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  • Adopted Murdock in December 2006 when he was 10 Mos old. He has been the best boy ever! We just learned he has Lymphoma & are devasted. I can't imagine life without him & am hoping he responds well to treatment and lives many more months!!
  • Marie, PA
  • I lost my best friend, Evie, a year ago September. I adopted her in 2006, she was 2 years old. That sweet girl was the love of my life and I miss her dearly. Thank you MAESSR for bringing that beautiful dog into my life.
  • Carrie, VA

    Customer Testimonials
    To view a video tribute to MAESSR dogs, click here

    General

    What kind of dogs are English Springer Spaniels?
    English Springer Spaniels are a high energy family dog. They are intelligent, loving and funny. They are affectionate and playful. But, rather than trying to reinvent the wheel, please go to Jan Martin's English Springer Spaniel FAQ at http://ariel-ess.com/essfaq/. It is a well-written, well-presented page that will answer most of your questions about English Springer Spaniels.
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    Rescue

    Where do you get your Springers?
    Our homeless Springers come from shelters, humane societies, good citizens who find strays, and even veterinarians. We also receive a lot of owner-relinquishments. These Springers come from a family who for some reason (e.g., divorce, moving, allergies, finances, work schedule, etc.) cannot keep them. We make every attempt to screen our dogs for health and temperament problems, but we try to accept all English Springer Spaniels. We will not accept Springers who have bitten people. The typical range of adoptable dogs is 5 months to 10 years of age.
    Shelter dogs are placed in foster homes for evaluation prior to placement whenever possible. Due to the lack of information we have about them, shelter dogs are never placed in homes with infants and/or toddlers. In fact, no dog is placed in a home with infants and/or toddlers, unless the dog has previously lived with infants and/or toddlers successfully before being surrendered.
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    Do you take your Springers to the vet before they are adopted?
    Absolutely. All of our dogs are vet checked, spayed or neutered, up to date on all vaccinations, heartworm negative, and in generally good health before placement. If there are any exceptions to this, we fully disclose that to the adopting family.
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    Do you X-ray the dog's hips for hip dysplasia?
    No, we don't. While it would be great if we could do so, we simply do not have the resources to pay to have every dog tested.
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    Wouldn't buying a puppy be a better choice?
    Springers need a lot of attention. Puppies need even more attention than adults. They need to be socialized with people and other dogs (though be careful about this before your pup has had all of its shots) and trained--both obedience (even if it's just "sit", "stay", "come", and "down") and housetraining. In general, a pup can "hold it" for an hour more than its age in months--in other words, a 4 month old puppy can usually go 5 hours before it needs to relieve itself. If you can't be home every 3 hours for an 8 week old puppy, you shouldn't have the puppy for this reason, if no other.
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    Do you ever get puppies into rescue?
    Yes, but not regularly or even often. Typically our dogs are over a year old before they are surrendered. By then, the puppy cuteness has worn off and the fact that the family has not trained the dog becomes very obvious. But, puppies usually around 6 months of age, do come into rescue occasionally. If you are patient and willing to wait, you may be able to adopt a puppy through rescue.
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    Are there advantages to an adult over a puppy?
    Yes. Puppies need a lot of time and attention that older dogs don't necessarily need. The vast majority of our older dogs are housebroken and able to stay alone all day. Puppies simply are not able to wait all day between potty breaks. Also, many of our dogs have basic obedience and some house manners. All of this needs to be taught to a puppy.
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    What about senior Springers? Why would I want one?
    Seniors can be wonderful mellow companions. They have the heart and loving temperament of their younger counterparts but without the "in your face" energy. For an older adult or someone with limited mobility, they can be the perfect pet. Also, if you are thinking about another dog, a sweet older Springer warming a corner of the couch could be a wonderful addition.
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    What about males and females? Aren't females easier going?
    Sometimes. Both males and females run the full range of temperaments. There are sweet retiring females and males. As well, there are upfront run all day males and females. It is really impossible to pigeon hole the sexes. However, when bringing another dog into the house, it often easier to bring in a member of the opposite sex to reduce competition.
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    Are there any fees involved?
    Periodically, MAESSR reviews the adoption fees and vet costs associated with our dogs. Due to rising costs of veterinary care, the Board voted to change the adoption fee structure as of May 1st, 2009

