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Author Archives: Moira

Patty…one of our many black dogs!

In the run up to Halloween we will be highlighting as many of our black dogs as possible!

For those who missed Darcey’s blog on Sunday, we are reducing the adoption fee of any black dog by 50 euros until the 6th November!

That’s a great offer. It means that a identified, vaccinated, sterilised and vet checked dog is only 120 euros..so long as they are black. But as we are in a generous mood, even dogs with a bit of black are included in this super promotion!

So, today I would like to highlight Patty..

Some people think that black dogs are not photogenic but as I was scrolling through the pictures of black dogs, photos of Patty really stood out !

Patty was found with her friend Sweety  alone on the Carcassonne ring road. They were very close and obviosly used to living together abd it wasnt long before Sweety was adopted. Patty is a gorgeous deep black labrador cross. She is very affectionate but even although she loved Sweety she does not love all dogs  so will need to be an only dog.

At only 3 years old she has lots to offer and I am sure that with careful introductions and socialising she could learn that other dogs are not a threat.

Have a look at her photo album  https://www.facebook.com/SPA.CARCASSONNE/photos/?tab=album&album_id=1146466048729739

Come and meet her, take her for a walk…you will fall in love with this lovely girl!

One black dog did leave today, Granite, who was reclaimed by his owners!

Patty needs a home!




Two pups are adopted!

Two adoptions on a Monday is great news so let’s hope that its the start of a really good week!

Today’s lucky two were both pups. First to be adopted was Beary, a very cute ten week old berger cross. He was quickly followed by tiny terrier Alvin who arrived about 6 weeks ago with a fractured leg which was repaired by our vet. After some tlc he was soon ready for adoption.  At only 8 months old he has a great future now that he has a super new family!

We love seeing our pups being adopted quickly, its so important that people consider adopting a pup rather than buying one.

If you are considering a pup please bear in mind that no matter how “reputable” you think your local pet store is, they are almost definitely getting their puppies from one of two sources:  a “backyard” dog breeder, or a puppy mill. How do we know this? Because no responsible breeder would allow their pups to be rehomed this way! The majority of dogs are the product of irresponsible “backyard” dog breeders. These are people who make some easy cash by breeding their dogs and they often sell dogs through the newspaper classified ads. Remember that most of these backyard dog breeders don’t know about breeding for favorable health and temperament qualities, and they don’t know how to raise a properly socialized litter. Many of these little pups are weaned from their mother’s way too soon. Sometimes, a backyard dog breeder turns into small-time puppy mill to increase their supply so you can buy a dog from a pet store and they can make a higher profit.

What are puppy mills? A puppy mill is basically a puppy factory farm where the puppies are just churned out as fast as they can and then sold to pet stores. The dogs are kept in small cages and forced to breed at unhealthy rates… it’s all about the money. Female dogs in puppy mills are made to have several litters per year, which is extremely dangerous and cruel. Each puppy mill produces pups for pet stores, and pays little attention to the specific health and genetic diseases due to inbreeding. Genetic health testing is almost unheard of and mass-producing pets for profit is the bottom line. In the worst puppy mills, horrifying conditions are the norm. How can you stop puppy mills? There is only one way. Take away their profits.

What about responsible breeders? Well, they do health test the parents and breed for temperament and they will be quite happy to show you the results of genetic test. They know how to socialise and care for pups in their care and will introduce you to the mum. They also commit to lifelong care of their pups. These breeders love their breed but are unfortunately few and far between.

So, why not adopt. We have lots of super pups desperate for a home The adoption fee that you pay to us enables us to care for other dogs in need.

When you adopt you are saying no to back street breeding, no to puppy mills, yes to saving a life and enabling us to save another!

Beary adopted..


Alvin adopted..




Another Sunday catch up…

As this isn’t the first Sunday of the month we were closed. Only the staff were in cleaning out kennels, feeding the dogs and cats and giving medication to those who need it.

Sundays are a perfect opportunity to catch up with news of our doggies who are lucky enough to have a home and let you see them happy and settled in their new homes.

