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Search Results for: gus

Adoptions of Fly and Gus.

We promised you good news, and today we have two adoptions to tell you about.

First fabulous Fly left for his new home. This lovely pitch black braque cross arrived just short of four weeks ago having been found in a local village. He was not identified, and when Fly visited the vet we found out he was just 7 months old. Could this be yet another puppy who was given away for free on the internet and who just outgrew what his family was expecting?

Luckily Fly caught the eye of a braque-lover. She had two female braques and although Fly was not at all what she was looking for (she wanted a female of a non-hunt type!), when she saw his photos, her heart just melted. Earlier this week she came to see how the three dogs got on, and today she came in to take lucky Fly home.

She has promised photos of the three dogs together, and we look forward to that, because they did look truly magnificent. And surprisingly similar, in form if not in colour.

black lab cross


Next we said goodbye to Gus. This breton spaniel was abandoned in May by his elderly owner who was no longer able to exercise his active dog. His family are great animal lovers, with quite a menagerie at home. In fact they came in with another dog in mind, but thanks to the questionnaire, the employees, who know the dogs best, were able to suggest a dog who was the same breed as the one they wanted, but whose character was better suited to their lifestyle. They were happy to take the ScPA’s advice, and we are sure that everyone will be very happy. Gus and his new pal Bilou both had big smiles on their faces as they left, in any case.

Gus (with his new pal Bilou) – ADOPTED

We have more leavers tomorrow, so the week is certainly finishing better than it started.

Adoption of Gustav

Towards the end of February we happily reported the adoption of Otto. As we told you, he was one of two dogs who were left alone in an appartment when their owner moved house. Needless to say both dogs were a bit hungry when they arrived, but apart from that were in good health. Anyway, today, some four weeks later, it was the turn of his dad, Gustav.

This handsome lab cross caught the eye of a family from the Netherlands who were looking for a dog to share their life. They wanted a dog who gets on with other dogs, and ideally wanted a dog who needed them. Naturally Gustav’s story touched their hearts. They took him for a walk, then had a think, returning the following day to officially reserve this lovely dog.

A week’s holiday was planned, so Gustav did not leave immediately, but employees and volunteers have been walking him and telling him that he didn’t have long to wait! We hope to have lots of news and photos of the newly renamed “Roux” as his new life begins.

pale lab cross

Gustav – ADOPTED

There is at least one other dogs who has his bags packed, so let’s wait and see who will be leaving us tomorrow!

November brings joy to Auguste

We had another wonderful adoption today. After four months at the SPA Auguste found a new home today. Despite his name this lovely shepherd cross did not arrive in the month of August. He in fact got his name due to his resemblance to SPA resident Cesar. In fact there are many dogs who look a bit like this, and our hearts always sink when new ones arrive. Looking a bit unusual can definitely be a good thing at the SPA, when each dog is effectively competing for the attention of visitors.

Auguste’s new family did in fact look at a couple of dogs of the same type, but they finally chose Auguste and we are delighted for him. We suspect that he was left behind when some travellers passed through the area, and he has not enjoyed being locked up. His new family promise lots of lovely walks and outdoor activity, and Auguste should have a great life with them.

Tomorrow is December 1st, and that is Auguste’s third birthday, according to the vet’s estimate. What a great birthday present he has had. Other dogs are hoping that Christmas brings them joy, even if it is only in the form of a Christmas bauble! Although of course an adoption would be best of all!

There were no arrivals…let’s hope this carries on. More dogs in the warm is what we all want.

Auguste – ADOPTED

big dog with couple


Gus..two weeks on

We always follow up on our dogs after adoptions. This is to check that all is well and ensure that any niggly little problems are nipped in the bud.

Gus arrived in the UK two weeks ago. He was one of our ‘long termers’ who had lived in a kennel for two years. We always advise the adopters not to expect too much too soon and to take things slowly which is exactly what Jane is doing.

Here is what Janes has to say after two weeks ;

‘Gus arrived in Yorkshire, after a 3 day journey, cross-crossing France, England and Wales, still his happy waggy self.

He is such a character, affectionate and clever. He watches me intently as I cook every meal, and you can see the cogs whirring as he tries to work out how to get into the bin, the cupboard, fridge, cellar. I wonder if he’s memorised any recipes yet?

