by Lee Juslin
There are two types of English Springer Spaniels: field Springers that flush or spring birds in the field for hunters and bench bred Springers that are the ones seen in a dog show. Field Springers are distinguished by ticking or dots, while bench bred or show Springers do not have the ticking. Both are known for their wonderful personalities.
For English Springer Spaniel Rescue of America (ESRA) it doesn’t matter which type of Springer, it only matters that a Springer is in need. And, as Barbara, the North Carolina rep for ESRA says, “It doesn’t matter to our adopters either. We usually have both types of Springers up for adoption on our web site at any given time.”
Like all breed rescues, Barbara’s group requires completion of an online application, vet or personal references, and a home visit. In addition, they conduct a phone interview with prospective adopters and it is helpful, though not required, if the adopter has prior experience with Springers. “We want to adopt to a home and family environment. We are not interested in sending dogs to kennels and /or hunting situations.”
Lacee, a particularly good looking Springer, came to Barbara after her owner was laid off and then lost her home. She, her teenaged son, and Lacee were living in her car with occasional overnights with friends. It simply wasn’t a good situation for anyone but particularly Lacee. Thankfully the woman called rescue rather than dumping her at a shelter.
When Lacee came to Barbara she had some behavioral issues but, after a thorough vet check, no major health problems. She needed to be spayed and she was not up to date on her vaccinations or heartworm medicine. Fortunately, she was not heartworm positive. “We sometimes get dogs that are heartworm positive and we can deal with that, but it made things easier that Lacee was heartworm free.”
Barbara checked her list of foster homes and found that she had a possibility in Raleigh, a family she had worked with previously and who actually were interested in adopting a Springer. Lacee, however, was in So. Carolina. Fortunately, for Lacee and her new family, Barbara found a way to get Lacee transported to Raleigh.
Lacee’s new family are a very active, outdoor group, but problems began to develop when Lacee proved to be difficult to walk on a leash and a bit dog aggressive. Instead of giving up and taking Lacee back, Barbara persuaded the family to meet with an animal behaviorist whom Barbara knew and had worked with previously. With this professional help, Lacee’s problems were corrected and she has become a valued member of her new family. In fact, Lacee was recently part of twenty-one Springers invited to take part in an outing/fund raiser on seventeen acres. The dogs start on leashes but then are released to run in the fields on their own. And, though, her family had concerns, Lacee blended beautifully with the other dogs. “I was happy to see how well Lacee did. Sometimes miracles do happen.”
If you would like to learn more about English Springer Spaniel rescue, perhaps volunteer or contribute financially, visit their website: English Springer Spaniel Rescue.
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