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Author Archives: Darcey Dyson

Puppy Siblings Leave

We had two very special adoptions today. Siblings Liam and Nick left for their new homes. Usually when puppies arrive together, there is one left behind. Staff and employees always feel really sorry for the last pup, although quite often they end up getting the best home of all, experience has shown us.

However this time Liam and Nick left on the same day! So no being alone at the SPA for either of them!

And they are doubly lucky, as these two pups were the survivors of a litter of four who arrived already sick with parvovirus. We were unable to save two of them, and both Liam and Nick were very ill for a long time. A plea, yet again. ….Please please do not leave sick puppies at the refuge gates. We have deliberately left the phone number of the vet in a prominent place and surely everyone has a mobile phone these days? But in any case, Liam and Nick both pulled through, and although they are both a bit underweight for their age, they are both bouncy, healthy pups. Each with a very distinct character, of course, and both families reflected long and hard about the type of dog they wanted. Very wise!

Many many thanks to their new owners for offering these pups a home, and as ever we look forward to news and photos. We love all our dogs, naturally, but when they have pulled through against all odds, like these two, they hold an extra special place in our hearts!

There are still pups looking for homes, of course, so if you can offer a GOOD home please get in touch!

Black and tan puppy











black and tan puppy

Adoption of Idefix and Pepito!

Three pieces of good news today. Firstly yesterday Denis was reclaimed by his owner after 11 days at the SPA. It seems incredible to us that an owner could leave a dog at the SPA for so long. However that is because we all know about the SPA. For many people, especially those who live a long way away, the SPA does just not come to mind. Denis’s  owner had put posters up everywhere, but it was only yesterday that he thought of paying the SPA a visit. Still, all’s well that ends well and now, of course, Denis is identified. Had he been so earlier, the SPA would have been able to reunite him with his owner immediately.

Now to the adoptions. First to leave was Idefix. He only arrived on Saturday, and as he was fully vaccinated we were able to take him out on walks from day one, safe in the knowledge that he was protected from illness. It is traumatic enough for a dog who has had a loving home to come to the SPA, without his having to remain locked up for three weeks until his vaccinations are up to date. He is not the only one, of course, and if you are obliged to give up your dog for rehoming, we strongly recommend you follow suit It makes for a much happier dog, and possibly quicker rehoming, as dogs can go out to meet people and play in the parks.

Idefix is one of those dogs whom we could have homed many times over. Even after he left, we had three more families come to meet him. However it was volunteer Martine who was the first to reserve him, and of course she will give us news, which is always great.

Next up we said goodbye to Pepito. He is a very lucky lad. Okay, he had to spend a week at the SPA before finding his new home, but before that all he had known of life was 18 months on a balcony. Many thanks to the SPA supporter who rescued him. He is another dog whom we could have homed many times over. Pepito’s new family has been along to walk him several times already, and we are sure he is going to be loved and spoiled, which is exactly what he deserves!

We have had some new arrivals, but the sun was out and so were the volunteers, so it was a good day.


big border cross










Idefix – ADOPTED

Jack russell








Pepito – ADOPTED

small fluffy dog

Pixel is adopted!

Well, it took longer than we expected, but today Pixel left for his new home. He was one of the ever increasing number of dogs who arrive at the SPA following the death or illness of their owner, when there is no family or at least no family able or willing to take the dog. Pixel arrived ten days ago, and we thought he would leave immediately. But ten days is not too bad, all in all. Today he left with a new friend, too, so he will have a lovely life and we hope his time at the SPA will soon be forgotten.

Another dog who is putting the SPA behind him is Titou. He is the very old bichon who arrived just over a week ago. He was not in very good condition at all, and we were busy lining up potential foster families for him for when his pound time ended. It turns out his owners were looking for him, but like so many other people, they did not think of the SPA. Today they came to collect him and were had a chat about the correct way to care for an elderly dog. Sometimes the love is there in spades, but people just don’t have the knowledge to care for an animal as well as others might.

Titou’s place in the infirmary was immediately taken by another arrival, whom we have named Roosevelt. He too has arrived at the SPA following the death of his owner and was lucky to be rescued from his home by the police. Perhaps a family member will come forward for him, miracles do happen…But he is “only” ten,  and he is small, so even if not, we hope we can find him a new home.

