English Springer Rescue America, Inc. (ESRA)
national referral and foster care purebred placement organization, and
a 501(c)3 nonprofit corporation. ESRA's mission is to provide foster
care to English Springers impounded by humane societies, private
shelters, and animal control facilities nationwide, as well as to offer
adoption referral services for those agencies.
March, 1998, ESRA began
with the forming of a friendship of
two ladies from opposite sides of the country, who both had a passion
for English Springer Spaniels. In 1984 Jan Flagg,
a Southern California resident, adopted a five-week old Springer puppy
from a shelter in Carlsbad, California. This adoption brought the
awareness that a rescue operation was needed for these loving dogs. Judy
a breeder since 1979, was pursuing the project of organizing a rescue
committee for the breed's AKC Parent Club, the English Springer Spaniel
Field Trial Association. When these two women met, the project was
quickly started to save English Springer Spaniels nationwide.
Jan and Judy worked unmentionable hours at organizing Springer
owners, breeders, and other rescue people, and pooled their rescources
to assist needy dogs whenever and wherever possible. From that early
partnership, organized rescue remains in place, despite Jan's untimely
death in November, 2002, and successfully continues at a good pace, due
to the efforts of our Board of Directors, officers, and volunteer
members of ESRA, Inc.
English Springers are as susceptible to impoundment as any
dog. They are picked up off the streets as strays or relinquished by
their owners because of a move, illness or death, financial crisis, or
other troubled circumstances. Adoption referral assistance is also
available to those owners who can no longer care for their Springers
and must give them up for adoption. Through the compassionate efforts
and commitments to help, ESRA's volunteer members have successfully
placed thousands of Springers in new loving homes.
To be considered for placement in ESRA's database of prospective
adopting homes, click here for the adoption application.
When received, and after the approval process, we will enter you in our
database of homes preliminarily to adopt available dogs. These listings
include dogs in shelters and foster homes, and those being relinquished
by their owners.
Would you like to join in our efforts? If so please click here! Membership in
ESRA costs you nothing, and the rewards of rescuing Springers in need
will enrich your soul!
The Original "Angel Sammy"
Posted by Jan Flagg on March 15, 2000
...Along with this all, my heart was really touched by the mention of
my pound dog Sam and the consensus of you all to name our mascot dog
after him. It was because of his loss that I began to shelter hop
looking to adopt another. I wanted to find another just like him. We
all know it's really not possible to replace exactly what we lost, but
you don't realize that at the time of the loss.
I did find Sam's double, impounded in Oceanside. Although female, she
his color, his size, his markings, his age, it was Sam. When I saw her
first, she was not yet shelter property (she came in as a stray). She
was in deplorable condition, ears matted to the leather, bleeding sores
on her muzzle and feet. The office staff there at the shelter never
told me to put a hold of her. They never gave me a reservation slip to
fill out. They never told me she would be put down the next morning if
I was not there at 9 am. When I did go back for her, she was gone,
euthanized because of ear infections. It was this very incident that
put me into rescue. How dare this shelter decide that a dog in this
condition had no worth and that no one would be interested in it. They
couldn't be farther from the truth, as many of ESRA's own rescue dogs
with special needs and such have proven.
So, I am honored that all of you will also remember my Sam. He was a
great dog; you all would have loved knowing him.
By the way, the dog I did adopt thereafter was Samantha (named after
you know who!). She's a far cry from the looks of him!...
Jan Flagg and ESRA rescue
behalf of ESRA, I wish to thank all our visiting
guests for their patronage of rescue.
We documented 825 adoptions in 2000 through our
national network, a fact proving just how hard our volunteer members
But, we are still in need of help. The English
is a popular
breed, and many unnecessary breedings continue to take place by those
other than breeding for the healthy advancement and bettement of the
If you can help, give but one hour of your time
here and there, you can and will make a positive difference in the life
of a homeless dog. Become a volunteer for the rescue side of the
For membership information please write firstname.lastname@example.org
For fostering opportunities, please write email@example.com
Jan Flagg, ESRA President
Jan has now left this life, a victim of illness
took her far before her time. We remember her, in part, for sharing
with us her favorite version of this famous poem, "The Rainbow Bridge".
Inspired by a Norse legend
By the edge of a woods, at the foot of a hill,
Is a lush, green meadow where time stands still,
Where the friend of man and woman do run,
When their time on earth is over and done.
For here, between this world and the next,
Is a place where each beloved creature finds rest.
On this golden land, they wait and they play,
Till the Rainbow Bridge they cross over one day.
