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Author Archives: Darcey Dyson


Many of you know about Victoire, the dog who had been living semi wild in the village in which the ScPA is located and providing the refuge with a regular supply of pups. In fact some of you may have adopted her pups. When Victoire and her remaining pup, Vita, were brought to the refuge last month, thanks largely to volunteer Patricia, it was a day of much celebration. More so when Vita was adopted shortly afterwards. But the chapter would only be closed once mum, Victoire, was adopted too.

Today this happened. Victoire left the refuge for a new home. Her new family came to the refuge to ask about puppies, and as luck would have it, Victoire was on her way out for a walk (with her saviour, Patricia, rather appropriately) . Apparently the attraction was instant; all talk of puppies was forgotten as the family fell under Victoire’s spell.

This girl is now four years old and before her arrival at the ScPA had never known love. She was not at all snappy, but was understandably very wary of humans. The staff and volunteers have worked wonders with her, and the fact that she is ready to leave today is testament to that. Yes, she is a bit nervous still, but so are many of the dogs in the ScPA’s care. And with love and patience anything is possible!

Although we have loved every single one of Victoire’s babies, and hope that they are all happy, it is far better to stop the cycle. Of course Victoire is now sterilised, and her finding a happy home brings to a close a very long and frustrating chapter. We wish her all the happiness in the world and thank her new family for giving her a home.

brown spaniel type dog with green eyes

Victoire – ADOPTED

What fabulous news on which to end a busy and largely positive week.

Four fabulous adoptions

Today there were four further adoptions as well as some very welcome rain…..But it can stop now, thanks, we have had enough!

First of the day’s leavers was Blacky, a young pointy-eared shepherd cross who arrived at the refuge at the start of June. He was not identified in the legal sense, but he was wearing a collar which had his name and a phone number. However no one responded to the numerous phone calls and no one came to collect him, so Blacky waited in the hope that a new home would not be too long away.

He is a young sociable dog, and he caught the eye of a family relatively quickly, which is wonderful, because as his name would indicate (but which is not always the case), he is black! But of course black (and indeed Black) is beautiful as this photo taken by Dominique proves.

black dog with pointed ears

Blacky – ADOPTED

The next leaver is also black. This time it was the turn of puppy Italia, a labrador cross who has been at the refuge since early July. It has been great fun watching her and her siblings playing in one of the shady parks, and although there is one puppy left, (a little boy, Rimini), he has company as there are other pups waiting for homes too. As for Italia, we hope she has a long and happy life ahead of her, and as with all our dogs, we look forward to news and photos.

Black lab cross puppy

Italia – ADOPTED

The third of today’s adoptions was that of Manon. Now we do not often have French bulldogs for adoption, so it is understandable that Manon left soon after being brought in for rehoming some ten days ago. Nine year old Manon was perfect in every way apart from one; she hates being alone. Her new family is at home all the time, so from now on little Manon will have all the love she craves.

French bulldog


We often say that every adoption is good, but the fourth of today’s leavers has to win today’s award in terms of boosting moral. After more than nine months at the refuge, today saw the adoption of Titou. This beautiful Anglo was brought to the refuge by two former volunteers and at the time he was very nervous of people. He has shared his kennel with a number of different dogs and has increased in confidence enormously, as well as enjoying lots of wonderful walks.

Today Titou’s long wait is over. I am sure that his time at the ScPA will soon be behind him, although in comparison with the life he probably had beforehand it must have felt like paradise. But things have just got a whole lot better, Titou!

Anglo cross

Titou- ADOPTED (after nearly 10 months)

There was one more leaver today, a beagle called Nico who arrived yesterday, and who is now identified. And there were two reservations, meaning that after a day of good news, yet more is on the way.

Adoption of Serena

Today the ScPA said goodbye to Serena, a lovely fine-boned berger cross who arrived at the refuge at the beginning of July. She was unidentified and employees had to search for a name. Serena just seemed to suit her, as this girl is very calm and peaceful.

