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Hallowe’en Adoption of Cliona

Tonight we are all in celebration mode. The last dog to leave for Hallowe’en is none other than Cliona.

By now everyone knows or knows of this dog, who was found neglected and alone in a village in a terrible state, with huge tumours and severely malnourished. She finally made it to the SPA, luckily for her. Large medical bills awaited, and in a huge effort of solidarity many of you donated generously in order to ease the financial burden on the SPA. Yes, that is what the SPA is there for, but of course the are limits to our funding and therefore limits to what we can do. In Cliona’s case, not even the vet was sure she could be saved, but we wanted to try.

After her operations were complete, we saw the true beauty of this dog. Not only did she become a magnificent looking dog, but she is also affectionate and gentle and oh so willing to trust humans, despite her weeks or months alone. Lots of people love and walk her, but since her arrival in August, no one has offered her a home. However yesterday a family came to meet her and today they returned with the good news; after an evening’s reflection they had decided to offer Cliona a home.

It was an incredibly emotional moment for all those present. Cliona is much loved and in many ways represents all a good SPA (like ours) should be. And we are even more delighted that with is being Hallowe’en, Cliona, a black dog, should leave for her new far far better life.

Cliona when she arrived.

And leaving today!

Thanks to everyone who donated to help the SPA help Cliona. Look what we can achieve together! It is truly inspiring. And thanks to her new family for offering her a home.

Thanks also to everyone who joined us today. The weather was kind almost till closing time, and we had another reservation as well as lots of dog walks. and some scary goings on…

Hallowe’en “finger” biscuits thanks to Carole

Some frightening volunteers

It was a great day and tonight we are very happy indeed!

Two Saturday Adoptions and a Huge Donation.

Today we have two more adoptions to tell you about.

The first of the lucky dogs is Princesse, who was adopted yesterday. She and her sister Kiara were brought to the refuge at the end of October by their owner who could no longer look after them. Not only are they stunning dogs, but they are both fine with children, cats and other dogs. It was no surprise that with credentials like these, Princesse found a home so soon. In fact the SPA has already received photos of her lying happily on the floor with her new family’s toddler. Let’s hope Kiara finds a new home soon, as well.

Princesse – ADOPTED

Next we said goodbye to Hallowe’en dog Denis “Piout”. This stunning border / beauceron cross has been at the SPA since mid August, but this was not his first time with us. He had visited the Pound on a number of occasions, and each time, just before the ten days were up, he was reclaimed. One of those times we had an adopter who was desperate to take him home, too, so we were very disappointed that he left. And more so when he arrived once again, never to be reclaimed. On the other hand, he is now castrated, which would never have been the case otherwise! And today he has a new home too.

big black and white dog with one blue and one brown eye

Denis “Piout” – ADOPTED

Also today we have to pass on huge thanks once again to the amazing team at Dog Park 11 who donated over 300 kg of dried food to the SPA. This was collected during a recent group walking event and we are very grateful to Fabrice and everyone at this fabulous local association for their continuing support.

Many thanks to Dog Park

Finally please don’t forget that the SPA will be open for the first Sunday of the month tomorrow. It is the end of our Hallowe’en week, and volunteers have been discussing their costume choices. If you or your children would like to wear an outfit, you will be in good company!

Three dogs leave, including Aka after two years!

After no news yesterday, we were wondering how the week was going to progress. We knew that two further adoptions were going to take place this week, what we did not expect was the three that took place today!

One of them, little pincher Chocolate, had only just arrived. He was abandoned on Friday due to his owner’s ill health, and we knew that he would not be at the SPA for long. Small and very sweet, this kind of dog flies out of the SPA. He is a fabulous little chap and at only a year old, the five nights he spent behind bars will be soon forgotten.

tiny brown pincher

Chocolate – ADOPTED

We then said goodbye to Jamie. She had been adopted from the SPA when she was a puppy, then abandoned at the gates at the beginning of August with a note saying that she was no longer wanted! Jamie had been reserved once recently but this was cancelled. However we all had a feeling that her turn was here. And when a couple contacted us to say they were looking for a friend for their dog, Jamie was the obvious choice. The meeting went well and today after some ten weeks at the SPA, eight year old Jamie was off. Many thanks to her new family.

