WHY I FOSTER:  - Greta

I believe I can make a difference for each dog I foster, & for their new family. I'll admit, sometimes it is not easy to be a proud foster Mom and then see them go. I have come to a place within myself that allows me to do this.

I began fostering long ago for another rescue. In that time I was able to experience fostering 3 cocker spaniels & knew I liked the breed. I had Shadow, my Border Collie mix rescue I adopted, & my 2 mixed breed rescues, Buddy and Goldi, who were reaching their golden years and becoming fragile. I decided to suspend fostering then, and give them the time they needed. Within the past 2 years I have had to walk my friends Buddy at 16, & Goldi, at 14 yrs 9 months, to the rainbow bridge which is never easy. I always knew I would foster again. You see no dog ever takes the place of another in my heart. I tell the kids I teach, "I have a big heart and I will grow a new place for each one." When I was ready, I applied to foster for CCR.

I began fostering for CCR in July 2011. I have had 5 fosters so far & adopted one. Each dog is different. I watch and listen trying to know as much of their story as I can. I let them be part of my home life & daily routines. I give them the love and support they need to feel secure. Dogs that have suffered greatly will begin to respond, develop, and thrive. This experience is a great reward. I know when my foster dog goes to a home that has been thoroughly checked, and the dog can return if the match doesn't work. Working with my fellow volunteers helps me believe that there are good and caring people in the world. Fostering is not for everyone but, we can all make a difference in some way.

WHY I FOSTER:  - Jeanna

I foster because when I adopted my 2 dogs through CCR (both puppy mill rescues), it made me painfully aware of just how many dogs out there are in need of a home.  I know that I would hate to think of my dogs in kennels at the shelter or in boarding day in and day out.  It is so important for these dogs to be in a home, being surrounded by things that they wouldn't otherwise be subjected to in boarding.  

Once these dogs are in a home environment, you can see what their likes/dislikes are which is very valuable information for their potential forever home.  The dogs are so much happier & can adjust easier.  They aren't scared in a noisy shelter so their true personalities come out.  It's been a very rewarding experience so far.  Even though it was quite painful to give up a recent foster I had grown to love dearly, I wouldn't change the experience for the world.  She is now in such a wonderful forever home with people who are going to spoil her the way she deserves.  Now, I can help another dog which is what I know my previous foster would want.  

Dogs are very resilient!  With love, you can turn even the saddest dog into a happy one in a safe environment.  What's cuter than seeing a dog's tail wag so hard that the rest of their body goes along with it?  Not much if you ask me :)

WHY I FOSTER:  - mindy

When I was a little girl, my first dog was an Irish Setter named Red. My dad use to hook him up to my little red wagon and Red would take me on trips around the yard! This dog was very good-natured, he loved everyone, canine and human!  Later in life, when I moved into my first apartment, I got a cocker that I named Sam. He is the best dog, companion, and friend. It made me sad to think that there were dogs out there who would never know the love and have the life that my spoiled dog has. When I moved into my first house, I made the decision that I was going to try and change that...one dog at a time.

I decided to foster with the Columbus Cocker Rescue because I felt that I knew the breed well. Cocker Spaniels have such fun personalities! Fostering is such a rewarding job. You are helping these already great dogs blossom into their own. Everyday with a foster brings new challenges and milestones. Figuring out a dog's personal quirks is so much fun and the first time they sit when you give them the signal makes you want to jump for joy!

My husband "J.J." and I do not regret our decision to foster, and the people at CCR are the greatest group of dog lovers I have ever met. I am happy with my second 'job' and hope to continue into the foreseeable future!

(Mindy is pictured here, with several foster furkids, at one of our adoption events)

WHY I FOSTER:  - wendy

After the loss of our ever faithful mix breed Ginger, we searching for another family member to help fill the hole in our hearts, & a companion for our surviving dog, Reggie. We were searching for a beagle, but kept coming back to a funny little cocker spaniel we saw on Petfinder. After reviewing & meeting lots of dogs, we chose that cocker, Katy, from Columbus Cocker Rescue. She wasn't the easiest dog, & we had to work with some issues due to her neglect prior to rescue, but Katy was definitely OUR dog! Our love for Katy, led us to want to help & foster other cockers in need. We have also adopted another CCR cocker, Lady Bug, and a senior beagle, Kenny, & a wonderful cat named Sooty, from a local rescue as well. We are a busy family!

