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Author Archives: Moira

Yesterday’s adoptions…

Today, as promised we will catch up with refuge news. I mentioned in an earlier blog that Bounty our 11 year old shepherd cross was going to have to come back to the refuge as his foster mum was ill, well the great news is that we have found a forever family for him!

This is really great news for any older doggy but this lovely boy is a gem, great with other dogs and cats.  a really loveable boy! Sometimes adopting an older doggy is a sensible choice depending on your lifestyle and most oldies become devoted. loyal companions really quickly!

Next to leave was Marjolaine. I was really pleased to hear this as she arrives in a box with her 2 sisters three weeks ago and her sister were adopted on Friday. That is the whole litter who have had vet care, been vaccinated, micro chipped and rehomed in only a few weeks. This was definitely down to the power of social media!

So yesterday one senior and one puppy left….a good day!

September means the start of the hunting season in France, or la chasse, and it can be quite a shock to see a group of hunters heading past your house.

Each Sunday you will see the countryside dotted with vans and cars and will hear the distinctive howl of hounds as they flush out or chase the game. You are sure to cross a group of hunters heading off into the woods with guns slung over their shoulders so if you are out walking it’s wise to wear bright clothing.  I would strongly advise keeping your dogs on the leash, one in case they are ‘accidentally’ shot and two because the hunt dogs have on many occasion swarmed my dogs and some dogs could find this very intimidating. You would think that the hunters would have trained dogs so could simply call their dogs away, not a chance! Most chasse dogs are hunting by instinct alone and have had no or little training!

All chasse dogs should be identified but very few are, as this legislation, like lots of legislation regarding the chasse in France is not enforced. This unfortunately makes it very easy for the hunters to abandon dogs who aren’t good hunters, who are too old or are hurt and need vet treatment.

So we careful out there, especially on Sundays and take no chances with your doggies!




Marjolaine adopted..



Saturday’s doggy visit…

Today I am not around a computer as I am off to meet three ex SPA furries, Milly, Melba and Jess. This means that tonight’s blog will be a ‘general’ blog about the SPA and we will catch up on refuge new tomorrow.

Milly, an SPA pussy cat was adopted from us three years ago, Melba a braque allemand two years ago and Jess the collie pup in April this year. All went to live with my son and daughter in law and are thriving in the Scottish temperatures spending lots of the time out and about on hills and islands of Scotland.

Melba was their first pup and of course being a scent hound the biggest problem they have had with her is recall.   It taken time and patience and lots of training but Melbas recall is now pretty good but this is carefully managed and when she is out and about she is only free where there are no wildlife, especially sheep to chase!  Jess is a border collie and is now 10 months old and has been a very easy pup. No worries with recall with her and she rarely leaves your side!

This is a perfect example at why you should look at breed traits when choosing a dog. Think carefully about your lifestyle and what you can except from the breed of dog you choose. Stuart does lots of jogging with Melba who is young and very active and does obedience with Jess. As Jess matures she will do agility but is a wee bit young as yet for high impact sports.

If your family work all day think carefully about the dog that you choose and do ask us if we know if it can be left home alone. Make sure that you are prepared to get up early and walk the dogs before work, can arrange a comfort break during the day and will exercise the dog again in the evening. Lots of dogs will settle into such a routine but we have others who we know will need someone around most of the time so do ask.

Whatever dog you choose, don’t forget, get in touch with us for advice ….and we do love hearing about our SPA dogs and how they settle in their new homes. A photo and a little update form time to time is very much appreciated.

Melba and Jess…

Jess & melba




Friday’s puppy adoptions..

Three weeks ago as I was driving back to Scotland, I posted a blog about 3 black Labrador pups being found in a box on the autoroute and arriving at the SPA. Thanks to social media the pups got a lot of coverage and Sauge and Aneth were quickly reserved.

Just as they were due to leave they developed a little gastro but with some tlc and lots of spoiling, today they were at last ready to leave. Thank you very much to their forever families who have been very patient!  As they say ‘all good things come to those who wait’ and those pups are certainly lovely pups and well worth the wait!

This is one of the main reasons that we prefer pups to go to foster homes than stay on the refuge. The refuge is a dangerous place for unvaccinated pups and even with strict hygiene protocols in place they can get sick. Luckily we have very experienced staff who know just what to watch out for and have the pups whipped of to the vet at the first sign of trouble.

