Not all our Rescued Labs appear on the Adoptable Dogs page right away. Some require extra medical care before they are ready for adoption. Others will remain with us to comfortably live out their lives as hospice Labs. Safe Harbor sets itself apart in our strong commitment to provide thorough and excellent medical care for our Rescued Labs.

Like for people, top notch medical care for the Labs is expensive. Our major veterinary partners include:

Alameda East Veterinary Hospital, Colorado Canine Orthopedics, VRCC Dermatology, Rocky Mountain Veterinary Cardiology, Eye Specialists for Animals, Red Sage Integrative Vet Partners, and Four Seasons Veterinary Specialists

Safe Harbor welcomes Sponsors for our Labs requiring extensive medical care! Won’t you say “Yes” to sponsoring just one Lab?


Dexter: Surgery for Cleft Palate

My Name is: Dexter; I came to Safe Harbor at 8 weeks old

Medical Profile: I was born with a cleft palate that needs surgical correction at Colorado State University Veterinary Teaching Hospital when I am old enough.

My Story: When I was a wee pup my breeder noticed I wasn’t gaining weight. They discovered I had trouble nursing and getting needed nutrition. The vet said I had a cleft palate. Taking care of a puppy like me is a bit of a project and then, with needed surgery in the future, there was worry that no one would want me. My owner wanted the best for me and much to their relief Safe Harbor was willing to help me.

With my foster family I’ve had special care and grown to be a typical frisky, mischievous, well socialized Lab puppy. I’ll be undergoing two expert surgeries soon to fix my cleft palate followed by lot of TLC in my foster home as I recover.  .  .  and then, best of all, I’ll be ready for adoption!

Twilight: Mammary Masses, Large Shoulder Tumor, Arthritis

My Name is: Twilight; 10 years old

Medical Profile: I had mammary masses, and when I was being spayed a uterine tumor was discovered (fortunately the biopsy showed it was benign). I also had a pretty big lipoma on my shoulder that need to be removed, a leg wound and painful arthritis, plus I needed to lose a good bit of weight.

My Story: When my owner moved away, all the other dogs in the family found places, but being an overweight senior girl with lumps, I was left with no place to go. Safe Harbor saw my heart of gold and didn’t hesitate to welcome me. I’d had many puppies and little vet care for a very long time, so I was quite a project! Each night I made a wish: “Star light, star bright may I find my forever home tonight.”  And guess what? It came true when my foster mom fell in love with me adopted me!

Charlie – Immune Mediated Condition

My Name is: Charlie; 7 years old

Medical Profile: I was diagnosed with discoid lupus, a manageable immune mediated disease, that causes the tissue of my nose to be continually raw, inflamed and peeling. It has responded well to medication that I’ll need lifelong.

My Story: I was brought to a shelter as a stray and though everyone adored me and said what a great Lab I was, my chances for adoption were slim with the “unattractive” shape my nose was in and the prospect of vet care. Plus, although extremely handsome, easy going, and knowing how to “shake,” I was still a seven-year-old Lab competing with youngsters in the shelter for a new home. It was a happy day when the shelter asked Safe Harbor to take me, and the answer was a resounding: “We’d love to have Charlie!” A special medical foster helped get my nose condition in near remission and soon my new family scooped me up for a fabulous life in the mountains.

Gracie: Heartworm Positive

My Name is: Gracie; 5 years old

Medical Profile: Positive for heartworm disease

My Story: Animal Control picked me and a pal up running around a neighborhood ‘til our feet were raw. When no one came for us, they called Safe Harbor to rescue us. My pal got adopted quickly, but during my vet exam I tested positive for heartworms and would have to go through a lengthy and expensive treatment including special injections, hospitalization and strict rest for many weeks. Tom, an exceptional adopter, was found to care for me through my treatment that was covered and supported by Safe Harbor. We are truly very special friends for life!

Sonnet: Abdominal Mass and Challenging Leg Wound Care

My Name is: Sonnet; 6 years old

Medical Profile: Traumatic ulcerated wound, large abdominal lipoma and arthritis

My Story: A Good Samaritan, who took me to a shelter, found me with a nasty leg injury from possibly being caught in a trap or barbed wire. I’m a gentle and trusting girl, but I was not feeling my best. The shelter floor was hard, my legs and hips hurt and on top of all that I was in heat. Safe Harbor came to my rescue and provided a welcome soft landing, literally on a big bed in my foster home. It took many weeks of medication, vet visits, bandage changes and a biopsy to make sure my leg healed. When it was OK for me to be spayed, the big mass was removed too. My foster mom and my adopting mom both had the same name – something I thought was especially lucky for me!

Lady: Neglected Senior

My Name is: Lady; 13 years old

Medical Profile: Hypothyroidism; skin, ear and eye infections; dental disease; uterine infection; oral tumors; arthritis

My Story: I was a stray girl without much of a coat who was picked up on a cold day and taken to a warm local shelter. I might have been a bedraggled neglected looking little old Lab, but I’m one who sees the glass as half full, and my optimistic nature quickly won a lot of hearts. My “problem list” was long. Fortunately, the shelter started some care and then called Safe Harbor. They welcomed me and their vets went to work fixing me up. I was a project, for sure! For several months, we thought I’d be a hospice pup, but, low and behold, I got well enough to find a forever home with adopters who love senior Labs!

