The adoption process starts when you submit an application online (see our “Adoption Application” page) or at one of our adoption events. We ask a lot of questions on our application in order to find out as much information as we can about you and your home. We do this because it helps us match the best fit to your family. Please answer every question on the application — failure to do so will slow the application process. If you have difficulty with the on-line application, please use the Contact form to e-mail us. Please note that the adoption contract is a separate document from the application. The contract will be signed at the time you take possession of the dog. If there are questions about your application or clarification is needed, you will be contacted by e-mail or telephone. We may confirm home ownership, contact your landlord and/or contact your veterinarian. We also do home visits. We will contact you to schedule the home visit at a mutually convenient time. Home visits are done by appointment…..we won’t just drop in.
Houston Cocker Spaniel Rescue has the right to either deny or approve applications without explanation. Approval should not be construed to mean the applicant can select any dog. If we feel a specific dog is not a good match, we may still decline to adopt that particular dog to you. We put a lot of effort into matching dogs to forever homes.
Please be patient. Our organization is manned completely by volunteers most of whom work full-time. If you aren’t contacted in some manner within 24 hours after submitting the application, please leave a message on our hotline at (713) 469-2414 or use the Contact Us form to send an email message.
- Applicant must be an adult with the responsibility for maintaining a household (no students).
- Home ownership (house, condo or townhome) with a fenced yard is preferred although not a requirement.
- Renters (apartment, house, condo or townhome) must have the permission of the landlord/management and may be required to show proof pet deposit has been paid.
- Applicant must have the knowledge and consent of all adults living in the household.
- Applicant must have the time, energy and financial capability to support a cocker spaniel.
- Applicants with young children are considered on a case-by-case basis.
- Adoptions outside the greater Houston area (including out of state) are considered if the applicant has vet history and/or Houston Cocker Spaniel Rescue can arrange a home visit. See information below regarding out-of-state adoptions.
The Cost of Adoption
The adoption fee for most dogs is $300 per dog (senior/special needs dogs’ fee is usually discounted). The fee for puppies and dogs under one year old is $350 – $450. All dogs are examined by our vet, up-to-date on all vaccinations, spayed or neutered, microchipped, and on heartworm preventative when they are adopted. The dog may also have been treated for other medical conditions. All dogs have either tested heartworm negative or have been treated for heartworms. We will disclose as much as we know about the dog’s health and condition. You will also receive vet records on the dog either at the time of adoption or in the mail shortly after adoption is final. It is recommended that you take your dog’s medical records to your vet as soon as possible in order to receive notice of future vaccinations due and to receive heartworm and flea preventative. All dogs must be prescribed heartworm preventative by your vet within three weeks of adoption.
The adoption fee is a donation toward the vet care for all of our rescues. Although the adoption fee may cover normal vetting and spay/neuter expenses, we will spend much more on some dogs that require extensive medical care/surgeries.
Owning a cocker spaniel is expensive. It can easily cost $1,200+ a year. High quality food, monthly grooming, beds, crates, toys, treats, etc. contribute to the expense as well as vet visits for problems over and above the annual immunization visit. Annually, you can anticipate a visit or two to the vet for eye conditions, ear infections, skin problems, stomach issues, orthopedic problems, urinary tract infections or an injury.
- First time applicants are approved only if we can verify through your veterinarian that you immunize and keep your dog on heartworm preventative.
- Occasionally we may be able to arrange a home visit but generally this is not practical.
- We prefer approved out-of-state adopters come to Houston and meet the dog they want to adopt and transport the dog back home. However, we also recognize a visit to Houston may not be feasible; therefore, we will ship dogs if necessary.
- In addition to the standard adoption fee, the adopter pays transportation costs. If the dog is shipped by air this includes providing an airline approved crate, health certificate and airfare. Our preferred shipping carrier is United Airlines. The flight booked must be direct out of Houston Intercontinental to a city near your home (no layovers or connecting flights). When shipping during the summer, more stringent rules apply because of the heat; therefore, flights must be early morning flights or evening flights.
- If the adoption does not work out, the dog must be returned to Houston Cocker Spaniel Rescue at the adopter’s expense.
Despite our screening process, inevitably some dogs don’t work out or people’s circumstances change and they need to return a dog adopted from HCSR.
During the first 30 days, the dog can be exchanged for another or the adoption fee returned.
Our expectation is that you will keep your commitment (as per the signed agreement) and will keep your pet through sickness and health, through the arrival of new babies, new spouses, new pets or new residences, and especially in old age. However, we know that sometimes things don’t work out as planned. Consequently, we will take the dog back at any time.