Category: “Success Stories”

IGY 6 Service Dogs for Heroes Pack Walk – May 20th – Come One Come All!!!

Ranger Dog Training and IGY 6 Service Dogs for Heros would like to welcome you to the IGY 6 Service Dogs for Heroes Pack Walk!!!!

Date: Saturday, May 20
Time: 10 am
Where: We’ll meet next to the water fountain next to the Visitor Center in Downtown Douglasville.
Lunch after: at

-$5.00 donation for joining the pack walk will go to IGY6
-We will have shirts for sale
-Guidelines and rules apply. Please see details below.

This is a unique opportunity to meet with our new Service Dogs in training as well as the Veterans we work with at IGY6. You’ll get to know each other and learn more about what we do at IGY6 while exercising and socializing your dog.

The walk will be easy to moderate through the Historic Douglasville Square in Downtown Douglasville. We want the people in our community to meet our Service Dogs in the best environment possible, because of this we must insist that you bring only dogs on the walk that are people friendly.

To ensure the safety for all of us, our dogs, and everyone else in the community, we will be strictly enforcing the following rules:

1) Spayed/neutered dogs only.
2) No retractable leashes.
3) At least 5 feet of space between all dogs.
4) Only 1 dog per handler.
5) Anyone handling a dog must be at least 16 years old.
6) Please bring water for you and your dogs.
7) Please bring waste bags.

If your dog needs extra space because they are overstimulated and easily excited, please put a yellow or red bandana on their leash. If you do not have a bandana please let us and we’ll provide you with one.

Even the best dogs get anxious or excited, it is not a negative thing to wear a bandana. It means you know your dog well and/or maybe you’re still learning about their personality and want to be extra careful. It is ALWAYS ok to be overly cautious. *Please consider if this is an appropriate walk for your dog, the rules will be strongly enforced and anyone who violates these rules will not be asked to leave the pack stroll.



Ranger Dog Training – Ken Cappello


A Want or A Need?




“For you, a dog is a want – but for them, having you is a need,”…………..Words spoken from my good friend, who is all of 10 years of age. He learned this in school and while the context was not about dogs, he quickly made the connection. He and his family have fostered 3 dogs over the last few months for ALR. They have made it their mission to try their best to save dogs that need a stable home and help them to prepare for their future…one of a forever status with a new loving family.

Hayden explained his thoughts to me one day, as he knows I am involved with Atlanta Lab Rescue. His family fostered one of our dogs very recently. Hayden was so understanding of the dog’s plight. When Rigsby entered their home, he was literally skin and bones. I forewarned the family because when I picked him up at the vet, honestly…I couldn’t believe how skinny he was – you could literally count every rib and clearly see his hip bones. Rigsby was scared and not sure what was going on or what would happen next. He had already been through so much. Now, he needed this family and they wanted to help him. They weren’t frightened at his stature, stating that he will gain weight, get his shine back, and get back the sparkle in his eyes!

Over the next several weeks that Rigsby was in their care and home, he grew confident, calm and learned to trust humans again. He of course gained weight and made a new canine friend in Cloud, an amazing Great Pyr mix that seems to understand when dogs come to visit, just what his job is for their stay. When Rigsby left their loving home for his forever home, he didn’t even look like the same dog. He needed this family to restore him to his true doggie self.

With rescue dogs, we mostly never know their past. We all wish they could talk to tell us their fears and concerns and what they need most. Whether it is a rescue dog or not, all dogs need pretty much the same thing – a routine, a job, to be loved and cared for, not left out in the cold or backyard for days chained to a tree, not to be abused. They need a leader who can guide them and bring out their best – this is what they need – they need loving humans to do this for them, loving humans like Hayden and his family.

If everyone thought a little more like my 10 year old friend Hayden, about what we want and what a rescue dog needs, we might start down the right road to reduce the number of dogs in shelters……..That is what most people want and that is what shelter dogs need…..

The official Dog of the State of Georgia was just voted on…it is The Adoptable Dog……Go rescue a dog, you will be amazed at how your life will change!

For more information, please contact us at Atlanta Lab Rescue –

Thank you!

ALR $5 Friday is BACK!

ALR $5 Friday is BACK!