He probably hasn’t had much exposure to the world around him, horses, cats, squirrels, birds, rabbits, bin men, street cleaners, and these are all too exciting for the moment for us to do normal walks. Instead, we do loads of play in the back yard, and he gets lots of visitors, including the children from the terrace, who make a point of coming to see him every day. And each day, we walk a few steps outside the house, all the time increasing his boundaries.

He’s only been here two weeks, but he has learnt his name, sit, wait and let’s go.

Darren, in whose name he was sponsored at the SPA, would have adored him, and would probably have been Face Timing him every day!

Thank you to everyone who helped in his rescue, the SPA, For the Love of Dogs and Cats, Jane R, and everyone who sponsored him’.

At the end of this week another dog is off to the uk…watch this space to see who the lucky boy is!

At the SPA 2 dogs arrived, 2 dogs were reclaimed and we had a super reservation.

Gus..relaxing at home!


Adoption of Kyklos and Molly…

This weeks 2 adoptions are dogs who arrived last year, were adopted last year and then were returned.

When Kyklos first arrived he was a well behaved handsome boy who we thought would be quickly snapped up.  Time passed and like lots of young males he became a bit unruly, pulling on walks and pushing boundaries. Eventually in August he was adopted but this was not to be and back he came. After another long wait we are delighted to say that he has been adopted again!

Kyklos is typical of many a young male who arrives and all that is needed is love, consistency, and training.

Kyklos adopted!

Next to leave was Molly. Molly was adopted last September and came back a couple of months ago. She was one of DRC favourites and a dog that behaved much better out on walks than she did in her kennel.  We really hope that this time is her forever home and that she has the life that she truly deserves!

Molly adopted!

Sunday SCPA Summary

It has been a quieter week in terms of adoptions, which is understandable bearing in mind it is Christmas and there is lots going on in the majority of people’s homes. It is generally understood that this is a bad time to introduce a new dog into the family, but of course there are some people for whom Christmas is the ideal time to adopt; they have time off work and owning a dog is a long-held dream, not just a fickle caprice.

Such was not the case for Gnoky who it turns out had been adopted to be given away as a Christmas present. And an unwanted one at that. He was brought back straight away, much to the ScPA’s disappointment and disgust. However he was rehomed very soon afterwards, and his brother, Osso, found a new home too. So his return was a short one, and we hope that the people who adopted him as a Christmas gift have learned something from this experience…..Especially as when they adopted Gnoky they wanted to adopt his brother too. Talk about poor judgement as far as gift-giving is concerned!

We never stop saying it, but (all together now)….A dog is for life, not just for Christmas!

Gnoki was given as a Christmas present and brought back on Boxing day, but was ADOPTED again two days later

His brother Ossa was ADOPTED too

Other leavers this week were lovely young border collie Pooky (who had been brought in for rehoming),  and pretty little brindle girl Dolly. Neither of these two had been at the refuge for long and it was great that they found new homes so quickly.



Two long-ish termers were homed, as well. First up was Pegase, a handsome Breton spaniel who arrived way back in July with his sister Muse. As is usually the case, the female left quicker, but Pegase’s long wait is over at last. And just as wonderfully, Sand found a home. He was just a year old when he arrived in August and this can be a difficult age to find a new home. He was, to paraphrase Brittany Spears, “Not a puppy, not yet a dog”. Yes, that in-between age can be tricky. Besides which, in superficial terms Sand looks similar to many other dogs at the refuge, and people kept passing him by. In fact he was due to be the next DRC Hidden Gem, as there was no reason that he should not find a home. And QED, cos this week he left for a wonderful new home!

Breton spaniel

Pegase – ADOPTED

pale coloured shepherd cross


And then today, the last day of the week, there was what was for many the adoption of the week. Noctis had been brought in for rehoming in early August by his family who did not have the time to look after  him. He was only 8 months old at the time, so it looks like getting a puppy was the wrong decision for them, but at least they admitted it relatively quickly and gave Noctis the chance of a new life.

When this young lad arrived at the refuge it was clear that he had seen nothing in his life thus far. He was scared of his own shadow. It has taken a lot of work by staff and volunteers to get him to the stage where he can walk on a lead and enjoy playing in the parks. Okay, Noctis is still afraid of lots of things, but his fears are now manageable and he will make far quicker progress away from the refuge.

shepherd cross

Noctis – ADOPTED

We wish him and the week’s other leavers lots of love and happiness in their new homes.

A Hidden Gem – Mirabelle


We thought it was about time to present you with the next DRC Hidden Gem; the lovely Mirabelle.