Brownie: Hit by a Car, Broken Pelvis

My Name is:  Brownie; 1 year old

Medical Profile: Shock, broken hip requiring surgery and internal trauma after being hit by a car

My Story: The day before a big holiday I ran out in the street in front of my house and got hit by a car. My family ran after me; the car didn’t stop. We got to the ER where I was stabilized, and my injuries assessed. Sadly, the family could not afford my extensive and expensive care. The compassionate staff at the hospital called Safe Harbor to see if they could help, and I was surrendered to them.

My hip surgery went well, and I’ve been through quite a bit of physical therapy with state-of-the-art modalities to regain strength in my leg and deal with some nerve damage affecting my foot. Happily, through my foster mom and my physical therapy team, the perfect forever home was found for me!

Woody: Chronic Hepatitis and Copper Storage Disease

My Name is: Woody; 8 years old

Medical Profile: Lab results showed liver inflammation and excess copper storage.

My Story: When circumstances changed for my family, they asked Safe Harbor to find a new home for me. Everyone who joins Safe Harbor gets a thorough intake exam, and if we’re seniors, we also get “senior wellness” lab work done. My results, much to everyone’s surprise, showed I had a chronic liver infection, and it contained too much copper. It took a while to get things stabilized while I was in my foster home. I’m on a daily medication, liver supplement and special food. Things are looking good now. And life is good with my new family!

Roger: Emaciated and Neglected

My Name is: Ruger; 4.5 years old

Medical Profile: 20 pounds underweight, skin and ear infections

My Story: I was left at a shelter when my busy family found I was too much trouble and appeared to be sick. The shelter called Safe Harbor when I seemed to be having a hard time getting well and thought I’d do better in a foster home. After a variety of tests to try and figure out why I was so thin, the vets determined that mostly I needed more food. Once my food was upped to six cups of high-quality food a day, I started plumping up nicely to a perfect 77 pounds! Medications and the good food help clear up my skin and ear infections. My foster mom thought I was a perfect Lab and I’m happy to add my new dad thinks I’m pretty darn perfect too!


Tucker: Hospice

After a cross-country rescue effort by his personal heroes, 13-year-old Tucker, a blind stray, finally knows peace and the safety of home! If you’ve ever known a Lab, you know their mission in life is to make you happy. With that in mind, we hope Tucker’s story about the best in people helps to brighten this day.

Can you imagine how scary the world would be if you were hard of hearing and couldn’t see, wandering through the world out on your own? Tucker was a stray, left out with no food or water except for what he could find. While blindly searching for something to eat, walking through rural Indiana on the weak hips that come with arthritis, Tucker would sometimes even fall into a farmer’s pond.

Two kind hearted women working for a local animal rescue noticed that Tucker was in desperate need of help and made it their mission to get him to safety. Since their organization was not set up for long-term senior care, they knew Tucker needed a more specialized rescue. Though they lived four states away in Indiana, they heard about Safe Harbor Lab Rescue in Colorado from relatives in the Denver area. They knew he would be safe there and never have to fend for himself again! Tucker happily went along for the LONG ride with his new friends and traveled over 16 hours to start his new life!

Despite the neglect he’d endured, Tucker had the most loving disposition, tail always wagging, aiming to please the way Labs love to do! In addition to arthritis and blindness, Tucker suffered from a heart murmur, painful dental disease, ear infections, and Lyme disease. We are so thankful that a grant from The Grey Muzzle Organization helped cover some of Tucker’s much-needed medical care. Tucker had a dental cleaning and extractions to alleviate his pain and started medication to help with his arthritis. To see him rolling around on his back with a joyful smile on his face like a puppy truly warms our hearts!!

Tucker is now in a permanent “fospice” home where he will live out the rest of his days adored by his foster mom, Angie! She says, “Tucker is such a good-natured, sweet boy. He gets along with everyone, even cats! He is blind, but he doesn’t let that hold him back from some of his favorite pastimes like exploring the backyard and rolling in the grass. However, eating is really his true passion in life. He’s gotten himself stuck in some teeny tiny places trying to get to a morsel of food. His dental procedure required extracting six teeth that were fractured and painful. I have no doubt he feels so much better now! I’m so thankful that Safe Harbor was able to help this sweet old guy! He sure deserves it!”

Sometimes it takes a village! We are so grateful to everyone involved in making sure sweet Tucker will no longer be lost or hungry and can instead enjoy his golden years surrounded by love.

Even when we feel helpless against the strife and suffering of the world, we can always help by offering kindness to animals and each other, whether they are friends, our neighbors, or even strangers in need of compassion. Small acts of kindness and empathy can make a big difference in creating a peaceful world for all.

Bourbon: Hospice

When gentle 12-year-old Bourbon’s senior owner needed to move to a safer situation, Bourbon came to us though the help of community service professionals. He had been well-loved but needed surgery for some masses and a painful eye issue. We also found his oral health needed attention that resulted in the extraction of several infected teeth. He is grateful for the daily pain relief medication for his arthritis. Our pup also has a bit of anxiety that can come with age.

“He is just the sweetest dog!” remarks his hospice foster mom.

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