Even though we are busy with kids, pets, work schedules, we always have a place in our home for a foster. In a year and a half, we've successfully fostered 15 dogs total so far! Our children are learning the lesson of giving of oneself & charity, & we still keep in touch with most of the family's that have adopted our fosters. Fostering has enriched our lives, & have made us better pet parents along the way.

WHY I FOSTER:  - ted

My wife and I do not have any children, and we consider our dogs our kids.  I foster, transport & pull these cockers from kill shelters & other sad situations because after all these poor creatures have been through in their short lives, we find that there is no better reward than to see the look on the faces of both the dog and the adopter when we bring them together. To see this makes it all worthwhile, and knowing that we did something to help & played a part in the lives of all involved, makes us happy. 

It is a job that isn't always easy, but we couldn't see us not trying to help.  So please, if you can do anything to help, my wife and I ask you to step up if you can, and discover the same fulfillment we have. 

WHY I FOSTER:  - andrea

I decided to become a foster because it breaks my heart to see abused and neglected dogs. I believe if given the chance, all dogs will love us unconditionally and be amazing pets! After adopting my beautiful new best friend (Dottie) and seeing her come out of her shell, I knew we could give another dog a new chance. Fostering is something that is rewarding not only for the dog to whom I am giving a temporary home but for me as well. They learn to trust and love and be good citizens. It's a fun process, and I hope to stay involved as much as possible

WHY I FOSTER:  - jennifer

In January of '09 I lost my best friend of 15+ years, Bandit. That cocker boy meant the world to me, and we used to be called Timmie & Lassie, because we were always together.

When I had to say goodbye to him, I was beside myself with grief. He was a constant in my life, & then was gone. Barb (our director) gave me some much-needed support & said when I was ready, I should foster for CCR. After a few months passed, I was at the vet's office with my Boxer when Jess (our intake coordinator) saw me and introduced me to this beautiful chocolate merle, little blind cocker named Tessie.   She asked if I would like to foster her.  I told her to give me a few days to think about it.  Well, it was less than an hour later my husband agreed, and I called to say I was in!  Tessie was my very first foster.

Fostering is an important part of my life. I am overjoyed when I can help an animal find it's forever home. There are many neglected animals out there and if I can do my part by helping a cocker in need by giving back some of the unconditional love and joy that Bandit gave me, then I am doing something right. In my short journey with CCR I have made a lot of new friends (human and canine) and my husband and I even adopted a black cocker named Remy! I get great joy out of helping a cocker find its forever home and special family. This is something that doesn't get old, and I hope I am lucky enough to continue for a long time to come.

WHY I FOSTER:  - steve

Recently I was asked why I became a foster parent for cocker "kids". "Well", I replied, "I'm too young to be old and an empty nest promotes 'couch potatoism', a disease I choose to fight". On reflection, I was thinking of being a foster parent to children but I have yet to find a youngster that understands the simple, "Sit, Stay!" command.

Seriously, I've had cockers for years but generally never more than one at a time. Now three are part of my immediate family and three foster "kids" round out the extended family.

Just about all these guys and gals were grabbed out of the jaws of death. Their eyes tell their stories. Some show the effects of constant fear, others never want to be hungry again, or shivering cold in a dark lonely place, and some just come to us with terribly broken hearts. Each one is different. Each one needs something special from us to overcome their life experience.

Fostering these "kids" isn't like raising a dog from a puppy. These animals come with fully developed personalities. Each has a past shrouded in mystery. Piecing together their past is a continuing mental exercise that helps us to redirect their behavior and mold their future.

It's our job and privilege to navigate them across a bridge to a new home, a new family, and a longer and happier life.

A lot of people tell me they can't foster, because they would want to keep all of the animals they house. I agree with the sentiment. I wouldn't be a good foster dad if I didn't want to keep them all. Thanks to the Columbus Cocker Rescue's rigorous screening of new adoptive parents, I have overcome those feelings.

I now see the bigger picture. The happy faces of Scott and Shelly and the excitement of their 6 year old son and 4 year old daughter who have opened their homes to a "rescued" dog speaks loudly to me. To watch Laura look at her new "best friend" in the hopes that he will fill the empty spot left from her beloved former dog puts fostering in its proper perspective. Changing the lives of people is the silver lining that emerges from the dark cloud of discarded dogs.