    The current adoption fee structure is as follows:

    Puppies 6 months or less $400
    Dogs 7 months to 3 years $325
    Dogs 4 to 8 years old $275
    Dogs 9 years or older $150

    We also require a signed contract that contains certain covenants that the adopter agrees to uphold during the lifetime of the dog.
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    Surrendering My Springer

    I need to surrender my Springer what should I do?
    If you can no longer keep your Springer please call our phone line or send an email to relinquish@maessr.org and someone from that department will contact you as soon as possible. If you would like to fill out our Owner Relinquishment form, it is located on the home web page under "Available Dogs" category.
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    The Interview Process

    I want to adopt a rescue Springer. What do I do now?
    Start by thoroughly considering the life style change that a dog will mean. You must give it exercise, love and attention and provide it with a routine that includes coming home from work to let it out and not stopping at the bar with friends. Pets are worth the adjustments you must make, as they return your love ten-fold, but you must be ready to have a Springer in your life. When you are ready, start by filling out our application. When describing the kind of dog you would prefer, try to think in terms of temperament rather than color, sex or age. If you are an active person or on the quiet side, look for that kind of dog. Consider all aspects of your life -- are you quiet, but have grandchildren who visit frequently? Will your current pet be happy with a Springer moving in? An accurate and complete picture of your life will help us find the right Springer for you. Upon receiving your application, a volunteer will call you to discuss it with you.
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    How long does the interview process take?
    It depends. MAESSR is completely run by volunteers. We all have jobs, families and Springers of our own. We always try to get back to applicants within a week to ten days of the application. The interview itself may take 30 minutes to two hours, depending on questions you may have and items we may feel the need to clarify.
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    Why do you ask all of these questions?
    MAESSR's goal is to ensure, to the greatest extent possible, that each of our matches works. We want the Springer we place with you to stay with you for the rest of its life. Only by asking these questions and learning as much about you as we can are we able to make these matches. Remember, we also temperament test our dogs and ask their owners and foster homes many questions about them as well.
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    How will I know that I've been approved?
    You will receive an e-mail from the volunteer who interviewed you. We may already have in mind the perfect dog for you. It's possible that there may not be an appropriate dog available for you immediately. Don't despair! The sad reality is that dogs are always coming into rescue, which means that we can and will find the right dog for you.
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    Do I have to have a fenced-in yard to adopt a Springer?
    Not necessarily, but you do have to demonstrate that you will be able to adequately exercise your Springer safely.
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    I rent, can I still adopt?
    Maybe, written approval from your landlord is required.
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    Adoption

    I've been approved, now what?
    First, please be patient. We will be looking for the right dog for you. Visit the website, look at the available dogs, see if any of them interest you.
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    How long will it take to get a dog?
    This is one of the most difficult questions. Some families are offered the right dog for them the day they are approved. Other families may wait weeks. It really depends upon the family and what dogs we have in rescue. The list of dogs that we have in rescue is very fluid. Things can change from day to day. We try to place dogs with appropriate families in chronological order whenever we can.
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    Do I get to pick which dog I want?
    Not really. Every few days, we review our list of dogs and approved families, matching the families with dogs we think will blend well. The family is then contacted. After they express their interest in the Springer, we will put them in touch with the foster family. If everyone agrees, we'll set up the details of the adoption.

    If a family is not interested in a dog, then they remain on the list, in the same position they were in previously. No one is penalized for deciding that the Springer offered was not the right one for them.