Now that the pups are home, their lives begin in their forever families. The best advice to new puppy parents is to set reasonable and fair house rules from day one. Its so easy to allow unacceptable behaviour to develop and much easier to be sensible and prevent it in the first place than try and train it out later.

That seems sensible to us that are used to pups in the house but we are very aware that not everyone who adopts has puppy experience.  We all learn as we go and have all made mistakes with pups. I certainly didn’t teach my first pup ‘alone time’ and this is really important. I was so eager to socialise him that I literally took him everywhere with me.  I could have been setting him up for quite bad separation anxiety…I was lucky but might not have been and now know the importance of building up time spent alone! I certainly could have done better at teaching him manners around food. I wasnt so lucky with this little issue and have one greedy labrador!

If you adopt from us and puppy starts to play up contact us asap. We have a wealth of knowledge and can provide support and advice in English and French.










Dont Poison Your Best Friend!

As we are approaching the vendange season I thought that I would remind you all that grapes can be poisonous to dogs. If you walk your dogs in or around vineyards please make sure that they don’t scoff grapes off the ground or indeed off the vine. If you do you are playing Russian roulette with the life of your pet..is it worth the risk?

Not only is it grape time but its also ‘conker’ season too. They too can be harnful to dogs so dont let you dog chew on them.

Grapes and conkers aren’t the only food stuff to poison dogs so here are the most common:

Alcohol – I’m sure you’ve heard of the birthday parties where the dog accidentally gets into some of the spilled keg beer, and then gets all silly to the amusement of the crowd. While it may be funny to you, it’s not funny to your dog. Alcohol can cause not only intoxication, lack of coordination, poor breathing, and abnormal acidity, but potentially even coma and/or death.

Apple Seeds – Apple seeds are toxic to a dog as they contain a natural chemical that releases cyanide when digested. So, be sure to core and seed apples before you feed them to your dog.

Avocado – Avocados contain Persin, which can cause diarrhoea, vomiting, and heart congestion..

Bones – The danger with bones isn’t the nutritional content, nor is it necessarily the danger of chocking. Rather, you need to be careful with cooked bones from meat sources such as chicken and fish because they can harm your dog’s digestive tract when the bones splinter inside the body.

Candy and chewing gum – Not only does candy contain sugar, but it often contains Xylitol, which can lead to the over-release of insulin, kidney failure, and worse.

Chocolate – You’ve probably heard this before, but chocolate is a definite no no for your pup. And it’s not just about caffeine, which is enough to harm your dog by itself, but theobromine and theophylline, which can be toxic, cause panting, vomiting, and diarrhoea, and damage your dog’s heart and nervous systems.

Citrus oil extracts – Can cause vomiting.

Grapes and raisins – This is one that lots of dog owners are unaware of. Grapes contain a toxin that can cause severe liver damage and kidney failure. We’ve heard stories of dogs dying from only a handful of grapes so do not feed your pup this toxic food.

Liver – Avoid feeding too much liver to your dog. Liver contains quite a bit of Vitamin A, which can adversely affect your pup’s muscles and bones.

Macadamia nuts – These contain a toxin that can inhibit locomotory activities, resulting in weakness, panting, swollen limbs, and tremors as well as possible damage to your dog’s digestive, nervous, and muscle systems.

Onions, garlic, and chives – No matter what form they’re in (dry, raw, cooked, powder, within other foods), onions and garlic (especially onions) are some of the absolute worst foods you could possibly give your pup (it’s poisonous for dogs, and its even worse for cats). They contain disulfides and sulfoxides (thiosulphate), both of which can cause anemia and damage red blood cells.

Xylitol – A sugar alcohol found in gum, candies, baked goods, and other sugar-substituted items, Xylitol, while causing no apparent harm to humans, is extremely toxic to dogs. Even small amounts can cause low blood sugar, seizures, liver failure, even death for your pup.

To be safe keep all foodstuffs well out of reach, especially if like me you have greedy Labradors!

So how would you know if your dog has been poisoned? Watch out for obvious signs like vomiting and diarrhoea, staggering, unsteadiness or even seizures. If you are at all worried contact your vet right away!


Dangerous Foods


Found a dog?

Tonight we have some great news but first of all I want to remind people what to do if they find a dog. Today we helped reunite a dog and its owner after 5 days and the reason for the delay was that the people who found him didnt let us know that they had found the dog and were looking after it.