pale stocky dog - ADOPTED


The departure of the day has to be that of Aka.  This fabulous brindle staff was found straying in October 2015 and was brought to the SPA. Aka is a category one dog, and as such is subject to all the frustrating legal requirements. He is a wonderful dog, gentle and affectionate, and as usual the label of “dangerous dog” seems ridiculous. However such is life. Finally, after almost exactly two years to the day, a family has offered this lad a home and has ticked all the boxes. After spending half of his four years behind bars, Aka has finally left for what is going to be his permanent home, even though legally he remains the “property” of the SPA. Again we think of Alizée and Erwan, who were sad to leave him behind when they went to Paris. Vincent will miss him too, as you can see. In fact Aka has been a favourite with almost everyone.

Aka – ADOPTED (and getting a farewell hug from Vincent)

So with the week half over and more adoptions planned, we are feeling quite happy.


Today amongst other news, Freedom has found a home!

Many of you saw the pictures of this boy when he arrived at the SPA at the beginning of August. He had been tied up with a chain and his collar was so tight that the skin had grown over it, requiring it to be surgically removed. Yet again we are grateful to the people who made it possible for Freedom to reach the SPA and receive the veterinary care that he needed. And of course to everyone, staff, volunteers and the vets who have helped him recuperate while he has been at the refuge. Freedom soon bounced back from his trauma, proving to be a lively and affectionate lad. He was one of the dogs who was photographed on Wednesday, and everyone remarked on how well behaved and handsome he was.

Freedom’s new family had recently lost a pointer and were drawn to Freedom and touched by his back story. They felt that he deserved a lovely home, and that is what they have promised to give him.

Chocolate braque

Freedom – ADOPTED

Today we also said farewell to Sam. This is great news for this dog, as he arrived at the SPA with parvovirus and very nearly died. Dogs who are young and undernourished can fall victim to this illness which often proves fatal. Sam was lucky to have arrived with us when he did, and after several days at the vet under transfusion, he was once again the big strong lad you see now. His new family had just lost their beauceron cross, and they fell for Sam’s tough looks and gentle manners. He has a huge garden of 3700 m2 to run round in; freedom indeed.

Big beauceron cross


Freedom is a great title for this next picture too. Look at Alfie (ex foster dog Tis) who is now living life to the full on the Channel Islands!

Alfie (ex Tis) enjoying freedom

We also need to notify you that although it is not the first weekend of the month, the SPA will be open on both days. Sunday is the National Open days in honour of St Francis of Assisi. Let’s get some more dogs to freedom!

Adoption of Anais

We always like it when we have an adoption on Monday; it gives us hope for the rest of the week!

Today the SPA said goodbye to lovely Anais. She was one of five border collies who arrived at the SPA at more or less the same time at the end of August. These dogs were not living in great conditions and were brought to the SPA as rescues, so we are particularly happy that so far three of them have found new homes. This leaves the two boys, Juan and Bran, but they are both mixing well and certainly having more exercise and better lives than where they were before, so it is all good.

tricoloured border collie


There was a reservation today and an identified dog who arrived was reclaimed immediately, so the news was largely good. However we have to report the sad death of one of our longterm foster dogs, which has cast a shadow over the day.

Many thanks to Marie- Ange (who truly IS an angel), for caring for old man Roucky. This elderly Brittany spaniel was brought to the SPA following the death of his owner in January. Marie- Ange stepped in and took Roucky into her heart and home, where he has lived the life of a king until his sad death last week. She is very sad at losing him, and she has our deepest sympathies as well as all our thanks for letting this lovely gentle dog end his days in a loving home.

brittany spaniel

RIP Roucky

Adoption of Lady and Charlot

Today we said goodbye to two more lucky dogs who went to their new homes. It has not been the best week in terms of adoptions, but today certainly left us with a smile on our faces.

