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Latest News

Adoption of Harry, but a sad farewell to boxer Harley.

It was another sad day at the SPA, brightened by the adoption of lovely Harry. This young shepherd cross arrived not long ago, and he was lucky to catch someone’s eye very quickly. Being well under a year old, Harry has lots of time to forget his very brief stay at the SPA; he is a fabulous well socialised dog and we hope he will be very happy.

shepherd cross


The bad news of the day involved Harley, a six year old boxer who was brought in for rehoming 12 days ago. His owner was ill, and her family did not want to keep the dog. When they brought Harley in, they mentioned  that he was drinking more than usual, but knew nothing more. He was clearly unwell from the beginning and further examinations carried out today revealed kidney failure due to advanced cancer of the prostate. Harley had perhaps a couple of months to live, but with increasing pain. He was already unable to eat.

A decision was taken to end his suffering. The first thing was to try and contact his former owners, so that Harley could end his life in the arms of someone he loved and who knew him well. However the phone numbers were no longer in service. It fell to employees Carole and Vincent to take Harley on his final journey. Many thanks to them; I am sure they agree that however many times you do this (rarely at the SPA, luckily), it does not get any easier. We were all aware that this dog would have been far better of spending his last days where he had always been, in front of a fire with his owner.

brown boxer

Oh, and to those of you who do not believe in castration; please take note. Had Harley been castrated, it is extremely unlikely that he would have contracted this illess and could have doubled his lifespan. Furthermore the SPA could have rehomed him, as was doubtless the owner’s expectation. Instead it was a sad end for this magnificent dog who should have been in the prime of life.

We hate to end on a negative note, so here is a picture of Cliona, who came to visit today. You see what the SPA can achieve? As long as a dog is not fatally ill, we can do miracles, and we should never forget that fact!

black lab

Cliona – morale booster


Adoption of Cally brightens a bad day.

One adoption today, that of Cally. This lovely girl was brought to the SPA earlier this month for rehoming and we are pleased that it hasn’t taken too long for her to find a new home. Looking at her picture it is not hard to see why. She is a stunning girl and is gentle and just adorable.

brindle dog


Once again we saw the value of identifying your dogs. Patcha was brought to the SPA on Saturday by a family who had found her and desperately wanted to keep her. They brought her to the SPA, but reserved her immediately in the hope that after the ten days had passed, Patcha would be theirs. However Patcha was identified, and was being looked after by a third party while her owners were away. Her owners did not even know that she was missing, so would not have come to look for her. It is safe to say that had Patcha not been identified, there is little doubt that she would have been rehomed, despite the fact that she is a much loved pet.

As it was, the microchip reunited this lovely young girl with her rightful owners. Sad for the people who found her, of course, and they would have been great owners too. Let’s hope another dog at the SPA is lucky enough to be adopted by them at some stage.

Malinois cross


Oh, and we have some news from last week to catch up on. On Friday Frimousse was adopted again. This is her third adoption, the first did not fail per se, sadly her owner passed away. Her last owners, although well meaning, were just not able to deal with Frimousse’s extreme nervousness. This time things are looking much better for her, though.  Sometimes it takes a bit longer to find the right home, but

Frimousse small female cross breed

Frimousse – ADOPTED (and third time lucky, we hope)

We had bad news in the form of the return of three dogs who we thought were happily homed. There has been no hint of trouble from their owners, who have kept in close touch. So it was a shock when they brought all three dogs back to the SPA today. This was due to problems with the neighbours and village cats, apparently. But whatever issues you are having, please try and give the SPA some warning if you cannot keep your dogs. Or better still, try and get outside help before things deteriorate to this extent. In any case, as of today Hatchi (aka Paddington), Tex and Gino are all looking for new homes.

Gino, Tex and Paddington are all back at the SPA

So despite the adoption of Cally, today was not the start to the week that we wanted. Let’s hope there is good news on the way.

Adoption of Baxter..

Today was Baxter’s lucky day. This very handsome boy arrived in October and I am really surprised that he spent so long with us.  Blond dogs generally go very quickly especially when they are as good looking as Baxter!

