that you are in our coverage area. You may do that that by emailing us at or by calling us at 215-343-6087, to let us know you are interested in giving up your Lab for placement through our rescue. When you email or call us, please provide us with your full address, including zip code. Once we confirm coverage, a volunteer will contact you to obtain further information about your Lab and to discuss the reasons that you are considering giving up your Lab.

    Our volunteer will then schedule a time to visit your home and evaluate your Lab. You also will be required to provide us with a copy of your Lab’s up-to-date rabies vaccination certificate and a copy of your Lab’s complete vet records, including proof that your Lab is up-to-date on other vaccinations, has tested negative for heartworm, and has been on a year-round heartworm preventive since the last negative heartworm test. If your Lab has not been on preventive continuously since the last negative heartworm test, a new heartworm test will need to be done prior to your Lab’s introduction to his or her adopting family.

  • What happens after my Lab has been evaluated by a Brookline volunteer?

    The results of your Lab’s evaluation will be submitted to Brookline’s approval committee. If your Lab is approved for placement through Brookline, the volunteer who did your Lab’s evaluation will post a photo and description of your Lab on our website and will notify our volunteers of your Lab’s availability. For any adoptive families who express an interest, you will be given a report of their home visit to review and, with our guidance, help choose the best match for your Lab. After a match has been made, an introduction will be scheduled at a neutral location halfway between your home and the adopting family’s home. If the introduction goes well, you will sign a contract that transfers ownership of your Lab to Brookline and pay the non-refundable $50 donation. However, you also will agree to take your Lab back if the match doesn’t work out during the two week pre-adoptive period. If the match is a success, the adoption will be finalized with the new family following that two week period.

  • I need to give up my Lab IMMEDIATELY. Can Brookline help me?

    Unfortunately, Brookline does not have a kennel or a facility to house Labs while they are waiting for a new home. We have a limited number of foster homes, which we usually reserve for Labs who are in shelters and in danger of being euthanized. Brookline generally can only help you if you are willing to keep your Lab while we try to find your Lab a new home. However, depending upon the circumstances, we will evaluate on a case-by-case basis whether we can accept a Lab being given up by his or her owner into our foster program. If your Lab is accepted into our foster program, there will be an additional donation requested in addition to the donations mentioned below.

  • Does Brookline help place Lab mixes as well as purebred Labrador Retrievers?

    Yes, as long as they look like Labs.

  • My Lab is purebred. Do I need to have the AKC (registration) papers to surrender him or her?

    No. However, if you obtained your dog from a breeder, you must check with the breeder first to be sure that the breeder does not want the Lab returned to him or her.

  • How long will it take Brookline to find my Lab or Lab mix a new home?

    The length of time it takes to find your Lab a new home may depend on many factors, including the age, color and sex of your Lab and whether your Lab has any “special needs” or behavioral challenges. No one color, sex or age of Lab adopts more easily than another. Since Brookline prides itself on finding the perfect match, you will need to be patient as it may take time to find the ideal home for your Lab. We successfully place 100+ Labs each year, including many “special needs” Labs, Labs with less than perfect behavior, and senior Labs. However, depending upon the number of applicants we have who are waiting to adopt, it can take anywhere from a few weeks to many months.

  • What fees or costs are involved with re-homing my Lab through Brookline?

    Please see our Surrender Fees. In addition, prior to our accepting your dog for rehoming through our rescue, you will be required to provide us with your Lab’s current rabies vaccination certificate, a copy of your Lab’s complete Vet records, and our form of Veterinary Certification completed by your Veterinarian, which indicates, among other things, that your Lab is up-to-date on all vaccinations and has either tested negative for heartworm within the last 30 days or has been on a year-round monthly preventive since your dog’s last negative heartworm test.

  • My Lab is older. Is that a problem?

    The number of families who are willing to adopt a senior Lab (especially one who may have any health issues) is limited. In general, you should be prepared to wait, potentially months, for us to find the right home for your senior Lab.

  • My Lab is not very well behaved or has not had obedience training. Is that a problem?

    Brookline is dedicated to helping all Labs in need of a good home. However, for liability reasons, we cannot accept a Lab that has a history of aggressive behavior or biting. Most obedience problems (or lack of obedience) can be worked through. Most adoptive families recognize that their new Lab may have some bad habits (counter-surfing, trash-picking, chewing, jumping, pulling on lead, etc.) that they will have to work to correct. Labs with behavioral problems, such as separation anxiety, inappropriate elimination, destructive behaviors, and the like can be harder to place. In general, you should be prepared to wait several weeks and, in some cases, months for us to find the ideal home for your Lab.

  • My Lab is on medication. Is that a problem?

    As with senior Labs, the number of families who are willing to adopt a Lab with serious health concerns is limited. If your Lab is on medication that makes his or her health problem manageable (for example, allergies), the number of adopters who might be willing to work with your Lab’s condition may increase. In general, you should be prepared to wait, potentially months, for us to find the right home for your “special-needs” Lab.

  • Will I know if my Lab’s placement is working well?

    We will keep you posted on how your Lab is adjusting to his or her new home and will let you know once the adoption becomes final. If for any reason during or at the end of the pre-adoptive period the family decides not to keep the Lab, the Lab will be returned to you until an introduction to another family can be arranged.

  • What if I know of a dog that isn’t mine who is in need of a new home?

    As hard as it would be to give up your own dog, it can be even harder to know of a dog who needs a new home and not be able to give it one because the dog isn’t yours. If you know of a dog who is being abused, call the police or your local animal shelter. Animal abuse is illegal. Unfortunately, the definition of neglect isn’t as specific as it could be, and often neglect can be just as devastating as abuse for a dog.

    People have dogs for many reasons, some good and some not so good. People sometimes keep dogs longer than they have the time or the energy to give them the love and attention they deserve. Often, they don’t know that there are alternatives to giving up their dog to a shelter.

    If you know someone who has a dog for whom the responsibility has become too much, talk to them about breed rescue. You can find rescues in your area at You’ll find Brookline there, but you also can find other breed rescues that are eager to help dogs in less than ideal situations