    Here's where it gets a bit confusing, dogs are offered to the most appropriate family who is waiting the longest. Sometimes, we have to drop down the list to find a family. This may mean that a family is offered a dog quickly and then not another for a while. Say, we have a dog who isn't good with cats. We drop down the list for a family who doesn't have cats. If they then say, "No, not the Springer for us", they remain where they were on the list. And we'll go to the next family with no cats. If the next 5 Springers in rescue are good with cats, those dogs will be offered to families who were passed over when looking for a home without cats.
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    What should I do while I am waiting?
    Get supplies for your Springer.
    Get identification tag for your Springer.
    Get a vet.
    Check the web page regularly.
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    Can I meet the dog first?
    In most cases, yes. In fact, we encourage families to meet their new Springer before adoption whenever possible. Sometimes, travel logistics or a dog's immediate needs make that impossible. MAESSR's resources are limited, so we are unable to assist with transporting a dog simply for a meeting. We are only able to transport for actual adoptions.
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    What about transportation?
    MAESSR always helps with transporting our dogs to their new homes. We ask that adoptive families commit to driving at least two hours to assist with transportation. Between MAESSR volunteers and other rescue volunteers we are able to transport most dogs to their new homes. There is no charge for this service.
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    Do you fly Springers to new homes?
    Because we prefer to place our dogs within the mid-Atlantic region, we have flown very few dogs to new families. The expenses associated with flying a dog are the responsibility of the adopting family. MAESSR reserves the right to cancel any planned trip if we feel that the weather or other conditions are not safe.
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    My New Springer

    Should I take my Springer to obedience classes?
    Yes, Yes and Yes! You CAN teach an old dog new tricks, and obedience classes are the place to start. Even if the dog you adopt is trained, classes will: (1) help you learn to communicate with your dog; (2) give you confidence; (3) give your dog confidence in you; (4) socialize your dog; (5) quicken the bonding process between you and your new Springer. There are many fine obedience clubs and classes being offered -- we would be happy to direct you.
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    How much exercise does my Springer need?
    It depends. Young dogs under two need a lot of exercise, but nothing like repetitive like jogging, which can damage growing joints. Adult dogs also need a lot of exercise, this is a high energy breed. It does depend on the specific dog. We will be happy to discuss with any family the specific needs of a particular dog.
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    Can I breed the Springer I adopt from MAESSR?
    No. All MAESSR dogs are spayed or neutered prior to placement. Our goal is to place our dogs in pet homes. Breeding dogs is best left to those who want to improve the breed, both from a temperament and physical standpoint, and who understand the time, work and responsibility involved in preparing to breed and actually breeding a dog. Secondly, there are already too many unwanted Springers, so why add to the problem? If you do not breed a litter, maybe the would-be homes of your puppies will adopt a Springer that needs a home. There are too many unwanted dogs in the world to justify a litter of puppies "for the kids", "to see the miracle of birth", or "to make money".
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    Will I ever hear from MAESSR again?
    Yes. A MAESSR volunteer will touch base with you monthly for the first three months after you adopt. Then you will be contacted at the six month and one year anniversaries, as well as once a year after that.
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    Why all of the follow-up?
    It has been our experience that families wait too long to ask for help. Again, MAESSR is committed to making permanent matches. One way we can do this is to follow-up with our families. There follow-ups are not intended to be onerous. Just a few minutes by phone or e-mail to see how everything is going and if there is anything we can do, questions we can answer, etc.
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    What if I have questions?
    MAESSR is available for help before, during and after the adoption. Please don't hesitate to call us. You can also find a lot of helpful resources about Springers and dogs in general on the web. See our page of Springer, general dog, and rescue links for a start.
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    What happens if the adoption does not work out?
    We are extremely careful in the evaluation and placement of our dogs. We make every effort to give you a clear picture of the dog you will adopt. Sometimes, however, a dog does not work out, and must come back to MAESSR (as the contract provides). Fortunately, the services of MAESSR are available for as long as the dog lives.
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    Can I volunteer with MAESSR?
    Absolutely, on the main web page, go to categories on the left of the page and scroll down to "Volunteer". Here you will find the volunteer application.
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