It’s true that had Baxter been a girl she would most likely have been adopted much quicker. It’s a sad fact that young adolescent males are much more likely to find themselves in a refuge than females and generally stay much longer too!

So why do lots of young males end up in rescue? One thing is sure it’s not their fault but usually that of the owner. Too little training, too few walks, too little socialisation and of course not neutering males will make them want to chase after the girls.

Lets not forget that when you take on a pup, male or female you take on the responsibility for that pup for life. You take on the responsibility of socialising, training, exercising and caring fir that pup right throughout their life. Its very naive to think that over 15 years your life circumstances wont change and if you take on a pup you need to be willing to adapt to accommodate that pup no matter what life throws at you.

So what reasons do we hear every day when people want to abandon their dog? Divorce, work schedule changing, don’t have time to exercise, moving house, expecting a baby, the dog hasn’t trained himself! And these are just a few!

Luckily for some of these poor dogs who have been let down by humans, there are fantastic families out their who are happy to welcome them and ensure a happy ever after but for some poor souls there is a long wait in kennels, years often.

We don’t know why Baxter arrived in rescue, he was found as a stray but please make sure that if you commit to a pup don’t let it end up in rescue because you don’t carry out your side of the bargain.  Be responsible….and make sure that you understand that a dog is for life, not until your circumstances change.





Adoption of Achille and Poly..

Today we had two adoptions, one pup and one oldie!

First to leave was Achille a very cute Jack Russel cross. Achille arrived in December and was lucky enough to go right into foster.  When in foster we learn lots about a pup and can begin the basics such as housetraining and socialising.  Small breed cute pups seldom have a long wait and today he left for his forever home.

It’s never easy fostering a pup. Pups need lots of attention, regular trips outside to toilet and like babies often keep you awake at night! So a big thank you to Achilles foster family whose house will be much quieter tonight!

Achille adopted!

Next to leave was Polly. Polly arrived as a stray on the 26th December and at nine years old could have had a long wait. Luckily for her, a super family contacted us to ask if we thought that she could live their elderly springer and Labrador cross.  We had already determined that she was a lovely sociable lady and so off she went to a loving family where she will be adored for the rest of her life.

We are always so very grateful when families will take on an older dog and give them a second chance at happiness. Without people like that dos like Poly would spend their last years in a concrete kennel and that really is far too grim to contemplate.

Poly adopted!

We were also very happy to hear that Teasel, an ex SPA dog who went missing after a very exciting fox chase is back home safe and sound. Any of you who have had a dog go missing will realise the panic and fear that owners go through. The best thing to do should your dog go missing is to get the word out there. The more people who are aware the greater chance you have of getting the dog back.


Popsye leaves and Shaun is adopted

It is inevitable that some dogs should find it easier to find a home than others. Yesterday’s arrival, N’joy has been a real hit, with dozens of people expressing interest in her immediately her picture was put on Facebook. Other dogs are not as lucky. Take Popsye, for instance.

This young griffon cross arrived in August of 2017, and had she been a normal dog, we could have rehomed her ten times over. But Popsye has a problem that makes finding her a home almost impossible. As a result of (presumably) being hit by a car, Popsye is incontinent. And in the worst way. So despite the fact that she is absolutely adorable, as well as being good with dogs and cats, the SPA was at a loss as to what to do with her.

Of course Popsye could spend her life at the SPA. She shares her box well, and everybody loves her. She gets regular walks and regular baths. But she is only two years old, and this is really no life for her, not in the long term. So what to do, what to do?

Answer: Try and find one of the many many incredible associations out there, one that is specifically set up to deal with dogs like Popsye. This afternoon Volunteer Petra and I took Popsye to meet her new foster mum. Popsye will spend a few weeks in Toulon with Dominique. There she will spend some time being assessed before moving onto the next step. Either she will move further to Italy, to live in a family environment in a specially adapted home with other dogs like her. Or if her condition improves, perhaps she will be adopted directly.

Dog with woman in pine forest

Popsye with Petra in a pine forest. 

