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Author Archives: Moira

Sunday Catch Up!

Today the refuge was shut but we have had lots of news about the five travellers. They all arrived safe and sound and are now at Animal Trust. We will have pictures and news soon but today they will have been out having a good run about and getting to know their new environment.

Yesterday we had two arrivals at the SPA. Both young, both female so I am guessing they won’t have a long stay. First to arrive was Vanille a lovely golden Labrador cross and the next was a one year old Jack Russell.

At the moment nearly a third of our dogs are Shepherd crosses, so lets look at why so many dogs end up at the SPA.

Dogs come to the SPA for many reasons and believe me we have heard the lot! Many people buy or take on pups on impulse and when the novelty runs out they no longer want the responsibility of that pup. Others claim they no longer have time for the dog, have to work longer hours or have to move to a new home where pets aren’t accepted. I am getting divorced or my wife is pregnant are excuses we hear all the time as well as my child has become allergic to the dog. Sometimes we do hear stories where the owner is very ill or has even died and in my opinion that’s what the SPA should really be there for.

So what can we do to stop dogs being abandoned?

The first and most important thing is to think long and hard before getting a dog. The SPA encourages potential dog adopters to think carefully before deciding whether or not to take a dog home. Do your research and factor in whether or not you’ll be able to afford the dog, spend the necessary amount of time with them, and meet their mental and physical needs before agreeing to get one. Make sure nobody in the household is allergic before you bring it home, and be responsible and get your new pet spayed or neutered.

Secondly, train your dog. All dogs need training and guidance and many dogs are abandoned when they hit adolescence and their behaviour becomes an issue. If you are experiencing behavioural problems with your pet please seek advice and try to work through them. The bond you develop with your dog will really validate all your efforts.

Thirdly, be prepared to adapt to life’s changes. If you suddenly have to work longer hours or change jobs then get up a bit earlier and walk your dog, consider a dog walker or get friends or family to help . Believe me your dog would much prefer that to being abandoned at the SPA!

Mylord relaxing after his journey!



Vanille – Yesterdays arrival



Five More Belgium Bound!

Yesterday I told you that tonight’s blog will would be good and it certainly is! Today, five more lucky dogs left for Animal Trust in Belgium! It doesn’t seem long ago that Darcey told us about the six dogs who left and its really amazing that all six were adopted within weeks.

This morning James, Rebecca and I were up early and off to the refuge to help put some dogs in parks and walk the others so they all had some exercise before going into their travel cage. It’s strange, the dogs were remarkably calm and all leapt into their cage without any encouragement. I did whisper into their ears that this was it, happy times were ahead…I am sure that they understood!

The dogs who left today are Hurly, Goonis, Todd, Sparo and Mylord. All of these dogs have waited a long time for freedom and we have everything crossed that they will soon be enjoying life in their forever families. In the meantime Animal trust has 5 star facilities, large playfields with ponds and hillocks for the dogs to run around. They are going to love their time spent there!

The dogs were driven to the half-way point by our volunteers James and Rebecca. James does regular doggy runs for us and within the last year has driven dogs as far north as Border Collie Trust in Staffordshire and as far west as Many Tears in Carmarthenshire, Wales. He is a great driver and dog handler so we know our dogs are safe and sound with him! All the dogs had a nice walk at the meet up point, before travelling onwards with Sarah and her boyfriend and will arrive in Belgium late this evening. We will of course have regular updates both before and after adoption and Darcey who is off on her travels this week will be dropping in to see how they are settling in on her way back home!

So a massive thank you to Animal Trust for taking the dogs, to James and Rebecca, Sarah and her boyfriend who are giving up their Saturday to help. Not forgetting of course all the staff at the SPA who have helped with the preparations during the week and especially this morning.

Tomorrow we will hear how the second half of the journey went and catch up on other refuge news!

Hurley and Goonis, ready for the off!


Todd….at the SPA for 38 months!


Sparo…a very handsome boy!


Mylord..a lovely spaniel!



Friday’s Five Leavers…

So far this week we have had more dogs leaving than have arrived! Today was no exception with Sora , Noelle, Eros and Kara being adopted and Max who was really called Jack being picked up by his owners.

Sora was a beautiful looking shepherd cross with one blue and one brown eye. She was abandoned as her owner had left her parents’ home for a new job, leaving her dog behind. They have been trying to find a new home for Sora ever since and were upset to have to resort to the SPA. But Sora didn’t have a long wait at all and today she left for her new home in Alsace.

Noelle was a five year old Dogue cross who was abandoned about a month ago because her family were moving house and couldnt take her. Despite her tough looking appearance she really was a soft, sweet natured girl and was soon reserverd by a lovely couple. After being sterlised she left today for her forever home.