I know for a fact that Mirabelle is a hidden gem, because even when people come to the refuge and specifically ask for a young, medium to large female, everyone always forgets about Mirabelle. And I include myself here, too. I have no idea why this is; yes, she is in one of the lower kennels which are less visible to visitors, but that is no excuse. Mirabelle is a fabulous dog and should really have been adopted before now, so let’s hope this “spotlight on” article gives her the boost she needs to find the home she so deserves.

Mirabelle is a very smiley dog

In fact Mirabelle did have a home until the middle of September when her owners moved house and decided not to take her with them. This is something that seems inconceivable to many of us, but as we are not in the family’s shoes, we are probably not best placed to judge. I like to think that it was a tough decision for them, because it has certainly not been easy for Mirabelle.

When your DRC friends first met her, this poor girl was cowering in the back of her kennel. She was sharing with another dog, but definitely did not feel like meeting new people, or even showing her face to the world. Moira and Jane persevered and finally coaxed Mirabelle out for a walk, and once she was out of the refuge, her behaviour changed completely. The shock of being in a noisy refuge with lots of other unhappy animals (as well as lots of happy ones, of course) had had a very bad effect on her.

Mirabelle on her first walk with volunteer Jane

Since this time, Mirabelle has settled in well and is now happy to go on walks without too much coaxing. In fact she is currently helping to “bring on” a very timid dog and is often seen in the park when there is group playtime. She really is a lovely girl.

Mirabelle was born in August 2016. According to her documents she is a malinois cross, but I am not sure about that; she just looks like a lovely mix of various shepherd-types to me. She is medium to large size and very gentle, not at all pully on the lead and already with good basic training.

She will be devoted to her family

We are sure that whoever adopts Mirabelle will be delighted with her. She would be fine as an only dog or would fit in well with a new pack.

Please help us find a wonderful home for Mirabelle. Please share if you see this post on Facebook, share it to pages for dog lovers, share it far and wide. All it takes is that one family to see the post and Mirabelle’s life could begin again.

Mirabelle is alert and active, is fine with other dog and already has good basic training, including being perfect on the lead

Four set off for pastures new in Belgium.

On Sunday we will tell you about the adoptions that have taken place this week. This blog however concerns four dogs who have left the refuge not with new families, but to find homes via another association. This initiative is down to Dog Rescue Carcassonne and is one of which we are very proud, hence this rather long blog.

Some dogs, as we keep saying, are hidden gems, and just seem to be invisible in a refuge situation. Others just do not seem to appeal to people in our region, for whatever reason. Some have behavioural difficulties, which, despite its enormous expertise, the ScPA is unable to resolve sufficiently for an animal to be adoptable. This is where other associations can be so useful.

For some eight years DRC has had a wonderful relationship with Animal Trust, a small, private refuge in Belgium. This link is thanks to Sarah, who has become a very good friend of mine. She came on holiday to Carcassonne many years ago and got in touch with DRC about volunteering while she was here. At the time she also volunteered at Animal Trust, and when she returned to Belgium, and spoke to Eline, who runs Animal Trust to see if she could help.

Dogs having fun at Animal Trust

At the time things at the ScPA were very different. Although euthanasia was no longer commonplace, the refuge was in pretty poor condition and was very overcrowded. Animal Trust gave a lifeline to a group of “no hope” dogs and the relationship got started in a very positive fashion.

While visiting Belgium the following year I went to visit Animal Trust and have been back several times since, as well as becoming friends with several of their volunteers and adopters. It is truly a wonderful organisation with facilities that are second to none.

DRC has overseen the transfer of dogs to Animal Trust on many occasions, and each time we are amazed at the speed at which dogs whom we are unable to home in Carcassonne find new families. Sometimes we send breeds that are seen as being “exotic” in Belgium (the hunt type dogs) and other times the care they get at Animal Trust, which has far fewer dogs than are at the ScPA, means that their behaviour improves quickly and dramatically.

Eline with one of the refuge dog

I should add that it is far calmer at Animal Trust than it is at the ScPA; the kennels are fewer, they are indoors and heated, and they have a large park in which the dogs play in groups during the day, complete with a lake for swimming. Plus Animal Trust, unlike the ScPA, does not act as a pound, meaning they have no obligation to take stray dogs. This is why they can control their numbers in a way the ScPA just cannot.

