Illinois Cocker Rescue (ICR), created to rescue abandoned and homeless Cocker Spaniels, was incorporated as a Not-For-Profit Illinois corporation in November 2000 and is a tax-exempt organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

From its inception, ICR has rescued abandoned or stray Cocker Spaniels from shelters, animal control facilities, and accepted private surrenders. In addition to the foregoing, since 2003, ICR also has been rescuing puppy mill Cockers, the retired breeding stock from commercial breeding facilities. Many of these puppy mill dogs are relinquished because of ill health, the inability to bear offspring, or advancing age.  These puppy mill rescues are so incredibly innocent and sweet and in need of loving care that all who foster and adopt them become hooked on the socialization process.  

In 2006, in addition to Cocker Spaniels, we also began to rescue Toy and Miniature Poodles, a breed that is coming out of the puppy mills in record numbers due to the breeding of "designer dogs" whereby various breeds are mixed with Poodles to create hypoallergenic offspring.  In 2011, ICR codified its Poodle rescue efforts by creating Poodles N Friends (PNF), a subsidiary rescue which will focus on rescuing, rehabilitating and rehoming Toy and Miniature Poodles.

We provide a foster home where these rescues are restored to optimum health prior to adopting them out to loving, forever homes. 


The Entry to Illinois Cocker Rescue

We feed a natural diet with immune building supplements and provide a nurturing, stress free environment with a tremendous amount of play and exercise to build their overall health. The result is that the fatty tissue of severely overweight dogs is replaced with lean mass and as they lose the weight, they regain their mobility; and those who arrive gauntly thin and malnourished, fill out and build muscle tissue.


Biscuit (57#) upon arrival, unable to walk due to his weight 

Biscuit (35#) when adopted out, healthy and agile

The process of restoring our rescues to optimum health prior to adopting them out can take many months. This is especially true for our puppy mill rescues who have health and socialization issues far beyond those of our regular rescues. To help with the socialization process and so that they begin to understand the concept of eliminating outdoors, our rescues are taken outside approximately every two hours throughout the day.  At that time, they hike the property, chase balls, play with sticks, or trek through the snow.  It does not take them long to learn where every fruit tree is located on the property and eagerly await the mulberries, pears and apples each year.  

Hiking the Property                                      Retrieving the Ball

Eating Berries Under the Mulberry Tree                    Plucking and Eating Pears             

The dogs eagerly look forward to Autumn treats of smashed pumpkins and squash.

The adoption donation begins at $250 and varies according to age, breed, and veterinary work required to get them healthy.  At a minimum, the veterinary work includes spay/neuter, dentals (if required), microchip, heartworm test, as well as a 3-Yr Rabies vaccination. However, there are times when other more extensive veterinary work is required; i.e., diagnostic tests (blood work, thyroid tests, radiographs, histopath) and/or special surgical procedures (tumor removals, hernias, kidney or bladder stone removals, cherry eyes, pyometra, open heart surgery).  These procedures can be costly and can often greatly exceed the adoption donation.

Any rescues deemed not adoptable because of an inability to become socialized or advanced age spend the remainder of their days as part of the family here at Illinois Cocker Rescue.  Likewise, if a rescue is deemed not adoptable by virtue of a debilitating or continuing health issue, we supplement their diets using custom herbal formulas (see Our Favorite Herbalist with the intent to effectuate a cure).

In seeking forever homes for our rescued dogs, we ask our potential adopters to educate themselves on food and vaccinations by reading the information contained on The Raw Diet, Commercial Pet Foods, and Vaccinations.  If the potential adopter understands the information that he/she has read, is philosophically in agreement, and can demonstrate that in a telephone interview, an adoption appointment is scheduled.  During the adoption appointment, the potential adopter has the opportunity to meet all of our rescued dogs.  If there is mutual chemistry between the potential adopter's resident family (and canine) members and one of our rescued dogs, an adoption occurs and the dog can go home with his/her new family.  Note that it is not uncommon for an adopter to visit with the intent of adopting a specific dog and to go home with another quite different dog.  It all depends on chemistry.

Thank you for visiting our website.

Reba Eating a Raw Meaty Bone

We highly recommend Lupine collars, harnesses and leads.
These awesome products are guaranteed to last, even if chewed.

Illinois Cocker Rescue


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