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And Two More!

With three adoptions yesterday was already a great day. But at the time of the blog, we did not know that in fact a fourth dog left the SPA! The adoption took place after 18H00, so we have to thank the staff once again for their dedication.

Baila had been homed once before but there were issues with the family’s cat. Her new family have cats too; 6 of them. But as Baila is always well-behaved in the SPA cat house, and her new family are determined to make it work, we are cautiously optimistic. In any case, it has been almost a year since Baila was brought back, and before that she had been at the SPA for nine months. And Baila is not even two and a half years old.  So cats or no cats, she deserves a chance. Please keep your fingers crossed that things finally work out for this lovely girl.

And today we had another adoption, this time of a puppy. Two almost identical black puppies arrived earlier this month having been found in a local village.  As athletics fans know, usually Bolt is first, but this time it is Blake’s turn, although admittedly few people can tell these pups apart. Angelique tells me it is all in the placement of the ears. In any case, the other pup, nominally Bolt, is still waiting, but if I know the SPA staff well, he will not be  alone. He and the other pups have been playing all day in the park, so although Bolt will be missing his brother, he doubtless has new playmates. Not as good as a home of his own, of course…..

Blake, whose photo is below, is also the poster child for the upcoming photograph competition taking place to celebrate the International Day of the Dog on 26th August.

Two more dogs are due to leave tomorrow, ending what has been the best week for some time.

pale beige lab cross









black pup

Sunday Adoption of Amy

Today was our regular first Sunday of the month open day at the SPA, and the temperatures were a lot cooler following last night’s very welcome rains. Yes, it has been a bit uncomfortable recently, with  lots of hot sweaty beasts wandering round with their tongues hanging out; and I am not talking about the dogs!

Thanks very much to all of you who have donated swimming  and paddling pools, the dogs LOVE them and they make a huge difference to their quality of life.

So, what did today bring? Well, apart from a lot of lovely walks, today meant a new home for Amy. This gentle and elegant dog was brought in towards the end of June following the death of her owner. Amy had been loved and well looked after her whole life, and her owner would never have intended for her to arrive at the SPA. No, he was not one of those people who dump their dogs at the gates with a pathetic excuse. However Amy is a fairly big dog, and was 9 years old when she arrived. Would she find love again?

She was made the DRC urgent appeal, and caught the eye of Marie and Andrew who live several hours from Carcassonne, but who were prepared to travel for the right dog. And after many exchanges by phone and email, they decided that yes, Amy was the one. Today they made the journey to meet their new girl, and Amy’s new life began.

The other prospective adoption did not take place due to the age-old problem…cats! The dog in question is fine with cats, but the family’s resident moggy was not at all impressed. So in the interests of peace and quiet, Max will stay at the SPA for the time being.

On the subject of cats, August 8th is International Cat Day, and if you would like to read more about that, why not visit the SPA Carcassonne Chats page on Facebook?

chocolate lab cross

Pollux leaves…

Dogs are like humans and some cope with everything that life throws at the much better than others.

One dog who really seems unscathed by his past is Pollux. For the first year of his life he lived on a chain until his owners moved and not only did they leave, they left him on the chain! Luckily an observant neighbour brought him in to us.

Pollux seemed delighted to be at the SPA. He got regular meals, attention, and walks…to him life was great. We found that he walked well on the leash, seemed to know sit, down and stay and was such a loving gentle boy that everyone he met loved him!

But, little did he know that life was about to become much better!

Today he left for a great life with his new mum who has lots of time and patience for him. He will have great meals, treats and walks…..finally he can enjoy the life that he deserves.

So that’s two adoptions in two days..lets hope that we continue through the week with such momentum!

Pollux- who will be either Fergus or Dougal!





