Safe Harbor Lab Rescue

A nonprofit organization

100% complete

$0 Goal

Our uncertain times impact the quality of life of Labs as their owners struggle with their own lives. Our mission "To rescue, provide a high level of compassionate care & successfully rehome stray, abandoned or surrendered Labs" is a ray of hope for struggling families and crowded shelter partners.


My name is Saba and this is my story.  I am from the mean streets of Texas, where food was scarce and affection even scarcer.  I'm a black lab about 1.5 years old (but who can be sure, I didn't really know my parents).  My life changed one day when a human picked me up off the street - next thing I know I'm on a plane!  If only they'd flown lower and with the window open - I KNOW there were SO MANY squirrels in those trees we passed over.  48 hours later I met Brian.  I walked into the room and immediately knew I could train him - I mean, the dude had a treat bag on his hip - what a great start!

I've been with Brian about four months now and we've had many adventures.  I got him to enroll in "doggie school" (which is a weird name - it should be called human school).  School taught him to give me treats and affection whenever I was a good boy - and I'm ALWAYS a good boy.  Well, he doesn't seem to like it when I eat nearly anything I can find on our walks; maybe I should stop doing that.  He also doesn't seem to understand that when he says "stay" I'm only going to stay while I can see him - it is my duty to make sure he doesn't wander off and get lost, so I can't let him out of my sight.  Every now and then Brian does escape the house without me, but I wait by the door for his return - if he'd just give me a cell phone I could call the authorities to let them know he's missing - but somehow Brian always finds his way back.

One of my favorite adventures was a road trip to Crested Butte.  SO beautiful.  And the smells?!?  Amazing!  And the new creatures?  I saw some dogs that were about 10 times taller than me and there were humans RIDING THEM!  They all had the same name, which I thought was weird - Ahorse; at least, Brian kept telling me "That's Ahorse."  I also saw a strange looking dog that was about 5 times taller than me, and this one had HORNS!  I thought it was a devil, and it made Brian sad; at least, he kept saying "Oh deer."

So that's my story.  So different from living on the streets.  I wake up every morning to pets, then breakfast, then Brian and I go on an adventure.  I'll even admit that I enjoy the times we cuddle on the couch.  Thanks Safe Harbor Lab Rescue for completely changing my life!

And here's Lucy's adoption story from 2022:

In early July Lucy came blowing into our home like a whirlwind of energy. Hurricane Lucy, as she has come to be called, has a contagious happiness that infects everyone she meets.  She is a blonde bundle of joy who possesses all the characteristics that make labs America’s favorite breed.  Sadly, her story is not atypical. She started life with a breeder and was then sold to a family who found they no longer had time to care for her.  To the family’s credit, they contacted Safe Harbor Lab Rescue and relinquished the seven year old pup to the Rescue in the hope that Lucy might find a better situation.  Enter us.  My husband and I had been looking for a new family member ever since our beloved 17 year old lab passed last fall.  What complicated our search was that we needed a dog who not only likes, but absolutely loves cats.  Our three cats grew up with dogs and they view dogs as simply less graceful, somewhat smellier, full members of the family of almost equal standing to the felines.  The cats want to sleep in the same bed, eat out of the same bowl (often at the same time), and face licking is not only allowed but encouraged.  Safe Harbor graciously worked with us to find the right fit and allowed us to introduce a number of dogs to our cats to see if there was a match.  Unfortunately, we kept striking out.  Then came Lucy.  In her previous home Lucy cohabitated with a cat so when she became available Safe Harbor optimistically arranged with us another “cat scan”.  For one of our cats – the oldest at 18 – it was love at first sight.  Our middle cat took a few days to warm up to the flaxen tempest but now comfortably sleeps in proximity to Lucy and they often hang together.  Our third cat, the youngest, is still uncertain of this new Gigantor with the four semi-coordinated legs attached to a tail that swings like Babe Ruth’s bat but we remain upbeat that acceptance is coming.   It is our joy and privilege to be Lucy’s new family and we are extremely grateful to Cathie O'Connor of Safe Harbor for being the patient, persistent match-maker.


To rescue, provide a high level of compassionate care and successfully rehome stray, abandoned or surrendered Labrador Retrievers giving priority to those in Colorado.

Background Statement

Founded in 2002 by two Labrador Retriever lovers, Safe Harbor Lab Rescue has grown into a well-respected organization in the animal welfare community with nearly 4,400 Labs rescued, 100 active volunteers, committed leadership and a supportive donor base.

While staying focused on our mission as well as sound management and fiscal practices, we have expanded our rescue efforts to reach out to two under-served, and often overlapping populations of Labs needing rescue: those with good temperaments but challenging medical conditions with a good prognosis, and seniors. A constant for us over the years has been not only the dedicated and tireless work of our volunteers, but the joy of seeing our rescued Labs made whole in body and spirit and welcomed into loving forever homes.

Safe Harbor Lab Rescue supports our community by assisting families who need to surrender their Labrador Retriever often for economic reasons or life changes. We partner with the Colorado animal welfare community by providing assistance to Colorado animal shelters and with memberships in the Metro Denver Animal Welfare Alliance (MDAWA) and the Colorado Federation of Animal Welfare Agencies (CFAWA). We are also a member of the Colorado Nonprofit Association (NPA) and have partnered with the University of Denver's Institute for Human Animal Connection (IHAC) for volunteer education.

Organization Data


Organization name

Safe Harbor Lab Rescue

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601- 16th St., C-322
Golden, CO 80401

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