Eros, the stunning white Shepherd didn’t have a long wait either. He arrived about 3 weeks ago and also left today. He was certainly a dog who did not enjoy refuge life and was very stressed in his kennel so it was a blessing that he was adopted so quickly.

Kara, a 12 week old griffon cross pup was the last of the dogs adopted to leave. Such a little cutie but her sister Tara is all alone now. Awwww…. I really hope she is adopted quickly!

Max, the young Shepherd cross who was found straying was claimed by his owners so this lucky boy only had one night of refuge life to endure!

Dora is this weeks arrival who I havnt yet mentioed. She is a beautiful, dainty border cross who is only eleven months old. Being young, female and pretty I am sure she will be adopted very quickly!

The staff were also busy mixing dogs and we are delighted that Blacky who has been at the refuge since July 2012 at last has a kennelmate! He is sharing with our lovely English Bullterrier China, who was lonely after her friend Chips left and we also have a very exciting reservation!

I can promise that tomorrow’s blog is one not to be missed. I am saying nothing except there has been lots of behind the scene activity today, passports have been checked, cages and leads organised and I will be up bright and early and off to the refuge………

Eros, adopted!



Noelle adopted!




Sora adopted! 



Kara adopted!





Jack ( Max) – owners found!


Dainty Dora….needs a home!



Zina Adopted…After 34 months at the SPA!

Well I have to say that I have often dreamed of writing this blog for so many reasons. It’s not every day a CAT 1 dog is adopted and especially one who has been in the refuge for 34 months!

Zina was brought into the refuge by her owner who was so scared of her he refused to remove her muzzle!  He assured us that she was aggressive so imagine our surprise when we removed the muzzle and a smiling, waggy staffy emerged who was delighted to say hello to everyone! Hmmmm…… was his fear due to her typical appearance, a broad head with strong jaws that appear to be constantly smiling. We will never know!

But what we soon learnt was that Zina loves people, loves affection and is good with other dogs if slow careful introductions are done. This is not a breed trait, it’s just Zima’s own personality and my boxer cross is exactly the same. This causes us no problems whatsoever and I just make sure I never put her in a situation that I know she will struggle to cope with.

Even although our category dogs aren’t walked outside the refuge like the other dogs this did not quell her zest for life and she lived for her playtimes in the parks with staff and volunteers. She loved her tug toy and would chase a ball all day… but that life is behind her now!

Thanks to Carole, Estelle and El Rancho Les Canailles, home checks were done, paperwork completed and this morning the family came along with the children and their dog. Introductions went well and off she went…gosh, after 34 months at the refuge I wonder how she is feeling tonight?

One dog who wasn’t so fortunate was Lucky. After only 4 days in his new home Lucky was brought back to the refuge yesterday as he kept escaping from the garden. This is the second return in a week for exactly the same reason.

I am really shocked about people’s expectations, surely everyone know that you need to make sure your garden is totally secure before letting a rescue or indeed any dog that you do not know free. If that standard of care is indicative of how things were going to be for the dog then I am glad that he is back with us. Its simply not good enough for our dogs!

Dogs run off or escape from gardens for lots of reasons. Many dogs just love to run and escape purely for the joy of the great outdoors. Some are following their nose and just want to have fun, others are simply bored and looking for excitement! Of course the intact ones are probably looking for a mate! Whatever reason you dog is escaping for you need to prevent it happening. A loose dog, even a friendly one is a liability and it’s the owner’s responsibility to ensure that it doesn’t happen. A dog that runs can get hit by car, stolen, attacked by another animal, or end up at a refuge.

So, what can you do to prevent him escaping? Well first of all make sure he’s getting enough exercise. Make sure he’s not too bored by playing games with him. Then look at the height of your fence, heighten it or put something in the way to prevent him jumping over it. If that’s not feasible then keep him on a lead in the garden!

Zina with her new family!



(Un) Lucky back after only 4 days!


Goodbye Gladys…

Today another lucky girl left!  In Gladys’s case I would say that her online picture did not do her justice. It wasn’t until I met  Gladys that I realised what a fantastic little girl she was. When you approached her kennel her whole body began to wiggle in delight and it would have been very hard for Elisabeth not to fall in love with her when she came to visit her last week.  Sure enough she was reserved right away and after being sterilised today she left with new mum who is delighted to have a canine friend again. Elisabeth lost her wonderful 15 year old Westie called Oasis six weeks ago , so tonight a new chapter begins for both her and Gladys!

Losing a pet is devastating and people move on in different ways. We have had people come to the refuge the same day as they lost their pet and adopt a look – a– like and some who could never even have the same breed again as it just wouldn’t be the same. Its individual choice where there is no right or wrong.

