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Mozart Waltzes Off

Today we said goodbye to Mozart. He arrived on April 1st, abandoned by his elderly owner who was no longer able to look after him due to illness. You can see from his state that he was in when he arrived that he had been neglected of late, to say the least. What a shame for this lovely pyrenean shepherd cross who has just turned seven years old. In fact this was not the first time we had seen Mozart; he first arrived with his mum and sister when he was a tiny puppy. Now he is a big, handsome lad, or at least he has become one thanks to an enormous effort put in by toiletteuse Angelique.

We knew that Bev and Phil, who fell in love with Mozart first via Facebook then in the flesh, are lovers of hairy dogs. However it seemed obvious that Mozart would have to be shaved to get rid of the huge matts in his coat. However Angelique wanted to save his coat, and spent many hours (I don’t know how many, but well into double figures) painstakingly brushing and grooming him. Luckily this was possible thanks to Mozart’s amazing temperament. He is what we call a “bullet-proof dog!; one who just seems to behave impeccably, regardless of the situation. He has been an absolute joy at the SPA, and we hope he continues to be the perfect dog in his new home. He has a new friend, Fluffy, who looks like a mini-Mozart, too! Many thanks to Bev and Phil for seeing the dog under the fur, and also for their patience while Mozart was being given the finishing touches today.

Of course, he was bound to be a great dog; it is in his genes! (For those of you who don’t know, I adopted Mozart’s mum, Bella, in September 2010 after her two pups had been adopted). We might even arrange a reunion at some stage!

Mozart – ADOPTED
Here are the before an after photos. Many thanks to Angelique !

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


And Three More Adoptions!

Yesterday we mentioned briefly the adoption of Miss. She had only just arrived at the SPA, and we knew immediately that she would not be with us for long. The man who brought her in informed us that she was good with cats, other dogs and children, and crucually, that she does not wander from an unenclosed garden. With a CV like that it is hardly surprising that she was snapped up. Little did we know that she was destined to remain part of the SPA family, so to speak. Miss has been adopted by employee (and also volunteer) Estelle’s parents. So we know we will have lots of news about the progress of this gorgeous mini-spaniel!

Today we had two more adoptions, so it really has been a pretty good week.

First to leave this afternoon was Liquorice. You may remember that he arrived almost catatonic with fear, and was adopted once and brought back as not being good with cats. He has progressed enormously since then and has been sharing his kennel with another dog and gaining in confidence all the time. We are delighted that he has found a home.

Next to leave was puppy Thor. He has been at the SPA since the middle of March, arriving courtesy of a local vet who had operated on him following a car accident. A period of enforced immobility meant Thor had to spend a lot of time in a smallish cage, which must have been frustrating to say the least. However since he has been allowed out and about he has made up for lost time, and has been a favourite with employees and volunteers alike. There was a line of people waiting to give this adorable lad a goodbye cuddle. It is nice to think of him in a loving home tonight.

Please don’t forget the DRC Fundraising Function that is taking place in the Fanjeaux Town Hall tomorrow, and as Monday is a bank holiday, the SPA will be closed for the afternoon, although there might just be an adoption, so keep an eye out!


Black and white spaniel









Liquorice – ADOPTED

Black lab













Brindle coloured pup











And a reminder about tomorrow’s event

Hoch is adopted at long last!

Today was a great day. After almost four years at the SPA, Hoch finally has a home. His story and photos have been shared thousand and thousands of times, he has been the subject of numerous urgent appeals, and even featured on television and radio campaigns. But strangely enough he was adopted by a couple who just came along to the SPA with no preconceptions at all. Sometimes one visitor is all you need, as long as it is the right one!

As many of you know, Hoch arrived at the SPA when he was still a very young dog. His young master had tragically been killed in a car accident, leaving poor Hoch homeless. At the time he was under a year old, and being confined in a kennel has been difficult for him, as it would be for any young, active dog. Luckily the volunteers were there for walks, and the employees there to give food, and to tell Hoch to never lose hope!

Being unable to share his kennel with other dogs, Hoch had to rely on humans to keep him company. He is a very affectionate dog, who despite a bit of craziness when first out of his kennel, settles down very well on walks and is very attentive to humans. Key players have been his long distance sponsor mum, Nathalie, and more locally Dominique, plus regular walkers Isa, Karen, Sebastian and Patricia and many many others over the years, plus of course the staff. In fact it was Estelle who changed his kennel, which stopped Hoch bouncing against the walls. We also have to say special thanks to Vincent. He is studying the world of dog, and is vounteering at the SPA fulltime, sharing with us his wealth of knowledge, whilst learning even more. Vincent was the one who guided Hoch’s new owners to his kennel. Without him they may have passed by, as so many people have done beforehand.

