What is the screening process?
Why are all your dogs spayed and neutered?
How long does it take?
Does ESRA have the right to decline an application?
How does the matchmaking work?
Where are the dogs located?
Can a dog be transported for adoption?
Where do the dogs come from?
How much does it cost?
Will you take payments for the adoption fee?
What does “Adoption Pending” mean?
What can I expect when I adopt a Springer?
What if it doesn't work out?

Baggage - (a poem)

What is the screening process?

Adopting a Springer Spaniel requires that you fill out an application (see the button below) telling us about you and your family and noting what your requests are. This information will help us match the very best dog for you, your household, and your lifestyle. It is very important that we find the right Forever Home for every rescued Springer in our program. After you have completed the application, a volunteer will contact you to discuss it. We ask for a veterinarian’s reference or one from a similar contact person who can speak to your responsibility as a pet owner. Finally, we conduct a home visit unless you are in an unusually inaccessible area.

Why are all your dogs spayed and neutered?

We rescue many hundreds of unwanted Springers a year. Many were a result of puppy mills or backyard breeders who bred one "nice dog" to another, without any regard to temperament or genetic health testing. We must help end this practice if we are to be successful in our goal of ending the unnecessary euthanasia of healthy, adoptable Springers. We support only responsible breeders who are experts in the breed standard and who promote improvement of the breed. We place only pets, not breeding stock.

How long does this process take?

It depends on the number of available dogs in your region and the volume of rescue work at the time, as well as your accessibility. Sometimes it's only a couple of weeks, and sometimes it may take a month or more to find just the right dog. Please remember that we are all volunteers and most of us have families and regular full-time jobs. We appreciate your patience.

Does ESRA have the right to decline an applicant?

It should be understood that applications for adopting a Springer through English Springer Rescue America, Inc. (ESRA) are subject to acceptance based on a review process that may require collecting information from an application, a phone interview, a vet and/or personal reference check, and a home visit. Decisions on placing dogs in adoptive homes are an art, not a science. There may be times when applications are denied for various reasons. This is left to the discretion of the ESRA representative after reviewing the information. ESRA reserves the right to make ALL decisions regarding placement or final disposition of any rescued dog in its care into a foster or adoptive home. There is absolutely no guarantee, made or implied, that any person or persons requesting to adopt a Springer Spaniel being fostered through ESRA, or posted on ESRA's website, will be granted an adoption.

How does the matchmaking work?

Once you are approved to adopt, a volunteer will let you know. You should let the contact person listed at the bottom of each web posting know which dogs appeal to you to see if any of those might be a match. We work hard to ensure that each adoption is an ideal fit. Be careful not to get attached to any one dog on the website. There very well may be other interested adopters at the same time. Adopters are NOT chosen on a first-come-first-served basis. We are looking for the best fit for each dog.

Where are the dogs located?  

They are in foster homes all over each state. Our foster families are volunteers that take dogs into their homes and integrate them into their families, both human and canine. Sometimes dogs are residing with their current owners while we work to find them homes. We may even have dogs waiting patiently in boarding facilities for their new families.

Can a dog be transported for adoption?

This decision is at the discretion of the coordinator and foster parents of the available dog. Long-distance adoptions are more difficult for our group due to our commitment to the dogs, our involvement in the careful matching process, and our desire to provide post-adoption support. For the most part, we are eager to see our dogs placed in a nearby, easily-accessible home. If a dog's foster parent or coordinator will consider a long-distance transport, costs (including crate) are your responsibility. Remember, too, that if the adoption doesn't work out for some reason, YOU will have the responsibility of getting the dog back to the foster home.

Where do our Springers come from?

Our dogs often come from shelters where they might have been strays or have been dumped there by their owners. We then take these dogs into foster care, evaluate their personalities, and get them healthy, happy, and spayed/neutered. Some Springers are relinquished to our organization by their owners. We do our best to gather information about dogs that stay in their relinquishing owners’ care, but please remember that you don’t know a dog until you have lived with him or her! Many folks are surprised to find so many Springers, their favorite breed, needing new homes. There is actually a breed-specific rescue group for just about every breed

How much does it cost?