Atlanta Lab Rescue Pups

Back by Popular Demand
Just in the Nick of Time


The ever popular $5 Friday is back and we are asking you to rescue ALR. Once again, our expenses have far exceeded our receipts and we need your help. The idea is for everyone  who sees this to donate $5 (or more) and with everyone’s participation, we can pay our vet bills and help more dogs.

In the rescue community, ALR no longer means Atlanta Lab Rescue, instead we’re known as “ A Last Resort “ rescue. That’s right, we’re the rescue that you can always depend on to swoop in and take the dogs that everyone else has turned down. That means the dogs that have been there for weeks and months, the dogs that tested positive for heartworms, the dogs with “arthritis,” (code for hit by a car), the pregnant moms, the hoarder dogs, the tripods, the seniors, the blind and deaf and my favorite, the black dogs.

Yes, we’re a “breed” rescue and yes, we’re supposed to concentrate on purebred labs. The problem is that we don’t have an intake coordinator that surfs all of the shelter sites looking for the healthy purebred labs. Instead we get our dogs from posters, who makes it their mission to find the worst case scenario dogs and send them out to huge networks of rescuers hoping someone will have the heart to take them despite the obvious and expensive issues. That someone is ALR…

All of this being said, we bring in dogs and adopt them out faster than any group I know. That’s because we have an audience of adopters and supporters that get us. You understand that these dogs are all deserving of a good home and you have the insight to see the hidden gems, the rags to riches, the sow’s ear to silk purse…you just get it.

How many times have we gotten calls and emails from people telling us that their ALR dog is the best dog they have ever had? Tell me about blind Stevie, who got an ALR little sister that didn’t mind that he was clumsy or Gatsby who lost a leg and just mastered the dog door. What aboutMidnight who has three impaired limbs (and a sister that comes with her) and Ben who lost half his face, but is the apple of his family’s eye. Then there is Black Jack that had a rare muscle injury and one day after surgery went from stumbling up the stairs to breezing across the driveway. How many dogs have come in emaciated like Nestle, riddled with mange like Ron Jon or with collars that have grown into their necks like Muddy Buddy. Then there are the dogs Like Patrick, who were so mistreated that they couldn’t trust and became aggressive. They received  training and now live and are loved like every other dog. Dogs like Tippy that didn’t come out of the crate for the first two weeks and now she is a therapy dog. Hannah, whose youthful lab “exuberance” got her returned is now in training to be on the Veteran Service Dog Team for vets with PTSD. Dozer and Jet, who are keeping our borders safe with the US Dept. of Ag. Let’s not forget the huge percentage of dogs (47%) that we’ve taken with heartworms. Untreated, they would’ve died a slow, painful death, but now they are worm free and healthy.  These aren’t even a fraction of the ALR success stories

We love the underdogs and always will. Unfortunately, these underdogs are expensive, so we depend on your support to enable us to be A Last Resort rescue. It feels good to take the least desirable and make them the most coveted. Please support these efforts by participating in $5 Friday.  Spread the word and encourage friends, family and coworkers to donate. UNDERDOGS RULE !!!

Please, everyone chip in and we’ll keep you posted on our progress.

To make a donation, please Click on the RED DONATE BUTTON on the side of the page. 🙂or mail donations to PO Box 250206, Atlanta, GA 30325

Update on Ben!!

Update on Ben!!

Earlier this year we received a call from the Fulton County Shelter concerning a little black lab that had been found on the side of the road with abrasions to the face that were so bad, it had scraped all of the skin away. We made a couple of calls and were able to get him delivered to Peachtree Hills Animal Hospital. There they assessed the injuries and went right to work.



We named him Ben and he stayed at the clinic for several weeks, where his face was scrubbed every day and he was kept in a sterile environment to try and avoid infection. From day one, Ben captured everyone’s heart. He was a total trooper and his tail never quit wagging. It was like the injuries were worth all the love and attention he was getting. By the second week, one of the vets that had been treating him asked if we might consider her family for his forever home. They had two young girls, who had met him during a weekend visit and they loved him even though his face was hard to look at. He wasn’t ready to go home for a few more days so they made the parents sign a contract promising to adopt him and made a countdown calendar for Ben’s arrival.