Fostering is about helping dogs live to fulfill their purpose to help people live. And that's why I became a foster parent for the Columbus Cocker Rescue.

(Steve is pictured here at a local adoption even with one of his fosters)

WHY I FOSTER:  - ann

I was unaware of all the wonderful cocker spaniels that were being abused and abandoned until I happened upon Herb (red and white parti) at the Hocking County Humane Society. After adopting Herb we decided he needed a friend. I started searching the internet and found the Columbus Cocker Rescue site. I couldn't believe there were so many beautiful cockers needing help! I carefully read through all the listings to find the perfect partner for Herb and found Lily (our black and white ). Then I kept watching and reading the website cocker stories & saw a need for more people to help foster. After retiring, I decided I could help by fostering in my spare time. We have since adopted Buttons (a black and white vision-impaired snuggler my husband fell in love with) & Skooter,a chocolate, and white parti. Our house is now full, but we will continue to foster one dog at a time.

Our family will continue to foster one dog at a time to try and make a difference. Getting to know the dogs and seeing them placed with just the right family is very gratifying and makes me feel like I am doing something worthwhile with my time.

Here I am with all our cocker kids, & a foster gal.

When is a good time to apply for adoption?

If you are ready to accept a homeless cocker as a potential new & permanent family member.

  • If you are ready financially

  • If EVERYONE in the home are all in agreement with the adoption of a cocker spaniel

  • If your home life is stable

  • If you will be keeping the cocker, even if your living situation, job or relationship status changes

  • If your schedule will not be taking you away from the cocker during the acclimation time (but work is ok)

  • If you can commit to the process of adoption (reference checks, home inspection, adoption fee, acclimation & legal contractual agreements that follow with a successful adoption)

  • If you understand the cocker may have some setbacks when acclimating to your home, & you are willing to work through these with your adoption counselor

  • If you want to add a cocker to your family, and keep the cocker healthy & happy, warm and indoors 100% of the time


When is not a good time to apply for adoption?

If you want to adopt, but are experiencing these types of difficulties or significant life changes, or expect these changes in the near future, you should rethink applying at this time.

  • Applying to adopt to use the cocker as a “gift”

  • If you think adopting a dog will help teach a child responsibility

  • If you are getting a cocker because a child "wants it"

  • Impending move or change in living situation, or any type of unstable living conditions

  • Relationship difficulties, personal strife between you and your significant other

  • If you are dependent upon another for your financial care

  • If you are currently surviving on child &/or spousal support as your major source of income

  • If you are a full-time student or will be a full-time student

  • If you are surviving with the help of student loans

  • Any violence in the home situation (either physical and/or mental)

  • The impending change in employment, schedules or vacations

  • When other adults in the home are NOT in agreement with the adoption

  • If you travel frequently where you cannot take your pet

  • If having a child in the future would affect you're keeping a cocker in any way

  • If you are not ready to devote significant time, effort and finances into the care and upkeep of your cocker

  • If you are adopting a dog help you “feel better” due to any of life’s stressors mentioned above

  • If you are adopting a cocker because “they are cute”

  • If you would have any difficulties, at any time, paying for heartworm & flea prevention, vaccinations, wellness checkups and sick vet visits (minor or catastrophic), license fees & frequent grooming needs of a cocker (as these will be contractually required for you to perform after adoption)

  • If you believe in home vaccinations for your dogs

  • If you believe in physical punishment in any form

  • If you are unwilling to keep the cocker on heartworm prevention year-round

  • If you have ANY doubts about adoption after a recent loss of a pet

  • If you want to apply to adopt a dog because they “look like” a deceased pet

  • If you plan on leaving the cocker outside for any length of time (dog house, attached or detached garage, shed, kennel, or tied out in the yard, or leave outside in the fenced yard


How much does adoption cost?


(Probably the biggest question that gets asked) Typical adoption donation fees go by age. General adoption fees are as follows:

0 – 6 months = $350

6 months - 2 years old = $250

2 - 7 years old =$200

8 years & above = $150

(* These fees are typical and subject to change. *)


Can I make payments?


