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Jan DeCraene, president and founder of Cocker Spaniel Resources, Inc., snuggles Buddy, one of the more mischievous dogs available for adoption through CSR. DeCraene, who lives in the town of Troy, was the gifted-and-talented coordinator for many years at the River Falls elementary schools. She also taught math and science, coached track in the late 1980s before retiring in 2003. Any questions on adopting, fostering or donating can be directed to DeCraene at <a href="http://www.cockerspanielresource.org">...

Former teacher dedicates life to rescuing dogs

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Jan DeCraene, president and founder of Cocker Spaniel Resources, Inc., snuggles Buddy, one of the more mischievous dogs available for adoption through CSR. DeCraene, who lives in the town of Troy, was the gifted-and-talented coordinator for many years at the River Falls elementary schools. She also taught math and science, coached track in the late 1980s before retiring in 2003. Any questions on adopting, fostering or donating can be directed to DeCraene at www.cockerspanielresource.org or 715-222-9532.

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Jan DeCraene watches fondly as a group of dogs romps in the autumn sunlight at Highview Kennels. Many of those dogs have a renewed lease on life, and they have her to thank for it.

DeCraene, a former River Falls School District educator and animal warden, is the founder and president of Cocker Spaniel Resources, Inc. (Nic-Of-Time-4-Cockers) based in Hudson. She has been working in animal rescue since 1977.

CSR provides services for rescue, rehabilitation, adoptions and/or retirement for cocker spaniels of all ages, regardless of health conditions, through placement in permanent homes, sanctuaries and foster-care programs.

DeCraene boards many of the dogs rescued through CSR at Highview Kennels in Beldenville, operated by Shelley Marshall.

Both women are united in their dedication to help dogs rescued from breeders going out of business, ads on Craig's List, owners who no longer want or can care for the animals, or shelters who simply have no room.

"I have a couple of people who monitor ads for dogs in three states," DeCraene said. "Iowa, Wisconsin and Minnesota."

Marshall said placing an ad in the paper giving a dog away to a free home is not always in the best interest of an animal.

Read more on this story and others in this week's print edition of the River Falls Journal.

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