This latest tranche of departures is thanks to one dog, Finou. He arrived in a terrible state in mid July, and as thanks to a bit of detective work, the ScPA found out who his owners were. Without going into many details, getting away from them was the best thing that could have happened to Finou. The ScPA did not hide him, but neither did they actively search for his owners. This meant no album on Facebook and that of course meant it was hard to find a new family for Finou. Plus he is a hunt type dog who was already nearly nine years old when he arrived. Not a good adoption prospect for this area.


So I decided to ask Eline if she might be able to find a home for him. Her answer was typical; “Of course, but there is no point just sending me one dog. Who else have you got who needs help?” That is the kind of answer we LOVE at DRC.

So together with Eline and the ScPA we looked at dogs who needed a bit of a boost and a change of scene. One thing that Animal Trust are really expert at is helping terrified dogs (in fact they are often called upon by the Belgian authorities to take dogs from dog-hoarding situations). So after Finou, terrified Kaline was top of the list. As it turned out she was offered a home by the friend of a volunteer who could not bear to think of Kaline leaving the area, but had Eline not offered her a place, Kaline would no doubt still be waiting at the ScPA.

Next up was Edge, who has been rehomed several times but who needs more work before he can settle. I have to point out that this is no reflection on the ScPA or its staff at all. Edge has made huge progress in Carcassonne, but a busy refuge is not the best place for Edge, and the calm atmosphere at Animal Trust will make it far easier to work with him.

pale fluffy dog with amber eyes


Next were the two brothers, Mickey and Levy. They were the remaining dogs of 7 who were all left alone in a garden when their owner moved house. That was in August 2018 when they were a year old, but already very large. 18 months is a long time to be in a kennel, especially for young dogs, and despite the huge progress they have made at the refuge (thanks to staff and volunteers, particularly “sponsors” Corinne and Eva), no one was interested in either of these lads.

In fact of the seven dogs, not a single one has been homed to a French family. Mattie, the mum, went to a Brit, as did Sally and Sammy. Billy and Trudy went to Animal Trust in February this year (and both were homed in super quick time), and now the last two have left the refuge and will most likely be adopted by Belgians or maybe Dutch families. In any case, Eline finds amazing homes, and keeps in touch with her adopters for ever.


I did propose a number of other long termers to Eline, and without wishing to spoil the surprise, she has told us that any of them who has not found a home beforehand can come to Animal Trust in January. So you will just have to wait and see who the next lucky dogs are.

Choosing the dogs is phase one of the task. As the dogs are leaving from a refuge, they have to travel with a TRACES licensed transporter, and with special permits that are obtained from the French Government. Moira is the DRC expert on TRACES and has all the answers relating to these complex laws at her fingertips. I am nowhere near as knowledgable, but am able to fill in the forms, which have become easier with practice, inevitably.

We are lucky to know many wonderful transport companies; several of them do runs from Spain and Portugal to the UK and this is more Moira’s part of ship. I do the European side of things and in fact I have accompanied Christian from STIAC on a couple of his dog-delivery jaunts in the past. This means I know how well he looks after the dogs while they are travelling, but this level of care is universal in the animal transport world.

Christian confirmed that he had space for the lucky four dogs on his next transport, so next it was rabies vaccinations and paperwork all the way. Yesterday, once the dogs had been for a final visit to the vet for a health check, the “export permits” for the dogs were issued and it was all go go go. Carole at the refuge has become something of an expert in the paperwork too, and we always exchange a little cheer of joy when we see the final documents; it is not always easy to bring everything together seamlessly, but we have not missed a transport so far!

Of course the transport is not free. And this is where you guys come in. The fee paid to the drivers is thanks to YOUR donations. Not that it is a fortune, the drivers work extremely hard for relatively little remuneration, working in teams of two and not stopping other than for fuel and comfort breaks until the delivery is complete. And they take many more dogs than just ours, doing huge distances with multiple dogs on board. They do it for love as much as anything, but I have to say that it is quite addictive. It is really the final link in the chain for the dogs, many of whom have literally been saved from death in some of the overcrowded refuges in Spain and Portugal and beyond.

So it was a partly tearful and partly cheerful goodbye to the four lucky dogs who are starting their new lives in Belgium; of course they were much loved at the ScPA but dog hoarding is not the business of a refuge.

Dogs enjoying life at Animal Trust

So this is the end of what might just be the longest blog ever. I could write far more about Animal Trust and how lucky we are to have this link with them. Also how it is only thanks to your donations that we are able to send dogs to new lives. Moira and I believe passionately in cooperating with other associations; sometimes everyone needs a helping hand and when that is offered with such grace and generosity, it would be foolish to turn our backs.

