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Latest News

Adoptions of Litchi and after two years, Flavien!

There were two adoptions today.

First to leave was Litchi. who had been with us since the end of August. Her former owner had a very unstable life, and despite still being officially homeless, Litchi seemed quite happy at the ScPA, sharing her box and playing regularly in the park, as well as enjoying walks with volunteers. She is very young and lively, though, and needed more exercise than is possible at a refuge where there are over a hundred other dogs clamouring for attention.

Litchi will love having a home of her own again, but this time a good one. Her new owner has adopted from the ScPA before and wanted to offer a home to another lucky dog, and we are sure that Litchi will be very happy.

mid brown dog with black muzzle

Litchi – ADOPTED

The day’s second adoption was that of a dog who had been at the ScPA a bit longer…in fact quite a lot longer. In three days time Flavien would have been with us for two years exactly.

This fabulous looking dog was brought to the refuge having been found wandering. His former owner got in touch via Facebook to tell us about her dog but never came to collect him. Yes, some people do that, believe it or not. So Flavien, who was five at the time, settled down for what has turned out to be a long wait. Of course he has had plenty of walks, thanks to his sponsor mum, Florence, as well as other volunteers and employees. And although he is a bit picky about the company he keeps, Flavien has learned to share his kennel, which has helped keep his spirits up.

Today his turn has finally come and Flavien has a new home. And it really was his turn as there were not one, but two families offering him a home on the same day. As we say, every dog has his day!

Black and tan shepherd cross

Flavien – ADOPTED

Don’t forget that the SPA Carcassonne is open on both Saturday and Sunday, and it is officially the national “Weekend of Adoptions”, so if you are thinking of adopting a dog or cat, why not pay us a visit. We have several dogs (and many) cats who have spent even longer than Flavien’s two years at the refuge; it would be wonderful if more of them could find homes.

Another catch up and some sad news.

Despite the fact that I blogged yesterday, there is still news to catch up on! Note to self: must try harder!

Yesterday two more dogs left the SCPA, and one left his foster family. This means that the day was even better than we thought!

First off, Enok. He was found in a nearby village and although he was extremely quiet upon his arrival, he soon perked up, proving himself to be a calm and well-behaved lad who is good with other dogs and cats. A lovely boy, he has been very popular on walks, mostly because he is so good on the lead. He has come out of his shell quite a bit in the last two months or so, and this progress should be even quicker now he has a home.


Next we had the adoption of Munchkin, who is almost the last puppy from the Wizard of Oz litter. These  are lovely dogs who are now five months old and more than ready for new homes. Let’s keep our fingers crossed that Kansas too finds a family before too long.

Munchkin – ADOPTED

Finally Leuky. He was brought to the ScPA by his owner who had bought this pedigree Australian Shepherd from a breeder three years ago but never really had the time to look after him. What do we keep saying about making sure you get a dog who is suitable for your lifestyle? There is no point getting a dog who needs lots of exercise if you hate it yourself!

Due to this lack of movement, Leuky was obese upon his arrival. He weighed 50kg, which is twice his normal body weight. This is a form of animal abuse, to be frank, and so it is lucky that the dog was brought in for rehoming. Luckier still that employee Carole decided to take him home to foster, as had he remained at the ScPA, his walks would have been far fewer. And this boy needs to lose some of that excess blubber! His new family have promised to carry on with the good work started by Carole and we hope that he will soon be looking far healthier. Many thanks to Carole for looking after him and for finding him his new family.

Australian shepherd


Finally today, some very sad news which has hit us hard at DRC. And for a change it concerns a human, not a dog. This morning we heard that our friend Nicki Penaluna had passed away following a brave fight with cancer. Nicki had devoted much of her life to rescuing dogs in need, primarily dobermans and golden retrievers, two breeds she adored. Whenever we had a dog of either of these breeds for rehoming, Nicki was my go-to person and we have spent many hours chatting online and in person over the years. Her name appeared on the blog most recently when we thanked her for her help in rehoming doberman Red, but she had helped on many occasions in the past, not only dogs in Carcassonne or France, but all over Europe.

Red is just one of the many dogs helped by Nicki.