At the other end of the scale, we had a puppy-sized package left at the gate this morning! Meet Lola; isn’t she beautiful?

white spitz









white bichon










New arrival – Roosevelt

light brown dog










New arrival – Lola

black puppy


Sanna Leaves on a Sunny Day

Just a quick blog to let you know that today we had the adoption of Sanna. She had only just finished her ten days’ pound time and being young, pretty and small (and female) we knew she would not have long to wait. Except we were sort of expecting her owners to come and collect her, as promised the day of the Sanna’s arrival. When an owner fails to show up to collect a dog, we like the courtesy of a phone call at the very least, and if necessary (and if there is good reason), of course we will keep the dog a bit longer if space allows. However when there is no explanation and no answer to phone calls, we have to think of the dog’s best interests, and in this case this meant letting Sanna leave for a new life.

We mentioned yesterday that one of Saturday’s abandoned dogs, Mozart, had been reserved. Well today Idefix, Saturday’s other scheduled arrival, was reserved too. Sometimes coming to the SPA is the best thing for a dog if the family can no longer keep him. Trying to home him privately can (and often does) work very well, but of course the SPA has many many thousand Facebook followers, as well as drop in visitors. Sometimes it is a question of just widening the audience!

Finally, we thought you might like to see this picture of Ruby (ex Suma). As you can probably tell, the weather down here has taken a very sunny turn, and Ruby is making the most of it!

white dog with blue eyes










Ruby (ex Suma) enjoying a refreshing dip!

dog in swimming pool


Papy Tiki is reclaimed

Well although we did not have any adoptions today, the volunteers are all very pleased with themselves. The sun was shining almost all the time, and between yesterday and today almost all the dogs at the SPA were walked. Quite an achievement, when you consider there are about 80 residents! Keeping the dogs happy until they get adopted is our number one priority. Thanks to everyone who came along, it is always great to spend some time in the sun with like-minded people.

We had one reservation, that of yesterday’s abandon, Mozart. Although he will not be leaving us just yet, due to family commitments, that gives the SPA time to get him back into shape. As you probably saw from the photos, he is in desperate need of a good “Angeliquing”, as it is known! Plus at present he is not vaccinated, either. But all that will change, along with his fortunes!

The big news of the day was that yesterday’s late arrival, whom we showed on the blog, was reclaimed! A volunteer out walking a dog today bumped into a woman who was searching for her dog. She has only just moved to the village of Berriac, and had no idea that the SPA was there! The volunteer told her that an old dog matching that description had been brought in yesterday, and pretty soon the two were reunited.

Tiki is 15 years old and has a heart condition, and must have been scooped up from just outside his own house, where the electric gates had shut leaving him outside! His owner was hugely relieved to find him, and we are all hugely relieved to realise that not all owners give up on dogs as they approach their twilight days.

Yes, today was a good day!

Tiki fifteen years old – RECLAIMED

old pale shepherd

Open Day Joy for Patinette

We were a bit worried about the weather today, as we had heavy rains overnight. However apart from a brief shower at the start of the afternoon, the rain held off until the refuge was shut this evening. And we had lots of visitors to the SPA, some specifically to meet the students and find out more about dogs’ food and health (many thanks to them all!), and many more to walk dogs.

One lucky girl was adopted. Today we said goodbye to puppy Patinette, and we are very happy for her. As mentioned recently, we have had several new puppy arrivals of late, and we were worried that Patinette would just get left behind. Today she is four months old and she is celebrating in style, with her new family!

However as quite often happens on open days, we ended the day with more dogs than we started with. Two dogs were abandoned by their owners who had gone through the proper process of contacting the SPA in advance. But three were brought in having been found, and two of them are very old. We are having more and more elderly dogs arriving and although the cold of the winter is at an end, it is not nice to see these lovely old dogs in concrete kennels.

Let’s hope they find new homes or perhaps even their real owners soon. And let’s hope for good news and excellent weather tomorrow.

Patinette – ADOPTED
Black shepherd cross











One of today’s elderly arrivals. His tattoo is illegible.

old pale brown dog

All Change for Slack

Excellent news today for lovely three year old labrador Slack. She arrived having been found straying earlier this month, and although she was identifed and the SPA did its best to find her owners by phoning (no answer) putting her photos on Facebook and other internet sites, and declaring on the central database that she was at the SPA, they only arrived once the pound time was over and Slack had been sterilised. So rather than reclaim her (they were trying to find her a new home in any case), she stayed with us, and just a few days later, off she went to her new home!

So no more puppies for Slack!

On the subject of puppies, however, we had three new arrivals today, all unrelated, as well as a couple yesterday. This shows that people are still letting their dogs breed irresponsibly and of course this means yet more homeless little ones at the SPA.