We will keep you posted regarding the dogs’ progress, but I have to say that regardless of how long it takes them to find their forever homes, knowing that they are in 5 star care in the meantime makes me very happy indeed.

Adoption of Goltenk and Lazare’s dream is over

Today’s adoptee, Goltenk is one of the many dogs who is incredibly lucky to have made it to the ScPA. He was brought in towards the end of August by a woman who had heard his cries and helped rescue this young crossbreed from the bottom of a well. Goltenk turned out to be identified, but as his owner had been trying to give his dog away free on the internet, it was no surprise that he did not come to reclaim him. Although we are assured that he was not responsible for Goltenk’s being down the well. Hmmmm…..

In any case, today Goltenk had yet more good luck. Today he left the refuge for a new home and we hope a new life of love and happiness.

mid brown dog with pointy ears

Goltenk – rescued from a well and ADOPTED

We thought Lazare had found the same, but it was not to be. Anyone who expects a dog to adapt immediately to life outside after being in a refuge for almost 6 years has unrealistic expectations. Either of their own abilities or of the dog’s. And sadly there is a big difference between having good intentions and having the patience and understanding to allow a dog to settle in. Yes, Lazare is back, his hopes (and ours) dashed after just 3 days.

I don’t know how many times we have been disappointed like this, yet in our naivety we still believe in miracles. I guess this endless optimism (all too often unfounded) is what enables volunteers to continue bashing their heads against a brick wall.

German shepherd cross

Lazare is back. – A patient Foster family is required.

Talking about heads and brick walls, the numbers quoted in yesterday’s newspaper article concerning the ScPA collection in Place Carnot make for quite sobering reading. So far this year 610 dogs and over 400 cats have arrived at the refuge. That is a record breaking number, and the year is not over yet. And remember the ScPA is but one of many hundreds of refuges throughout France. These high figures are not unique to our region, and we are sure that the trend of receiving far more older and sick dogs is a nationwide one. No money for vets bills as well as new mobile phones and Netflix accounts, presumably.

Let’s hope that things cheer up next week.

Three Adoptions on a Tempestuous Sunday

Despite the passage of Tempest Amelie in the area, bringing high winds and heavy showers, the refuge was buzzing today. And it wasn’t just hardy dog-walkers who were about, there were also three adoptions to end the week!

First off was Luna a small and very lively Jack Russell who arrived at the refuge in July. As Luna is one of the refuge’s smallest dogs, you might be surprised that it has taken her so long to find a new home. But it is not such a surprise when you know that she is a real escape artist. Luna has been seen climbing fences like a monkey, and has managed to evade the legs of many of the staff and volunteers as they entered her kennel. Today she left with Chris and Derrick, who have been to visit on a couple of prior occasions and today introduced Luna to their jack russell in the hope that all would be well between them. And it was! So today we say farewell to lucky Luna (now renamed Doris!) and we wish her and her new family loads of happiness and doubtless plenty of jack russell related shenanigans.



Next to leave was Buster, who is a fabulous boxer cross who was adopted and brought back for rehoming shortly afterwards. That was towards the end of August, and lovely Buster just went back to sharing his kennel and going on his walks like the well-behaved dog that he is.

It is great that he didn’t have too long to wait this time. Mind you, with his stunning looks and friendly nature, it shouldn’t be too much of a surprise.

boxer cross


Next to leave was Vaema. In actual fact she left a week or so ago for a trial period, which is not something the ScPA does often, but Vaema is a special case. That is because, despite her young age (just over a year old) she has severe mobility issues probably as a result of being hit by a vehicle when she was a puppy. Both DRC and the ScPA have been looking for a long term foster for Vaema ever since she arrived at the end of May, but until recently no one was able to offer her the life she needs.

Then all of a sudden her luck changed! Vaema’s new family have another dog, and this is the main reason that there was a trial period. It is always important that a family’s dogs get on well, but even more so when one of them has mobility issues and is unable to defend him or herself if necessary.

As recent photos of the two dogs sharing a sofa prove, Vaema has found a wonderful home. And better still, her new family have decided to adopt her. Okay in the overall scheme of things it makes no difference to the dog, it is just like a marriage contract in that respect, as opposed to cohabiting. But it wonderful nonetheless, and we say huge thanks to Vaema’s family and wish them and their new pack member a long and healthy life.

black long haired dog

Vaema – from fostered to ADOPTED

There were some fabulous reservations too, so the week ended very well indeed!