First to leave was Lady. She arrived towards the end of August in pretty bad condition. In fact for several weeks she was too ill and thin to live outside and it is only fairly recently that she has been on view to the public. She has made quite an impression, with everyone remarking on her beauty. Yesterday a family came to meet her and went away to have a think. It didn’t take them too long to decide to offer Lady a home.

golden retriver cross


Second to leave was little Charlot. This adorable yorkie cross was found (unidentified, of course) in a local village about two weeks ago. To our amazement no one came looking for him, although he simply must have had a home before arriving at the SPA. This week alone three families have been to visit him and have promised to think about it and let us know. Well as with many of our popular dogs, thinking too long can result in disappointment (although of course a decision as momentous as adopting a dog whould not be made in haste).

Today two new volunteers arrived to join our fabulous team of walkers, and the first dog they walked was Charlot. The next thing we knew, they were testing Charlot with a border collie, who belongs to their brother (and our wonderful handyman volunteer) Philippe, and leaving the SPA with a new addition to the family.

They have promised to carry on walking dogs, though, don’t worry!

yorkie cross

Charlot – ADOPTED

Three (identified) dogs left with their owners, and so it was a great way to end the week.

Three Monday Adoptions

We knew that at least one adoption was going to take place this week, but in fact we have already had three. And it is only Monday!

First to leave was Carmen now renamed Griotte, who left before the SPA even opened its doors to the public this afternoon. Volunteers Ingrid and Marjorie had already adopted Gypsy from us and although they were not looking for another dog, soon after Carmen’s arrival they decided to test their two other dogs with Griotte and made plans to welcome her into their home. Had they not already had holday plans, Ingrid and Marjorie would have adopted Carmen some ten days ago, and the wait has not been easy. But it is all over now, and we look forward to news and photos of Griotte as she starts her new life.

Incidentally Griotte arrived (unidentified) at the SPA in mid August with what was a very nasty allergy to fleas. The flea collar she was wearing did not appear to be helping.  If something is obviously not working, go to see your vet or try another solution, please don’t let your dog suffer unnecessarily!


small black and white dog

Carmen (now Griotte) – ADOPTED

Next we had the adoption of little Boo. She arrived about two weeks ago and everyone was sure that she would be reclaimed. However no one came forward to collect her (need we bother saying that she was not identified when she arrived?). Being young and small and pretty and affectionate, it was clear that she would not have long to wait, and sure enough off she went today.

small yorkie type dog


We then said goodbye to Poker, who had been with us a bit longer, arriving as he did towards the end of July. At the time he was extremely thin, but as soon as he started putting on some weight he was able to run and jump and play, and he hasn’t stopped since! This lad is a bundle of fun and energy, and has socialised well with everyone he came into contact with. We are so pleased that he has found a home and wish him and today’s others lucky leavers lots of happiness.


grey spaniel


So let’s see what else the week brings.

Three dogs leave the SPA.

Today we have lots of good news!

We had the adoption of Vegas, a handsome lad of four and a half years old who was found at the gates one day at the end of June. Vegas has very distinctive looks, and his picture caught the eye of a family who live near Bordeaux. They had spoken with Carole several times on the subject of Vegas before coming today with their dog from close to Bordeaux  to check that the two get on. So it was goodbye Vegas, exchanging Carcassonne for a beachside home and swims in the sea! Wonderful news!

Big tricoloured dog


We also have news of another big lad. Although not officially adopted, Darby has gone to live with a foster family. This is not suitable for all our dogs, obviously, but Darby is a bit of a special case. He is extremely fearful at the SPA and is not eating. Where there are concerns for a dog’s welfare, we look for solutions, and it is clear that Darby’s visibility to people visiting the SPA is less important than his health. So Petra, his sponsor mum, has offered to look after Darby and to try to find him a home. Many thanks to her for opening up her home to this terrified lad. We have every faith that he will flourish in the quiet of the countryside and benefit enormously from spending time with the family’s three dogs and four children.

Big hound

Darby- gone to a foster home

Some of you may have noticed the recent influx of border collies at the SPA. We received 5 in just two days at the end of August. They were all together in their former life, victims of a mixture of fashion, which led, as it usually does, to mass reproduction and selling of puppies to unsuitable people. The five dogs, three females and two males, are now safe at the SPA, busy being introduced to other dogs and people and trying to catch up on all the stimulous they have missed out with thus far. They are all spending time with other dogs and with our behaviourist, Vincent and of course with other staff and volunteers.

