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Latest News

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.

New Life for NewTon

One adoption today, and it is of a dog who has avoided the SPA completely, thanks to foster family extraordinaire, Isa!

Little Newton arrived at the SPA at the beginning of this month when his family moved house. They took their unwanted belongings to the dechetterie and amongst them was a tiny puppy. They offered him to a woman who was there too, and when she said that she did not want a dog, they put Newton into a rubbish bin and drove away! Luckily for him the woman knew of the SPA, and brought Newton to us, when Isa stepped in yet again!

It is not often that we have puppies who are going to remain small. And although Newton is of indeterminate breed, everyone is certain of his size. It will be interesting watching him grow up and see what breeds emerge! And we are sure that we will have news from Newton’s new family, as they have been carefully selected by Isa!

Losing a dog is never easy, and it has taking this family a year or so to be ready to take on another dog. Little Newton stole their hearts, and now they are all set for lots of fun with this little lad. Many thanks to them and also to Isa and her family for yet another succesful fostering! There were other people interested in Newton, it is relatively rare for the SPA to get small breed pups. We hope no one is too disappointed, and of course we are bound to have other pups in the future.

So not a bad start to the week and we are already aware of a couple of adoptions that are due to take place later on, so it could be a good one!

Snall pup in arms of family

Newton with his new family

An urgent home to home..

We hate the idea of dogs coming into the refuge and if we can keep them at home whist we look for the ideal family so much the better. But we really need to find Belle a dog-free home and as soon as possible.

Belle is a beautiful 4 year old black and white, Boxer x Labrador who was adopted from us when she was about 6 months old.

Until 8 months ago she lived in harmony with 4 other dogs, cats and chickens but has taken a dislike to one of the older female dogs.

Five dogs are a pack, and when the dynamics don’t work something has to be done. So with a very heavy heart Belle’s mum has decided that she needs a new home.

Belle has had the best of care, she is fed a balanced raw food diet, is fully vaccinated and passported, is sterilised and is in great health.

She can be walked off lead and her recall is great. She avoids other dogs when out and about and certainly doesn’t go looking for trouble! She loves swimming in the lake or at the beach.

At the moment her mum thinks that she may be best as an only dog but this is dog dependant. The love of Belle’s life is the family cat…so we know that she’s not a cat chaser and she totally ignores the free range chickens.

Belle can be left home alone, is non-destructive and is of course housetrained.

If you think that you could offer Belle a home them please get in touch.

Can you offer Belle a home?




After over four years, Connord leaves the SPA

Tonight we have massive news! Many people thought this day would never come, but we all held out hope. Connord has finally left the SPA. Believe it or not this magnificent dog arrived in June 2013!  This is longer than any other dog by some way, and of course we are over the moon.

Connord’s case was quite particular, as he is an American Staffordshire Terrier, meaning that special permits were needed before he could leave. Admittedly he is LOF (ie pedigree), and hence Category 2 (a defence dog), rather than Category 1 (an attack dog), (ha ha ha) but the administrative steps are equally cumbersome. Finding the right person is always the most difficult thing of all, and it is not for want of trying that it has taken Connord so long to find a home.

Technically he is in a long term foster, due to his age. Connord is now just short of ten years old and four years in the SPA, even with the luxury of living in a park, have taken their toll. Although apparently in great health, Connord is no longer a young dog. However to all intents and purposes he has been adopted.  He will love his retirement and really deserves it.

Connord is much loved by many at the SPA, but especially by volunteers Alizée and Erwan, who have walked him religiously during the whole time he has been at the refuge. And by sheer coincidence they are leaving for a new life in Paris this weekend. What a relief it must be to them to know that Connord is safe and in a loving home before they head off.

If Connord could speak, he would doubtless say thank you not only to them, but to everyone else who has looked after him while he has been at the SPA. And he would say a huge thank you to his new family, as do we all!

Black and white staff

Connord – ADOPTED after over 4 years

Bonne Route, Root

One adoption today, that of little Root. He arrived at the end of September, unidentified, and although the SPA published his photos all over the internet as usual, no one came forward to reclaim this little jagd terrier cross.

As with all the unidentified dogs who arrive, it is up to the SPA to find a name, at least one that will last until the dog finds a new home. Carole noticed the resemblence (in all but colour) between this little dog and long term resident Panais, so she chose the name Root! What a great name for a small feisty dog.

Root’s new family are experienced members of the animal protection world and so he has surely fallen on his paws.

We wish him bonne voyage, or perhaps Bonne Route!

chocolate brown terrier



A Busy Monday

A busy Monday at the SPA, and all the movement was in the right direction, which is not always the case after an open weekend!

Today we said goodbye to five dogs, although not all of the leavers were adopted, as you will see.

First up, two dogs were reclaimed. One of them, a staffie, was reclaimed by his owner after legal formalities were completed. We knew he would be leaving, hence there are no photos of this lovely boy. We weren’t sure about  Saturday’s stunningly handsome arrival, Pontus, as he arrived non identified. That has been rectified now, of course. We already had several people interested in adopting this lad, but it was not to be. He already has a home!


The adoptions next. Gorgeous Debbie arrived last month and was an immediate hit with lots of staff and volunteers. Unlike many dogs of this breed (fauve de bretagne), Debbie was not at all scared of people, and on walks would prefer to have a cuddle than follow a scent. She was spotted on line and today went off to live in a fabulous new home with a little white poodle. She is a very lucky girl indeed.