Nicki will be sorely missed by her family but also by her many friends in the dog rescue community and elsewhere. The many animals who have been rehomed with her help stand as a suitable legacy to a truly wonderful person. The association Doberman Sans Frontieres, of which she was a keen member, will continue her good work, as no doubt will the golden retriever association and others with whom she worked, but there will only ever be one Nicki. As all the dogs she has helped over the years leave this world, she will have more and more company on the other side of Rainbow Bridge.

RIP lovely lady.

Two adoptions and lots of sunshine

The refuge was buzzing today. After a couple of cool(er) days, we had a glorious day, and volunteers were out in force walking the dogs and playing with the cats. We cannot thank our volunteers enough, seeing all the dogs out enjoying the sunshine brightens up the day.

We have a couple of adoptions to tell you about, too. The first of them took place yesterday, and was of spaniel puppy Skin. He arrived just a couple of weeks ago and we are delighted that he has found a home so quickly. Breton spaniels make great family pets, as well as being lively and inquisitive on walks, they are affectionate and loyal companions. Skin is a lovely lad and we are sure he will be very happy.


Today we saw the departure of Jaja. This little fox terrier cross was brought in towards the end of June by her owner, who had found Jaja two years earlier. She was now moving house and did not think that the move would suit Jaja, who was still very nervous.

Jaja’s time at the refuge has been spent mostly in the company of Bang, and it is thanks to him and to the regular walks given by volunteers Ingrid and Dominique (sponsor mums of Bang and Jaja respectively), that she has gained in confidence as much as she has. Yes, she is still a timid dog, but her new family has a lot of experience with nerous dogs. They are at home all day and have lots of love and patiences so it looks as if Jaja is a very lucky girl!

fox terrier cross


Let’s hope for yet more good news; the week is not even half way through.

Five dogs leave

The week has got off to a great start, with several dogs leaving the refuge. Let’s start with the adoptions.

First off we had the adoption of German Shepherd Lasko. He arrived last month with his pal, lhasa apso Gadjo as their owner was seriously ill. Little Gadjo left first, and Lasko would have been adopted sooner had he not had certain medical issues that needed to be sorted out. He is actually a haemophiliac, and this needed to be controlled before he could leave. Many thanks to his new family for their patience and undestanding. His former owner would be delighted to know that his dog is in such good hands.


We then said goodbye to Tia. This dog was found in a local village, and when you see her morphology, you realise why she had to be homed responsibly. Tia is not actually identified as a staff, but it is a question of millimeters (yes, the law is very strict, but this very inflexibility leaves what appear to be anomalies). Letting her be rehomed unsterilised (which could have been the case had she been homed other than via the ScPA) would doubtless have caused problems (in puppy form) down the line.

On Saturday Tia caught the eye of a young active couple and we hope that all goes well for her in her new life.

pale brown coloured dog


No fewer than three dogs were reclaimed, too. First off was Gloria, a yellow labrador who arrived already identified. Then it was Kassie, a black labrador cross, and finally it was the turn of Kitty, whom we had named Neige. She arrived on Saturday and believe it or not she was not identified, . Who would risk losing a dog like this? Had the people who found her not been as honest, they could quite easily have identifed her in their name and she would have been lost to her owners forever!

Kitty is now microchipped, of course, but one wonders if she would ever have been identified had she not passed via the ScPA. I suspect not. Really, people, if you love your dog, why take the risk of losing them?


Kitty (aka Neige) – RECLAIMED (and now identified)

So the week got off to a pretty good start and we hope there is more news like this to come.

Adoption of Raina and an amazing reunion

We had a lovely day at the refuge today. Plenty of volunteers were on hand to walk the dogs, and the weather is still wonderful, so the parks were all full.

We had a fabulous adoption, too, that of Raina. She is the mum of puppy Buddy, who was adopted a few weeks ago. I mentioned at the time that both dogs had arrived suffering from mange, meaning quite a lot of time in “solitary”. However since she has been well enough to mingle, Raina has become a great favourite.

A griffon vendeen on the slightly timid side, this girl needed a family with lots of love and patience, and preferably with another dog. And that is exactly what she has! Raina’s new family have experience with nervous dogs, and know that she is likely to spend most of her walks on the lead, but with plenty of cuddles at home, and an enclosed garden, we are sure she is going to be very happy.