So if you find a dog here is what to do:

1. Make a note of the date, time and area in which you found the dog.

2. Please make sure the dog has access to food and water even if you do not want to get involved – this is a basic, humane gesture. Feed the dog little but often.

3. Does the dog have a collar? If so are there any details of his owner? Please ensure you check the inside of the collar too. Ask around the local neighbourhood, Mairie, vets,shops, postman/woman, etc. Please note, the Mairie is legally responsible for dealing with stray dogs and should have an arrangement with a local fourrière (pound). They will or should give you the contact the SPA of the region. Some are more helpful than others. It is also advisable to contact the gendarmes.

4. If the dog is undernourished, sick or hurt in any way,contact a vet.

5. Does the dog have a tattoo in his ear? If so call notify the I-CAD (French national ID) – seehttp://www.i-cad.fr/index.php

, quote the tattoo number and they will give you the details of the dog’s owner.

6. It is possible that the dog is micro-chipped so take the dog to a vet, animal charity or SPA and they should be able to read the chip number in order to find the dog’s owner.

7. Place details ofthe dog on the web site www.chien-perdu.org, where there is a section for found dogs. Your local SPA may also have a lost / found section on their website.Please also contact Pet Alert France – a Facebook group dedicated to finding lost pets. This group is regionalised, so search for and post on your own region’s group.

8. Place details and photos on the online groups as set out in the Lost A Dog section above, in order to try and trace the owner.

If you find a dog its not a case of ‘finders keepers’, the owners are most likely really upset and trying to find it.

Today wonderful news is that 11 year old Lagoon has been reserved. I will wait until he leaves before telling his story but this lovely handsome boy really deserves a comfy home and will be leaving very very soon!

Lagoon..reserved at last!




Tuesday troubles..

Todays news is mixed but one thing I forgot to mention in yesterday’s blog was the fact that Tino went home.

Tino was an 11 year old border collie who arrived at the refuge with a nasty wound to his neck. After some vet care he soon picked up but the vet thought that the wound had been inflicted by other dog (s). What a shame, 11 years old, attacked and finding yourself at the SPA. Thank goodness his owners were looking for him and spotted him on our facebook page!

We did have a rather sad arrival. In February Capucine was adopted after 5 months at the SPA and somehow found herself at Bezier SPA. As we have said many times, once our dog, always our dog and when Bezier SPA called to say that she had arrived we pulled out all stops to get her back.

This morning Carole and Aude drove down to Bezier and picked her up. She is back with us, safe and sound and we will be looking for a special forever home for her. Being young, female and golden I don’t think that she will have a long wait!

Why dogs arrive in other rescues after adoption is never quite straight forward. We always offer post adoption advice and per the contract the dog must come back to us should the adoption not work out. The microchip database will tell any vet or organisation that the dog was ours and we will be notified.

That is not to say that if we know that there are problems that we wont give the go ahead to any reponsible rehoming, of course we will. The very last thing that we want is for the dog to end up back in kennels.

We also had another arrival today. A shepherd cross arrived after being found in Trebes and we will have more information about him tomorrow.

Tino…has gone home!

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Capucine…has come back!




One arrival and fundraising news…

Today there was not much news from the refuge apart from the arrival of a young, male, golden ‘mini’ Labrador. This lovely looking boy will be popular for sure but who knows there may be someone looking for him! If he is not claimed in 10 days he will be available for adoption so only time will tell!

As you all know we prefer our puppies and older doggies to go into foster homes. We hate seeing older dogs in the kennels but today  we heard that poor Bounty would have to return from his long term foster home as his foster mum was ill. We will really try our hardest to try and find him either a forever family or another long term foster. At 11 years old he is far too old to spend a winter in kennels and as he is good with other dogs and cats this shouldn’t be too difficult!

Our older or indeed our doggies in need of extra care often go to foster under a FALD contract. This is basically a long term foster agreement where the dog lives in your home as your dog but the SPA pay for any medical care it may need. This saves families who are prepared to take on an older doggy the worry about any future vet bills and ensures that our oldies receive the very best of care but in a loving home.

We have also had news of yesterday’s wine-tasting fundraiser. We raised a whopping 200 euros, had donations of doggy food and also found a sponsor for one of our doggies. Like all fundraisers this event also helped to arise awareness of the plight of the doggies at the SPA.

