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Author Archives: Darcey Dyson

Two Puppies are Adopted

Today two puppies found new homes. The first to leave was Nelly. She arrived ten days ago, and as she was adorable and was wearing a very expensive collar, we thought she would be reclaimed. Wrong yet again! The family who reserved her last week were delighted, of course; they too were sure they would have to make another choice!

Next we said goodbye to Antiope. Yes, strange name, and we are sure it will be changed, but she is named for one of the characters in Wonder Woman. All three pups from this litter are very poorly socialised and will need lots of love and patience, but her new family is more than prepared for this. Many thanks to them and let’s hope that the other 2 pups don’t have long to wait. It will be far easier for them to be socialised in homes, but we are caught in a bit of a vicious circle, as they need to be socialised in order for most people to want to adopt them!

Finally, please don’t forget tomorrow’s yard sale at Chateau Miaou. There is a wet-weather plan in place (we have access to a huge barn), although at the moment it looks like we might be lucky. It should be a great way to spend a couple of hours. Browse through the selection of quality clothes at super bargain prices, take part in the tombola, buy books or DVDs and of course eat (or take away) some British bangers; whilst at the same time helping to raise funds for Dog Rescue Carcassonne. There will be hot and cold drinks available, including for those of you who are not behind the wheel, some beer.

Here is a map showing the location of Chateau Miaou, but just be aware (as I wasn’t when I popped up there today) that the D119 is closed at La Force, so best come another way. Or you can drive between the fields, like I did, which worked out fine!

Hope to see you tomorrow, either there or at the SPA, which is open as it is the first Sunday of the month.











Antiope – ADOPTED

pale brown and white puppt








Hope to see you tomorrow!

Four Adoptions.

We knew that more good news was due this week, but we didn’t expect FOUR adoptions in one day! And two recent arrivals were reclaimed, so it was a good Thursday.

First to leave was Tartine. This tiny bichon puppy finished her pound time today, and the people who had reserved her shortly after her arrival have had a very nervous wait. We have no idea why her owners did not look for her, nor why this little lass was not identified (grrr), but in any case, she has a new home now, and we wish her lots of love and happiness.

Second to leave was lovely Billy! None of us have been able to understand why this dog has spent so long at the SPA. Billy was abandoned in January when his owner moved house. Since then he has won the hearts of just about everyone, but he hadn’t managed to find a home. Okay, he is not good with some dogs, but he is far from being a difficult dog. He has been adopted by a woman who spends her time between France and Sweden, and while in France he will spend his time with Reba, who came from Poorpaws many years ago. Billy deserves every bit of joy that is now coming his way.

Next to leave was Duke. He arrived in early May, and like Billy, he is the perfect dog. A Newfoundland cross, he is one of the dogs who spent time at Maxizoo on Saturday, where his behaviour was immaculate. On Tuesday a family came to meet Duke, and they returned today to make sure he was okay with their own dog. Duke now has a wonderful home, and we look forward to news and photos of him.

Last to be adopted today was Jonquille. In fact she never spent any time at the refuge. We were contacted by a family who needed to rehome her, and we managed to “match make” with a family who have visited the SPA on several occasions looking for a small female dog who was good with children. This shows the advantage of people telling us as much as possible about their dogs; we knew Jonquille fit the bill, and today she was sterilised and the adoption was finalised. Many thanks to her new family for their help in making this work.

Hendricks and Jimi (okay, his real name is Bull) both left with their owner and now both of them, not just one, are chipped. It is the law!

Tartine – ADOPTED




































Jonquille – ADOPTED






Adoption of Two Unwanted Dogs

Yes, I know, all the dogs at the SPA are unwanted to some extent, however you will see what I mean in a minute.

We have two adoptions to tell you about today, and despite being different in many ways, the dogs have one thing in common. Both dogs came in unidentified, and the owners of both dogs contacted the SPA to say that they would come to collect their dogs. Neither of them came! So today both Bowling and Louisa left with new families, leaving their old ones relieved or disappointed or perhaps ambivalent.

Clearly not everyone loves their dog as much as they should. One has to wonder if they were put off by the cost of the legal requirement to identify their dogs. In that case, perhaps they should have made sure their dogs were never in a position to be brought to the SPA. After all dogs who are safe with their owners are not brought in. But as I said, maybe they didn’t really care that much.