No more do they suffer, in pain or in sadness,
For here they are whole, their lives filled with gladness.
Their limbs are restored, their heath renewed,
Their bodies have healed, with strength imbued.
They romp through the grass, without even a care,
Until one day they start, and sniff at the air.
All ears prick forward, eyes dart front and back,
Then all of a sudden, one breaks from the pack.
For just at that instant, their eyes have met;
Together again, both person and pet.
So they run to each other, these friends from long past,
The time of their parting is over at last.
The sadness they felt while they were apart,
Has turned into joy once in each heart.
They embrace with a love that will last forever,
And then, side-by-side, they cross over....together.
© 1998 Steve and Diane Bodofsky. All Rights
Though Jan is now gone, it is in her memory that we do what we do.
Reprinted by Permission.
|Adopt a springer
||Instead of buying,
please give one of ESRA's many Springers a loving home and a second
Become a member and join
the ESRA rescue network. Membership is simple and
free. Volunteer to help with transport,
computer work, home checks, temperament evaluations, etc., and join our
Take our survey
to find out how you can participate in the many, many things that ESRA
does to assist Springers in peril. There may be ways that you haven't
already thought about. Find
||ESRA's foster homes
provide housing, medical care, rehabilitation, exercise, and love to an
endless number of homeless dogs every year.
||ESRA is supported
entirely by donations and our fundraising programs and events. Your support is
very important for us to help the Springers. Donations are
tax deductible. You can donate online via credit card
using our secure servers, or mail a check. In
addition, the Jan Flagg Fund is a special-use
fund to assist with critically ill Springers we encounter.
||You can be a sponsor for a "Special Needs" Springer.
Your contribution will go a long way toward paying for the care of a
new pal. Your donation will help us care for that dog until
he or she is adopted into a permanent home.
|Recycle for Rescue
your eyes open for recycling opportunities, and act on them!
not only is good for the environment, but will also be great for a
homeless Springer if you Recycle for Rescue!
Balance Charity Rebate
||Dick Van Patten's
Natural Balance benefits rescue organizations with
its Charity Rebate Program. Rebates are available on both dog
products. Scroll down on their page
to see how your purchases could mean cash for ESRA! Just save
Natural Balance UPC codes, attach them to the original purchase
receipt, then forward them to: Vicki
Wingo, PO Box 900950,
San Diego, CA 92190-0950
||Our various foster
homes around the country are always in need of kennel supplies. Any
such items donated to us are tax deductible, and ESRA will provide a
receipt to anyone donating to us.
you are an internet shopper, you can shop at some of the more popular
stores on the net and a donation will be sent to English Springer
Rescue America with each purchase.
grocery store chains have programs that will rebate a small percentage
of your grocery shopping funds to your favorite charity. Here is
a list of those of whom we are aware and with whom we are
you're a private pilot, or you have a friend or family member who is,
ESRA needs your help in transporting our dogs from shelter to foster
care, from foster care to permanent home. Please help if you
|A Bequest in your Will
ESRA in your will or trust is a meaningful way to continue to help
English Springer Spaniels in peril. Bequests can enable us to do many
things we would not have been able to do otherwise. If you want to
continue to help Springers, why not include us in your will?
|Donate Cars, Trucks or Vans!
||You can donated your
unwanted cars, trucks or vans to benefit Springers in need.
service will pick up your automobile, provide you with title
transfer documents and a tax deductible receipt for
your contribution. This service is available through out the
United States. Please contact Pamela George for details at firstname.lastname@example.org.
|Hold a raffle
||Hold a raffle to help
raise money for rescue. Many merchants will donate items and
gift certificates to help and the money raised can be used to save
|Hold a garage sale
in your community and donate the money to rescue. If you do
advertisement beforehand, people will donate items for the
sure to ask family members, friends, neighbors, and area merchants for
| A "Yappy Hour"
is a fundraising event that usually takes place at a restaurant or bar
that is dog-friendly. You can ask the owners of such establishments
in your local area if they will be willing to host one.
|Run a Sponsored Race
|| Here's what one of our
Minnesota members, Brett Asplund, did to raise
much-needed funds for ESRA, he skated a "sponsored marathon", with ESRA
as his charity of choice!
||Check where you work
and see if they have a program where they donate money to nonprofit
organizations as a way to help groups their employees do volunteer work
for. Check in your community and see if anyone in your area
has experience in writing grants. Ask if they would be
willing to help a rescue group write out an application for a grant.
pets and educate others
||Help us stop the
overpopulation of pets. Help educate your friends, children,
and family members about responsible pet ownership. Be sure
they know what a Forever Home is, and help them learn how to care for
their pets. SPAY/USA is a national
referral service for affordable spay/neuter services.
|Link to ESRA
If you have a web site,
feel free to link to us! The more people visit our web site,
the more dogs can be adopted. Download our logo and save
it to your computer.
