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Author Archives: Darcey Dyson

Adoption of Faya and Merlin and do you know this goat?

Today was a sunny day with two adoptions.

First off lovely Faya, a boxer cross who arrived just over two weeks ago. At just  over eight months old, this girl risked being overlooked as a “not quite pup”, but she is stunning (and female) so attracted quite a bit of attention and we are very happy that she has not had long to wait.

brown boxer cross


Next it was the turn of Merlin, a husky cross of some four and a half years, who arrived in mid September. Like Faya he is a stunning dog, and several people expressed interest in adopting him. However he is quite particular when picking friends, and so far none of the dogs he has met (apart from his kennel mate) have ticked the right boxes. And cats are definitely not his thing.

In his new home he will be an only pet, and that is doubtless what he would prefer. So he left, smiling as usual.

husky cross

Merlin – ADOPTED

Also today the little yorkie who arrived on Tuesday after having fallen in the canal was reunited with his owner. His name is Tony (the dog, that is) and he is 12 years old and is very much loved. He is one of two lucky dogs who live with their owners in a local home for retired people (how wonderful that some elderly people are allowed to keep their beloved pets) and had disappeared on Tuesday. His owner was distraught, convinced that he must be lying injured (or worse) somewhere, and was over the moon to  hear he was at the ScPA. Tears all round, of course!

The two “missing hours” yesterday when the ScPA closed early meant that there was no news, apart from the arrival of a small goat, that is. Yes, the “A” in “Animals” can be taken very literally by some. He is a great little chap and the person who dropped him off left a message telling us where he was found, so with any luck he will find his home. And if not, well, you never know who might come along to look for a dog or cat and leave with more than they bargained for!

Do you know this goat?

The weather was great and lots of dogs were out on walks, so all in all it was a great day. Thanks to everyone who came along.

Adoption of Mabrouk

Today we had the adoption of Mabrouk, a fabulous German Shepherd who was brought to the ScPA for rehoming just last week. His family was moving to an apartment, and whatever you might think about this as a reason to give up a dog, at least they made sure Mabrouk was rehomed safely and responsibly. And they gave him a great CV. Marbrouk, we are assured, is good with dogs, cats and children, affectionate and good in the home. At just two years old, this boy was bound to draw lots of attention.

Sure enough there were several people willing to offer him a home. It is always difficult in such circumstances, and as ever, the refuge tries to do its absolute best for the dog, and hopes that the other families may offer a home to another dog in need.

As for Mabrouk, a wonderful life awaits him, and we are delighted that he did not have to wait too long before finding happiness once again.

German Shepherd

Mabrouk – ADOPTED

By the way, in case anyone was planning to visit tomorrow, the refuge is closing at 16H00, as there is a staff meeting. All back to normal on Saturday and Sunday, though!

Adoption of Paco and Pebble

Great news today, there were two adoptions

First Paco. He has only been at the refuge since just after the New Year, but this was his third time at the ScPA. And he was so distressed at being returned to the refuge after his recent failed adoption that all he did was cry. He really had no idea what he had done wrong, mostly because he hadn’t done anything wrong. And he really didn’t understand why he was back at the refuge. Especially as that was the second time he was brought back; once due to a divorce and once due to someone making an unwise choice. Life was certainly not fair as far as Paco was concerned.

But that is all over now, and it looks as if Paco has found the right home at last! This time he has a friend to play with and a family that are already well used to dogs. What’s more, they came to the ScPA with the hope of adopting a “sausage-type” dog….and not many dogs are more sausage-like than Paco! It looks like this dog’s luck has finally changed!



We had another lucky leaver today, too, although you can hardly say that Pebble has been traumatised by her stay at the ScPA. This lively dog has been with us since the end of August, although had she been okay with cats she would probably have been adopted sooner. However she is very much NOT okay with cats, and is quite difficult with some dogs. Her new family have a staffie, so we hope that Pebble will carry on being as well-behaved towards him as she was when they met yesterday. Don’t blow it, Pebble, this is your big chance!

black and white dog with big ears

Pebble – ADOPTED

Moira and I were chatting this morning about how some of the refuge long termers just need a chance to show how wonderful they are. This was prompted by this picture of Taser, who was getting his morning cuddle. This dog spent 5 years at the ScPA before finding a new home. How sad, thinking of all these wasted years! Admittedly he is making up for it now, but if only someone had taken this leap of faith years ago…..

Taser- spent five years at the ScPA before his adoption.

Dogs can surprise you; don’t write them off just because no one else has given them a second glance. There really are some hidden gems at the ScPA. Let us find you yours!


Adoption of Roki

Today was bright and sunny and all the more so because there was an adoption!

Beautiful young beauceron Roki was brought to the ScPA for rehoming in mid October and he really was as his former owners described. Good with other dogs, good with cats, good with children and even fine on the lead. But he is a big dog, and as we know all too well, in general smaller dogs find it easier to find homes.