On the plus side, of course it is good news for both Louisa and Bowling. In fact we have no decent photos of Bowling, because we were sure early on that his owner would come. The dog was just so perfect, we could not believe he would be left once his owner knew where he was. And as for Louisa, she appeared to be so poorly socialised when she arrived that perhaps a new home is the best thing for her too! We can’t help but think that if the owners HAD come to reclaim their dogs, then today’s adopters would have each chosen a different dog, meaning that four dogs would have left, not just two…..

More responsible ownership is the way ahead. Or maybe some people should just not get dogs in the first place!

Bowling – ADOPTED
golden lab cross











Louisa – ADOPTED

pale spaniel cross

Pools and Puppies

It has been a quiet week in terms of adoptions so far this week, although we know that some lucky dogs will be leaving later in the week.

Yesterday two dogs arrived and departed and one of them, Reglisse, is 17 years old! Incredible that he should have not been identified all this time. If yesterday was not the first time he has gone wandering, it was certainly the first time he had been brought to the SPA. We are glad that his owner loves him enough to collect him, I must say, our hearts sank at the sight of yet another oldie arriving. Despite the fact that this lad was lucky enough to find a spot in the relative cool of the infirmary, far better for him to be at home with his family.

On the subject of keeping cool, thanks to those of you who have donated paddling pools for the dogs. We put an appeal out on Facebook, and straight away we had people coming along to donate old (or new) pools. We really appreciate your generosity, and so do the dogs! Before tonight’s torrential rain, this was the first water some of the dogs have seen since their arrival (other than that used for cleaning their kennels, of course)

Three dogs who are not quite sure what to make of their pool are our little pups, The Wonder Woman Litter. One boy (don’t worry, he is named after a male character) and two girls, these three were found in the wild and caught thanks to the efforts of a team of volunteers and staff. In need of socialisation, they are four months old and going to be small to medium adults.

Why not come and meet them or some of our other lovely dogs?

17 year old Reglisse – RECLAIMED
scruffy old terrier











Puppies Zeus, Hippolyte and Antiope

black and tan puppy


Two Adoptions and Many Thanks to Maxizoo

So how did the week finish? Well for a start we had the adoption of puppy Sesame. He was reserved last weekend but his new family were unable to take him home until today. However as they are friends of Isa, she decided to look after him for a week so that he would not be lonely at the SPA, all his siblings having left. Today he went to his new home, and has already been renamed Ranger!

Today the SPA was invited to Maxizoo. This pet store (which does not sell animals, incidentally) has been running a recent campaign to collect tins of cat food for an organisation of their choice. And lucky for us they chose the SPA. Since the 13th of this month we have watched the pyramid of tins grow ever higher. And to end the campaign, volunteers spent the day at Maxizoo talking to customers and accepting donations for all the animals at the refuge. As ever we are grateful for the generosity of our supporters, and also to the managment and staff of Maxizoo for thinking of us and for their hospitality. As well as bags and bags of dog and cat food and toys, the grand total was 1085 tins of cat food!

Many thanks too to everyone who visited us with their dogs, especially the dogs we knew from the refuge itself. So lovely to see them all looking so well and happy.

Back at the SPA we had the adoption of Rex. He was abandoned in April when his owner decided he no longer had time to devote to his dog. Poor Rex, at seven years old, would he find love again? Answer : a very big yes. For a start, all the staff and volunteers loved him, as Rex is adorable! And then yesterday a couple who had recently lost their brittany spaniel came to look for a new Brittany and were instantly drawn to Rex. They returned today to spend more time with him and they were smitten. Great news for this lovely lad.

So two dogs are in new homes tonight and the dogs and cats of the SPA have lots of new treats thanks to our friends at Maxizoo.

Sesame (now Ranger) – ADOPTED
puppy with striped face











brittany spaniel









Many thanks to Maxizoo

ots of donated dog food





Five Dogs Reclaimed, Three Adopted!

No fewer than 8 dogs left the SPA today. three were adopted but five of them were reclaimed by their owners, which is good news, especially as only one of them was identified before they arrived at the SPA!

The Pyrenean mountain dog and his foxy friend who arrived on Saturday are now identified. As is Lea, who arrived nine days ago. Templeton and Looping had been with us almost as long, with Looping being the only dog who was identified, even if we were unable to contact his family by phone. All five of them are now back at home, so should they go missing again, they can be reunited with their owners in a more timely manner.

