Melissa Etheridge Says Rescue Is the New Breed

The singer adopts two Labs, Cooper and Scout

With four children running around her house, Melissa Etheridge already has her hands full. But recently, the singer decided to further open her home – and her heart – to two rescue Labs, Cooper and Scout.

“They’re the sweetest dogs on earth,” Etheridge tells “They are just the coolest, nothing-bothers-them dogs.”

Etheridge found the young pups – “they’re about 3 or 4,” she says – through Indi Lab Rescue in Southern California, she told PEOPLE Tuesday night at Hard Rock’s PINKTOBER launch in Hollywood. “My son wanted a dog, so he researched … and came up with a Lab. He started looking at pictures [through] Indi Lab Rescue, and we sent in an application and just did our thing.”

Cooper, who’s really 11-year-old Beckett’s dog, actually came all the way from Taiwan. Scout was a more local rescue, “saved out of a pound, 15 minutes away from euthanization,” Etheridge explains. So far, Beckett has taken responsibility for his pup, walking him around the neighborhood with mom. “He loves his dogs, and he’s very good at taking care of them,” she shares.

Since Etheridge also has 4-year-old twins Miller and Johnnie (and 13-year-old Bailey), she wanted dogs that were “super-mellow” and not too jumpy. “[Indi Lab Rescue] really took the time to find the right dogs,” she says. “A kid can run around and scream and holler, and the dog maybe moves his eyes and that’s it. They could not be sweeter.”

It’s not the first time the family has had pets – Etheridge says they had a couple of other dogs “who grew up and passed away.” But they knew they were “ready to bring new ones in,” particularly from a rescue organization.

“I saw a bumper sticker the other day that read, ‘Rescue is the New Breed,’ ” she recalls. “I agree with that.”

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