So a mixed blog tonight, but of course the weekend could bring great things, as we are open on both Saturday and Sunday. And tomorrow we have special guests, in the form of students from a local high school who will be giving a demonstration on dog food and health.

Come along and pay us a visit!

yellow labrador









and a poster to advertise tomorrow’s event

Adoptions of Bugsy and Zack

Today it was Bugsy’s turn to find a home! He is a fabulous beauceron cross who had been at the SPA since July 2015, and as with Gamin, no one was quite sure why. Especially as Bugsy is fine with female dogs, and until her wonderful adoption, was living with the Nadja. In fact when she went wandering shortly after arriving in her new home, it was the visit of Bugsy (who went to help find her along with two members of staff) which lured her closer to home.

As for Bugsy himself, he will be seven years old in August, and it was high time he had a home of his own! Sometimes the nicest dogs just pass unnoticed, perhaps they have no distinguishing features, or perhaps they are just in an area of the SPA that is visited less often. In any case, moving Bugsy to a new kennel, closer to the reception building, and some new superb photographs in his album (thanks to Alizee) seem to have done the trick.

That was not the day’s only adoption, either. Next to leave was Zack, and although he had not been with us for very long, this adoption is also amazing news. Before his arrival at the SPA, Zack had spent 8 hours a day locked up in a cage inside a car. Yes, next time you pity the “poor dogs” at the SPA Carcassonne, please remember that for all too many of them, this is the best life they have known. Zack is a border collie who is only 18 months old, and as he is simpy stunning, it was clear that he would not have long to wait. Just four weeks after being rescued (thanks Sylvie et al) Zack’s new life can begin.

So today the lives of two more dogs are changed for the better. As ever, though, it should not be a question of a home at any price. It is better for a dog to wait a bit longer for the right home than to leave with the first person, if they are not suitable. We love our dogs far too much for that!


black and tan dog









tircoloured border collie

Gamin is adopted at last!

Well, if anyone was wondering when the SPA would have its next miracle, the answer is TODAY! This is the reservation we mentioned last week, an old dog who had been with us for a long time. Believe it or not, beautiful Gamin has been at the SPA for a few weeks short of three years! However as is the case with all our dogs (fingers crossed), his day finally came. Not only that, he has gone to a fabulous home where he will be loved and adored. So although he has had a long wait, much better things lie ahead for this fabulous lad, who is about to turn nine years old.

Thanks to everyone, staff and volunteers alike, who have looked after Gamin so well while he was at the SPA. He had regular walkers who could not understand why no one showed any interest in him. But the fact is, like many of our dogs, he did not show his best side when people approached his kennel. Please, if you are thinking of adopting, it is worth asking to see dogs outside their kennels. You often see a completely different side to their characters.

Two of yesterday’s arrivals should be reclaimed, and we also have an offer of a possible foster home for one of the others. Thanks, we will keep you posted on progress.

And we thought you might like to know that we have two puppies who are now ready for new homes. Lia (f) and Nick (m) are probably German Shepherd crosses who, like all our dogs, deserve wonderful homes.

Gamin – ADOPTED at last!
big german shepherd








Puppies Lia and Nick are looking for homes.

GSD pupGSD pup


Rose is reclaimed and Mami finds a foster

Just a quick blog from us tonight to pass on a couple of bits of good news.

Firstly, little Mami left for a long term foster home, where she can spend her remaining years surrounded by love, rather than at the SPA, where although there is plenty of love, there are lots of other dogs to share it with. It is hard enough to find homes for elderly dogs, but when they are sick the task is almost impossible. This is why we have a system of fostering, which means that the SPA continues to pay the vets bills but the dogs can enjoy a home life with the lovely people who open their hearts to a dog in need. Thanks very much to Mami’s new family, you have changed the life of this little girl and I hope she showers you with all the love you deserve.

We have a few other dogs who are eligible for the foster scheme, so if you would like more information, please get in touch.

The other good news is that Friday’s beautiful arrival, Rose, was reclaimed. And now she is identified, of course, so if she ever goes missing again her owners can be contacted straight away.

If your dog is not already identified, once again, we strongly encourage you to get this done as soon as possible. Not only is it the law, but it means fewer lost dogs and more happy ones! Rose is back with her family and none the worse for her three nights at the SPA, but it was undoubtedly a stressful time for both her and her owners.

More news including of today’s new arrivals tomorrow.

Mami – long term foster family found
tiny hairy dog











black and white husky cross