Thinking of adding a canine companion to your family? The Mile High Lab Rescue Mission, a local rescue and rehabilitation agency, is looking for people like you to foster and adopt their dogs.
Brooke Grey first volunteered to foster a dog for the Mile High Labs 7 or 8 years ago and never looked back. Today, she serves on the board and runs the day-to-day operations of the rescue.
MHLRM’s mission is to save one dog at a time and allow them to call Colorado home. The agency rescues homeless Labrador Retrievers and lab mixes. Most of their dogs come from Texas, where a lack of consistent spay and neuter laws leads to overcrowded pounds and shelters. Without an alternative such as Mile High Labs, these shelters are often forced to euthanize the dogs. Labs and lab mixes are the second most common dog to be euthanized in Texas.
Saving these dogs is Mile High Labs’ passion. Grey and her team partner with approximately 20 shelters in the Houston and Dallas areas. When she learns of pets in need, she acts quickly to arrange transportation, veterinary care, and foster placement for them before ultimately finding each dog a forever home. Grey says she gets up to 200 requests to save a dog each day, though MHLRM is only able to save between 20 and 30 each month.
The Mile High Lab Rescue Mission is completely volunteer-run. The agency has partnered with Northfield Veterinary Hospital, which provides healthcare for the dogs, including vaccinations, the required spay/neuter procedure, and microchipping. But Grey said the families that agree to foster these animals while they are waiting to be adopted are the most vital part of the organization. There is a pressing need for new fosters in the Denver area. They have a wonderful network of foster families, but more foster options means they can save more dogs. And frequent “foster fails”—families that decide to adopt the dog they were fostering—remove prospective families from the pool.
Grey encourages families to think about opening their home to a dog in need. “When people are thinking about how they can help, it can be overwhelming. But for our families, fostering is an incredible experience. We need families to give these dogs love on a short term basis so they can go on to their forever home.”
Nicole Landeck is a Stapleton resident, business owner, and mother of three. She had fostered 8 or 9 dogs before agreeing to take in Phoebe, who turned out to be pregnant and later gave birth to 10 puppies. “I thought it would be an amazing, once in a lifetime opportunity for our family,” Landeck said. “We would get to take care of the mama, make her comfortable, see the puppies be born, and take care of the puppies for 8 weeks.”
Landeck helps organize meetings between her foster pups and prospective families. Those who are interested in adopting from Mile High Labs go through an intensive application process designed to get the dogs into the best possible homes.
Matching dogs with their new owners is one of Landeck’s favorite parts of the job of a foster family. “It is just amazing to watch these dogs find their people. Often times their backstory breaks your heart, but watching them find their family is the best thing in the world.”
Grey encourages all dog lovers to think about fostering. “By becoming a foster, you are saving a life. We can only save as many dogs as we have fosters.”
For more information on how you can help, visit MHLRM’s website, milehighlabmission.com, and follow the organization on Facebook and Instagram.
Front Porch photos by Christie Gosch.