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Author Archives: Moira

Spot light on our teenagers…

We all know that pups should be socialised, taken out and about, introduced to lots of people and situations but not all pups are that lucky! Some are taken as cute puppies and as they mature are ignored, allowed to roam and arrive at the Scpa as teenagers who have had little training.

Some pups arrive with us and we have no interest in them and they end up as teenagers with us.

However these dogs end up with us they are the hardest to find adopters for. One reason for this is that these dogs are under exercised and as people walk around the kennels they go mad in their kennels jumping and barking to get your attention. Now we know that these dogs are usually great once they are out of the kennel but from a prospective adopters point of view you can understand their initial reluctance! What we must remember is that these dogs have all been let down by humans who took on the responsibility of a pup and then just couldn’t be bothered when they realised pups grow and don’t train themselves!

So here are a few of our teenagers who really need homes but are fantastic dogs. With a little time, patience and training will be fantastic family dogs.

So first of all meet Loubi, a medium sized griffon cross. He is a super boy who loves people, dogs and life in general.

Loubi,9 months old!

Next we have Nikita. a stunning girl with a really soft nature. She is a real beauty with her shiny black coat and sparkling white teeth!

Nikita – 9 months old!

Or how about Zebuline a berger x sharpie, again a lovely natured happy girl. she really is  a head turner and so sweet natured.

Zebuline – i year old!

Then there is Freddy who has been with us since he was a young pup. What a shame that he has only know refuge life! He loves people, craves attention and loves playtime in the park.

Freddy- ! year old!

These are only 4 of our many teenagers. Please give then a thought when you come to visit!


Adoption of Karadoc….

Well today has been a cold miserable day so when the refuge messaged to say that our  DRC sponsor boy Karadoc had been adopted it certainly cheered me up!

Kardoc arrived in August as a stray and why its taken so long for him to be adopted is anyone’s guess. Perfect on the lead, calm, very human oriented…what more could you ask for?

Karadoc adopted!

So no more cold concrete kennel for him and now we will just have to choose February’s sponsor dog!

The aim of the monthly sponsor is to give a dog regular social media updates as well as get him out and about and socialised.  It really does make such a difference but with 100+ dogs its impossible to do it with everyone.

Lets hope that this week we can get more dogs out of the cold and in front of cost fires!

Feel sorry for our dogs in cold kennel?   Its not to late to donate to our ‘Hot Dog’ challenge. You can do this by clicking on the link below and then clicking on the donate button. The more donations that we get the more heat lamps we can install and run!








Help us with our ‘Hot Dog’ challenge….

As many of you know we have concrete kennels and in winter they get VERY cold. As most of our kennels are outside it’s a terrible struggle to keep the dogs warm. Of course, they have a cosy blanket but even so its very tough for the young, elderly or more delicate dogs.

Last year DRC had a good year fundraising, so we have paid for the installation of heat lamps in some of the kennels and some more are ordered. This means that many dogs are cosier this winter than last.

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!

We would like as many warm dogs as possible and if this is successful, we will add more lamps as funds allow.

If you would like to sponsor a kennel you can do so by sending 30 euros by paypal to website@dogrescuecarcassonne.co.uk or a  cheque made out to ScPA Carcassonne, Chemin de la SPA, 11000 Carcassonne.


The story of Dylan McMullen…

Dylan came to us last year in the autumn.

We picked him out just by looking at the pictures on internet and then we just know that’s him.

So one day we went there asked for a walk with him together with Moira, he was pulling a lot on the lead but very happy to come out for a walk made no physical contact.

I watch him play with another dog in a fenced in area it was a full on play between two equally sized dogs, and I manage to exchange some words with the trainer in French.

I soon understood that Dylan was one of his favourite dogs.

My husband and I stood and looked at Dylan playing and agreed that this felt right so we signed for Dylan but we said we needed a week before we got him to fix things at home.

I also took the trainers phone number.

The day we picked Dylan up we had no long line for him so Vincent (trainer) gave us an old one so Moira took a photo of us and then we went to the lake in Carcassonne me and my husband and a friend of ours.

We took a long walk Dylan loved to play in the water but not swim. I sat in the back seat with Dylan strapped in the whole way he lay in my lap. We got back home and he looked at everything in the house.

Every walk we did he pulled a lot and was very nervous and had diarrhea.

He also reacted when the fly squatter came forward as if I was going to hit him the same reaction with the broom.

So then I texted Vincent and ask if he could help us with Dylan.

Vincent came around 10 times once a week, Dylan was so happy to see him and he trusted him.

We worked on different things together. To make him not to pull, stay, sit, lay down, and not eat food in the park. We manage everything exept for the food in the park.

I always talk to my dogs I believe they understand a lot of people laugh when I tell them but then I was at a conference in Sweden and listened to a professor who proved that a dog has an intelligence of a 5 year old and can understand 1500 words. I use a combination of words and signs when I communicate with him cause some days if it’s a lot of stress that day I just use signs so he does not hear the stress in my voice.

After about 6 months Dyland behaviour changed, he was calmer but then he begun to guard me and at the same time show that he did not trust other people so I had to do a lot of training in those areas we decided to go to Jorg Limacher so we went once a week and Dylan made a lot of progress.

