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Author Archives: Darcey Dyson

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

Adoptions of Igloo and Sofi

Today amongst the continuing heatwave, we can report on two adoptions, meaning two more dogs are in the (relative) cool of new homes.

Moira has done a wonderful job while I have been away, but today is a good day for me to get back on the horse, as I was the one who brought the first of today’s adoptees, Sofi, to the refuge. Sofi and her brother Kris were found by me and my early morning walking group at the end of May, and both dogs soon became firm favourites of everyone who met them. So why were two such fabulous dogs left (unidentified) to fend for themselves? We will never know, but they were in the “not quite pup” category, and perhaps they had just grown bigger than expected (or desired)

Both dogs are beautifully socialised and wonderful with other dogs, all the key “requirements” for a quick homing. Except they are big, and black. And that was not all. When the dogs were neuteured it appears that both had a bad reaction to the anaesthetic. Kris was less effected than Sofi, who was rushed back to the vet for emergency treatment and a period of observation.

You can read about the possible cause of this in this article which was sent to me by my walking companion the human Sophie after whom Sofi is named.

Sofi is lucky to have found a home despite a positive (but uncertain) prognosis, and it is a truly wonderful home, with a woman who is already well known to the ScPA…the adopters of Rockett! Many thanks to them.

black dog in water


Second to leave today was Igloo, a jack russell who was brought to the refuge having been found. Small dogs tend to find homes quicker than large ones, and true to form, Igloo has left the refuge quickly. Jack russells are not a breed for everyone and it is important to find a family who really wants the character of a big dog but one which is trapped in a small body. As with Sofi, we wish Igloo a long and happy life in his new home.


So some good news to greet my return, and hopefully more on the way.

Open doors for Diana and an oldie finds a home too!

Two more wonderful adoptions today.

First to leave was Diana, a young dog who has been at the refuge for almost a year. And as she was born in December 2017, , this is over half her life. Sometimes we wonder why some dogs have so long to wait; well it is partly due to the sheer number of fabulous dogs who are at the refuge looking for homes, but sometimes dogs become almost invisible. A dog like Diana, who is “just another” shepherd cross, blends into the refuge, whereas some of the more unusual breeds get more attention.

To be fair Diana arrived with no training whatsoever, and so anyone offering her a home would have had a lot of work ahead of them. However almost a year at the refuge has made a huge difference to this girl. Regular walks with volunteers, playtimes and socialisation with the staff and in the park and a few changes of kennel mate have all done wonders for her behaviour, both on and off the lead.

She left for her new home today having caught the eye of a retired couple who have a large enclosed garden and are offering her lots of love and three walks a day, as well as playtime with their friends’ dogs. We have a feeling that Diana is going to be very happy indeed!

shepherd cross


On the other end of the age spectrum we said goodbye to Flambo. This is amazing news, mainly because this bruno de Jura cross was the oldest dog at the refuge, and as with all our oldies, we worry about them in the summer heat.

Not that Flambo shows his age at all. This lad is thirteen years old, believe it or not! He can give some of the younger dogs (and some of the volunteers) a run for their money. And today, out of the blue and after less than three weeks at the refuge, Flambo has a new home! Huge thanks to his new family, who are going to join the volunteer team, too, so we will have lots of news of Flambo in his new life.

old bruno de jura

13-year-old Flambo – ADOPTED

The week has got off to a good start. What else will happen, we wonder?

Adoption of a small black dog and a big white one

Today was Pentecost, but so what? For many years the ScPA was shut on Sundays and Bank Holidays. Of course staff were present in the mornings to feed and clean out the animals and give medicines as required, but after that they were left alone for what was a long day. Things changed last summer and although it is not every day that there is an adoption, the logic is flawless. Even if no animals leave, it is the perfect time for working families to visit the refuge, and of course the majority of  volunteers are free to walk dogs.

And today not only did the dogs have lots of company and exercise, but two of them found new homes!

