By Mimi Pollack
January 12, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) -- The motto for California Labrador Retrievers and More is “Dogs + Families = Love”. Thanks to all their hard work and dedicated volunteers, this local group, also known as Labs and More, has found homes for 3,900 dogs in five years. Just last week, Labs and More volunteers found homes for 60 dogs, an impressive record to start 2016.
They have made a difference in the lives of dogs that had a rough start in life. Take for example, Mollie Ann. She was found tied to a tree and abandoned with a broken leg and hip, all skin and bones. Thanks to a good Samaritan who brought her in, and a kind volunteer who fattened her up to regain her strength, she was able to undergo surgery to fix her leg, and this sweet, calm and friendly black lab mix is now ready to be adopted.
Then there is Larry, a lively and energetic black lab who was found wandering the streets in Orange County. Larry was sweet, but completely wild. Thanks to his patient foster, he is still lively, but also polite and obedient. Labs and More will find loving, forever homes for all these dogs.
Labs and More was founded in 2011. The founders previously belonged to a Labrador Rescue group that focused solely on purebreds, but believed there were many other dogs deserving of rescue that were being passed over, so they broke off and started their own group.
The Board of Directors consists of 13 volunteers, including Donations Manager Nancy Manning of Descanso, and Social Media Manager Pam Ahrens of La Mesa. There are 15 volunteer managers and over 150 active volunteers who also assist in fundraising and adoption events.
Labs and More also has a group of 90 dedicated fosters, who believe every adoptable dog deserves a loving home until they find their forever home.They have between 80 and 150 dogs at any given time. Those dogs that are not in foster homes are kept in boarding facilities.
They have a sophisticated network of 21 volunteers who locate dogs in need all over Southern California and Northern Mexico and orchestrate their transportation to the organization.
This group has also worked with autistic children and wounded vets, and to date, have provided 40 service dogs that have been trained. In addition, they have created a special program called, “Compassion for Paws”, that provides medical care to sick, senior, or injured animals, and works with the adopters to help them provide continued medical care if need be.
Their Mission Statement is: “We will rescue Labradors, Retrievers, mixed and pure breeds, young and old and as we can, other breeds in need. We will provide a soft bed, safety, medical care, training, and love to rehabilitate dogs so they have a chance at life. We will partner with our Trainers, Veterinarians, Families and Volunteers so we can provide lifelong support to the dogs we have rescued and homed. We will make time to have fun and enjoy the dogs we have saved. We seek to save and protect dogs at risk of not surviving the harsh realities of animal shelters. Seniors and dogs with medical challenges are received with open arms.”
They hold an adoption event every other Saturday morning in the parking lot of the Road Runner Sports store in San Diego. There will be an important, upcoming fundraiser on May 21st.
For more information, their website is www.labsandmore.org
Mimi Pollack is a teacher at Grossmont College and a freelance writer.