Terriers are always very popular and most are adopted really quickly. They are happy, energetic, bold dogs, who are extremely loyal, clever and very confident. They love to play and make superb pets.

One little JR who has not been so lucky is 8 year old Fox. I really can’t believe that he’s not been snapped up. He’s an affectionate little fellow who is housetrained, good with dogs and cats…..now that’s not something you can say about many terriers!

At the moment there are major refurbishments going on at the refuge and its chaotic with tradesman’s vans, diggers etc. everywhere. We will soon have a new cat house as well as lovely new landscaping. This will give the refuge a much better feel and will be well worth the disruption!

Gladys adopted!


Fox…still waiting!


Farewell Fanny….

Its so very true that a good photo can really ‘sell’ a dog and it certainly helped with Fanny. She had been with us for over a week when Darcey took a photo of her in someone’s arms and we were inundated with enquiries about her!

It wasn’t her photo that clinched the deal with the family who reserved her last week but her gentle soft nature. She sat on my knee quite happy to be petted by the two little girls who came to see her although I have to admit they liked the pink collar with a pink pose on it too!

Like all our females Fanny had to be sterilised before she could leave anf today two very excited little girls arrived to take her home! She left late afternoon with her new family so will be able to recuperate surrounded by love!

Only 20% of our dogs are female! I wonder why that is? And as most people wanting to adopt ask for a  female, they seldom have a long wait. I think that there is a general misconception that females are easier that males.

Male dogs tend to be more stable in mood than female dogs – less prone to emotional swings.and are often described as “goofy” or  “big softies.”

Female dogs are more prone to mood swings. They can be sweet and loving when they’re happy – but a bit on the grumpy side if something isn’t to their liking. Because they’re opinionated, female dogs can be manipulative when they’re trying to convince you that they really, really don’t want to do something. Female dogs are often less pushy and “in your face” than male dogs are. Yes, females are affectionate, definitely, but often it’s on their own terms. They may request lots of petting, then assert their independence by walking away when they’ve had enough.

Phoebe is my first female doggy and we love her to bits but will I have another girl……probably not!

Only one dog has arrived in two days, long may it continue!

Fanny Is adopted!


Our new arrival..a lovely shepherd cross!


Bye Bye Bramble…

Yesterday Darcey told you that I found little Bramble near Bram and todays good news is that he is already home safe and sound!

At nine o’clock this morning his very worried owner turned up at the SPA to collect him and was quite surprised to hear that yes we do have your dog but he is in Fanjeaux! This was because the SPA is closed on a Sunday and also because we knew he was an older chap, deaf, well looked after, sociable and housetrained and so we guessed that he would rather stay at my house than in a concrete kennel.

He snored away all night, had a great walk with my dogs this morning, scoffed his breakfast and was reunited with his family this afternoon.  He was delighted to see them and left without a backward glance!

Bramble had been with his family since he was 3 weeks old. His doggy mum had refused to feed him and so he had been bottled fed until he could be weaned. He wasn’t the only baby in the family at that time as their daughter had just been born. They grew up together and after eleven years together she was very worried when her best friend disappeared. Bramble had ran off after a hare whilst out in the fields with his dad. He did have a collar on but no disk or number on it. Had this been the case he would have been home safe and sound last night and the family would have been spared a nights worry! But, I have to say he was the perfect house guest and had his owners not turned up today he would have been more than welcome to stay!

So a happy ending for Bramble but please remember to put identification on your dogs collar as well as either micro chipping or tattooing them. It really does save a lot of heartache should your dog go missing as whoever finds them can simply call you. Its true that lots of dogs do find their way home on their own but lots are knocked down, stolen or simply join another family. Not knowing their fate is terrible so please, please identify your dogs!

Another lucky boy also left! Sombrero our eight year old pincher cross only had the minimum 10 days stay with us before leaving with his new family today! This is great news for this cute little fellow and I wish all his kennelmates were so lucky.

We also had a late arrival who we will hear about tomorrow but tonight Bramble and Sombrero have a comfy bed with their families!

Brambles first and last walk with us..


Sombrero adopted after only 10 days!




Wednesday’s Wisdom!

Today was quiet at the SPA but we did have a lovely family with two young children arrive from Toulouse to pick a family dog. With two toddlers of four and two years old this was one adoption that we could not afford to get wrong!

The family have lots of doggy experience, have looked at our website, thought about breed and breed traits, how much time they have for exercising the dog and the practicalities for walking and training a dog with two youngsters in tow.

They thought about the garden and will make sure that it is entirely enclosed, what areas of the house that the dog would have access to keep housetraining and chewing manageable.