Link to "English Springer Rescue America" at http://www.springerrescue.org
Renee Holmes (left) with her adopted
Springers Buddy and Skipper, and
Skipper's foster mom Caryn Pola (right).
One of the most important aspects of ESRA's rescue
organization is their Foster Home Program. ESRA's foster homes provide
housing, medical care, rehabilitation, exercise, and love to an endless
number of homeless dogs every year. Putting these "unwanted" dogs into
a temporary loving environment allows them time to heal their wounds
and gain confidence in their relationship with others before they go on
to permanent placement.
Fostering can lead to adoption -- the choice is
yours. It can be a chance to experience life with a Springer before
making a long-term commitment.
ESRA places dogs only in those foster
homes qualified and approved as responsible and reliable.
All dogs going into our foster care
program have been tentatively evaluated as adoptable dogs in reasonable
good health and without aggressive temperaments. Any
impounded dog to be pulled from a shelter must first be pre-evaluated
for temperament and health. Approval to pull must be given by a board
member, officer, or regional coordinator who has been given the
pre-evaluation report on the dog. The case manager for the dog will be
determined at the time approval is given for the pull. Board members,
officers, and regional coordinators usually are designated as case
managers. The dog will be given an intake number after the pull.
Shelter fees, to include mandatory spay and neuter fees, for an
approved pulled impound are a reimbursable expense to the member or
foster home involved with the impound. All reimbursement requests shall
be submitted on ESRA's Foster Dog Expense Report form. Instructions on
how to submit receipts for reimbursement are found on the form.
All dogs will be spayed and neutered,
fully vaccinated, and tested for heartworm while in foster care.
A foster home's anticipated expenditures associated with the above must
be given prior approval by the dog's case manager in order to be
reimbursable. Or, prior arrangements for ESRA's direct payment of
services to the vendor must be made.
While in foster care, dogs are to be in
constant evaluation of health and temperament. Basic
obedience training is to be provided where needed. The foster care home
shall treat the rescue dog as part of the family, including it in all
family events. This intense evaluation program enables ESRA to
determine the adoptability of the dog.
To graduate a dog from foster care to
permanent placement is a success and a happy ending made possible only
by ESRA's foster home members!
If you would like to
foster a dog for ESRA,
please complete a
Foster Home Application, or contact our Foster Home
for more information.
For our Foster Home FAQ sheet containing
more information about our program click here.
There are many sound and practical reasons.
dog may already be housetrained. Even adult dogs,
with little experience living inside a home, are
- Older dogs enjoy playing with toys and
- Unless they are puppies, dogs are their full
when they are adopted.
- Rehomed dogs are eager to learn the ways of
- With careful screening, our organization helps
the best match possible for your household.
- The dog's shots are current, and they are
But, there is much more. Rescued springers seem to create an
exceptional bond with their owners. Maybe it's because of their
intelligence and love of people. Or maybe it's their adaptability and
their desire to please.
This is how some adopters have described this unique relationship:
"They KNOW they've got a second chance and appreciate the love, safety
and companionship of a home that truly wants them and appreciates them
for being the individuals that they are"
"He has come from being timid, no manners, and neglected to an
exuberant, happy, obedient, and very healthy dog. His personality is
the definition of playful and sweet"
"I rescued my Springer last year and I think it is how fast she is able
to connect with my feelings that make her so great"
"Their reaction is that of a typical Spaniel, loving with all of their
heart and soul"
"As Velcro dogs, Springers abound with love, and when they come as a
rescue they just seem to show it with exuberance. At this point in my
life, I cannot imagine being without at least one Springer"
Rescue a Springer!
You'll have a superb companion and help save a wonderful dog's life.
is the Screening Process?
are all your dogs spayed and neutered?
long does it take?
ESRA have the right to decline an application?
does the matchmaking work?
are the dogs located?
a dog be transported for adoption?
do the dogs come from?
much does it cost?
does Adoption Pending mean?
can I expect when I adopt a Springer?
if it doesn't work out?
- (a poem)
is the Screening Process?
Adopting a Springer Spaniel requires that you fill
an application (see the bottom of this page) telling us about you and
your family, and what your requests are. Thanks for filling it out!