Well done Jane for organising this event and a special thank you to La Petite Pepiniere and to Wendy for hosting the event. Thank you to everyone who came along and supported Dog Rescue Carcassonne, all monies raised go towards making life just a little bit easier for the animals at the SPA.

Todays arrival..



Thank you to La Petite Pepiniere..


Yesterday’s two adoptions..

Today being Sunday the refuge was shut. This means that its not open to volunteers or the public but of course the staff are still in and spend the mornings as usual feeding the dogs and cats, cleaning out kennels and giving medicines as required.

Yesterday’s blog was a ‘general’ blog and so today we will catch up on refuge news! I was out yesterday and was delighted to come home to the news that two dogs had been adopted.

First to leave was Mimosa a lovely 7 month old golden Labrador cross. Mimosa arrived late July and proved to be a very social happy pup. Yesterday he left with his new family who spotted him and reserved him last Sunday at our open day.

Next to leave was Falco. We did have 2 Falcos but yesterday’s lucky boy was our Dogo Argentino. I am so pleased for this big boy who really was a gentle giant and who had been returned from a previous adoption through no fault of his own. Last time the family’s resident dog would not accept Falko and was very aggressive to him, so for his own safety poor Falko came back to kennels.  His luck changed yesterday and off he went…2nd time lucky for Falco!

Tonight is our Dog Recue Carcassonne wine tasting fundraiser. As we read this blog the lucky particiapnts will  be having a tour of La Petite Pepitiers gardens, a little talk about wine and a tasting session. A lovey way to spend a Sunday evening and tomorrow we hear how it all went and how much funds were raised.




Falco adopted!



Leave the past where it belongs..

If you speak to people about adopting a rescue dog the fear that is expressed most often is ‘ you don’t know what’s happened to the dog in the past’.  Now for all of our dogs who arrive at the refuge after being found straying this is essentially true but in my opinion this isn’t always a bad thing.

Without doubt some dogs have a hard time of it. Some are neglected, tied to chains, allowed to wander, even physically hurt but once they arrive at the SPA the abuse stops and that is the end of that chapter in their lives.

Dogs move on quickly and certainly don’t dwell in the past so it can be an advantage not knowing their past as otherwise some people then want to overprotect the dog and in effect spoiling or coddling him prevents the dog from moving on. The best gift you can give a struggling, confused, overwhelmed, and frightened dog is not more of the same – the best gift you can give them is normality.

The game changer emotionally for owners is to start to look at dogs with these stories and realize that moving forward, and by treating the dog like a normal dog, with normal needs – of structure, leadership, rules, and love – you actually take the first step towards healing!

Our life after the refuge page on our website is just full of stories of owners who have done just that. For those who are a bit scared that this will be too much work….just think back to taking on a puppy and all the work and time that is required until the pup matures into the dog you want it to be. This takes years, so its logical to expect that taking on a rescue dog will be much less work than that.

If you expect to adopt a perfect dog, you might be very lucky but I don’t know many and that includes my dogs. They are living beings and we all live with our dogs on different ways so any change for any dog can be traumatic.

Any change takes time but you get back the effort that you put in.  Don’t worry about a dogs past, you can’t change that…just concentrate on its future and be content that you are giving a dog the very best future possible!





Bulle adopted…

I don’t know what it is about fox terriers but as soon as we get one in and we share its profile online its reserved.  I know that they are affectionate, loyal and fun dogs who are also very cute and if they happen to be female then they seldom have long to wait at the SPA

Bulle arrived at the end of August and was reserved very quickly. Today her pound time was up and after a visit to the vets to be sterilised, off she went with her new family!

If you do see a dog who you are interested in, either online or whilst touring the refuge, even although its ten days pound time isn’t up you can still reserve it. There is a risk that the owners will turn up and claim the dog but if you don’t reserve it someone else may pip you at the post.

To reserve a dog, all we ask for is your contact details and a cheque for half of the adoption fee. This isn’t cashed until you pick pay the balance when you collect your dog.

For all female pups who are too young to be sterilised we ask for a 200 euro ‘cheque de cation’.  When you adopt one of our female pups you agree to get her sterilised so the ‘cheque de caution’ is our incentive to ensure that this actually happens.

Before we did this lots of people did promise to sterilise their pups when old enough but then you heard the usual ‘oh she has had a little accident’ could you take 6 pups?

Please sterilise you dogs and promote sterilisation amongst your friends. There are so many myths about sterilisation that it’s only through education that we can control the future doggy population.

Bulle adopted!