I'm sorry to hear of your loss *Hugs*
I'm not in that area, so I can't recommend specifically out of experience, perhaps other members may be able to. The only Kent I know is in Michigan-is this where you are looking?
Here's a cocker rescue in Michigan — Michigan Cocker Spaniel Rescue — ADOPTIONS —*RescueMe.Org
And a list of breeders in Michigan Michigan • Cocker Spaniels • MI
When I look for a good breeder, here are a few things I look for, or look for them not to have!
1) That they only breed this breed. It's very 'back yard breeder/puppy mill' to breed more then one breed; and if they breed a lot of other animals too-run!
2) That they show their breeding stock. Breeding animals because they are cute is not good enough in my books. No matter the species/breed, they should be proven in the show ring.
3) On the exact same lines, they should have health certificates for their breeding stock-especially looking at diseases/defects that the breed is prone to. They may look great and perform well, but they certainly could have genetic defects. They should have them checked before breeding.
4) They should offer health guarantees. It's not like we'd be happy getting a free puppy exchanged for an ill one, but they should offer guarantees showing they are confident in their pups they produce.
And lastly -they should be completely open and more then willing to show/prove/discuss all these points. They should know everything about the breed they are breeding and be able to answer ANY questions you have
I would recommend viewing their kennel, breeding stock and pups before purchasing if possible.