We have had lovely photos of puppy Chance who has settled in very well with his new family. This is the happy ever after that we want for all of our pups and we will be blogging on where and how to get a puppy very soon.

The photo which made me smile today was that of Arthur (ex Toby) on his way to the UK. Its just a month since he was adopted and he has settled in very well. He went to live with Terry and John in Brittany along with 2 lovely kittens Ginger and Biscuit. The two kittens are at home with an animal sitter whilst Arthur zooms through Eurotunnel to the uk .

When Arthur was adopted we knew that he would be travelling so we organised his passport before adoption. This meant that 3 weeks after his rabies vaccination he could travel to the UK.  If you adopt from us and know that you will be travelling, please do ask us to have the dog passported. If done before adoption it only costs an extra 30 euros and that’s less than it would be if you took you dog to your own vet after adoption.

Like Terry and John please don’t let distance prevent you from adopting from us. Toby, Ginger and Biscuit traveled to their new home by an animal transporter and this is very easy to organise.

Another way to get a dog to its new home is by co-voiture. This usually involves a volunteer driving the dog to a pick up point where it is collected by the new owner.

Another lovely little dog will be leaving by co-voiture very soon. To see who is the lucky girl…watch this space!

Arthur is off on his holidays..




A quiet Saturday…

Today we had no adoptions which really is quite unusual for a Saturday so I thought that we would have a look at how you can help by sponsoring a particular dog.

Lots of people sponsor and there are many reasons and may ways for doing it. Sometimes dog lovers are at a stage in their life where for practical or logistical reasons the cant have a dog. Often these people fall in love with one of our dogs so come along regularly to walk, play with and groom the dog. They spread the word amongst their friends in the hope of finding their dog a great home.

Others with good and creative IT skills create superb posters or ‘adverts’ as social media makes it really easy to share a dogs details and a high percentage of our dogs are adopted through sharing profile details.

For those who live too far to visit their ‘sponsor dog’  they often send collars, toys and treats which are really appreciated.

Donations towards their adoption fees are also very much appreciated. This often helps adopters who really like the dog but are a bit financially challenged.

If you would like to sponsor a dog, have a look at our ‘dogs in need of a sponsor https://www.facebook.com/SPA.CARCASSONNE/photos/?tab=album&album_id=635813599794989

There are of course people who just want to donate a small amount regularly and of course that is very welcome too. You can do this by paypal, bank transfer or just popping into the refuge with ash or a cheque.

So to all those sponsors and supporters we would like to say a special thank you.  Your’re generosity helps us make a real difference to our dogs lives.

Look at Dumbos super poster..



Dinky Doo adopted….

Tonights blog is both an early one and a short one  as we have a committee meeting to go to but at least its good news as we had an adoption!

Dinky Doo, a tiny little terrier cross who arrived at the SPA at the end of August is todays lucky boy. He had probably been knocked down by a car and had a fractured pelvis.  After an operation to repair the damage and lots of tlc he was finally ready for adoption a week or so ago.

Small, cute dogs generally dont have a long stay at the SPA and as anticipated, as soon as his photos and video went onto facebook we had lots of inquiries about him.

Today, just three days before his first birthday he went off to a new home.

I am sure that he will settle quickly but please remember that if you do adopt from us and have problems, we will do our very best to help you work your way through them. The most common problems are housetraining, recall, fear of new situations and integration with other animals in the household.

We are more than happy to talk you through most problems and if we think we need expert advice we have a dog trainer and behaviorist to help.

Dinky Doo..adopted!


Autumn hazards..

Today was a dull day at the SPA but there were plenty of volunteers and lots of dogs were walked. We had no adoptions and two arrivals who were then reclaimed so no change in numbers either way. We are lucky here as most autumn days are bright and sunny during the day so a  fantastic time to get out there with you dog and enjoy some super walks.

Like all seasons Autumn has its own dangers and one that is very hard to avoid especially where I live is conkers!  If ingested they can cause serious gastro intestinal problems so contact your vet if your dogs eats them.

The toxic substance that is contained within grapes and raisins is unknown; however these fruits can cause kidney failure. Pets that already have certain health problems may have an even more serious reaction so this is certainly one to avoid.