Today however, Roki’s time at at the refuge is over. A family came to meet him yesterday and he was just what they were looking for. Great news for this fabulous dog. We look forward to news and photos, of course, as we do with all our dogs.

big black and tan dog


In other news, Bandi, a young crossbreed with medical issues who was found tied up is now safe at the refuge. His owners should have followed the example of Rocky’s owners; if you really need to rehome your dog, please do so responsibly. Leaving a dog tied up to be found (or not) is just not acceptable. Bandi deserved better and we will do our best to make sure he finds better!

black and brown dog lying down

Bandi sleeping peacefully at the refuge after being tied up and left.

There is another adoption planned tomorrow, and it is another good one (yes, I know, they are ALL good). So see you soon!

Life After the Refuge – HELDA

Many of you will have seen the newly revamped DRC Twitter feed and all new Instagram feed. Well, both are thanks to Vasuki, who has recently moved to the area from Canada and volunteered her services. She started following DRC when she was still on the other side of the Pond, and her decision to adopt Helda was made well before Vasuki and her husband even met her.

In case you are unaware of Helda’s story, she was bought as a puppy and presumably came from a puppy mill. She has several health issues, including very poor vision. Her original owners kept her tied up at the bottom of their garden, and it was only by luck that she made it to the ScPA Carcassonne in November 2017. She was 5 years old at the time and had never known freedom.

Helda and her new “brother” Atlas


Here is what Vasuki wrote this morning, but I am sure we will have regular updates!

It’s now a week since we brought Helda home. So let me recap my experience.

Knowing Helda has never lived inside, which has caused her hip and joint issues and a vision problem, I expected much more difficulty. Sure there were a couple of accidents, but she figured it all out quicker.

She hasn’t destroyed any furniture or cushions. I did catch her attempting to bite a cushion, one warning and she stopped. Instead we got creative, took old tshirts and knotted them up to get her to play and rip.

She got over her instinct to be outside as normal pretty quick. The first 36 hours, she needed to be invited in, and waited at the door every time (heartbreaking). Now she wanders in and out, and has got it.

Going up the stairs was challenging and probably worrisome to her. Denis figured out how to her upstairs (just be at her side and nudge her a bit). She was more worried about going down. Understandable due to her hip issue. Her foot sometimes slides on the tiles, but she’s got it. She now needs to learn she can go upstairs without being invited.

We started her on Omega 3 pills for her hips and a homeopathic pills for inflammation. Vet was happy with that, and noticed improvement in her range of motion. Daily walks, and plenty of play outside seems to help. Next a specialist visit to have her eye looked at as vet doesn’t believe it is cataract. We have meds that help her till then. Cost: vet (€98 including eye meds), Omega 3 and homeopathic pills €40.

Was it worth it? Absolutely, positively yes. The look her on face at Gruissan beach, the pure joy everytime she’s around us, the kisses, the affection. Priceless.

German Shepherd lying down

Helda inside!

Yesterday’s adoption of “not quite pup” Nikita

Last week Moira turned the spotlight on some of the teenagers or “not-quite pups” at the ScPA Carcassonne. As she said, some dogs arrive when they have stopped being tiny and cute, and their owners have often put little or no effort into training them. When they arrive at the refuge (usually unidentified), they can lack lead skills and often are unsure how to behave around other dogs.

Such was the case with Nikita when she arrived in mid- November. Very affectionate with humans, this dog, who had just turned 5 months old at the time of her arrival, was unused to other dogs. The excellent work by staff and volunteers meant that pretty soon she was sharing her kennel and so she made rapid progress, and was soon far happier than when she arrived.

Nikita was adopted yesterday, and we are delighted for her. We would love some of our other not quite pups to find homes, of course, and DRC plans to make them the focus of our next Instagram campaign! You can follow us there too, if you like @dogrescuecarca

Nikita – ADOPTED

There were no adoptions today but there was a lovely reservation, and so more good news is on the way!

Adoption of Stewey and Hagrid is back home.

Today we are delighted to see that fox terrier Stewey has been adopted. This little lad had been at the refuge for just short of two months, and we have no idea why it took him so long to find a home. Could it be because of the breed’s reputation, perhaps? Fox terriers are renowned for their feistiness, however Stewey was very much an exception, and had he been inside a different shaped (but still small) body, he would probably have been adopted sooner.

golden brown fox terrier

Stewey – ADOPTED

Believe it or not there are three more fox-type dogs at the ScPA, Jasmine, Spot and Cuba. We don’t know much about Cuba as he has just arrived, but we know Jasmine well, and Spot was brought in by his family for rehoming, so we know a lot about him, too. It will come as no surprise to you to hear that neither of them likes cats, but other than that they are very gentle, and so if you missed out on Stewey, perhaps all is not lost!

There was another leaver today, of a breed that also has a reputation that is often unjustified. In fact American Staffordshire terriers and amstaff crosses have such a bad reputation that their owners require permits and special insurance. Sadly, many owners only get around to applying for these when they are caught out, as it were, and such was the case with Hagrid. He has been at the refuge since mid January, while his owner got the necessary documentation and permits sorted out. However he has visited Hagrid regularly, and this fabulous dog had no doubt at all that he was very much loved and would soon be home again!

brown and white staffie cross
So that make two more lucky leavers this week. Who will be next, I wonder?