Please, if you know your dog is at the SPA, collect him or her as soon as possible. We know that sometimes logisitics get in the way, but just think how your dog must feel. Alone, confused and above all HOT. The SPA has a legal obligation to vaccinate all animals for their protection, as well as feed them and clean their kennel. This has financial implications, of course. But most of all for your dog’s well-being, we want them out and home with as little delay as possible. And if you know your dog is at the SPA but have no intentions of collecting him, then at least come in to let us know. It makes the rehoming process much easier if we know the dog’s history, plus we can mix him with other dogs (if appropriate) or put him up for adoption immediately, without his spending ten days in the pound. There are at least two dogs at the SPA in this position. It is not fair on anyone!

Okay, rant over, onto the adoptions!

The first one is no surprise. Ondine now officially belongs to Angelique. She has been in foster for 2 months since being found after her “great escape”, but the paperwork was only finalised today. This is a match made in heaven and it is wonderful being able to follow Ondine’s progress. She is doing remarkably well, thanks to love and patience, which always go a long way to making a happy dog.

Second to leave was Iktus. His story is quite a sad one, as his owner has gone for long term medical treatment and had no option other than to bring his beloved dog to the SPA. Iktus is a big powerful lad, the sort of dog that can spend a lot longer than three months in a refuge. We are delighted that he has a new home and many thanks to the few strong volunteers who have been walking him. I was not one of them, I must point out, although I have been happy to cuddle him.

We also said goodbye to six year old Moby. When he arrived at the SPA in mid May following his owner’s house move, Moby had never been to a vet his whole life. He was in quite a poor state, unsurprisingly, so the SPA might have been the best thing that happened to him. Okay, he has had six weeks or so at the refuge, but his life has just taken a turn for the better!

So there is a bit more space at the SPA than there was this time yesterday, and eight happy and / or relieved dogs. What else will the week bring?

Ondine – ADOPTED
black and white photo of small fluffy dog









Iktus  – ADOPTED
huge tricolured dog









German shephers husky cross

Adoption of Mouse

Today saw the adoption of Mouse. This little girl arrived two weeks or so ago and was an instant hit. Small, wriggly and determined to jump into your arms, Mouse is just 18 months old. We knew she would go quickly, and sure enough she left for her new home today. Lucky little girl, getting out of the heat so soon.

One dog who is not as lucky is Amy. Yesterday we spoke about dogs who arrive at the SPA following the death of their owners, and by coincidence yet another one arrived today. Amy is nine years old and was brought to the SPA by the Mairie of her village. We do not know if her owner had family or not, but Amy is now at the SPA and will be sad and disoriented. Moreover at nine years old, she might not find it easy to find a new home. We don’t know too much about her as yet, and obviously we are unable to ask her owner, but she appears to be gentle and adorable and doesn’t pull at all on the lead. Admittedly it is early days yet, but we really hope that Amy will find a loving family soon. As an oldie, her adoption fee is just €80, for which she will be vaccinated, sterilised and identified.

For now, though it is a concrete kennel for her. A reminder yet again to make sure that provisions are made for your animals should anything happen to you. If you love your dog or cat, do you really want them to find themselves behind bars?


tiny black and tan dog









Amy – looking for a new home following the death of her owner.
chocolate brown fine boned dog

Oldies Find Happiness

We had a lovely adoption today, that of Chips. He only arrived on Saturday, abandoned due to the death of his owner. It is always tragic when this happens; the last thing anyone wants is for their beloved pet to be brought to a refuge when they die. Sadly however not everyone is lucky enough to have a family member who is able or willing to take care of the dog. In Chips’ case, at least he was brought to the SPA in a responsible manner, ie by appointment and by giving the SPA the maximum amount of information possible about his character, likes and dislikes.

Knowing that Chips was fine with other dogs and children meant that all we needed to do was test him with cats. A dog who is okay with all three is easiest to home. Plus in this case it meant that Chips was easy to foster, and Carole fell for him instantly. Not only that, the SPA already had a prospective family in mind, so even before Chips’ arrival, we had match-made him with a couple who had contacted us to say they were looking for a calmer, elderly dog.

So lucky Chips went straight from the SPA to spend the weekend with Carole (many thanks!), and today he went home with his new family. Okay, we are sure he would have preferred to be with his original owner, but things have not worked out too badly all in all!