Adoption of Dana

We had an adoption yesterday; that of little Dana who has been renamed Jipsy. She arrived almost 2 weeks ago, having been found tied up in the vineyards in a nearby village. It wasn’t long before Dana caught the eye of her new family, and although they could not take her home before today, they have been along to visit and to walk her with their other dog, Sukie. So when she left, things were not quite as new as they would otherwise have been!

Also yesterday Augustin was reclaimed. So who was Augustin, you ask. Well, the meeting of the SPA Conseil d’Administration (at the Bistrot Augustin) was invaded by a canine visitor, who was lost and alone. As many people pointed out, he could not have fallen into better hands!  Everyone gave him a cuddle and Patricia took him home for the night.  At the SPA the next day he turned out to be microchipped, but as his owner’s details were not up to date, we could not contact them. Luckily they phoned the SPA to look for their dog, and little Gringo (his real name) went straight home. So his time with us was short but sweet, a bit like the dog, in fact!

It was busy at the SPA today too, but no adoptions. Let’s hope we have more dogs in new homes by the end of the week.

Dana (now Jipsy) – ADOPTED










Augustin (in real life Gringo) – RECLAIMED

small brown pinscher


Refuge shut, but two adoptions nevertheless!

The SPA was officially shut for the May Day bank holiday, but several of the volunteers were around and keen to come along and walk dogs and let others play in the parks. Plus we had two adoptions, so it was well worth us being there!

First to leave was Noris. This lovely brindle dog crossbreed arrived as a “not quite pup”. This is the hardest age for a dog to arrive, both in terms of rehoming and his or her own development. Sadly it is so often the time when owners give up on a dog. Often it is due to lack of training; dogs are starting to get stronger and to need more time, and are no longer the cute little puppies they once were. Unfortunately rather than put in the required effort (which is often relatively small), owners often give up at this stage and rely on the SPA to rehome their dog. IN Noris’s case they did not even bring him in and explain the difficulties, they just let him wander off in the hope that he would be delivered to the refuge.

For Noris this meant the start of a long, long wait. He arrived in August 2015, meaning that he has done almost all his growing up at the SPA. He is very lively and active but luckily for him he is great with other dogs and has been able to share his kennel with Baila, who is equally lively!

Finally he caught the eye of someone via the internet and although for personal reasons she was unable to take Noris immediately, she has been to visit many times and has kept in touch with him via Facebook. Sometimes the right home is worth waiting for! Today she had a day off work, and finally Noris on his way to his new home, where he also has a new little friend!

We had another adoption too, making us even happier that we were at the SPA. A family came along to meet Odin, having seen him on the website. A quick walk later and this young malinois was off to his new home as well.

We also said goodbye to the Anatolian Shepherd who was brought in by volunteers on Saturday night. He was identified and it is not the first time he has been to the SPA, and there is no point in him spending longer locked up than necessary.

For those of you who didn’t make it to yesterday’s fashion show in Fanjeaux, you missed a treat. The catwalk show was wonderful with a group of stunning models, not to mention a dog, and just about everyone picked up a bargain along the sale rails. Oh, and we raised a huge amount of money, which will go to help the dogs at the SPA. Many thanks yet againt to everyone involved.

Noris when he arrived in 2015 and giving a kiss to his new mum today.

puppy-like dog




















Ejder – reclaimed








And one of the many stars of yesterday’s show, Tillylicious

yorkie wearing pink sunglasses


Adoptions of Bugsy and Zack

Today it was Bugsy’s turn to find a home! He is a fabulous beauceron cross who had been at the SPA since July 2015, and as with Gamin, no one was quite sure why. Especially as Bugsy is fine with female dogs, and until her wonderful adoption, was living with the Nadja. In fact when she went wandering shortly after arriving in her new home, it was the visit of Bugsy (who went to help find her along with two members of staff) which lured her closer to home.

As for Bugsy himself, he will be seven years old in August, and it was high time he had a home of his own! Sometimes the nicest dogs just pass unnoticed, perhaps they have no distinguishing features, or perhaps they are just in an area of the SPA that is visited less often. In any case, moving Bugsy to a new kennel, closer to the reception building, and some new superb photographs in his album (thanks to Alizee) seem to have done the trick.