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 your application. We ask for a prior vet reference or a similar
contact who can speak to your responsibility as a pet-owner. Finally,
we try to make a home visit if you are in an accessible area.
are all your dogs spayed and neutered?
We rescue over 800 unwanted Springers a year. Many
a result of puppy mills or back yard 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 only support responsible breeders who are experts in the
breed standard and promote improvement of the breed. We place only
pets, not breeding stock.
long does this process take?
It depends on the volume of rescue work at the
your accessibility. Sometimes it's only a couple of weeks, and
sometimes it is a month or more waiting for just the right one. Please
remember that we are all volunteers and most of us have regular
full-time jobs and families. We appreciate your patience.
the right to decline an applicant?
It should be understood that applications for
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, phone interview, vet and/or
personal reference check, and possibly a home visit. Decisions on
placing dogs in adoptive homes is an "art," not a "science". There
might be times when applications will be 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.
does the matchmaking work?
Once you are approved to adopt, a volunteer will
know. You should let your contact person know which dogs appeal to you
and we'll see if any might be a match. We work really hard to ensure
that each adoption is a ideal fit. Be careful not to get attached to
one dog on the website. There very well may be other interested
adopters at the same time. It is NOT first-come-first-served. We are
looking for the best fit for each dog.
They are in foster homes all over each state or
province! Our foster homes are volunteers that take dogs into their
homes, integrate them into their families, both human and canine.
Sometimes dogs are residing with their current owners while we work to
find them homes. Sometimes we even have dogs waiting patiently in
boarding for their new family.
a dog be transported for adoption?
This decision is at the discretion of the
and foster parents of the available dog. Long-distance adoptions are
more difficult for our group due to our commitment to the dogs,
involvement in the careful matching process, and 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.
do our Springers come from?
Our dogs often come from shelters where they
been strays or dumped there by their owner. We then take them into
foster care, evaluate their personality, and get them healthy, happy,
and spayed/neutered. Some Springers are relinquished to our
organization by their owners. We either take them into our foster care
program, if space allows, or we list the current owners as the "foster"
family. We do our best to gather information about dogs that stay in
their owners care, but please remember that no one knows a dog until
you have lived with him or her! Many folks are surprised to find their
favorite breed, the Springer, with so many needing new homes. There is
actually a "breed rescue" group for just about every breed.
For dogs in ESRA's foster care program, there is
adoption fee of $250 for a spayed/neutered dog who has
been examined by a veterinary doctor and given appropriate
vaccinations. ESRA does not make a profit! Hardly! All money goes to
caring for the Springers that we rescue and getting them ready and
altered for adoption. All grooming, food, toys/supplies, and love are
donated by our volunteer foster homes. Our foster homes evaluate the
dog's temperament and personality, and work hard on house manners,
obedience training, and socialization.
Adoption Pending mean?
It means that ESRA has already lined up an adopter
the dog. It will change to "Adopted" when the adoption is
finalized by contract and the payment of the adoption fee. Sometimes
this is delayed due to ongoing medical treatment, so a dog may be on
the website as Adoption Pending for a month or more.
can I expect when I adopt a Springer?
Through this process, please be honest with us
yourself, about dog traits with which you can deal. Listen closely to
the foster parents! They know the dog in their care. Please do not fall
in love with a cute picture. Check the description carefully. Please be
realistic about your expectations of your new adoptee. Even the most
reliably housetrained dog is going to have accidents in your home until
he or she learns the routine. The dog has just been wrenched from a
secure place. A rescue dog can take up to six months to totally settle
in to a new home. There may be "words" with other resident pets. Are
you patient enough to make this work? We are looking for TRUE dog
lovers and rescuers who want a Springer for the right reasons and not
just for looks. Be open-minded. You are adopting and giving a dog a new
Many people don't inquire about a dog that is listed because the
picture did not catch their eye. They miss out on great dogs. We often
post the first picture we can get our hands on. You have to consider
them a "diamond in the rough." Read the write-up! If you don't see the
potential, you may miss out on a terrific dog!
What if it
doesn't work out?
First of all, don't give up easily! There is a
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 your nearest Springer rescue person, or the
foster home. We will always take our Springer back, but you must agree
to provide the transportation back to the foster home. There will be
another home that comes along that is right for the dog that doesn't
fit with you, and there will be another Springer that will fit
perfectly in 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 and
routines. Contain your excitement and do not take your new dog to
Petsmart or out on adventures for the first few weeks, as it can be
overwhelming for the dog. Give it time to get used to your household
first and feel secure with you. 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. Don't hesitate to talk to
the foster parent of your adoptee with any questions about your new
dog, or ask your coordinator.