The worst of all the cold weather hazards are chemical spills of antifreeze, which can leak from a car’s radiator. Ethylene glycol ingestion is very dangerous. It is sweet tasting and very palatable and even a relatively small quantity can cause serious kidney damage and be fatal. The first signs of intoxication can be that your dog appears ‘drunk’.  If you know your dog has ingested ethylene glycol or you have any concerns, contact your vet without delay.  The prognosis becomes less good the longer the delay between ingestion of the anti freeze and initiation of treatment.

With Halloween just around the corner, there’s one simple rule for sweets: No! This is especially true of chocolate, which contains ingredients, like theobromine, that are toxic to dogs. Hide the treats well out if reach and male sure that the children don’t leave theirs lying around,

So get out and about with your dog this Autumn,enjoy the cooler weather but do be careful and avoid known hazards.



Rabies reminder…

For those you who travel with your dogs and have a passport, your dog will have had their rabies vaccination.

Previously, those dogs vaccinated in the UK were lucky enough to only need the vaccine every three years but those in France, annually. This was changed about 18 months ago but is still causing confusion.

Rabies vaccines are manufactured by Nobivac, Versican and Rabisin to name but a few. In France the length of recall now differs depending on the vaccine used.

If your dog has previously been vaccinated with Rabisin R, its next vaccine will last three years in France. Its really worth noting that most of the other common rabies vaccines are still 1 year.

Have a look at my dogs passport. You will see that he had Rabisin R on 13/2/14 which lasted until 13/2/15. When re vaccinated on 13/2/15 the same vaccine now lasts 3 years! Both vaccines were at my local vet in France.

If you look at your dogs passport and don’t see the Rabisin R vaccine sticker it may be worth speaking to your vet about changing the vaccine used so that you only need to vaccinate every three years. This means less money spent and less chemicals in your dog!

In France its not only dogs that travel that have a rabies vaccine. Some people elect to have this to protect their dogs against rabies and others to protect themselves and the dog should it bite anyone.

Any dog that has bitten a human must be evaluated by a vet.  Three visits are necessary, the first within 24 hours of the bite a second visit after 7 days and a third at 15 days.  After 15 days the vet will (assuming no risk) issue a certificate in triplicate declaring the animal free from rabies.  If it has had its rabies vaccine the papers can be issued right away!

So check your passport, speak to your vet and you should be able to vaccinate every three years.




Save a senior…

Today we had two reservations which isn’t bad for a rainy Wednesday afternoon. Both were recent arrivals, one an adolescent and the other a pup. Both will be leaving over the next few days.

This morning we had word from Twilight to say that Fred was settling in well and my thoughts turned to our other oldies in the refuge.

I am not quite sure whether they struggle most with the extreme heat of summer or the freezing cold of winter but life is a concrete kennel is very hard for them. With one walk per week all they live for is a kind word, a cuddle or some tasty treats from the volunteers.

There are many conversations with adopters about the age of the dog that you should adopt but most feel that if you adopt a younger dog you will have less vet fees and will have the dog longer.

Well you might…but no dog come with a guarantee.  There is no guarantee that a two year old will live to be 15 or that a 10 year old will only have a couple of years. And at some point your young dog will be older and you will have that cost anyway.

Some of our older dogs are very fit and healthy and have no ongoing vet costs. If they do have ongoing costs then they can often leave under FALD..foster of long duration. This is a great scheme where by the dog is yours for its lifetime but it comes to our vet and we pay the bills. This means that you have no vet bills if you are kind enough to take one of these oldies!

Older dogs have so much to offer. They are usually housetrained, easy to walk and a 20 minute totter around the park a couple of times a day is enough for them. They make instant, loyal companions…..all they ask for in return is a bed and affection.

So lets look at some of our oldies…and see if we can get them a home before winter.

Kipnak..Why this lovey boy has not been adopted I don’t know! He is 12.5 years old but you wouldn’t think it. He  loves his walks and other dogs…hes a really easy older boy in great health.