It was very sensible to bring along the two children as their reaction to any given dog was crucial and very interesting. Some children are terrified at the barking and kennel chaos but these little girls were very brave and enjoyed looking around the rows of kennels.

We had already complied a short list of dogs and sure enough it was these dogs that drew the family’s attention. One dog was a bit timid but the older little girl was drawn to it, one was quite hyper but mum was drawn to it. The pups proved popular too!

So todays words of wisdom are to do what this family are going to do and think long and hard about any decision. With such young children it’s a major decision and one that all the family must be in agreement with.  We don’t want children scared of dogs or indeed dogs scared by the children so we need to teach children how to behave around dogs.

When a family with young children adopts from us we take a lot of care and are always ready to gove advice after adoption too.

We will probably know tomorrow who they choose but I have a sneaky feeling I know who it will be…..

Teach children ro respect dogs..it can save a dogs life!





Fantomette Leaves and A Fun Fundraiser On Saturday!

For those of you who have not yet planned what to do on Saturday (18th), we are holding a  fundraising event in aid of Dog Rescue Carcassonne and Twilight! This will be in the Salle de Mairie in Puivert from 10am – 2pm.

There will be cakes, greeting cards, clothes, crafts, gifts and a raffle. Teas and coffees will be served all day as well as English sausage baguettes for anyone feeling a bit ‘snackish’ at lunchtime.

The display board will be there for everybody to see our wonderful dogs and we will be available to answer questions about them too.

The last Puivert event proved very popular so please come along and support us and bring some friends!

Its only because we have fundraisers dog Rescue Carcassonne can function the way it does. Every euro raised goes to the SPA Carcassonne and helps make lots of dogs life just a little bit better. We use these monies to recompense adoption fees of dogs going to associations, travelling fees and to castrate as many dogs as possible!

Its only through sterilisation that we can make a difference to the amount of stray and abandoned dogs in France. Already all females leave the SPA sterilised and a high percentage of the males too. We would like this to be 100% and we ae getting there but this takes money. Education also makes a huge difference so please advise all your friends to sterilise their dogs unless there is a medical reason not to.

Today Fantomette, the very cute beagle pup left with Deborah from Toulouse. This lady was sure that she wanted Fanny so it just goes to show you that until you meet a dog you can never be sure how you will feel. Lucky Fantomette is off to Toulouse to live I am sure that we will have regular updates from Deborah.

Other than that two dogs were reclaimed who had not even made it onto our website, a Yorkie arrived and we are looking for the owners of a very handsome Husky who arrived chipped but the details are not up todate!

Saturday Details



Famtomette left today.



The handsome Husky..

2014-10-14 13.56.47

Feline Friends

Although we are Dog Rescue Carcassonne you will be amazed at how many emails we get about cats and one of the most common is ‘ we have been here for the summer and have been feeding kittens / cats in our garden, we are going back to the UK, can we bring them into you’?

We do realise that people do this with the very best of intentions but this creates a nightmare situation for us. Theses kittens are usually at least 6 months old, never been to a vet thus not vaccinated and we will be lucky if the females aren’t already pregnant! To make it worse these kittens aren’t used to being in a house, are often not socialised and have never learnt to fend for themselves as they have been given food.

So when they arrive at the SPA they must be isolated in a cage until they have been tested for feline leukaemia and fully vaccinated. This takes at least 3-4 weeks.

All that is presuming we are not full up. We can’t take animals if we have no place to put them and this year so far too many kittens have arrived and our foster families are full so there is no guarantee we can take the cats.

So, what should you do if you find kittens? First thing is to contact your local Mairie. It is their responsibility to make arrangements for their care but failing that contact us.  We prefer young unvaccinated kittens to go to a foster home where they will be cared for until fully vaccinated. Once they have had their second vaccination they can come to us they can go right in with the other kittens without any risk.  This also give the ‘cat team’ time to arrange the logistics of their arrival. If they have to come into the SPA as we have no foster families they must be isolated until after their second vaccination and thus will  have to endure 3-4 weeks in a metal cage. This is no fun for these kittens!

In most villages in France there is a ‘wild’ cat problem with some colonies being really quite large. So what can you do about this? The first thing is to make sure that your cat is sterilised, the second is to report it to your Mairie. Most Mairies have an annual budget to deal with this and it’s their responsibility to do so.  Failing that there are various associations who can help so ask at your Mairies for their contact details. They are mainly charitable associations who trap and sterilise the stray cats but they too are stretched and have limited resources!

If you do email Dog Rescue Carcassonne about cats please be patient. We have to translate the email into French and send it to the French speaking cat team and wait for a reply. It really is best and quicker if you email them direct spacarcassonne@yahoo.fr.

There are stray cats everywhere in France!



I am fostering these 3 beauties..only 5 weeks old but available soon!