Adopting a dog who has been at the SPA for this long might seem a very brave move. However there is no reason why Hoch should not settle down well to his new life. Just look at Glamour, who had been at the SPA for even longer than Hoch. As a Catagory One dog she had far fewer walks than him, but has been exemplary in her new home. And of course help is always at hand if any problems arise.

There will be more than a few tears of happiness at this news, and at last we can crack open the champagne!

Please remember though that Hoch is not the dog who has been at the SPA the longest; Connor predates him by two months, so imagine how joyous will be the day he finally leaves!

We had another adoption today, that of Miss, but we will tell you all about that tomorrow, along with any other news. For now, let’s all raise a glass to the happiness of Hoch and say huge thanks to his new family for giving him a new home.

Hoch on the day he arrived

thin sad looking dog








And with his new dad saying goodbye to Isa and Dominique today

Hoch with tow women and one man



Papy Barock goes to long term foster.

Just a quick blog tonight to say huge thank you to Corinne and Maïna, who have have opened their hearts once again to a SPA oldie. They were devastated at the recent death of their foster dog Arsouille, but are all to aware of the number of old dogs needing foster homes. Today they came along to meet Barock and he used his charms to worm his way into their hearts.

Barock, you may recall, was adopted from the SPA as a puppy and came back in terrible condition at the age of eleven.  We are so happy for him and are very grateful to Corinne and Maïna and all our wonderful foster families.

We are seeing more and more elderly dogs abandoned, often as a result of illness of their owner. Sadly it is rare that a family member is able or willing to look after the dog, and the SPA seems to be the solution. Except for the dog the solution is far from perfect, and dogs who are used to lots of love and affection find themselves sad, confused and alone.

Foster families need to be close enough to Carcassonne to use the SPA vet, although exceptions can be made if a vet agrees to give so- called “association prices”. But bear in mind not all of our elderly dogs need vet treatment yet, they just need love and warmth. Of  course we don’t let our dogs leave with just anyone, (we love them all, after all!), but if you think you might be able to offer a home to an SPA oldie, please get in touch.

Barock with Maïna
Old dog with young girl

Three Monday Adoptions

Three dogs left for their new homes this afternoon.

First to leave was Paige. She arrived just over two weeks ago and we are delighted that she has found a home so soon. These hunt-type breeds are wonderful, but as many of us know, they often have one drawback. However  much work owners put in to recall training, it usually ends up with the dogs having to be on a lead if there is even the smallest chance of their nose taking over. Yes, there is a good reason why they are called scent hounds! The nose seems to block out all other senses, with dogs seemingly instantly deaf to everything apart from the call of the wild.

So when Annette and Miles met and fell in love with Paige last week, they went away to do some serious thinking. Did they want to walk their dog on a lead; would the freedom of their garden and other safe, enclosed areas be enough for Paige? Yes, this is a big decision. But if you love hound types enough, then some compromise has to be made! In any case, Paige is going to have a wonderful life we are sure, and we look forward to news and photos.

Next to leave were Bobby and Tim. Yes, a double adoption! Little Bobby, who hates being alone, and tiny Tim who also hates solitude, have gone to live together…well together with six cats! This is such good news. Bobby was brought back in February following an unsuccessful homing. As for little Tim, when he arrived he had to go straight to the vet as he had been bitten in the rear end. Ouch! Both dogs are really sweet and affectionate, and it is not surprising that their new family had trouble choosing between them. Adopting them both was the perfect solution!

Let’s hope the week carries on like this!


dog with long ears being cuddled by new owner










Bobby and Tim – ADOPTED together

two small dogs in owners' arms






Charles Moves to a New Kingdom

We only had one adoption today, but as it was of a fairly elderly dog, we are very happy!

Cavalier King Charles spaniel Charles arrived two and a half weeks ago, and as he was identified, we expected his owner to reclaim him. Sadly there was a problem with the identification; it was still in the name of the pet shop where he had been bought as a puppy. And this particular pet shop does not keep records of where puppies are sold. Thus the SPA had no way of getting in touch with his owners. Of course they did their best, putting photos on Facebook and other sites in the hope that the owner would be alerted. However there comes a time when the best thing is for a dog to find a new home.

Charles is not the youngest of dogs, but is very handsome. And sure enough it did not take long for him to attract the attention of a family who knows the breed well, and were delighted to find such a perfect (if “chubby” 😉 ) specimen at the SPA.

So that was not a bad end to a week that has been more positive than negative. And with glorious sunshine and a great team of volunteers giving dogs more frequent walks, things are looking good!

Charles – ADOPTED
KCK spaniel

Artigo Emigrates.

Today our beautiful bleu de Gascogne, Artigo, left for his new life in the Netherlands. This is the first time one of our dogs has gone to live there for quite some time, or at least without going to an association first. Artigo was spotted on the DRC website by a hound lover who has experience with this breed, a large enclosed garden and children. Artigo is going to be in heaven. He has been at the SPA for just over three months, and although he has been out on many a walk, it was never enough for this lively and sociable young lad. As with all our dogs, Artigo travelled under the European TRACES system, essential in preventing the spread of disease and ensuring safe and comfortable travel via a licensed transporter.