Larsouille..At 13.5 years old he is our oldest resident. A lovely older gent who just wants a  bed to call his own and a garden to potter in.


Claudius..Ten year old Claudius has not had an easy life. He is in desperate need of tlc and a warm bed before winter


Balou..A ten year old lovely griffon cross who is fine with some other dogs. Hes an affectionate, easy to walk boy!


Once a Flatcoat lover always a Flatcoat lover…

When its too hot to do much walking I often have a walk around the kennels giving out treats and saying hello to the newbies. About two weeks ago I was doing just that when I came across Lotus, a lovely 3 year old Flatcoat boy.

I have to say my heart skipped a beat as I do love Flatcoats and I know quite a few real doggy lovers who are fans of this breed. I took some photos and sent them to a lady who I know has a Flatcoat and has lots of doggy lovers as friends in the hope that we could find him the perfect home.

This lady adopted Pepper ( ex Flavie)  from us about a year and a half ago so has two dogs and had no intention of having a third but when she saw his photo it didn’t take long to get back to me to say that that they would in fact adopt him. Although that hadn’t been my intention I wasn’t a bit surprised!

Next we had to test him with cats as there is a 15 year pussycat in the household and we certainly wouldn’t want him stressed, so off he went for a cat test but no problems there, he was fine! Only one more thing to see to before he was good to go and that was castration. After a visit to the vet on Thursday he was then ready for his new family!

This afternoon, on their way home from holiday they stopped by the SPA, introductions went well with doggies Tally and Pepper and off he went!

To be adopted after two weeks in kennels is very lucky and to go to such a special home even more so!

I am sure that we will have regular updates and pictures..maybe even a Life After The Refuge story too!

Not long after Lotus left, Harley also left. The family who adopted him came along to meet him at last Sundays open day. They have no other dogs or cats and their previous dog was a Rottweiler so they are used to handling large breed dogs. They have an enclosed garden and understand that Harley, like all of our youngsters really need time, patience and training. This really is great news for Harley as he had been adopted from us as a happy pup after being in  foster with a volunteer. Its a fact that young males are statistically more likely to come into refuge and stay there the longest!

Parvo has unfortunately reared its ugly head again. A pup left at the gate had to be rushed to the vets as it was in a sorry state. Our vets are very experienced and we hope that the pup will pull through.  Dumping a pup with parvo at the gate really puts all of our dogs at risk. Reception had to be disinfected as did the vet van and cage. It could be of course that someone found a sick pup and thought it better to bring it to us. If you do find a dog who needs immediate vet care..take it direct to any vets. That way they get the care that the need and our other dogs are not put at risk.

Lotus saying hello to his new family,,,




Three adoptions!

From the time I left the refuge yesterday until I arrived today we had three adoptions! One of them was Jingo who was being cat tested as I left. He passed with flying colors so this lovely 2 year old berger cross left with his new family!

Next to leave was Ibis, a one year old levier cross followed by Flight a 2 year podenco cross. Both Ibis and Flight have one to live with the same family although not in the same household. That leaves one reservation from yesterday that you will hear about later in the week.

Today we had a visit from a couple who traveled from Brittany to meet us. When Terry and her husband moved to Brittany they knew that they wanted to extend their family. They came across our website and facebook page, liked it and started following the stories about our dogs and cats.

Lots of people see a dog on our site and after a long chat we have the dog transported to them but for Terry and John it was important that they met the animals and us before choosing their furry friends. Although their remit filled our heart with joy..two dogs and 2 cats, it was always going to be quite a task finding two dogs, small to medium sized who got on together, didn’t pull on the lead and were ok with cats! That would have been a big ask but I am happy to say one dog and two kittens were reserved!

The said dog and two kittens will be transported at the end of the month to Brittany.

When choosing a dog there are lots of things to consider…

  1. Size and exercise needs
  2. Breed traits
  3. Other family members ( human and animal)
  4. How much time that you have available for walking and training?
  5. Food and vet costs

Do your homework and ask questions! We know all of the dogs and what kind of lifestyle would suit them best.  Ask us for advice…we are happy to help!

Jingo adopted!


Ibis adopted!


Flight adopted!