Cocker spaniel adoption is becoming increasingly popular, and it's just as well because thousands of dogs are abandoned by their owners each year. Thankfully, despite what some might think, the reasons for rehoming are not all bad.
While Cocker Spaniel puppies sometimes find their way into rescue shelters, it's rare, and when they do, they don't hang around for very long!
It's usually adult Cockers that are left waiting for forever homes.
Most vets refuse to euthanize an otherwise healthy animal, meaning many pets end up in rescue centres, animal shelters, and adoption centres.
And there they sit, confused and sometimes frightened, and wait for someone to choose them and take them to their forever home.
Let me persuade you to adopt a Cocker Spaniel before you buy a puppy.
I can think of many more reasons to adopt a Cocker Spaniel, but here are five of the best I promised!
Unfortunately, not all rescue centres can house their dogs indefinitely because of limited funds and resources. Regrettably, this often (but not always) means they're forced to put the poor animal to sleep if it's not rehomed quickly.
If you adopt a pet, you could well be saving his life - literally - and in my book, that's one excellent reason to adopt a dog!
If you adopt a cocker spaniel, you'll save yourself a whole heap of cash!
Adopting is cheaper than buying a dog from a breeder, making it much more affordable.
You'll also save in vet fees because a rescue dog will have already been checked over by a vet (so you can be sure he's fit and healthy), and he'll be up to date with his vaccinations.
Your new pet will probably be micro-chipped too!
The dog is more than likely to have been wormed and treated for parasites and may have been spayed or neutered, and I know from experience that this can save you hundreds!
When you rescue an adult dog, you'll be clear about what you're getting; he'll be the 'finished article'.
The dog will be fully house-trained, probably crate-trained too, will have learned how to walk to heel or on a leash, and will likely have passed his obedience training, hopefully with flying colours!
Your adopted Cocker Spaniel will have already been socialized, comfortable around most types of people, and relaxed in most circumstances. Very little flusters a dog that's been adequately socialized.
An adopted adult dog will have grown through the puppy phase (so you'll not have to endure puppy chewing or nipping problems) unless you're lucky enough to find a Cocker Spaniel puppy in a rescue centre. In that case, you'll need to train your puppy from scratch!
And because he's older, he may be slowing down, less energetic, and not so phased by kids, especially if his previous home involved children.
He's been there, done that, and is now ready to be your new 'best buddy'.
By adopting a Cocker Spaniel (or any dog, for that matter), you'll be side-lining puppy mills; you won't be supporting these puppy breeding warehouses!
These mills (also known as puppy farms) are breeding factories where the puppies are churned out at an alarming rate.
These people are in business simply for profit!
Puppy mill owners don't care about their dogs' or puppies' health or welfare; their puppies are often kept in terrible conditions.
You can usually spot a puppy farmer a mile off; however, sometimes, it's only evident if you know what to look for.
A puppy's temperament has yet to develop, making it difficult to appreciate how they will behave around children or other household pets.
Whereas an adult Cocker's characteristics and temperament will be fully developed, allowing the staff at the dog adoption centre to assess personalities and recommend a Spaniel with a character and disposition that will suit you and your family's circumstances perfectly.
If you've never owned a dog before, this is ideal.
Cocker Spaniels are such beautiful dogs with loving temperaments, and very often, when they need to be rehomed, it can be heartbreaking for their owners to let them go.
This is where you come in.
You may well ask how anyone could ever abandon their own pet, but there are often many circumstances that can lead to a dog ending up in a pound.
Some of these reasons are understandable, some not so understandable, but they're always tragic and unfortunate.
The same scenario may apply if a couple decides to split up.
When families break apart, it's not only the children that suffer; pets do too!
People often think dogs in adoption centres are there because they're unmanageable or have behavioural problems.
We now know that this is not true.
This article has shown many varied and plausible reasons why Spaniels may have been abandoned by their owners. More often than not, they're not the 'fault' of the dog.
A good source of pets for adoption can be offered online.