Today the first of the five, Méline, found her new home. She is arguably the prettiest of the dogs, very petite and with one blue and one brown eye and is lucky to have caught the eye of her new family very quickly. Let’s hope her brothers and sisters (or her mum) don’t have too long to wait. But they are all far happier at the SPA than they were beforehand, in any case.

border collie

Méline – ADOPTED


Adoption of Puppy Némo

We were joking last night that after one adoption on Monday, two on Tuesday and three last night, we were due for a bumper day today. Well, we did not have four adoptions, but we did have one, although it took place after hours and remote from the SPA, it is nonetheless an adoption.

Little Némo was found at the SPA gates in mid August severely underweight and very dehydrated. Whoever put him there should really have taken him to a vet, of course. Hey ho. Luckily the SPA was there for him, and more precisely, luckily volunteer Isa was there for him. She nursed him back to health and when the vet was sure he was ready, he was put up for adoption.

On Saturday a family came to the SPA looking for a dog, and they fell in love with Despé. He, of course was already reserved, so they went back to their original plan, which was to adopt a spaniel. But of course puppies are great, so what could be better than a spaniel puppy! Isa’s husband raced to the SPA to introduce Némo to the family, and arrangments were made.

Today was the day when Némo left for his new home, and we have to say thanks once again to Isa and her family for looking after this little lad and keeping him out of the refuge. And for giving us an adoption to blog about tonight. Maybe we will have good news for the reamaining two days this week.

spaniel puppy


Three dogs are adopted and one is reclaimed.

Today Norton was reclaimed and as he is 15 years  old, this is great news. He arrived in mid August and was not identified, so we were very worried. However a close look through the record of phone calls resulted in a clever employee putting two and two together. A week earlier a couple on holiday in Carcassonne had phoned to say that they had lost a small, black scruffy dog. Norton has clearly got some grey hairs since then, but yes, Sherlock Holmes (aka Carole) worked out that it was the same dog!

Due to work committments Norton’s family were unable to come back to Carcassonne before now, but Norton has been living inside the cat house, rather than the heat of the refuge, and today he left the SPA, identified and none the worse for his adventure. See, not all old dogs left at the SPA gates have been abandoned; some of them really are just lost!

small black scruffy dog

15 year old Norton- RECLAIMED

At the other end of the age range, today we said goodbye to puppy Despé. Now this dog had an owner too. She put an announcement onto a local site to try and find her “beloved” pet. The SPA Facebook page received many messages saying how much this girl loved her puppy and how she would definitely come to collect him. Once it emerged that reclaiming the puppy would mean identfying him, we heard no more, either from the owner themselves or their many friends.

Luckily a cute puppy like this would not take long to find a home, and sure enough less than 2 weeks after his arrival, Despé has a new owner!

tricoloured puppy


We then said goodbye to Fleur. She is a heart-stoppingly beautiful spaniel cross who arrived not quite three weeks ago, and like so many of our dogs, simply must have had a home. She is well socialised, affectionate, fine on the lead…simply perfect. We have no idea at all why no one was looking for her. Had she been identified it might well have been a different story, of course. However their loss is someone else’s gain. Today Fleur has a new home, and of course she is identified as well as sterilised, so a whole new life awaits.

tricoloured spaniel


Next to leave was Doc. This is wondeful for a number of reasons, the first one being that Doc’s kennelmate, Tilly was adopted yesterday. It quite often happens this way, a dog gets adopted immediately after his pal goes. Lucky Doc. Particularly lucky as this jack russell cross is nine years old, which is not the easiest age at which to find a new home.

He had been with us for under two months, since being found tied up in a garden following the death of his owner. The people htat brought him in told us that he does not like other dogs, but as Tilly showed, perhaps it is just boys he does not like. Canine ones, that is, Doc is very fond of humans, be they male or female.

We wish him happiness in his new home and look forward to yet more good news!

jack russell cross