She caught the eye of a gentleman visitor a couple of days ago, and was reserved pending her departure today. She is quite a nervous dog, and initially showed some wariness towards her new dad, but he is very gentle and is prepared to take his time getting to know her. Everything looks set for a bright future for this lovely girl who has just turned five years old.

shepherd cross

Serena – ADOPTED

So a short but sweet blog tonight, but the start of a new life for the sweet Serena.

Adoption of Neigo

Today two dogs who had arrived over the past day or so were reclaimed, and Tyson, who had been waiting since June, finally left with his owners and the correct paperwork needed to own a categorised dog. Not only that, lucky Neigo was adopted!

This lovely young lad was brought to the ScPA at the beginning of May having been found straying in a nearby village with another dog. Both were in a terrible state, literally crawling with ticks and fleas. Apart from that they appeared to be in good health, although we subsequently found out that the dogs had been straying for some time and had been fed by kindly locals, which explained why they were not particularly thin.

They soon got into the swing of life at the refuge and, before the heatwave started, both enjoyed some wonderful walks thanks to the volunteers.

Against all our expectations Neigo is the first of the two to be adopted. Of course he is fabulous, but he is male and black, which many people know can mean a long wait. We love being wrong sometimes, though! Lucky Neigo has left for what we are sure will be a wonderful new life, and surely Kara’s turn will come soon.

black dog with medium long hair


We are hoping for more good news tomorrow, and in the meantime, here is a photo of beautiful Kara. Okay, to some extent this is just an excuse to share one of the many fabulous pictures taken by volunteer Dominique. But it may also help attract some attention to Kara, who has just turned two years old and would love to have the same luck as her friend Neigo and find a home very soon.

malinois holding a stick

Kara – still waiting

Four adoptions and two dogs are reclaimed.

We had four adoptions today and two dogs were reclaimed, so despite the mega high temperatures, it was a good day.

First to leave was pretty little spaniel cross Cléa. She hadn’t been at the refuge for long, so it is wonderful that she has a home already. There are a lot of spaniels at the refuge at the moment, meaning lovers of this breed have plenty of choice, but little Cléa obviously had that special something that attracted her new family! Isn’t she adorable?



In fact none of today’s leavers had been with us for long. Second to leave, Biscuit was found and brought to the refuge earlier this month, although by the time he arrived he had already spent a couple of days with a local vet, who, like staff at the ScPA, were sure that a dog like this must have a loving home and a family who was missing him. However we should all know better, really. Dogs who are perfectly well behaved and affectionate are lost every day, deliberately or otherwise. And as a scarily high proportion of them are not identified (despite laws to the contrary), there is no way to contact their owners. Biscuit was reserved once his ten days’ pound time was over, and today he left for his new home.

Biscuit (now Teddy) – ADOPTED

Next to leave was Cupidon. He arrived in mid July in an appalling state, and it was only once a volunteer groomer had been to tidy him up that we could see what a fabulous little dog he was. He was already identified, and had actually been brought in thanks to the ScPA’s cruelty inspectors, apparently his owner thought it was perfectly normal to tie a dog up without water or shade and with dirty matted fur. This lovely friendly young lad is hardly recognisable today and he has left for a life of joy and love. Many thanks to his new family, who loved him even when he looked at his worst!

bichon cross

Cupidon – ADOPTED

The day’s final adoption was that of Pastis, the last of the border collie cross pups. Yes, there is always a last to leave, but very often it is worth the wait. Such will surely be the case for little Patis, who has gone to live with a family who have another dog and plenty of experience with border collies. A wonderful life awaits.

Pastis – ADOPTED

Léa, an elderly beauceron, and Jack, a tiny yorkshire, were both reclaimed so that makes a total of six fewer dogs at the refuge tonight. As I say, it was a good day, and we hope there are more to come.


Two for Tuesday!

Today little beagle Tango left for a new home, and that is excellent news. We seem to get quite a few beagles at the refuge, and this can give the breed a bad reputation. But as many of us know, they are great dogs. Yes, they can have a tendency to follow their noses, but they are also renowned for being hugely affectionate and also, once they are suitably tired out, serious couch potatoes.

