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Road to Rescue with Leslie Smith

Gulf Coast Cocker Spaniel Rescue

DogTime is thrilled to support Gulf Coast Cocker Spaniel Rescue, recipient of a DogTime Media donation as chosen by Petties winner Carol Bryant.

How did your organization get started?
In June 2010, three individuals who had previously volunteered for other rescue organizations joined forces to found GCCSR. We did so with a commitment to the training/rehabilitation of dogs with behavioral issues, believing that money invested into those issues is just as important, if not more so in some cases, as veterinary care. We also choose not to board our dogs (except for training or medical issues), believing that keeping them in foster care better enables us to learn about each and every dog. This, in turn, helps us find the perfect match in the way of a forever home.

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Cocker Spaniel, Cowboy

What is your mission?
Realizing we can't make a difference for ALL Cocker Spaniels, but that we can make ALL the difference for SOME, our mission from day one was: "Striving to provide QUALITY care and forever homes, one Cocker Spaniel at a time."

How do most of your animals find their way to you?
Most of the dogs in our program come from area shelters, either picked up as strays or turned in by their owners. From time to time, individuals also contact us directly and wish to surrender their pet to us.

What happens to the animals once they are in your care?
The first item of business is to get the dog to the vet, updating any necessary vaccines, scheduling a spay/neuter if needed, testing for heartworms, and putting them on preventative. We also provide heartworm treatment and any other necessary medical procedures, funding for which is provided via private donations and fundraising initiatives.

Tell us about a particularly compelling animal or inspiring rescue.
In January 2011, we were contacted about an owner surrender by a man who drove trucks for a living. He said this was his mother's dog, but that she had moved away and he admittedly didn't know how to take care of him. When the man was traveling, he would leave 'Blackie' in the backyard with a pile of food, accompanied by an american Bulldog and a Boxer.

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Cowboy in need of treatment

When Blackie came to us, he was covered in mange and other parasites, and it was obvious he'd been beaten with a leash. First, we got him healthy, and then started addressing his behavioral issues by employing several different trainers and behaviorists over the course of 6-8 months. Still a work in progress, Cowboy (as we call him) has made great strides, and will soon go to his forever home with a strong leader who is capable of providing the necessary structure and routine in which Cowboy can and will thrive.

Inspired by the work of Gulf Coast Cocker Spaniel Rescue? Consider volunteering or making a donation to their organization.

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