About Us

Why I Rescue Labrador Retrievers

Metro East Lab Rescue was started by Cindy Kuschel.  Cindy’s interest in rescuing Labrador Retrievers started in 1986 when she was helping to develop the Highland Animal Shelter. Soon after the shelter opened, a three month old yellow lab puppy was brought to the shelter as a stray. The owners were located, but did not want him back! “Gus” was getting picked on by the other puppies at the shelter, so she brought him home “for the weekend”

… Cindy enjoyed Gus for 15 years! Soon after adopting Gus, Cindy realized she wanted to help more labs in need.  Thirty-three years later, Cindy’s passion is still helping as many labs for which she has the time and finances. Cindy feels it is an unspeakable tragedy that we, as a society, put to death millions of healthy adoptable pets.

Metro East Lab Rescue focuses on Labs because we feel we can do a better job if we focus on helping one breed.  However, because we love all dogs and cats, we almost always have several non-labs and several cats that need good homes. It is heartbreaking to turn down a homeless dog or cat, but time and finances force us to be realistic.

For the AKC’s definition of a responsible breeder, please click here

Where our rescues come from:

Metro East Lab Rescue prefers to rescue dogs and cats that are truly homeless; on the street or in an animal control facility. This usually means that these animals will be dead soon if we cannot take them! Because of this, we generally have little or no history on the pets. However, we have just as good results placing the pets with unknown backgrounds as we do the pets with a known background. We have come to the conclusion that an over whelming majority of “lost” animals have nothing wrong with them… only irresponsible first owners. Many lost pets are not reclaimed because surprisingly, people do not know where to look for their pet or do not care to look for them! We also try to help families that no longer want their pets. We explain to them the enormity and magnitude of the homeless pet problem, counsel them on how to solve any problems and try our best to convince them to keep their pet.


Finding Pets to Adopt

Cindy’s Critter Camp in Maryville, IL was home to Metro East Lab Rescue. However after 25 wonderful years, Cindy semi-retired and sold the business. Unfortunately, Metro East Lab Rescue now needs to rely on foster homes. Foster homes and volunteers are very limited. Cindy is still trying to help pets in every way she can. Homeless pets will be posted on PetFinder, Adopt-a-Pet, Facebook, and this website as soon as they are vetted and available. Please complete the application found on this website and Cindy will call you within 2 days to see if she has a good match for your family. Many times needy pets stay in their original homes until a new family can be found.

Please adopt, don’t shop. There are many homeless pets desperate for new homes. Please check you area shelters. Also, Petsmart and Petco have homeless pets from area rescues on site most weekends.

Check out some of our most recent adoptions, our Happy Tails!!!

photo (2)

When you rescue a pet you save two lives, The life of your new friend
and you make room for another to be rescued!

“I rescued a human today”

Her eyes met mine as she walked down the corridor, peering apprehensively into the kennels. I felt her need instantly and knew I had to help her.I wagged my tail, not too exuberantly, so she wouldn’t be afraid. As she stopped at my kennel I blocked her view from a little accident I had in the back of my cage. I didn’t want her to know that I hadn’t been walked today. Sometimes the shelter keepers get too busy and I didn’t want her to think poorly of them.As she read my kennel card I hoped that she wouldn’t feel sad about my past. I only have the future to look forward to and want to make a difference in someone’s life.She got down on her knees and made little kissy sounds at me. I shoved my shoulder and side of my head up against the bars to comfort her. Gentle fingertips caressed my neck; she was desperate for companionship. A tear fell down her cheek and I raised my paw to assure her that all would be well.Soon my kennel door opened and her smile was so bright that I instantly jumped into her arms.

I would promise to keep her safe.
I would promise to always be by her side.
I would promise to do everything I could to see that radiant smile and sparkle in her eyes.

I was so fortunate that she came down my corridor. So many more are out there who haven’t walked the corridors So many more to be saved. At least I could save one.I rescued a human today.

by Janine Allen

Niko 2wp


Metroeast Lab Rescue

Box 114
407 Beltline Road
Collinsville, IL  62234

Phone 618-558-4758