A family came to visit Tango yesterday, returning today to introduce him to their own dog. Everything went well, and so Tango, who is just a year old, has a new home. That is quite a quick turn around, as he only arrived at the end of June.



Today’s other leaver is even better news, if that is possible. Last week Coucoune, a small, elderly dog was brought to the refuge following the death of her owner. It is always tragic when this happens. The poor dog is bereaved (yes, animals do grieve) and then finds themself locked up in a concrete kennel, when they have been used to love and affection all their life. Although in Coucoune’s case, her owner had actually rescued her from previous mistreatment, so she has known bad times as well as good.

But the good times are set to continue! It is very rare for family members to come to collect a dog following the death of a relative. However much people like to assume that their family will step into the breach, anyone in rescue knows that families are often unable or unwilling to take on what is (or at least should be) a new family.

Not so for this girl, however. The owner’s nephews kept their promise to help out if needed, and today Coucoune, at 11 years old, left for her new life. So that is one more dog who does not have to suffer alone in the heat of the refuge, like so many other dogs.

Many thanks to them, and we hope that Coucoune has many happy years ahead of her.

small jagd terrier

Coucoune – RECLAIMED

So that was yet another good day, and there were a couple more reservations, too, meaning more happy news is on the way.

Oh, we must also say a massive thank you to the volunteer who came along to the refuge yesterday to descruff little bichon Cupidon. He had been brought to the refuge following mistreatment, and his coat was in appalling condition, matted and full of knots. Just look at him now!

Cupidon post haircut.


Two more lucky leavers.

Two more adoptions took place today both  of dogs who were brought in by their families for rehoming, meaning that the ScPA already had lots of details about them and their behaviour.

The first of them, Pompom, had been adopted from the refuge before, but was brought back some three weeks ago by his family who could not cope with the jealousy he demonstrated towards the two other dogs in his family. They had been warned of this, of course, but thought it would be manageable. It was not. Now, however, Pompom has a family with no other animals, where he can rule the roost. We are sure he will be very happy, he is a great little chap, really affectionate with people, just not good at sharing!

Pompom – ADOPTED

The other adoptee is Nela, a magnificent shepherd cross who, like Pompom, was brought in by her family who could no longer keep her. They told us that she is fine with dogs, cats and children, and with a CV like that it is not surprising that her time at the refuge has been thankfully brief. We are hoping that her time behind bars is soon forgotten as this lovely girl restarts her new life.

brindle shepherd


It looks like people might have heeded the numerous warnings about firework displays this year, as for once the ScPA has not seen an influx of lost and terrified animals. So, along with two great reservations, that is more good news for today!

Two adoptions and some heat-busting DIY

Today the SCPA was open despite the fact that it is both Sunday and Bastille Day. And it proved to be well worth it, as there were two adoptions!

First to leave was puppy Venisia, one of a litter of five labrador cross puppies who arrived at the refuge 10 days ago exactly. It would be very unusual for a litter of pups to be reclaimed, but it has happened in the past, and so the pound time has to be respected. Venisia, like her brothers and sisters (there were 3 of each) is simply adorable, and we have already received a photo of her, now renamed Gaïa, looking even cuter than she did at the refuge! Many thanks to her new family and we look forward to more news and photos of her as she grows up.

black lab puppy

Venisia (now renamed Gaïa) – ADOPTED

Today’s other adoption was that of Bailey. He is a stunning cream coloured border collie cross who arrived at the refuge about 6 weeks ago having been found in a nearby village. An adorable boy, he is fine with just about everyone and it was wonderful to see him playing with his new family’s other dog, a tiny jack russell / pinsher cross. We do not know what his life was like before the refuge, but it looks like it is going to be fabulous from now on!