Then the big news of the day. No, not an adoption, but a dog who was reclaimed. We often have dogs reclaimed, so why is this so special? Well, mostly because this dog has been missing for EIGHT YEARS!

Jeep was brought in by a local association, as the dog’s owner no longer had time to look after him. And when he was checked for a microchip, it turned out he was identified, and not in the name of the man who abandoned him, either. Nor was his real name Jeep. How this had not been discovered during the previous eight years is a mystery.

Poupi’s REAL owner came to collect him today. She explained how, when Poupi was just five months old, a hole had been cut in their fence and their puppy was taken. The family had never given up, however, and were hoping that one day their dog would return to them. Of course had he not been identified it would have been impossible, so if you have an unidentified animal, perhaps this will help motivate you to have him chipped.

There were more than a few tears (yes, okay, I did blub a bit), and we hope that Poupi settles into his new (old home) easily. It is the same house, with the same people, so all should be well.

shepherd cross

Poupi – REUNITED with his owners after 8 years

The ScPA is open tomorrow as usual! Let’s hope for more great news.

Adoption of Obiwan..

Now followers of our blog will be thinking, wait a minute, that’s not the first time we have had that headline! And its true, Obiwan arrived and was adopted straight from the pound when his 10 days were up.

Once adopted, he did what border collies do, he herded, he used his very intelligent brain to create all sorts of fun for himself. Yes, he was a very bored, under exercised, under stimulated border collie, so back he came!

Today he left with a family who know the breed inside out and are quite prepared to exercise, train and keep him well occupied.

Obiwan adopted!

As mentioned in last nights blog we love when adopters understand the breed of their dog. So much heartache can be avoided for both them and the dog. Now sometimes you do get an exception. Jess a border cross pup who was adopted by my son is an example. Even as a pup she was easy and apart from her addiction to a tennis ball she is a very relaxed easy-going dog. I think that they have been very lucky and the ‘cross’ has diluted out the collie traits within!

So in general, borders are going to herd and require an active lifestyle, shepherds are going to guard, terriers are going to dig and chase, pointers are going to point and use their nose and Labradors are going to wag their tails and love everyone!  Now you know why I have Labradors!

The other good news if that Story the lovely lab cross has found his owners and has gone home!

Let hope for a busy weekend with plenty adoptions. Don’t forget that we are open on Sundays now 2-6pm.

Story has gone home!

Here today, gone tomorrow…

In last nights blog I let everyone know that Elliot was reserved and today he was adopted! Yes, sometimes it can be as quick as that! If a dog is abandoned and is identified and vaccinated they can leave as soon as they have been checked over by our vet and of course sterilised.

Lucky Elliot had no time at all to wait and tonight will start his new life with a new family who know the breed well and have always had Dalmatians!

Elliot adopted!

We don’t often specify individual reservations. This is because they are sometimes cancelled, people don’t turn up and all sorts of things. But when you have so many people wanting and enquiring about a specific dog it saves people falling in love with a photo and then having their hopes dashed when they contact us about the dog.

So, how do we choose which family is best for an individual dog?  We now have a pre-adoption form that we ask prospective adopters to complete. This gives us an idea of the family, their lifestyle, their home and how the dog would fit in.  It also saves embarrassing incidents such as a 90-year-old wanting to adopt a young active pup and gives us conversation points to discuss with the prospective adopter.

One thing that lots of people worry about saying is that they have no garden. That certainly doesn’t worry us at all so long as they can walk the dog regularly and are around to make sure that it has regular toilet breaks. In fact some dogs who are known escape artists are better in this kind of home with regular walks and stimulation they have nowhere to try and escape from!

So please don’t panic when we ask you to fill in the form. It helps us advise you how suitable the dog that you want would be or even better, we can suggest dogs that would fit right into your lifestyle!

We also had another adoption today! Little Lila the 9 month old terrier cross also found her forever family! Didn’t I say last night that terriers were very popular! A lucky coincidence, but we are delighted that she never had a long wait at the refuge either!


Lila adopted too!