That weekend Ben arrived at his new home.  The girls were thrilled and sent thank you notes to ALR with hand drawn pictures of Ben and his very happy owners. Little did they know that Ben’s story on TV had made him a star and they would soon be getting and sending notes to adoring fans. The vet clinic even made certificates of appreciation for kids who sent their own allowance to help Ben. It was truly a fairytale for Ben. He had a wonderful home, a family to love him, balls to chase and a yard to explore, but Ben still had a pretty serious injury that needed to be fixed.




A few weeks later, Ben was stronger and ready for the surgery to try to close to whole in his right cheek. It was a difficult situation as the vet was going to have to try to close a 2” gap. Surgery was completed and we weren’t sure if the stitches would hold with the tension. It looked like the eye was not going to be able to totally close, but he had gotten accustomed to that and the vet thought he would continue to adjust.

Today he good as new and as far as he knows he is like any other dog. The girls have taught him to sit and fetch and twirl (yes, twirl!). I’m not sure if there was or will ever be a dog more loved and more lucky than Ben. He visits the vet with his “mom” frequently and is often recognized in the lobby by admirers who saw his story and celebrate how far he has come.  Thank you to Peachtree Hills Animal Hospital and especially Dr. Nath and her family who gave this pup a wonderful new life!



Rainbow Bridge | A tribute to Cassie

Rainbow Bridge | A tribute to Cassie

This past Friday we said goodbye to our sweet senior girl, Cassie. Her story, as told by Cassie’s foster, Karen, is in the link below and like everything she did for Cassie, she put her whole heart into it and it’s a wonderful tribute.

At 14years old, Cassie was the oldest dogs that ALR had ever rescued, but her owner was in such a bind and her story was so sad, we felt compelled to take her into the program. The first person I called was Karen and had she not agreed to foster, I’m not sure we would’ve been able to help. I knew that she would be in good hands and Karen left no stone unturned in her quest to give Cassie the best that life had to offer, even spending her own money to try some alternative ways, like acupuncture, to make her comfortable. Cassie lived almost another 2 years at Karen’s house and I’m betting they were the best years of her life.

Atlanta Lab Rescue Detection Dogs : Dozer and Viper : A Success Story

Atlanta Lab Rescue Detection Dogs : Dozer and Viper : A Success Story

Atlanta Lab Rescue is proud to share two success stories with you today!  Both Dozer and Viper have been featured as detection dogs.  First is Dozer, who is now a part of the Sacramento County Agricultural Commissioner’s Office in California.  Dozer works on a dog team that has intercepted thousands of mislabeled or otherwise illegal packages.  To read more about Dozer please visit California Department of Food and Agriculture article welcoming him to the team! 

I didn’t think I wanted any of our dogs to be detection dogs. I wanted them all to be in a home and a part of the family and then we were invited to the training center in Newnan and saw the process and I was sold. The dogs actually get more people time with the handler than in most families and some dogs need a job. It’s great to have this option for the dogs that are so high strung that they’ll be hard to place.

-Becky Cross, Atlanta Lab Rescue Founder  

detector-dog-photoViperWildlife Inspector Amir Lawal and Viper demonstrate how they’ll be checking packages for illegal wildlife on the front lines of Fish and Wildlife Service law enforcement. Photo by Tom MacKenzie/USFWS.

Up next is Viper, check out this video from U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services Newsroom, sniffing out illegal Wildlife Shipments VIDEO:

The four graduating dogs and their Service Wildlife Inspector-Handlers completed the 13-week training course at the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Detector Dog Training Center in Newnan, Georgia, half an hour southwest of Atlanta. The center normally trains detector dogs to sniff out fruits and plants to interdict potential insects or diseases that could hurt U.S. agriculture.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service newsroom

A special thanks from the Atlanta Lab Rescue crew for allowing us to share these success stories!

VIDEO : Visit Lake Oconee presents Dooley, an Atlanta Lab Rescue : Success Story

Over the past several years many Atlanta Lab Rescue dogs have gone on to reach great success!  Dooley found his way to The Ritz-Carlton, Reynolds Plantation as Mascot!  This video gives a sneak peek into his daily life.  Dooley also appears frequently on The Ritz-Carlton Facebook page!