Like all of you, Golden Gate Labrador Retriever Rescue is carrying on despite the challenges of the COVID-19 outbreak and related shelter-in-place restrictions. Our many volunteers are busy taking care of their own personal lives, families, jobs, and businesses… while still trying to rescue dogs, foster dogs, and transport dogs, and find these wonderful dogs new forever homes. Shelter-in-place guidelines reduce our abilities to perform in-person activities. While we remain committed to rescuing and re-homing Labs in need, we must honor those protocols designed to reduce the spread and impact of COVID-19. We want to keep our volunteers, our fosters, our adopters, and our animal shelter rescue partners safe and healthy. We are blessed to have many volunteers step forward and offer to foster dogs in this time of need – thank you! As always, our ability to take dogs into our program is dependent on the capacity and abilities of our fabulous fosters.

Many animal shelters have closed to the public and are not adopting any dogs out, but are still taking in stray dogs and some owner-surrender dogs. This may create capacity challenges at these shelters. Many shelters have fostered out their existing dogs to increase their capacity. We will remain in contact with animal shelter rescue coordinators and others to identify any Labs that show up at shelters that need rescuing. The last thing we want to see is for an adoptable Lab to be at risk at a shelter.

During the COVID-19 crisis, particularly during the shelter-in-place period, we will conduct as much Lab Rescue business via telephone, text, email, video teleconference, and social media as we can. To that end we have implemented the following protocols:

  • We will not be holding any in-person pet fairs or participating in public events. We will hold virtual pet fairs ala Zoom webinars.
  • We are asking prospective owner-surrenders to keep their dog while we have the dog up for adoption, unless keeping the dog is a safety/security issue. We will evaluate the dog in-person following appropriate COVID-19 social-distancing, face-mask, etc. protocols.
  • We will focus our shelter pull efforts on those animal shelters within our normal area code operating area.
  • We will continue to place incoming rescued dogs in foster homes, as needed and as possible, with the understanding that these dogs may be in foster for a longer-than-normal period.
  • We will encourage prospective adopters to contact the rescue reps to learn as much as possible about the behavior and personality of dogs. This could include “virtual visits” to meet a dog via smartphone.
  • We will solicit walking/talking video tours (taken via smartphone) of the homes and yards of prospective adopters to perform home-checks.
  • We will be holding in-person meet-and-greets between rescued dogs and top candidate prospective adopters only after the rescue rep has performed all other vetting of the prospective adopter. Specific COVID-19 protocols will be followed by all participants during these visits.
  • We will adopt out a rescued dog so long as we feel we have done as much due diligence as possible, given the COVID-19 crisis limitations, to ensure the adopter is the right and proper fit for that dog.
  • Vet visits for dogs in our program will be kept to essential/emergency visits only.
  • We will continue to provide supplies and maximum support to our fosters.

  • Note: According to the CDC - “At this time, there is no evidence that animals play a significant role in spreading the virus that causes COVID-19. Based on the limited information available to date, the risk of animals spreading COVID-19 to people is considered to be low. We are still learning about this virus, but it appears that it can spread from people to animals in some situations.” CDC Bulletin. The World Health Organization also currently advises that there is no evidence to suggest that dogs or cats can be infected with the new coronavirus.

    Silver lining! Our dogs sure appreciate all this unexpected time they are getting to spend with their humans. We should all take full advantage of this opportunity to enjoy time with our dogs. Belly rubs, ear scratches, long walks on leash with proper social distancing, and backyard fetch action are definitely stress relievers for us all.