Adoption of puppy Toto…

It was late last night when i heard of Puppy Toto’s adoption so I thought that i would just mention it in tonight’s blog. Toto hadn’t even got a photo album so he was a very lucky lad to be snapped up so quickly.

Toto adopted!

I was really hoping that I would be adding this news to some more adoption news today but no, today all eyes and interest were on Elliot, our newly arrived Dalmatian.

Within minutes of him appearing on the SPA facebook pages our message box was pinging with lots of interested adopters.  One lucky family came along and met him today so he is reserved and will be leaving very shortly.

It always amazes me how quickly ‘pedigree’ dogs are adopted and why!  I totally understand that lovers of certain breeds hate to see that breed in rescue. Pure Labs, Flatcoats, Dalmations, French Bulldogs always have lots of interest but not as much as Cairn, Westies or Scotties. We could re home these terriers over and over again!

We are always careful with these adoptions and try and ensure that the prospective owners are breed lovers rather than someone wanting a status dog.

Elliot is a lucky boy. He will soon be of to his new home, lets hope that some of our other 100+ dogs catch prospective adopters eyes.




Catch up after a busy weekend

It has been a very busy few days at the refuge, and so it is high time we caught up.

There are two adoptions to tell you about; one of a young dog who we feared had been left behind, and one of an older dog who was brought in due to the illness of his owner.

First up, Caps. This young spaniel cross arrived in early August when he was five months old. As you probably know at the time we were inundated with puppies, many of whom were younger than Caps and getting a lot of attention, the way gorgeous young pups tend to. Meanwhile, of course, Caps was growing up and becoming an adolescent, and we worried that his window of opportunity for adoption was starting to close. Not that people don’t adopt adult dogs, but there is an awkward inbetween age when dogs are harder to home; they have lost their puppy cuteness, but are not exactly adults either.

In any case, all worked out fine for Caps, as a family who had already visited the refuge prior to this weekend decided to offer him a home, and so after some six weeks at the refuge, Caps’s new life has got underway.


Second to leave was Gadjo, a seven year old Lhasa Apso, who arrived with beautiful German shepherd Lasko when their owner became too ill to look after them. At first these two dogs just lay comatose in their kennel, which was not easy to see. However after a week or so they were out on walks and showing their true personalities.

At 7 years old Gadjo is not a youngster but small dogs can live to be quite an age, and so it is no surprise that Gadjo should find a home so soon. His new dad is an elderly gentleman who has adopted from us before. We are very careful in such cases and have assurances that his daughter is ready to step in to help should the need arise.

Gadjo is a great little chap and we wish him lots of love in his new home.

llahsa apso


There were also plenty of dog walks and visitors, and for a couple of dogs the future is looking very bright, so watch this space, as they say!

Yesterday’s adoption of Selma

There were no adoptions today, so let’s catch up on what happened yesterday, because yesterday we had one!

Selma arrived as a tiny pup a the end of July, and spent several weeks in the infirmary. Not only did she have mange, but she was also recovering from a pelvic bone fracture. This puppy clearly hadn’t had the best start to life, and I bet she was happy to make it to the safety of the ScPA!

Recovering from these two issues was not the end of this young girl’s potential problems. With very rare exceptions, pups who arrive at the refuge do so without their mums, and ALWAYS without their dads. The vets are usually able to have a good guess at the breed, and in Selma’s case her morphology suggests that she could be a staffie cross. Although this cannot be determined legally until she reaches the age of 8 months, the ScPA had to find a family who was prepared for this eventuality.

No one wants to fall in love with a puppy only to find later on that they have what French law decrees is a dangerous dog. Far better to find a family who is prepared to jump through the hoops that this entails. And luckily for Selma, this is exactly what she has found. She left the ScPA yesterday, and although we are hoping that she is not later identified as being a staffie, we know that her family is prepared for this eventuality. Of course being diagnosed as a dangerous dog won’t change her character at all, but it will mean that she has to be muzzled in public, hence our hope that she is just a normal crossbreed.

Many thanks to her new family for this adoption, and of course we will let you know what happens.


The very hot weather is due to finish tomorrow; it was still in the 30s today, and I am sure everyone, humans and animals alike, will appreciate some cooler temperatures. Hopefully it will bring more visitors and more adoptions!