Absolutely NOT! Adopting and caring for an animal is a commitment, and should not be entered into without the resources to do so. If you need to make payments on a $200 adoption donation, which covers all the necessary vetting, how would you handle an emergency vet bill of $500? Or a sick visit with a vet bill of $250 - $300. Adoption donations are non-negotiable.


How do you pay for all these expenses that the adoption fees don’t cover?


Columbus Cocker Rescue is a 501(c)(3) fully non~profit charitable organization that relies solely on volunteers & donations.  We are NOT a shelter, and we do NOT get any federal funds. 


We have fundraisers throughout the year; we get donations from individuals, take donations at events we attend, and apply for some small grants when they are available.  Donations are fully tax deductible.  Without donations, we can not do the life saving work to save these cockers in need.


What if I adopt a cocker and it doesn’t work out, do we just lose our adoption fee?


If you are approved to adopt and select a cocker, you will sign a legally binding contract and pay the adoption donation when you take possession of the cocker & begin the home trial period. 


Columbus Cocker Rescue will not cash any adoption donation, until we know that the cocker is not coming back to rescue, because you tell us if/when they have found their forever home.  The standard home trial is 1 – 2 weeks where we keep in close contact with the adopter to monitor the progress of the placement.   At some point during the home trial, and at least by the end the two weeks, if the adopter relays to us that the cocker is a good fit and has a permanent home, the donation can be cashed/deposited, and will no longer be refundable.  If the cocker does not work out during the home trial period, & the adopter does not wish to pursue adoption, the donation is refunded, or the check is returned or destroyed. 


Communication between the adopter and the CCR representative is important, and if it is not conveyed by the adopter, to Columbus Cocker Rescue's representative &/or director that there are any problems by the end of the 2 week home trial period, the adoption donation can be deposited and nonrefundable.  Any special circumstances are only approved by the Director if there has been prior notification of any problems and deemed warranted by the director.  So, with good communication, there is no risk on losing the adoption donation, as a cocker finding a loving home is the main goal, not cashing a check.


Can I come to see your facility?


Unfortunately, we are not a shelter and do not have a central location for housing the cockers.  Our cockers are either in temporary emergency boarding or housed in individual private foster homes in and around the Columbus Ohio area.  Our CCR volunteers do most of their work from their own homes, communicating via phone & email with each other, to potential adopters & arranging events.


How long does adoption take?


After you submit an application, the approval process takes as long as it takes.  Some times we can pull it off in 24 hours if everything is working to our benefit, other times it can take a few weeks.  On average, a typical timeframe for application approval can range from 2 – 3 days, to about 7 – 10 days. This depends highly upon the accuracy of the information provided by the applicant.  If any information is missing, omitted, false, not forthcoming, directions not followed or not completed, this will delay the process.


What is the application process?


Our volunteers & adoption advisors first review the application, send out an email that we have received the application usually within 24 hours.  Then we check historical vet histories on any/all current & past pets of the applicant, either living or deceased. 

*** Until the vet check is completed,, we will not progress to the next step. ***


Then we also check two, nonfamily, personal references, followed by a home visit before we place a cocker in the approved applicant’s care.


I’ve heard that Cockers can be mean and have behavioral problems, but I’ve also heard they have a great temperament and are great family dogs. Which one is more true?


All and none!  How’s that for an answer?  Cockers' behavior is individual, just like people.  Their traits and behaviors vary from one cocker to another.  Some things they do have in common: 


1) They NEVER do well as an outdoor dog, NEVER, they require & crave to be part of a family, in a home with human contact too much.  Their skin & coat deteriorate outdoors, and they strive to get attention and get lonely.

2) They usually always want their loving human around them.  Cockers are usually people-oriented dogs, and they do well with people, or at least the people they have grown to love and trust. 

3) All cockers are different, one may have issues with resource guarding, while another you can do anything to and they won’t get upset.


A good rule of thumb, if you are looking for a cocker, keep your mind open, and stock up on consistency in training and gentle guidance.  If your heart, home & finances are willing, your mind is open, your situation stable and your adoption plans consistent & strong, then there is most likely a good match we can make for you with a rescued American Cocker Spaniel.


Please remember, our FIRST priority is our cocker kids we’ve saved.  We’ve made a promise to them, a commitment, and we will uphold that promise by all means at our disposal.