And on the subject of oldies who arrived following the death of their owners, Tis, who went home to be fostered by supporter Jane, has done pretty well for himself, too. Despite his many quirks (like preferring to sleep amongst her shoes, rather than in the luxury bed bought just for him), Tis, now renamed Alfie, has wormed his way into Jane’s heart. Lovely to see him crashed out on the tiles, not in a baking hot concrete kennel at the SPA. Many thanks to her and to all our other fosterers who help the SPA oldies live in comfort.

I guess the lesson is to not assume that your family will take care of your animals should something happen to you. We know all too well that this is seldom the case. And sadly not all dogs who are left behind in this way are as lucky as Chips and Tis. Another of Saturday’s arrivals, Billy, is there due to the death of his owners, and there are many more dogs at the SPA and in other refuges who are in the same sad position.

black cocker spaniel








Tis (renamed Alfie) – Happy in his long term foster
black spaniel










Will 5 year old Billy find happiness following the death of his owner? 

Tricoloured setter




Relief as Spotty Dogs Leave.

Well, it has been a bit of an epic, but this morning in the wee small hours and 24 hours later than expected, the SPA’s two dalmatians left for the UK. What a roller coaster it has been. I expect Moira has been lying in a darkened room with cool flannels and lots of gin today!

All was going well until Friday night, when we heard that the transport vehicle had broken down. Okay, our dogs were not on board, but others were. And the repair was not an easy one, either, requiring the replacement of several different parts. It really was a race against the clock, not just because as with all TRACES transports, the animals’ comfort and well-being is paramount, but also because there are serious and non-flexible time constraints. The treatment given to dogs entering the UK against echinococcus is valid for 120 hours. If this time is exceded then it all has to start again. And that means redoing all the TRACES paperwork. GULP! Luckily it all worked out and Joyce and Dart joined the transport at 3am today and are now well on their way. PHEW.

Three year old Joyce was abandoned with her sister, Jazzy, in April. Jazzy (now renamed Lily) also left for the UK last month and is now doing wonderfully, and we hope the same will soon be true for Joyce. Her new family has another dog, and although everyone is confident that everything will be fine, there is a foster family on standby just in case. So whatever happens, no more refuges for her, and many thanks to the association Save a Spanish Spot, who saw our urgent appeals and got in touch about both Joyce and Dart. No, DRC does not set out to home our dogs to the UK, but incredibly the SPA was unable to find a family for either dog in France.

Dart was abandoned just after the start of the new year. Most people know that dalmatians do not cope well  in kennels, and Dart has found the SPA particularly tough. Over 8 when he arrived, this boy was already starting to show signs of age. The volunteers and staff, most notably Estelle, have done their best to give this boy the love and companionship he craves, but he has become less and less active, developing lumps and bumps from lying on hot concrete and from stress generally. In fact just earlier this week he had a benign lump removed as an emergency. Luckily his new mum, Mary, is a nurse, and is not at all phased at the prospect of Dart’s recent surgery. A fabulous life with a huge enclosed garden awaits this lad, and he deserves it 100%.

Many thanks to Moira for the time spent organising the TRACES and liaising with both families, especially yesterday, when keeping everyone informed was crucial. At the time of publishing both dogs are on the M20 having made it safely through the Chunnel. Whoopee!

That really IS a good way to end the week!











Adoptions of Caramel and May

We had two adoptions today to end the week. Well, the week is not over, and if all goes according to a very flexible plan, there should be a couple more dogs leaving tomorrow, but for now let’s just stick with what we know!

First to leave was Caramel. He is one of the older beagle/bulldog crosses and he has left with a lovely family who are very excited about their new companion. Quite rightly so, a new puppy is a time of great joy. The last of the younger pups was reserved today, but as he will not be going to his new home for a week, and as his new family are friends of hers, volunteer Isa has taken Sesame home so he is not alone.

One male and one female of the now 9-month old litter are still waiting for their homes. They really are amazing dogs, and we took a video of them today so you can see them in action! Who can resist?

Then we said goodbye to May. She is a lovely tiny black and white spaniel cross who has not been with us long. Pretty, lively and affectionate, this little girl has charmed us all, and her new family are already under her spell. They have renamed her Lila; a feminine name for a very pretty girl.

So let’s see what tomorrow brings. Good news is expected!

Caramel – ADOPTED
bulldog beagle cross











May (now Lila) – ADOPTED

black and white dog