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Movin' On With Nellie: Cocker rescue grew from young girl’s dream

Posted: Friday, Jul 5th, 2013

Schroeder, adopted from the Rocky Mountain Cocker Rescue, is now a PTSD service dog for his new owner.

DENVER — By day she is the mild mannered project manager, by night and weekends she turns into Super Woman.

Since launching Rocky Mountain Cocker Rescue (RMCR) in January 2009, Kathryn P. Glass and her heroic volunteers have rescued 570 abandoned and abused cocker spaniels. The 40 RMCR volunteers, grown from four, would all agree that she is the super hero for the lost, abandoned, abused and neglected cocker spaniels in Colorado.

“The Lord gave me a heart for cocker spaniels.” Kathryn, president and founder of the 501(c)(3) organization that began as a dream from a small farm girl near Grand Forks, North Dakota. On that farm, Kathryn says, “I fell in love with my aunt’s cocker spaniels.” She knew she would have cockers when she grew up because she just loved how their ears flopped in the wind as they ran, and loved their “wiggle butts” and the endless affection the breed gives its human. “I absolutely can’t imagine doing anything else.”

But it was a stray buff cocker spaniel in January 2009 that a friend brought to her which drove her to create the state certified cocker spaniel breed rescue. Quickly she and her friend slapped a web site together; and within two weeks they found an adopter in Longmont for this disheveled but healthy creature. Kathryn says, “He had been on the street for a while so we paid for the veterinarian exam and inoculations as well as to have him groomed.”

What makes the RMCR so different from other rescues is that RMCR is based on a business plan and organized as a non-profit. With $700, she and her friends purchased their business license. Officially on February 17, 2009, they received their title 501(c)(3 nonprofit and incorporated organization notice. Within three weeks, RMCR had a first-rate web presence—thanks to Michi Burks from Aurora. Still in 2013, they are the only state-licensed cocker spaniel rescue in Colorado.

Youngest of four children, Kathryn was a shy little girl and played with her dog and neighbor’s dog more than with other children. “I love their faces; love how their ears spread like wings when they run; I love the breed,” she confesses, “and people tend to love dogs from their childhoods.”

“Cockers have few health issues,” Kathryn says. As a smaller breed, they do well in apartments or on farms; they are very active, love to hike, and happy to hang out on the couch. “I love their personality, and that they are known as ‘Velcro dogs,’” she said. When the cocker is raised around small children, the dog can be a wonderful family pet.

“Our goal for the Cocker Rescue is to rescue rehabilitate and re-home adoptable cocker spaniels; to save as many lives as we can; turn them around and give the dogs the best life they can have. We want loving homes for these pups,” she says.

Cockers do not thrive in shelters, away from their people. In those circumstances, she knows those cockers do not show well for adoption. “But with rescues like ours, we can get them out and show people how wonderful they are with their true personality.” RMCR works through issues the cockers have, and understands the breed.

Two trainers with RMCR are Catherine Tieman of Evergreen and Tanya Cardwell of Denver. These volunteers guide fosters/adopters and the canine. Behavioral issues like aggression are addressed; and the participants learn skills like being the pack leader and how to overcome a dog’s triggers. A veteran RMCR trainer for three years, Tieman is an attorney who donates her services to the rescue; and Cardwell, with the group for over a year, is a professional dog trainer in Denver.

Not long ago, six-year old Remington, a buff and white party colored cocker bit his adopter and became aggressive with other dogs. Tieman stepped in and learned Remington was protecting his food and personal space. So, she taught the adopter about becoming a pack leader. The intervention worked because Remington has lived with his adopter for three years now.

Their adoptees go to families across Colorado from the Durango area to the eastern plains. One cocker in the San Luis Valley has also become his owner’s emotional support service dog because of her posttraumatic stress injuries.

“Please consider being a foster for our cockers,” Kathryn added, “We provide everything from the food, the bedding, veterinarian costs and grooming. We pay for everything.”

Adoption and volunteer applications are available on their website at rockymountaincockerrescue.org or by calling 303-617-1939. Financial donations are welcomed as the organization operates solely on contributions that are tax deductible.

Rocky Mountain Cocker Rescue

PO Box 482, Parker, CO 80134

Phone: 303-617-1939

Fax: 303-680-6692

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