Sherman Oaks, California – On any given day Cathy Stanley, a volunteer with a small cocker spaniel dog breed specific rescue called Camp Cocker, searches through an average of 30 high-kill animal shelters within a 125 mile radius of Los Angeles searching for the once cheerful, gentle cocker spaniels who await their imminent fates if not adopted or rescued.
Meet Camp Cocker, a small non-profit organization that operates under Katrina Dog Rescue, inspired by Katrina Muffin, a blind cocker spaniel rescued from the ravages of Hurricane Katrina. According to Stanley, there are two to seven cocker spaniels arriving daily in each of the many high-kill animal shelters, and although the volunteers realize they can not save them all, each dog arriving at Camp Cocker comes with their own special story and circumstances.
Cocker Spaniels were originally bred as gun dogs, and their sense of smell would flush out birds into the air for hunters to shoot. Once the birds were shot, the dogs would use their keen eyes and smell senses to retrieve the bird. These medium sized, sturdy dogs are generally a cheerful lot with sweet, trustworthy, and playful dispositions. Their ever wagging tails bring delight and a smile to even the most stoic.
With a devoted list of volunteers and care givers, some very fortunate cocker spaniels are rescued, researched, and even returned to their rightful owners by the volunteers of Camp Cocker. In one instance, a cocker spaniel was taken in by a shelter in El Soberante in the East Bay area of San Francisco. Within minutes Camp Cocker volunteers were on Facebook mobilizing in order to get the dog back to his home.
Most volunteers have cocker spaniels of their own, adopted or rescued, and now volunteer to foster. The deeply passionate group attends to each dog’s medical needs as well as rehabilitates each one before making the dog available for adoption. Several dogs are on the waiting list for continued medical treatment. Taylor and Meghan, both need second ear operations in the near future.
As to adoption, the process is thorough, and it’s done to safeguard and provide the dogs with the best chances for a forever home the dog somehow missed out on before arriving at Camp Cocker. First there is the application, the phone interview, the home safety check, the adoption, the follow-up visit, and always the contingency plan; that is if the dog has to be returned, Camp Cocker will bring the dog back.
Today, however a female cocker spaniel sits alone and in pain at the East Valley Shelter in Los Angeles. She is in severe pain with a lacerated eyelid; no veterinarian is available. She is extremely matted and will be available tomorrow, May 25, however Camp Cocker is in serious need of funding and donations to pay off their current veterinarian bill of $3,330. So far ChipIn only shows $1680 has been raised.
“We just can not afford to take on any more dogs until we get caught up on our vet bills. Please contribute whatever you can and share this with your friends. If everyone pitches in a little bit, we’ll we able to help this poor dog.”
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Camp Cocker Rescue is expanding their facilities to San Luis Obispo and is looking for volunteers to foster dogs rescued out of kill shelters in the nearby area.