Puppy madness and adoption of Maya.

Yesterday the ScPA had 5 puppies and today only one is left! Yes, this has been one of our most sought after litters ever, with four of the pups leaving immediately. That is great for them, naturally, but please spare a thought for little Dagobert, who is all alone tonight. Bearing in mind that the refuge is open tomorrow, perhaps he won’t be alone for too long.

tricolured setter pup

Dagobert is still waiting!

The adoption of the day has to be that of Maya. Her arrival almost two weeks ago was the fourth time she had been at the refuge since September. On previous occasions she has always been collected just as her pound time was coming to an end. That is fine, but at one stage the employees were wondering if the refuge was being used as a cheap kennelling service.

This time however no one came to collect her, and although she is young and pretty, we never know how long dogs will wait for a new home. In Maya’s case, it took just two days after her pound time was officially up. That is wonderful news for her. Maya was born in April 2018, and it is great that she can do the rest of her growing up in her new home.

We don’t really have any decent photos of her, as the weather has been so rotten that taking pictures has been a bit difficult. We hope you get the idea, though!

setter cross


So it was a good day at the ScPA today and hopefully tomorrow will be another one!


Two adoptions and the ScPA has PUPPIES

We had two more adoptions today to further brighten the mood.

First to leave was Canon. I love this dog. He arrived at the refuge at the beginning of November, only to be diagnosed with ringworm. And we know what this means….isolation until the infection has been dealt with; this is not something you want to spread around a busy refuge. Or anywhere else, for that matter. As ever the staff did a fabulous job, but Canon was not happy at being alone. As soon as he was better he was mixed with another dog, and his life improved enormously.

Being black, Canon (which means “Stunner”) could have had a long wait. If his colour didn’t put people off, his slightly long ears might have. Long eared dogs have a bad rep! Many of them are not at all keen on hunting and can be as much couch potato material as other dogs.

But as we always say, it only takes one family to fall for a dog, as long as it is the right family. And it looks like Canon has hit the jackpot. He left the ScPA today with a wonderful life ahead of him.

black dog with long ears

The stunning Canon – ADOPTED

We are delighted too at the departure of Gimli. He has been adopted before, but sadly he was returned as the family’s young child found Gimli to be a bit too energetic. When choosing a puppy it is important to consider the fact that puppies want to play a lot, and until they know better can use their teeth to explore. It is never done with malice, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t hurt, and of course small children can be a bit overwhelmed. Some puppies are calmer than others. Gimli is one of the others!

Luckily for him he hasn’t waited too long for his new home, and we hope he will know nothing but happiness from now on.

small black and tan dog


On the subject of puppies, Facebook followers may have seen that we have more pups, the “Famous Five litter”. These setter pups are going to be popular, no doubt about it! Here is Annie…and there are four more like her!

setter pup

Annie – one of 5 new puppy arrivals

Another big BIG day!

Before the ScPA even opened we had the big news of the day. Leo has left the ScPA!!

Followers of the blog will know all about him; in fact anyone who is on dog-rescue sites on social media is probably aware of his story. Brought to the refuge at the beginning of October, supposedly having been found, this dog’s foreign chip made him a health risk which resulted in a euthanasia order from the local government department responsible for the refuge. In her blog of 25th November, Moira tells of the incredible efforts that were made to save him.

As most of us in dog rescue know, however, saving a dog does not end there. By definition refuges are safe places, but if no dogs leave the refuge, then we all know what happens; there is no room for new arrivals. There was a lot of interest in Leo when he was at risk. As well as the help we received, there were also threats to staff and volunteers, as well as menacing phone calls and emails from “dog-lovers”. However, once Leo was “safe”, it all went quiet. This proves yet again that it is far easier to sit behind a computer and criticise than it is to actually do anything constructive.

Luckily a German association has offered a place to Leo, where hopefully he will have more luck in finding a home than he has had in France. This morning he left the ScPA (under the TRACES system, of course) for his trip to Germany and we will follow his progress there and keep you posted, of course.

huge dog

Leo – gone to a new life in Germany

That news alone would have been enough to make the day a good one, but in fact we had two further adoptions.

First to leave this afternoon was Edge. He is an Australian shepherd cross who was brought back from a previous adoption. He is a nervous dog, and being exposed to too much too soon can cause him to panic. He will be fine in a calm house where slow and steady approach is possible. This was not the case in his last home. However Edge’s new family are taking lots of advice on how to deal with this boy’s fears. They visited a couple of times before adopting him, and already he has made great progress with them, and we are sure that he is now in a place that is right for him.

pale dog with green eyes


Then today, and after nearly eight months at the refuge, we said goodbye to Pica. When this lovely girl arrived in June last year she was extremely nervous of everyone and it took her quite a long time for her to show her true personality. A lot of credit has to be given to the employees and volunteers for all the walks and love they have given to Pica over this period. As with Edge, slow and steady wins the race, and this was certainly the case with Pica, who is almost unrecognisable when compared to the dog who arrived.

pale beige dog


So not bad for a rainy Thursday, and there is more good news to come on what will probably be a rainy Friday!