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Author Archives: Moira

It will be cold, so cold….our Hot Dog Campaign!

It doesn’t seem that long ago we were worried about keeping the dogs cool and now we have to think about how to keep them warm over winter.

The South West of France is all about weather extremes and it seems crazy that not long after installing misting systems,  we need to consider more heat lamps.

These lamps are very clever and are programmed to come on automatically as the temperatures plummet.  If we say the worst of the winter is 10 weeks long, it only costs about 30 euros per kennel to keep a dog warm!

Sadly, we are seeing more and more older dogs arrive. It’s stressful enough that they find themselves in such an alien environment that the least we can do is keep them as comfortable and cosy as possible. Of course, we make sure that they all have a clean blanket each night. This is a massive task, distributing, collecting and laundering about 100 blankets each day. We have 4 enormous washer dryers that are always on the go!

You may remember that last Winter DRC ran a HOT DOG campaign which paid the majority of the costs of installing heat lamps and running them for the winter too. This year we would love to pay the running costs of existing lamps and install more too.

Its heart-breaking seeing dogs shiver in their kennels, but knowing that they have a little bit of heat makes it a little more bearable.

If you would like to contribute and help us keep our dogs warm, then you can do so by :-

  1. Donate via paypal. The address is website@dogrescuecarcassonne.co.uk
  2. Donate using a CB  by clicking the dONATE button http://dogrescuecarcassonne.co.uk/
  3. Donate in cash
  4. Donate via cheque ( ScPA Carcassonne)

It’s absolutely heartbreaking to see dogs shivering in their kennels and every euro donated makes their life just a little bit easier!

Help us keep our dogs warm….




Daisy and pups , 4 months on…

I am sure that most of you will remember Daisy the very cute terrier cross who arrived at the refuge and gave birth within hours. The mum and pups then went into foster with Cyndy where they were loved and cared for but just as importantly socialised.

Early socialisation is so important and can really shape its future reactions in the big scary world.

Needless to say, these pups are all very happy, well-balanced pups and the owners are delighted!

Daisy went to live with DRC’s friend Muriel and her parents. She is living with ex ScPA Woofy , a large mastin called Tina, cats, chickens and tortoises.

Here she is on the bed with a very shocked looking cat…

Who’s that sleeping on my bed!

Puppy Max who lives near Fanjeaux has 3 furry doggy siblings and is proving to be a remarkably bright pup. He’s great on walks and is regularly sees ex ScPA dog Zelda.

Look at his lovely leg markings!

Ren was the only tricoloured pup. He also is doing extremely well and his owner is carefully socialising him with children and especially bicycles as he does seem a bit worried by them.

Next is Betony….she is the pup who went to live in a vineyard with mum Sara. She too is extremely clever and is enjoying herself in the garden and vines, so all seems good there…she’s loved by everyone and is virtually inseparable from Sarah.


Here is Mimi ( ex Pansy) who is definitely in the leggy phase. Mimi is back staying with Cyndy whilst her owner is on holiday. She is a lovely, happy, dynamic pup…just as it should be!

Mimi ex Pansy!

We haven’t has new  Hanna from a sure but I am sure that she is just as happy as all of the others!

These pups owners are lucky as they had the opportunity to have a well sociallised rescue pup who had been with their mum in a household situation.

Wouldnt it be great if all pups had this chance!

When I’am Old and Grey..

If we are lucky enough to still have our dogs when they become old and grey then helping them stay comfortable, as pain-free as possible is something that we may have to deal with.

My Boxer x Labrador, Phoebe is a large dog who has had arthritis for a couple of years. This was confounded by a partially torn ligament in her back leg when she chased a hare over a recently plowed field.


She, of course, has prescribed pain medication and I have tried some supplements like turmeric, CBD oil etc but there has been no miracle cure.

So, how do you keep an old dog happy and active? Well, weight management is important and that’s very difficult when feeding time is one of the things they really look forward to. Luckily mine like veg so I try and bulk meals up as much as possible.

Careful logistical management is very important too. I have found that although she manages the stairs, she bunny hops down so I limit how many times a day she goes up and down to a minimum.  She now chooses not to jump on the sofa or bed as its very painful for her to get off them.

Laminate flooring is a nightmare! If we are anywhere with it, I have to create a track; for her with blankets or whatever is available. If booking hotels or holiday lets, I find myself looking at the room floor coverings and whether there is a lift or not!

There are some advantages. Her walks are slower, and she doesn’t go far from your side which I really like. Walking 2 older dogs certainly takes less concentration than 2 mad youngsters!