We don’t know Dylans age or breed but we guess he is around 3 years old and are a cross of groendal, labradour and something else. He is black 30 kg.

He is a very clever dog, loves to be near the family but he does not like cats.

People who are friendly and doesn’t touch him no problem. If we introduce him to other people in our home he wants to get a cuddle but not before.

Other dogs no problem so far.

We also took the decision to bring a puppy in the family so we got a mini schnauzer a male, what a great decision Dylan loves Prince and they have so much fun together its like Dylan grew up and got a better self confidence with a puppy in the house.

Before we had dogs in the family then we had a Maremmano abruzzese , and a Tervuren, schnauzer.

The other day I came back from a walk with Dylan and my door is in an alley and two drug addicts came towards me and I could feel it’s a problem here. So I said to Dylan stay and stood still and these men came up and starting to complain about me standing between them and the dog and they just  asked  for trouble.

So I just waited until they stopped talking all this in French which I am not fluent in.

After a couple of minutes they started walking away and me and Dylan was just 3 meters from our door so I moved towards the door to go in then the one of the guys change their mind and turned around and was moving very quickly and in a threatening way towards me but he got stopped in the air by Dylan who just screamed and jumped up in the air with open jaw and slammed them in front of this guys nose.!

Adoption of puppy Diamant…

Well Darcey was right in yesterdays blog, we did have an adoption today!

Today puppy Diamant left with his new family. He hadn’t been with us long at all which is what we all hope for pups!


Puppy Diamant adopted!

When pups arrive, they are checked over by the vet and are of course identified and vaccinated. They do however need a second vaccination 3 weeks later. If you adopt a pup within this 3 week period you need to make sure you have the second vaccination done by your vet.

Vaccinations are a ‘hot topic’ at the moment with lots of people electing to not vaccinate after the puppy ones. That is fine but if you choose not to vaccinate please consider titre testing before making that decision. Parvo and distemper are common in France and having seen dogs with both I can tell you they are brutal illnesses which can be fatal!

Last year I decided to titre test my two older dogs. Neither had had any vaccinations except rabies for 3 years.  All this involves is a blood test done at your vets and a two week wait. Both of my dogs results showed a sufficient, in fact strong immunity to parvo, distemper and hepatitis, even after 3 years. That was pleasantly reassuring as it had been on my mind and I did wonder if I had done the right thing.

So after the puppy vaccinations which we feel are VERY important, please think about titre testing before deciding not to vaccinate. That way you know that your dog is not at risk. If you would like to see what titre results look like the click on the pdf link below.

lab AMS (1)


Adoptions of Paco and Mulan…

When Paco arrived at the ScPA  in October it was his second stint with us. He had been adopted as an older pup but was returned due to divorce. He is certainly unique with a Sharpie head, a long body but short legs! He is a friendly, steady boy who is fine with other dogs so should be a perfect match for his new owner.

Paco adopted!

Next to leave was lovely Mulan, a yound female who had only been with us for about 3 weeks.

Mulan adopted!

They really are lucky as life is not great in winter for the dogs at the ScPA. Its heart breaking seeing then shivering in their kennels and even although we make sure they have clean, warm bedding, the reality is that they are still in cold concrete boxes.

So how can we make life just a little better for them? Well first of all we can ger them moving and as many as possible out on walks or in the exercise park. We are very careful that their water doesn’t ice over and some of then need a bit more food to help them fight the cold.

When its very cold dog coats really help and waterproof ones are best.

For some of our doggies it’s their third or fourth winter in kennels which is such a shame.

With the cold weather arriving, another reminder about the dangers of anti-freeze which can be extremely dangerous for our pets.

Anti-freeze contains the chemical Ethylene Glycol which dogs and cats find very palatable, as it tastes sweet. It is, in fact, extremely poisonous to them and can be lethal if ingested. Even a small amount can prove fatal, and it’s thought that walking through a spillage and then cleaning their paws could be enough to cause serious illness, or even death.

When filling up your car or de-icing your windows, be sure to mop up any spillages, and store it in a sealed, labelled container, out of your pets’ reach.

If you suspect your pet could be a victim of anti-freeze poisoning, it’s vital to seek veterinary help immediately.



Adoption of Clifford…

When Clifford first arrived at the refuge he was a very scared and flighty boy. Some people underestimate how quickly a scared dog full of adrenalin can move and although he was adopted locally he managed to escape within 24 hours!  It took many volunteers to eventually catch him and without their dedication, goodness knows what would have become of him.

Once back at the refuge he settled down and slowly regained confidence in humans again. Today he left with a lovely family and I am sure that he will settle down very quickly.

Adopting and keeping a very nervous dog safe can be quite a challenge. You know that you have done a great thing and are full of love and encouragement, but it takes time for a timid dog to realise this.  A timid and nervous dog can move very quickly and can be very determined so it’s very important to keep it safe.

The golden rule is to keep your dog on a harness AND collar with either two leads or a double ended lead. This means that if the dog panics and backs away, if one fails the other should keep him nice and safe.