For dogs in ESRA's foster care program, there is an adoption fee of $350 for a spayed/neutered dog who has been examined by a veterinarian and given appropriate vaccinations and tests. ESRA does not make a profit. All money is spent on caring for the Springers that we rescue and getting them ready for adoption, which includes spaying/neutering. Sadly, heartworm is prevalent in the South. Therefore, all ESRA dogs are tested and, if found to be positive, undergo expensive treatment for this easily preventable disease. All grooming, food, toys/supplies, and love are donated by our volunteer foster families. Our fosters evaluate each dog's temperament and personality, and they work with the dog on house manners, obedience training, and socialization.

Will you take payments for the adoption fee?

Unfortunately, ESRA is unable to accept incremental payments for the adoption fee. It must be paid in full at the time of adoption. We cannot accept cash. Please make your personal check or postal money order payable only to "ESRA" or "English Springer Rescue America.” Click here if you would like to use a credit card for payment online.

What does Adoption Pending mean?

This means that ESRA has already lined up an adopter for the dog. The dog’s status will change to "Adopted" when the adoption is finalized with a signed contract and the payment of the adoption fee. Sometimes this closure is delayed due to ongoing medical treatment, so a dog may be listed on the website as Adoption Pending for a month or more.

What can I expect when I adopt a Springer?

Throughout this process, please be honest with us and with yourself about dog traits which you can accept. Listen closely to the foster parents! They know the dog in their care. Please do not fall in love with just a cute picture. Check the description carefully. Please be realistic about your expectations for your new adoptee. Remember that the dog has just been wrenched from a secure place. A rescue dog can take up to six months to totally settle into a new home. There may be "words" with other resident pets. There may be occasional accidents even if a dog has been reliably housetrained. Are you patient enough to help your new dog and your family make this adjustment? We are looking for TRUE dog lovers who want a Springer for the right reasons and not just for looks. Be open-minded. You are adopting a dog and giving it a new life.

Many people don't inquire about a dog that is listed because the dog’s pictures are not eye catching. Unfortunately, those people miss out on great dogs. We often post the first pictures we receive, so be sure to read the write-up as well. If you don't see the dog’s potential, you may miss out on a terrific Springer!

What if it doesn't work out?

First of all, don't give up easily! There is a wealth of experience in our national network of Springer rescuers. We are available for advice, tips, and support. If your adoptee is not fitting in well, please contact either your nearest Springer rescue person or the foster home. We will always take our Springers back, but you must agree to provide the return transportation to the foster home. There will be another adopter that comes along who is right for the dog that doesn't fit with you, and there will be another Springer that will fit perfectly into your home.

Most of all, please realize that your rescue dog needs to settle in and learn your routine. Be patient with him or her! Even a housetrained dog will have a few accidents until you learn each other's signals. Contain your excitement and do not take your new dog to the pet store or out on adventures for the first few weeks, as such stimulation can be overwhelming for the dog. Give the dog time to get used to your household first and feel secure with you and the other animals you may already have in your home. There is no need to start obedience classes right away. You can work on a few basics at home and start training after a month or so of settling in. And don't hesitate to talk to your state coordinator or the foster parent of your adoptee with any questions about your new dog.


Although we endeavor to find a Springer for every approved applicant, and all things are taken into consideration when we consider the placement of each dog, the process of rehoming dogs has no guarantees.



by Evelyn Colbath ©1995

(All rights reserved.)
No reprints of this poem without the expressed, written permission of the author.

Now that I'm home, bathed, settled and fed,
All nicely tucked in my warm new bed.
I'd like to open my baggage lest I forget
There is so much to carry — So much to regret.

Hmm … Yes there it is, right on the top.
Let's unpack Loneliness, Heartache and Loss;
And there by my leash hides Fear and Shame.
As I look on these things I tried so hard to leave —

I still have to unpack my baggage called Pain.
I loved them, the others, the ones who left me,
But I wasn't good enough — for they didn't want me.
Will you add to my baggage?

Will you help me unpack?
Or will you just look at my things -
And take me right back?

Do you have the time to help me unpack?
To put away my baggage, to never repack?
I pray that you do — I'm so tired you see,
But I do come with baggage —

Will YOU still want ME?