Its approaching holiday time and we will have 2 youngsters as well as my two oldies. I am seriously considering a dog ‘buggy for Phoebe so she can be with us all without limiting the younger active dogs walks too much.

As yet she doesn’t need a car ramp but I have removed one of the back passenger seats so she just has a little step to get in the passager door through to he back doggy area, Opening the boot means a much bigger leap in and out!

I have heard a few nightmare stories of dogs going off their legs whilst on walks. So I am going to buy a ‘Help ‘Em Up harness and shoulder strap’ just in case. I certainly couldn’t pull her on a blanket, coat or anything else in an emergency without really distressing her and me!

Phoebe has no problem with her neck or shoulders, but I do use a raised bowl. This does take some strain off her joints.

Have you a dog with limited mobility?  Are there other methods you used that were successful?  Do you have any hints or tips? Do let us know!!!

To brush or not to brush…..

A Third of British Dog Owners Brush Their Dog’s Teeth (& It Could Save Their Dog’s Life!)

I laughed when I read this headline as every time I am coming back to France from the Uk, Darcey asks me to bring doggy toothpaste. She cleans all of her dog’s teeth every night.

I have to admit that I did laugh, but no…it really could save their life!


Tooth and gum disease is something which is easily preventable if owners follow simple steps including regular brushing, improving their dog’s diet and using dental specific food and chews if recommended by vets. Two thirds of vets recommend that owners clean their dog’s teeth every day.

Gum disease can lead to periodontal disease, a build-up of plaque which can if left untreated cause the gums to recede, bacteria to enter the bloodstream and sometimes even spread to other organs, the heart, for example.

The worst-case scenarios for untreated tooth and gum disease in animals can result in tooth extractions, blood poisoning / septicaemia, tooth loss, disease in other organs and even death.

So what are the signs that there may be a problem  :

  • Blood on their toys
  •  Facial swelling
  •  Dropping food
  •  Favouring one side of the mouth
  •  Bad breath

If you decide to start, here are a few tips..

  • Start by getting your dog used to having your fingers around its mouth by gently pulling gums back and massaging them.
  •  Use a finger brush to get your dog used to having something touching its teeth and gums.
  •  Once your dog is used to the finger brush, move on to using toothpaste and a doggy toothbrush.
  • Only dog-friendly toothpaste should be used as it does not contain fluoride which is dangerous to dogs.
  • Always use positive reinforcement with treats and praise so your dog ends up enjoying having its teeth cleaned.

So, I am going to give it a go………who else brushes or what do you use to keep these knashers sparking????





Nervous about adopting a dog with Brexit looming?

Tonight’s blog is in response to adopters who are a bit wary of adopting a pet at the moment due to Brexit.

First of all, if you adopt in France and your pet has an EU passport you don’t have a lot to worry about. Worst case scenario is that your pet needs a blood test one month after they have their rabies vaccination. You will then have a wait of 10-14 days for the result and providing the blood test is successful you can then travel back and forward as usual 1 month after the blood test was taken.

So the procedure is:-

  1. Rabies vaccination
  2. Blood test after 1 month
  3. Travel as normal 1 month after successful blood test.

Once your vet has the results, he will stamp your pets passport. As long as you keep your rabies vaccinations in date there is no further blood test needed.

That is the worst case scenario…it could be that some agreement is made and pets travel as normal.

If you are like me and have older dogs, you may have had a blood test done before the UK entered the EU.  Surprisingly, as long as you have always kept their rabies up to date, no further blood is needed.

For those in the UK , with a Uk passport, the process is a bit longer and you will need about 4 months to prepare your dog.

Here us a successful rabies blood test result, Anything above 0,5 is a pass…this cats is 12,4!

Page 8 in the old style UK passport is where the vet would have stamped to confirm a successful serology test!







Adoption of Paco, Missy and Lost…

Well, today was certainly a busy day at the refuge. We have the adoptions of Paco, Missy and Lost and then Gaspard found a foster home!  After that tiny Fry was reclaimed so thats 5 leavers…what a day!

We will start with the youngest. Puppies Pepsy and Paco arrived at the refuge about 2 months ago. victims of neglect. Pepsy was adopted last week leaving poor Paco waiting on his own. Luckily he didn’t have a long wait and left today to live with another dog and 9 cats!

Puppy Paco has a home at last!