Little timid ratier King arrived in mid May as an unidentified stray. He has gradually been gaining in confidence since his arrival, and it is wonderful that he hasn’t had too long to wait before finding a home. Less than 4 weeks for a timid black dog is a great turnaround time, and as of today King’s life really has turned around!

small black ratier


Second to leave was Samson, and this is also amazing news. You may recall that this dogue argentin cross arrived with his dad, Goliath in August last year. Goliath was adopted fairly recently, and poor Samson started to get really sad. At less than 2 years old, one of which was spent in the refuge, this lovely boy had probably never been away from his dad.

Today a family came to introduce Samson to their dog in the hope that the two would be compatible. Everything went wonderfully, and so not only has Samson got a new home, but he also has a new friend, which is exactly what he needs. We hope his new life brings him much joy, and that he in turn brings joy to his new family. Huge thanks to them, and to King’s new owners as well.

white dogue argentin cross

Samson – ADOPTED

We wish lots of love and happiness to today’s two leavers and hope that the week brings many more adoptions.

A boy named Sioux

Another day, another wonderful adoption.

Today was the turn of Sioux, one of the ScPA’s long-termers. This magnificent shepherd had been at the refuge for 5 days short of one year. But this was not his first time here. After another long wait he had been adopted in December 2017, but was sadly returned for rehoming. Sometimes such an event is inexplicable, but not so much in this case. Even those staff and volunteers who adore Sioux would have to admit that he is quite a complicated dog. Definitely not suitable as a first dog, but one who will be a fabulously loyal companion to the right owner.

And that is what we are hoping Sioux now has. His new dad adored Sioux from the moment he saw him, and has been to visit him many times since to get to know him. It looks like a match made in heaven; Sioux’s new dad can take Sioux to work with him, and his living arrangements (alone, enclosed, isolated) look ideal all round.

Sometimes it takes a long time for the right owner to come along, but for every dog, however complicated, the right person is out there somewhere!

big white shepherd


The ScPA is open tomorrow, despite the fact that it is a bank holiday, and we are hoping for more good news!

Adoption of Nina

Just a quick blog tonight, but good news is always worth sharing.

Today saw the adoption of little Nina, a small female who has been at the refuge since being found unidentified towards the end of May. She would be an interesting candidate for a dog DNA test, as she looks like a cross between a yorkie and a bichon, but also if you imagine a very small labrit, that is Nina!

She has been happily sharing her kennel with two other small dogs, but of course what she, like all our other dogs really wanted, was a new home. And today her dream came true, when a woman came along looking for a small female dog. She saw Nina and it was love at first sight.

Nina is only just a year old and will have many happy years ahead of her.

small fluffy female


Although there were no further adoptions, there were two reservations and plenty of people meeting dogs and walking them, too. So it was a good Saturday.

This weekend is a long one here in France, as Monday is Pentecost. However as is the case on all Sundays and Bank Holidays, the ScPA is open for business. Why not come along and meet the dog of your dreams?

Adoption of Narco and an aristocat!

As was the case last week there have been a couple of days of calm at the refuge. In terms of adoptions, that is. The refuge is never really calm; there is always plenty going on. Animals arriving, others being reclaimed, and of course at this time of year the arrival of kitten after kitten.

But we are here to tell you about the adoptions, and today we have had two.

One of them, Narco, is a dog who has visited us on many occasions. Indeed when he arrived most recently, at the end of April, everyone expected him to be reclaimed yet again. This time however, his owner did not come. Poor Narco, you might say. But on the other hand, maybe not…. A month and a half later, and Narco has a new home. And this time it looks like it is far better suited to this young and active dog. Many thanks to his new family.

Apart from coming to the ScPA to say hello with his owners we hope that his impromptu  visits are well and truly over.

big smiley shepherd cross


The second dog to leave today was Ek Chuah. He was brought in for rehoming on Wednesday and his photos were only put online yesterday. And already today he is off. Officially he was adopted, but in actual fact he has gone back to his original owner, who is a breeder of the Groenendael breed. Ek Chuah has quite a pedigreeand he “worked” in the kennel for many years before officially retiring and being rehomed.