We look forward to news and photos as he settles in and many thanks to Jochem and his family for offering a hound a home!

More good news came in the form of the departure of Rocky and Jaina. You may not have met these two. They arrived courtesy of the police on Monday, Rocky at nearly 13 years old and his pal Jana totally blind. They were identified to two different owners, and it was the breakdown of this relationship that caused the owners to abandon their dogs.  How can a refuge possibly help dogs like this? Of course we would have tried, but really, dogs deserve so, so much better!

Luckily purebred collie Jana had been bought from what appears to be a rare beast, a responsible breeder. When contacted and informed of the plight of Jana, she said immediately that she would find a foster family. And when Carole explained that the two dogs were totally reliant on each other, this changed to a foster family for both dogs! Wonderful.

Tuesday’s late arrival, Ness, was reclaimed by her owner. Ness was outside her house when the police scooped her up. Please don’t let your dogs wander, or at least put a collar on them with a name and address. That could save so much worry for owners and stress for dogs!

Artigo – ADOPTED
bleu de gascogne







Rocky and Jana- Thanks to Jana’s breeder, they are together in a foster family, not at the SPA.

tricoloured border collie
















And 14 year old Ness (aka Croquette) – RECLAIMED

very old dog


The Return of Ondine at last!

No adoptions today, but fabulous news nonetheless. Ondine has finally been caught and is safe and well. And better still, she is not at the SPA.

Ondine, as many of you know, was adopted on 1st December last year, and went missing in early January. There were several “lucky” aspects to her escape, the main ones being that her adopters lived in a rural area, meaning the chances of her being hit by a car were less than they might otherwise have been. Also there has been a small group of employees and volunteers who just refused to give up on her.

The main players here have been Angelique and Angelique! Yes, two like-minded and determined women, one a volunteer, one an employee. Angelique B (the volunteer) has been feeding Ondine and monitoring her via occasional sightings since the word go, and she has been working with a nice hunter (yes!) to keep Ondine safe and to bring her home. After months of trying to coax her into a cage, they resorted to borrowing a humane trap, and it was a matter of days later that the hunter called Angelique to let her know that Ondine had been caught.

Angelique L, a SPA employee, has been helping throughout, and she was at the SPA today to meet Ondine as she arrived. Ondine doesn’t seem too much the worse for wear; covered in ticks and missing a bit of fur on her head, but otherwise apparently in good health.

After all that freedom (stressful though it undoubtedly was at times), a kennel at the SPA would have been awful. So we are happy to report that Ondine has gone home to live with Angelique L. She was Ondine’s closest human at the SPA, and always promised that she would adopt Ondine if ever she was found.

Thanks to the Angeliques and everyone else who helped bring Ondine back. Just goes to show; never ever give up!

Ondine- GOTCHA!
small white dog in cage

Bumper day for adoptions

It was an extremely busy day at the SPA today, but it was a good one, as it resulted in the adoption of three puppies and two adults!

On the puppy front, we said goodbye officially to Sherlock. He has been in foster with a family who was desperate to adopt him but had to wait till the end of the pound time, just in case his owners were looking for him. Today their wait was over, and now the contact is signed, he is theirs!

We also said goodbye to Lydia, and just when we were starting to feel sad for little Nico, back came the family who had been looking at him on Saturday. Yes, it is a good idea to have a think about what is a huge decision. But we are glad they didn’t think for too long, as this way Nico didn’t spend any time alone!

Next to leave was Engy. She arrived at the SPA at the beginning of February this year and was an immediate hit with just about everyone she met. Already nearly eight years old, this lovely Brittany spaniel is very lively, good with other dogs and wonderful with cats. We had quite a bit of interest in her, but the homes on offer would have meant her spending the days alone, and as she was not used to this in her old life (before her owner fell ill), we decided that it might be better for her to wait. Especially as she was not particularly unhappy at the SPA.

Looks like it was the right decision, as volunteer Monique had her eye on Engy too! We love it when our volunteers adopt. Firstly they know the dogs well, and secondly we know that we will have plenty of news! So happy new life to Engy, and many thanks to Monique and her family. The first photos have arrived already, and we now know that Engy loves water!

Then finally just before the SPA shut, we had a last minute adoption. That of Hermione, a lively 2 year old spaniel who has only just finished her pound time. Her new owner is young and sporty, which is probably just as well!

The Easter break is over, so let’s hope this heralds the start of a new flurry of adoptions!

Sherlock – ADOPTED by his foster family
scruffy puppy










Black and white puppy












Brittany spaniel










Engy – ADOPTED (and already in the pool!)

Brittany spaniel










Hermione – ADOPTED