There are many adoption centres in the USA and the UK. They can easily be found online by searching for terms such as cocker spaniel adoption, dog adoption centre, adopt a cocker spaniel, adopt a dog, pet adoption, etc.
These websites often list thousands of dogs in their database, with accurate, up-to-date information on dog rescue centres, by breed.
A few examples of ideal Cocker Spaniel adoption opportunities are:
I've added a Google search box below so that you can try for yourself. Good luck!
Your vet may know of a Cocker that needs re-homing, so why not check with them first?
Keep an eye out for adverts in the local newspapers too.
Occasionally, a loving owner who can no longer afford the cost of caring for his dog, or he's no longer physically able to care for his pet, will place an advert in a local paper or supermarket in the hope of finding a new home for their beloved Cocker Spaniel rather than place him in a rescue home.
This is likely an excellent source as this owner loves their pet and will have taken good care of him. This dog's also expected to be healthy, well-mannered, and without behavioural problems.
To summarise, I'd like to emphasize that not all Cockers are re-homed because they are problem dogs.
As you've seen above, many are placed in shelters because their owners can no longer care for them.
One or two dogs may have been removed from an environment where they have been ill-treated or weren't socialized or trained correctly.
In these circumstances, the dog may have some behavioural problems, and it's entirely possible (with lots of love and affection) to retrain them.
The staff at dog adoption centres will typically have a history or at least a little background on the dog to be re-homed and will let you know if there are any issues to be worked through.
The volunteers will do their utmost to match you with a Cocker Spaniel perfect for you and your family's circumstances.
Cocker Spaniel adoption is the way forward, so what are you waiting for; give an abandoned Cocker Spaniel a home.
At least give it some thought? Please?
Our visitors often drop me a line to tell me about their Cocker Spaniel adoption or rescue stories, some are very sad, but mostly they have happy endings!
Here are a few of those stories for you to enjoy, and if you'd like to submit your own (and a photo of your dog), click on the link in the green box below.
From: Palmdale, CA
Hi, I rescued a partially blind Cocker Spaniel pup. Unfortunately, she's blind in her right eye, and because of this, she often walks in circles.
She leads with her left eye and typically walks counterclockwise, although she manages to run after her in a straight line when she's chasing the cat!
Watching Squirrel grow and adapt to life and her surroundings has been amazing.
I think I'm fortunate to have been given the gift of such a sweet loving pup :)
Title: My Life
By: Lauren Sudat
From: New York
Hi! I'm Nitro. I'm a 4-year-old black Cocker Spaniel, and I was rescued (from an abusive owner) from the pound. I was very lonely at the pound, but my luck improved when I was adopted.
Now I'm living the life I always wanted - thanks to my new, caring owner!
Title: The Love That A Cocker Can Bring To A Home
By: Cindi O'Brien
From: Syracuse, New York
I recently rescued a five-year-old female cocker spaniel who is adorable, but unfortunately, she's so unhealthy.
Vet expenses are never in anyone's budget, but I don't see an end. I spent $1,600.00 on blood transfusion and medications, and we still have a long way to go.
Because she was neglected, I am faced with a very severe case of Cocker ear infections, to the point where surgery is the only option besides putting her to sleep.
It breaks my heart to make a decision like this; it's so unfair. I rescued this lovely dog, and now I don't know what to do.
She is so sweet (she only weighs 16 lbs). She loves to play and never barks; what more would you want in a dog?
I have a week to decide what to do, but I must first control the bacterial infection.
I wish someone could guide me in making the right decision, let alone how to pay for it; any help would be appreciated; my tears have almost dried up from the crying.
Title: Princess Zoi
From: Abington, PA USA
This Thanksgiving was extraordinary because we welcomed Zoi, our 9-year-old English Cocker Spaniel, to our home.
She is a gorgeous Cocker Spaniel but has some underlying issues.
She is a great dog but tends to do some 'bad' things. These include peeing inside when excited, wanting to eat table food, nearly rejecting dog food (mostly dry) at all costs, and not heeling during walks.
While I know these things can be modified, I want her to start listening.
She knows how to sweeten me up, that's for sure.