I frequently hear from people who are interested in getting a Cocker Spaniel, but don't want to go through all the trouble of training a puppy. Rescuing an adult Cocker from a shelter is a great option. But how to locate one near you? Thanks to the Internet, it's actually quite easy.
Go to the Petfinder web site and use the search panel on the left side of the site to locate homeless Cockers near you. Simply enter in "dog" as the animal, "Cocker Spaniel" as the breed, enter in your ZIP code, click the box that says "PIC PREVIEW", and click on the GO button. A list of adoptable Cockers in your area will appear on the screen.
I also occasionally hear from people with an adult Cocker who they can no longer care for... who would like to find a new home for their dog. To help connect those people with people who might be interested in adopting their dog, I created the rescue section of our online Cocker forum. If you have a dog that you need to find a new home for, take a good picture of the dog, resize it so that it is about 600 pixels wide, and post it to the rescue section of the forum. Please post at least a few paragraphs of text along with the picture... tell us all about the dog, what makes him special, and why he needs a new home. If you need step-by-step instructions on how to post a picture, you'll find them here.
The people that meet up in the rescue section of our forum are fanatical about getting Cockers in to good homes. When they find out about Cockers that are in danger of being euthanized in animal shelters, they actively work to get those dogs out of danger and in to either foster homes or forever homes with new owners. They've been extraordinarily successful at it! It seemed like they had been helping an awful lot of Cockers, so someone decided to go back and tally up the numbers to see how many we had actually saved. Over a three and a half month period in 2008, thanks to the incredible effort of our fanatical group, 266 Cockers were rescued!
If you're in the Southern California area, there's a great Cocker rescue group that you should know about! It's San Diego Spaniel Rescue, established in 2002, which helps the Cockers in San Diego and Orange Counties of Southern California. Adopters, volunteers, friends and supporters are all welcomed there. Here are before and after photos of a few of the dogs they've saved:
On the left... "Cooper", before and after. On the right... "Misty", before and after.
Cockers in public shelters are often “diamonds in the ruff” according to Peggy Mundell, the President of San Diego Spaniel Rescue. Sometimes they need minor medical care, sometimes just a bath and some grooming brings out their true beautiful selves! And yes, sometimes they can need major makeover projects too. Dealing with a reputable rescue group like SDSR means you aren’t gambling when you adopt a dog... they've screened each dog and offer the ones that they think have the best potential of making a great pet.
Here are a few more before and after pictures, from the SDSR archives:
"Indie" on the left, and "Jackson Magoo" on the right.
Visit the SDSR web site and help a Cocker Spaniel get a new "leash" on life!
central California, we have an excellent Cocker rescue group, too. Second Chance
Cocker Rescue is based in Santa Barbara, but has helped Cockers from a wide area of the state. I've met the
founder, Elizabeth Mazetti, several times... and know several of her volunteers and several of the Cockers she has
saved. These people do great work for the Cocker Spaniel breed.
If you're in the San Francisco Bay area and you're looking for an adult Cocker, there are usually MANY Cockers that you can choose from. There's a rescue group known as the Bay Area Animal Rescue Klub, or BAARK... and they deal specifically with Cocker Spaniels who are in need of new homes. Unfortunately, they've got a lot of them. Here's a few pictures of dogs that were available in the last year. They've all gone to new homes by now, but this should give you an idea of the type of Cockers available for rescue.
Remember, these specific dogs have already gone to new homes, and are shown here just to give you some idea of the good work that BAARK is doing. See their current list of available dogs here or read more about BAARK here.
In the Rocky Mountain region, check out Rocky Mountain Cocker Rescue in Colorado.
They've got a LOT of experience with Cockers, and have been rescuing about 150 a year!
Know of a Cocker that needs a new home? Please post a picture and the dog's story on to the rescue section of our forum.
Want to find Cocker Spaniel rescue organizations near you? Check out the Cocker rescue groups listed at The Open Directory Project.
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