That was not the day’s only adoption, either. Next to leave was Zack, and although he had not been with us for very long, this adoption is also amazing news. Before his arrival at the SPA, Zack had spent 8 hours a day locked up in a cage inside a car. Yes, next time you pity the “poor dogs” at the SPA Carcassonne, please remember that for all too many of them, this is the best life they have known. Zack is a border collie who is only 18 months old, and as he is simpy stunning, it was clear that he would not have long to wait. Just four weeks after being rescued (thanks Sylvie et al) Zack’s new life can begin.

So today the lives of two more dogs are changed for the better. As ever, though, it should not be a question of a home at any price. It is better for a dog to wait a bit longer for the right home than to leave with the first person, if they are not suitable. We love our dogs far too much for that!


black and tan dog









tircoloured border collie

Adoption of Marley, Laya and Rex..

Two of tonight’s three adoptions are both recent arrivals and are both young, lovely looking dogs. The third is an older gent who has had quite a wait in kennels.

Laya had just more than the statutory pound time to wait and I am really not surprised. A young, friendly female of only two years old was always going to be popular.

Marley, a very handsome one year old attracted lots of interest on our social media sites and no wonder. Hes probably one of the most handsome dogs Ive seen, add to that his playful, friendly nature and its no surprise why he was adopted so quickly.

We love when dogs don’t have long to wait for their forever home and its always a bit of a mystery why some dogs attract little interest. Is it their behaviour in their kennel, their colour, whether they bark or not or why is it some dogs just don’t move?

If all of our dogs were great with other dogs, loved cats, adored children and were trained would our job be any easier? Well I think that training has a big effect on how a dog appears to potential adopters. If you ask them if they’d like to walk the dog that they are interested in and it pulls them so much they come back puffing and panting they most likely won’t adopt. Yet with only one walk a week it’s so difficult for us to teach lead manners. A recent article that I read said that if a dog lay down beside a potential adopter that they were much more likely to adopt it!

One dog who took a long time to catch anyone’s eye was 10 year old Rex who arrived in August last year. I really enjoyed walking this lovely boy as did lots of volunteers. Rex was adopted a few weeks ago but just couldn’t live with cats. Today was his lucky day and he has gone to a cat free home!

Last night I did make a little error in the blog reporting that the wrong Domino had been adopted. Below you will see a picture of the Domino who was actually adopted.

Marley adopted..

Laya adopted..

Rex adopted..

THE adopted Domino..

Two oldies and a young’un leave the SPA

We had three wonderful adoptions today.

Well, in fact one of the dogs, Rex left for his new home yesterday with volunteer dog walker Francine. Yes, sometimes a volunteer comes along to help out with no intention of adopting, but after a number of weeks or months they feel such a bond with a dog that they decide to offer him or her a home. Yesterday Francine took the plunge and took lovely old boy Rex home, although the adoption was not formalised until today, when Rex came back to say hello and to have a farewell bath. Francine is entranced by him, but she will not be giving up her walking duties, we are all pleased to hear. As for ten year old Rex; what a lucky boy he is. The love he will receive from Francine will make up easily for everything he missed out on before arriving at the SPA in a terrible state in August last year.

Today we also said goodbye to lovely Aska. She arrived at the end of January and to be honest we are surprised she had this long to wait. She is a fabulous dog, and we knew from the people who found her and brought her in to us that she is fine with other dogs and horses. Today we found out that she is good with children too! What a lovely girl.

Third to leave was Kraft. He is an elderly dog who arrived earlier this month at the age of ten. However Estelle had a brainwave and remembered a kindly gentleman who visits the SPA regularly looking for just this type of dog. A phone call later and the deal was done. Lucky Kraft has gone off to be spoilt, which is what all our dogs deserve!