Although we endeavor to find a Springer for every approved applicant,
the process of rehoming dogs has no guarantees. All things are taken
into consideration when we consider the placement of each dog.
by Evelyn Colbath ©1995
(all rights reserved)
No reprints of this
expressed, written permission of the author.
Now that I'm home, bathed,
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,
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
I loved them, the others,
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
And take me right back?
Do you have the time to help
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?
Rescue America, Inc. is proud to offer Springers
for Seniors. This unique, award winning program seeks to
place senior dogs in the homes of Senior Citizens (sixty years plus).
It is strongly suggested by the medical profession that Senior Citizens
live longer and healthier when they have a pet to care for. ESRA
believes older dogs also live longer in the care of Senior Citizens
whose life styles can accommodate the mellower dog. These senior dogs
have had a health exam, are fully vaccinated, are spayed or neutered,
and are heartworm negative. When they are placed with an active senior
who can love and care for them, the adoption fee is waived.
The Springers for Seniors logo next to a dog's
tells you that dog is offered through this special program. If you are
not a senior citizen, the adoption fee is $250. Be sure to ask the
contact person for further details.
Ruth Galvan and Avery
Dogs for Senior Citizens
by Caryn Pola
It was the kind of call all rescuers
dread. A local veterinarian had an 11 year old Springer spaniel named
Ginger, who had been left for euthanasia. There really was no medical
reason for her to be euthanized. Ginger had some leaking of urine and
her family had decided to dispose of her. The veterinarian had been
trying to place her in a new home for about three weeks. They hoped
rescue would help. English Springer Rescue America sent out the call,
and a foster family, the Van Mullens, quickly responded. Ginger went
home with them. Mae, Ginger's foster mom, could not believe how active
and social this wonderful dog was. Ginger would chase a ball till Mae's
arm felt like it would fall off. Even when half-asleep, Ginger had an
eye on her ball.
After some time and no new home on
the horizon, Mae placed an ad in the paper talking about her wonderful
foster dog. One who answered the ad was an administrator of a group
home for active senior citizens. Ginger went over to the home to meet
the people there. The corporation that ran this group home had strong
beliefs that people need animals. Each of their homes had a resident
cat and dog. It was to one of these homes that Ginger was to become a
Concerned about who would care for
her and about her piddle problem, her foster mom asked a lot of
questions. Her favorite answer of all was that the home was not worried
about Ginger's piddle problem, as some of their seniors had the same
problem! So Ginger is a proud family member and has her place of honor
in the home. Ginger is loved and walked by the seniors and the staff
members and there is never a shortage of people to throw her ball. She
will be safe and loved for many years to come.
Another wonderful adoption happened
when the call came in from concerned children. Their senior mom had
lost her Springer after 15 love filled years. Their mother was very
depressed, had stopped eating, and was having problems sleeping. They
came to see Duffy, a Springer rescued from a local animal shelter.
Duffy had failed a previous adoption because he could not keep from
jumping in the pool. Duffy went home to his new mom and they became
fast friends. The first night, Duffy climbed into bed with his new mom,
and she reported that it was the first night's sleep she had since her
beloved dog died.
English Springer Rescue America,
ESRA, a non-profit all volunteer group, has a program to place senior
dogs in homes with Senior Citizens. It is strongly suggested by the
medical profession that seniors live longer and healthier when they
have a pet for which to care. ESRA believes that senior dogs also live
longer in the care of Senior Citizens whose life styles can accommodate
the senior dog. Dogs 10 years and older have had a health check up.
They are fully vaccinated. All Springers placed by ESRA are spayed or
neutered and heartworm negative. They are placed with an active senior
who can love and care for them. The adoption fee is waived. ESRA has an
additional program available for any family interested in an older dog,
or dog with some medical problems, where the adoption fee can be
reduced or waived.
Caryn Pola is currently President of ESRA and has
member since 1999. She is a foster mom and usually has several
Springers in her home. She has been Fundraising Chair since 2000 and is
a member of the Board of Directors of ESRA.
Do you feel you
need to give up your English Springer?
What problems are you having?
have answers that will allow you to keep your English Springer.
Thanks to Wonder
Puppy and the DFWESSA, the links below provide
very comprehensive information, solutions and answers to many questions
you may have. Though ESRA did not create these linked pages, and is not
responsible for the information presented, these links may help solve
your problem, and result in you being able to keep your English