pale dog

Bailey – ADOPTED

The final news of the day is welcome for anyone who has been concerned about how the dogs are coping in this searing heat. Well never fear, the DIY Team, led by Philippe and ably assisted by Thierry, Michelle and others, have been on the case. The lucky dogs in the lower kennels are now able to refresh themselves thanks to the new misting system. This is something that can ben seen in some fruit and vegetable stores, whereby a gentle cold spray is released downwards from a narrow hose. The cooling effect is remarkable and the temperature in the kennels is already much lower.

spray being released from hose

Misting System

It is wonderful to see these improvements taking place at the refuge, and shows the dedication that the staff and volunteers have towards the animals in their care. Several of you lovely DRC supporters have already sent donations with a view to helping to keep the dogs cool, and assuming this system can be rolled out to other boxes, you will soon see the results of your generosity!

Have a lovely evening for those of you in France, but remember to keep your pets safely inside!

Adoption of Stewey and Elvira

Today saw the adoption of two more lucky dogs, and in this blistering heat, they are doubly lucky to no longer be in concrete kennels. Of course staff and volunteers do their best, but with limited park space and limited shelter, there is only so much that can be done. And there were four more arrivals today, too, so the numbers, along with the temperatures, are creeping up and sadly both are probably going to continue to rise as summer goes on.

But on to the day’s good news. The adoptions!

Stewey, our initially timid but now extremely  friendly fox terrier, has been given another chance in a new home. There have been a couple of people interested in him, but so far no one has taken the time to let him settle in and find his feet. We have always said he needs another canine pal, which he now has. Our only reservation this time concern his relationship with cats; we are told by his previous families that he is not good with felines, but his new owner has watched his behaviour in the cat house and is certain she can deal with any issues. So it is fingers crossed for Stewey; let’s hope this time it really is the right home. He is a lovely boy and so deserves to have stability at last.

brown fox terrier

Stewey – ADOPTED

Second to leave was Elvira. She is a chunky looking dog who arrived at the refuge in early May. She might look like a categorised dog, but one of the measurements doesn’t fall into the scale, so she avoids all the annoying permitting procedure. This is ideal for people who, like most of us, agree that breed specific legislation is nonsense. We usually have a couple of dogs who look like they might need papers but don’t, so if you are looking for such a dog, please get in touch.

In any case, Elvira is a lovely dog, although definitely NOT okay with cats! Her new family don’t have any felines, needless to say, and so everything looks rosy for Elvira’s future.

Brown and white chunky looking dog

Elvira – ADOPTED

Despite the heat the refuge is open tomorrow afternoon, as it is every day. Dog walking is taking place in the mornings for the most part, but visitors are welcome, especially ones who come to adopt!

Adoption of Vita

I cannot begin to express how happy everyone is at today’s sole adoption. Although there is one very important step to complete, the departure from the refuge of this puppy marks the end of a very long and sad cycle.

Vita is the puppy of Victoire. This beautiful dog has been straying near to the refuge for several years and supplying the refuge with a regular supply of puppies. Attempts to catch her were constantly stymied by the residents of a certain area of Berriac who have, shall we say, an interesting attitude to stray animals. It was thanks to volunteer Patricia and a team of employees that Victoire and her last remaining puppy were finally brought to the safety of the refuge. And yes, it is safety. Victoire is now sterilised, and the horrid cycle of litter after litter is over. No one knows how many pups have been killed on the roads or otherwise, but perhaps in this case ignorance is bliss. Some of you have puppies from previous litters, and it is heartbreaking to think of their siblings suffering, as many of them no doubt did.

Vita’s start in life has not been the best, as you can see. Arriving at the refuge at the age of 6 months, she had known no human contact. She is shy and timid, clearly with everything to learn, but with her whole life ahead of her.Today she left for a new home with a family who have several cats and a wonderful record with the ScPA, as they also adopted Laly in December, who is now very much loved and very settled. It is wonderful that the same stability now awaits Vita.

Spaniel cross pup


Four year old mum Victoire is still looking for a home, and that will finally draw a happy line under this long and frustrating episode.

spaniel mix dog

And here she is with mum Victoire, who is still looking for a home