We have a new dog to show you, a tricoloured border collie who is fine with other dogs and even cats, so hopefully 18 month old Zac will find a new home soon.

Apart from that we were blessed with fabulous weather and hoards of volunteer dog -walkers, so it was a lovely day.

woman with black dog









GSD cross











small poodle cross












New arrival – Zac

tricoloured border


Four Adoptions. Yippee!

Two dogs left the SPA yesterday and two more today! What joy!

Joe arrived relatively recently. He was identified but as the details were not up to date we were unable to contact the owners. Had they been looking for their dog, they would probably have found him, as his pictures have been all over the internet, and of course Joe himself has been available for “viewing” at the Pound for ten days and subsequently at the Refuge.

As a handsome and young Brittany spaniel, Joe found it relatively easy to find a home, and we wish him lots of happiness.

Another dog who has found happiness is Pinto, but it took him a lot longer. Pinto arrived when he was a puppy, before being brought back when he was almost two years old. That was way back in August 2015. Pinto is a big, black labrador cross, and despite being adorable and extremely good with other dogs, he has had a long wait.

Yesterday his luck finally changed. A family came to visit with a view to adopting, and Pinto reminded them so much of their former dog that they could not believe their eyes. And what’s more, he was in the same kennel that had been home to their last dog (who also came from the SPA, obviously) Fate! Everyone is over the moon for Pinto, and it just goes to show that every dog has his day.

Today was the day for relatively recent arrivals Jack and Sasha. Jack was found at the SPA gate at the end of January complete with his vaccination book (with his owner’s name carefully cut out), and Sasha arrived on almost the same day, having been found in a local village.

They both have new homes as of now.

There were plenty of volunteers out walking in the warm sunshine, and so it was a great end to the week.

Brittany spaniel












Pinto – ADOPTED (after 18 months)

black lab










pale dog










border collie



Adoption of Tag and Nadja is back home

No blog was planned for tonight, especially as the day had got off to such a bad start. First off, last night newly adopted Gala had been really ill, and was rushed to the emergency vet. This is the result of an infection which, with typical poor timing, only manifested itself as she left the SPA. Fortunately for her, her new family were on the ball enough to rush her to the emergency vets, and now Gala is on the mend. Huge thanks to them for their prompt action. Things like this are very rare, we are not in the habit of letting sick dogs leave us, but sometimes these things happen.

Then Tyson, a beautiful white shepherd was brought back to the SPA after having been adopted in July. Then shortly afterwards, recently adopted Fadista was brought back too. Bringing a dog back to the refuge is easier for some people than others, obviously. Some people go through hell and high water to make things work, others give in at the first sign of trouble.  One option is to seek professional help, but please, when doing so, make sure that you find a reputable behaviourist. There are plently of charlatans out there, and plenty of other “experts” who might mean well but in fact have no idea at all what they are doing. Bad advice is very unlikely to help. If in doubt ask for a recommendation from someone you know has had a positive experience, and if you are in the Carcassonne area, we know several behaviourists who may well be able to help.

So it was looking like a very bad day before the day’s adoption. We finally said goodbye to TAG! This lovely boy has been at the SPA since the end of August 2015, and no one could understand why he was not adopted sooner. He arrived when he was just 4 years old, although perhaps his greying muzzle made people think he was older. Perfect on the lead, affectionate and handsome, Tag’s day has finally come.

As a favourite of many staff and volunteers, Tag has been walked very often, so thanks to everyone who brightened up his stay at the SPA, and spare a thought for Estelle, who is probably still drying her eyes after a very emotional day!

Then we heard fromher owners that Nadja is safely back at home. She was lured in with the help of some tasty morsels and there is huge relief all round. So despite the bad news, this is a happy day!

Tag – ADOPTED after nearly 18 months at the SPA
big shepherd cross









And Nadja is back home

shepherd cross