When you leave the refuge it is vital that you can secure your dog on the journey home. The best way for a dog to travel home is in a crate and will ensure that when you get home your dog won’t jump out of the car and run!

Don’t stop to walk your dog on the way home – better a wee and poo in the crate, than a lost dog!

Take your dog into the house using its double lead. Some dogs have never lived in a house before so may need encouraging (or carrying) into the house. Again, every dog is different but always err on the side of caution. Everything will be strange to your dog, from strangers’ voices on the TV to the washing machine or hoover. Keep everything really calm and low key, I remember accidently really scaring a pup by shaking out a bin bag!

However high your fences are, keep your new dog on a lead or long line in the garden for the first few days until you have judged how likely they are to try to escape. Every dog is different, but we have had instances of dogs attempting to jump six foot fences in their panic to get away. Scared dogs become very athletic when in panic mode. Keeping them on the lead until they know where the door is to the house and until they are familiar with you, is a wise move. Better to have the dog on a lead in the garden for several days, than risk losing it!

Please make sure that you are extra careful when people come to your house who aren’t used to your dog. Danger points are open doors and gates. There have been very sad incidents recently of rescue dogs slipping out through an open door or gate. It takes a split second for this to happen!

Don’t be tempted to let a timid dog off the lead until you have practiced recall and are sure that he wont bolt or run off.

Will clifford be 2018’s last adoption? Only tomorrow will tell!

Clifford afopted!

All they want for Christmas is free…..

Everyone loves presents, even dogs. But what does your dog really want for Christmas this year? Does he want a new bed? How about a nice shiny collar? Perhaps a new sporty harness? Unlikely, but luckily for us all they really want is free!

One major thing a dog craves is attention from his favourite people!

Now at this time of year we are all really busy with present buying, cooking and cleaning but the best thing we can give our dog is a little extra time.

Most people ensure that their dog gets a walk at least once a day, but why not add a sniff walk for him in the evening. Just have a wander around, letting them sniff at will, you have no idea how much pleasure that this gives them, and that lamp post or tree holds a wealth of information for them. Or how about a few of their favourite games?

Treat wise a little turkey or chicken will be most appreciated but do be careful with treats that are often left around that can really harm your pet, especially gifts you put under the tree. Many a dog has helped itself to edible goodies when their owner is not looking! Chocolate and mince pies are not advised and be very careful where you put these cooked turkey bones. Cooked bones can splinter and be very sharp and the last thing you want is a trip to the emergency vet on Christmas day!

On checking my Christmas list, I see that I still have 4 dogs and 9 cats to buy pressies for so it’s off to Pets at Home for me tomorrow.

If you are planning a gift for your pets what are you buying?

Dont let this be your dog…





Minta leaves for her forever family…

When Minta first arrived in August this year we assumed that as a beautiful white griffon cross she would be snapped up right away. But we were wrong.

In September she caught the eye of a couple from the Uk who really loved the look of her and were sure that her keen scent hound nose would make her a great candidate for training as a search dog. They were so keen that they flew over to meet her and fell in love instantly.

They went home and emailed us on the Sunday afternoon to reserve her, just as another couple adopted her. I was gutted for them and really disappointed!

Sometimes I think that some things are just meant to be and as soon as I heard that Minta was coming back to the refuge I contacted them, and they reserved her right away. I was very worried that in the meantime they would have adopted another dog but no, Minta had stolen their heart.

So, we prepared her for travel, completed her TRACES documentation and this morning very early Darcey handed her over to the transporters. Many thanks to Darcey for doing this, I know what like it is tossing and turning waiting for the transporters call which is invariably about 4am in the morning!

At the moment she is at Eurotunnel and will be with her new family about 2am tomorrow morning. As well as doing search work Minta will have two brothers, both rescues and a family who are very much into training, so she will never be bored.

I am sure that we will have pictures of her relaxing with her new family soon and I am very grateful to them for making such an effort to fly over come and meet her and offer her such a great future.

Beautiful Minta…

Found in Limoux….

Today one of our volunteers found a stunning golden retriever running about on the road in Limoux, and as any dog lover would do, caught him and is keeping him safe until we can locate the owner.

We regularly get asked what to do when someone finds a dog, So I thought that I’d mention what steps to take should it be you.

First of all, make sure the dog is well and if it is hurt, that is a priority and you can take it to any vet.  If the dog is thirsty, give it a drink and maybe a little food if hungry.

Next thing to do is check if the dog is wearing a collar with an identification disk or number written inside the collar. If not take the dog to the nearest vet to check for a chip or tattoo.

Social media sites really help.

Place details of the 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.

All stray dogs are the responsibility of the Mairie so let him know that you have found him and they will tell you which SPA / Pound to take it to.

When the dog reaches the SPA we publish their photo and details in the hope that the owner recognises the dog and comes to collect him.

Please do remember that its not a case of finders keepers. If no owner comes forward and you want to adopt the dog then that is fine but its only fair to give people time to find their dog…anyone can lose a dog and not all lost dogs are without owners.

Tomorrow our volunteer who has found the stunning golden will have him checked for a chip at the vets and if there is no chip will bring him to the SPA.

Anyone recognise this handsome chap?