Debbie – ADOPTED

Another lucky dog is Boston. He was found straying in a local village and it took some time to chase him down. Today marked the end of his pound time, and once he was back from the vet it was straight into a compatibility test with two other small dogs and then off to his new home. His new family had no intention of adopting a third dog, but they saw him on our site and thought “What the heck, two or three makes no difference!” What a busy day it has been for this tiny lad! In fact what a change 10 short days have made. Once again, the SPA is a stepping stone to a far better life.

small white JRT

Boston – ADOPTED

The last dog to leave the refuge is Celeste. Many of you know that Petra and her family recently fostered Darby. He of course is now living in Germany, but Petra continues to voluteer dog walk for us. Last Thursday she spotted timid Celeste, and wishes to help her to overcome her fear of people. What better place to do this than in a home with other dogs, children and lots of walks! So Celeste is still available for adoption, but in the meantime she has a loving family to look after her! Many thanks to Petra and of course to today’s adopters.

big hunting dog

Celeste- into foster

Adoptions of Fadista and Lizzy

The week has not ended, as the SPA is open for a special Sunday in honour of the patron saint of animals, St Francis of Assisi. But so far this week we have had at least one adoption each day, which is quite rare.

Today it was the turn of two more. First we said goodbye to Fadista. Yes, we have said this before, and his last adoption did not work out. But this time we have fingers and paws crossed. Despite his teddy bear-like nature, Fadista has a very protective side to his nature, and introductions to new people have to be done very carefully. His new owner has a very similar profile to Fadista’s most regular walker, volunteer Esther, and so we are hoping that Fadista adapts to his new freedom with confidence.

big brown dog

Fadista – ADOPTED

Next we said goodbe to Lizzy. Not a name you know, perhaps. This sweet spaniel cross arrived not quite three weeks ago, and we haven’t really had time to get to know her as well as other, more demonstrative dogs. However that hasn’t prevented her from catching the eye of a SPA visitor, so off she went.

black and grey spaniel cross


We had a couple of reservations too. Let’s hope for yet more good news tomorrow. As we said, the SPA is open, and even if you are not planning to adopt, there are always dogs needing walks and cats needing cuddles!


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!

Adoptions of Dylan and Bryn

Today we said goodbye to two more dogs.

First to leave was Dylan. Incredibly he first arrived at the SPA in June 2016, although he was adopted briefly inbetween than and now. He is a fabulous dog, young and lively but with all the “dog codes”, meaning that he knows exactly how to behave with other dogs, and has often been used to teach by example the dogs with whom he has shared his kennel.

He left today with Anna and her husband who arrived in the area recently and contacted us about finding a dog. Dylan had caught their eye on the website and once they met him in the flesh, it was love at first sight. They spent all afternoon getting to know him and reserved him while preparing their lives for him.

Dylan will be missed by the staff, especially Vincent, who has relied on him to educate less sociable dogs. And he was also be missed by others, including volunteer Karen, who has walked him regularly throughout his time at the SPA. She would dearly liked to have adopted him but this was not practical (no room at the inn). However Karen plans to keep in touch with his new family and hopefully will be able to visit once Dylan has settled in. And as for Vincent, his first “training” visit is already scheduled for next week!

family hugging black dog

Dylan leaving with his new family


Just as Dylan was leaving another family was at the SPA looking for a dog with whom to share their life. As soon as their eyes fell on Bryn, they knew he was the one. This little lad is a favourite of many of us, small in size, always happy and easy on the lead. There is just nothing to dislike about him. A walk confirmed their good taste, and Bryn was off, leaving a trail of broken hearts (we will miss him!)

smiley dog

Bryn – ADOPTED Yes, we know the photo is small, but isn’t it adorable?


We had a great reservation, too, as well as lots of walks. Another happy day, with yet more adoptions due this week!

Two dogs leave the SPA and we all say “Cheese”

Today puppy Hendrix left for his new home. He has not been adopted, but hopefully his long term foster will become a permanent one. The reason for this arrangement is that at present no one can be sure of Hendrix’s breed. This cannot be diagnosed formally until he is eight months old, and that is some way away for this little lad. So for the time being  Hendrix is in foster, and once he has been assessed this arrangement will either become a full time one, or the adoption will be finalised.

Many thanks to Marion and her husband for fostering this lovely lad. From being found under a car to finding a new home in ten days, not bad eh? As we so often say, the SPA is a stepping stone to a better life.

brown and white cross

Hendrix – long term foster

Such was the case for little griffon cross Mac. He arrived just over a month ago and is a very lively little lad who loves everyone. He had a chance to prove this today, as his new family arrived with baby and also ex SPA dog Willy (adopted some 4 years ago). Mac is now the newest member of the family, and everyone is delighted for him.

small griffon cross


Apart from that it was picture time at the SPA. Dog Rescue Carcassonne has a project underway to create some greetings cards featuring refuge dogs. So today dogs were walked to the garden of the Berriac Foyer, where photographer Marketa was waiting, along with dog behaviourist Vanessa and other team members.

The weather was superb and the dogs were able to sit on lovely grass or blankets and we hope that the results will be worthy of the dogs who were photographed today.

woman taking photos

Isa’s puppy, Newton, is photographed with help from the DRC team