The next adoption was that of little Missy. Missy was found and brought to the refuge. After her 10 days pound time, she was adopted by the person who found her. I know some people will wonder why she bothered bringing her in if she was going to keep her. Well this was absolutely the right thing to do, When you find a dog it’s not finders keepers, someone may be distraught and looking for their dog! 10 days pound time gives owners time to reclaim their dog.

Missy is off to live with 2 other small dogs!

Next to leave was Lost. This is another dog who was reserved soon after arriving and has left soon after his pound time was up. Lost is off to a family with another dog so he will have a friend to help him settle in.

Lost adopted!

The next boy to leave was Gaspard, a lovely but poorly German Shepherd. He has at last found a foster home where he can have the tlc that he so needs. A massive thank you to the family who have taken this boy in!

Gaspard has a long term foster…lucky boy!

Last but not least, little Fry was reclaimed by his owners. That’s only1 night he had in kennels..another lucky boy!

Fry was reclaimed..


Adoption of puppy Pantoufle…

After a very quiet week we have has an adoption! And not only that its a puppy adoption, so that is great news!

Pantoufle arrived a few weeks ago with her siblings Sabot, Chausson, Sandale, and Crocs. Pantoufle is a real cutie and has the most amazing ears.  Only Sabot is looking for a home now so lets hope that this weekend is busy and that he is adopted too!

Pantoufle adopted!

Sabot needs a home!

So why have we been so quiet this week? I think that the awful weather plus the fact that lots of people taking the opportunity of the school break to get away explains it.

Somehow this never seems to stop the arrivals and we have a few real cuties arrive this week. Have a look on our facebook page to see them, I think that they will be very popular!






Adoption of Wess

When stunning Wess arrived at the refuge we were sure that he wouldnt be with us long.  He is young and handsome and we were sure that setter lovers would soon snap him up.

We were right as yesterday he left with a family with a lovely English setter and already this morning we have news and a photo of him in his new bed!

Wess, adopted yesterday.

Apart from that today was a dark, rainy day with not a lot happening. Let’s hope that as the weather improves towards the end of the week that the adoprions do too…


Adoption of Thea…

It’s always nice when someone who has adopted from us before comes back for another dog.  Today’s lucky leaver Thea, has gone to live with Bella who was a tiny pup called Cappucine when she was at the ScPA.

Thea arrived with brother Tom just over two weeks ago. They were quite a sticking pair in their kennel but as soon as the 10 day pound time was up they were separated to see how they were with other dogs.  Bother were very sociable and even although they shared their kennel with different dogs they got to play together in the parks in the afternoon.

Thea adopted!

It’s difficult to choose a second dog and often it’s your own dog that will make the choice for you. Sometimes the dynamics between dogs can be different than expected and can be quite surprising too.  It’s always worth bringing along your own dog as no matter how sociable they are sometimes there is just no reaction between the dogs. Now that is, of course, better than aggression but I do like to see a little spark of interest. It’s often much better to take the dogs on a walk outside of the refuge. That lets both dogs relax and get to know each other in their own way.

Tom, brother of Thea still needs a home..

Let’s hope that Tom, Thea’s brother doesn’t have a long wait. I doubt it as he is a super sociable young lad who loves to play.  So if you are looking for a young playmate for your dog, Tom might just be the one!







Adoption of Elsa…

Ita always nice to end the week with an adoption and today’s lucky leaver was Elsa, an eighteen month old Pyrenean Mountain Dog.

When she arrived about a month ago we were all sure that the beautiful girl would be reclaimed, but no, for a reason that we will never know, no one came looking for her.

This means that after ten days she could join the other ScPA dogs, share a kennel and we could get to know her on walks etc.

Nothing seemed to phase this calm youngster, who had impeccable manners and walked really well on a lead.

Last week a family came along to try her with their dog and today she left with her forever family.

Elsa, adopted!

We would love to know all of our dog’s history but when dogs who arrive as strays, this is seldom possible. Occasionally someone recognises a dog and will message us to tell us about them but usually, we only know how they react to us and other dogs and cats.

Sometimes I think this is a good thing. Some adopters who do know a dogs back ground feel really sorry for the dog and are reticent about creating sensible behavioral boundaries. The dog then quickly realises that they can do what it likes and a vicious circle begins.

We usually advise adopters to start as they mean to go on.  If you dont want a dog on the sofa or bed that perfectly fine so start that way when you get home. Trying to change behaviour in retrospect is much harder!

So, what will next week bring? We already know that another lucky girl will be leaving tomorrow and that a lucky boy has a family visiting on Tuesday.

It would be great to see more adoptions. Its great weather at the moment for walking so a great time to adopt and get out and about with your new addition!