Sadly his new owner was unable to keep him, hence his arrival at the refuge. But as we know, a good breeder (like a good refuge) will look after their dogs for life. So tonight ten year old Ek Chuah, son of champions and father of champions, is back home, with a stable and peaceful retirement ahead of him. He is a stunning dog and the ScPA could doubtless have found him a new family, but it is time this lovely boy settled down for good in a place that he already knows as home.


The magnificent Ek Chuah – ADOPTED

Tomorrow is Saturday and we are hoping that there will be more good news!

A Home to Home for Nino


Nino loves to run and play

Ladies and gentlemen, meet Nino. He is a fabulous boy who is five years old and is currently living with his owner. She adopted him from the ScPA but is unable to cope with a young dog and loves him too much to bring him back for rehoming. So DRC has promised to help.

Nino is bright and attentive

Nino is a great boy. He is fine with other dogs, fabulous with children, and although he will chase cats on the move, he has never shown any aggression to them. He is affectionate, housetrained and lively. And therein lies the problem; his current owner is unable to walk him, and although he has access to a large garden, he needs walks and a lot more fun with other dogs than he has at present.

Nino loves children

Nino is living close to Carcassonne but can travel to his new home. Obviously there are no adoption fees, and Nino is vaccinated, identified by microchip and castrated.

Who has a place in their home and heart for a beautiful setter?

Nino loves water

Adoption of Kaiser and a sad farewell to Bianca

Good news today with the adoption of Kaiser, a young dogue cross who is the current DRC urgent appeal. In fact as we stated on the website, he is a young, sociable chap whose only issue was that he is missing an eye. We know that this is due to mistreatment in his first home, but his second owner looked after him really well although was sadly not able to keep him any longer, hence his arrival at the refuge in early April.

This “handicap” doesn’t seem to have any effect at all on Kaiser’s behaviour, he has adapted superbly and is a fabulous, joyful little chap. In his new home he has a big amstaff cross to play with…with play being the operative word. The two dogs get on famously and will keep each other amused for hours on end.

We hope Kaiser is very happy; this is home number four for him, if you include the refuge. Let’s  hope this is the last time he moves house. At still under 9 months, it is high time he was allowed to settle long term.

black dog with one eye

Kaiser – ADOPTED

Three dogs were reclaimed, and one of them who arrived only today has been missing for two months. Needless to say dog and owner were delighted to be reunited.

In the not such good news department today Ingrid and Marjorie said a sad farewell to little Bianca. She arrived at the refuge just over three weeks ago, identified in the name of someone who claimed to have given her away over a year ago, and did not want her back now she was a year older and clearly approaching the end of her life, covered in tumours as she was.

Ingrid and Marjorie took her home, and although her time with them was sadly very short, she loved every second of it. She adored her walks by the lake, and even last night when she was going downhill rapidly, she enjoyed the water. What a special little dog she was, loving towards every single animal and human she met. And how sad that she should have effectively been abandoned so close to the end of her life. Some humans do not deserve dogs.

Many thanks and condoléances to Ingrid and Marjorie for giving Bianca  such a happy and dignified end.

Bianca enjoying a final walk at the lake last night. RIP little girl.

Tomorrow we want only good news, please!

Adoptions of Willy and Spike

Today is the first day of the new week and we have our first two adoptions.

Willy is a tiny little yorkie who was brought in for rehoming by his owners who did not have the time to devote to him. Usually dogs of this size (under 3kg) are adopted super quickly, so everyone is amazed that 6 year old Willy spent over two weeks looking for a new home. Especially as his only “fault” is that he doesn’t like cats.

Today Willy is off to his new home, though and we hope he will be very happy.

yorkshire terrier


The next leaver is definitely good with cats! Spike was brought to the ScPA by another association who intervened when a woman moved house leaving behind this dog, along with over 30 cats! He is a lovely boy, very affectionate to humans, and also to dogs! He has been sharing his kennel since his arrival at the ScPA, and has a canine pal in his new family. They came along to test the two dogs together, and Spike was overshadowed but not overwhelmed by a Great Dane; quite a change in size from his previous playmates!

balck dog


We look forward to news and photos and look forward to what the rest of the week will bring.