This might be possible because in recent weeks Popsye has started copying her kennel mate when he (ah-hem) assumes the position, and tries to do the same as him. And sometimes she is successful, indicating that her muscles are perhaps getting stronger!

So we are all rooting for Popsye to make a full recovery. But at least we know that she is going to be loved and looked after for the rest of her life, even if she always has questionable hygeine! And we are sure to have news, so of course we will keep you informed of Popsye’s progress!

fluffy black dog

Popsye starts her new life!

In other refuge news, one of the year’s first arrivals, Shaun, a lovely young border collie was adopted. We wish him a wonderful life and hope the other ever growing number of border collies at the SPA find homes equally quickly.

black and white border collie


Two Saturday Adoptions

We had two adoptions today and naturally we are delighted about both.

First to leave was Noelle. She arrived back at the SPA on Wednesday following a failed adoption, and it is wonderful that she didn’t have long to wait before finding a new home. She is a lovely girl, with no particular issues. However some adoptions just don’t work out. Noelle’s new family are experienced owners, and have recently lost a beloved dog. Moreover they have great neighbours, people who have recently adopted from the SPA. So Noelle will have friends to play with and we hope that she has a long and happy new life.

Black lab cross

Noelle – ADOPTED

Next we said farewell to Nina who like Noelle  is just a year old. She arrived very recently due to the death of her owner. In some ways these are the saddest dogs, as they knew nothing but love before coming to the SPA. However life has taken a turn for the better today. Nina has been adopted by a family who is well known to us, as is their dog, Kaiser. He found himself alone following the death of the family’s other dog, and he was brought to the SPA to choose his new pal. With impeccable taste, Kaiser selected Nina, although his family would have taken all the dogs had they been able.

Kaiser and (on the right) Nina – ADOPTED

We had a couple of arrivals, one is a puppy who has gone home to be fostered with volunteer Stephanie (many thanks). But the most urgent arrival is Lila. She is identified and is 14 years old. We are sure someone is looking for her, but they were not answering their phone. Lila is safe in the warm of the infirmary, and we hope her owner comes to collect her soon.

small dog

We are looking for the owners of Lila, who is 14 years old and identified

Three dogs leave, including another chance for Filou.

After a quiet couple of days (well, not really quiet, but with no adoptions to report), today three dogs set off for new lives.

First up was Billy, who has gone to live in Germany. As usual this meant quite a lot of admin, but we are getting good at this by now! TRACES documents were submitted to the DDSCPP in good time, and the certificate allowing Billy to leave was collected yesterday. All that remained was to put Billy on an officially registered vehicle (again with Christian of STIAC), and that was done before the refuge opened this morning.

Following the death of his owner Billy had spent 6 months tied up in a garden, so the SPA must have been a great improvement. But his time at the SPA is now over. It has “only” been seven months or so for him, but that is quite long enough, especially for a dog who loves walks as much as Billy! He knew something was up yesterday when Angelique and Isabelle gave him a bath so that he could meet his new family smelling his best!

tricoloured setter


Next to leave was little beagle cross Shailo. What a cutie this lad is. Apparently he was often seen wandering in a nearby village, before someone brought him to the SPA. No owner came to collect him (he was unidentified, of course) and so after ten days in the pound, Shailo needed a new home. He was a very popular lad, lovely on walks and extremely affectionate. He has only spent a couple of weeks at the SPA, and we are delighted that he has a new home.

beagle cross

Shailo – ADOPTED

Today’s third adoption will surprise many of you. It certainly did me. Filou is being given another chance. Can a leopard change his spots? Will Filou finally realise that being in a home is better than being at the SPA and reward  his new owners with love and not bites? We will see. His new family have been told EVERYTHING and are willing to have a go….so it’s fingers crossed for Filou.

small grey and white dog


Friday’s event brings joy for Gershwin!

A day of bright sunshine boosted morale today, as did the adoption of everyone’s favourite Breton spaniel, Gershwin.
And how did his new family get to meet him? Well during Friday’s mass dog walk, of course! Yes, today’s is the first adoption we have had that came as a result of this event.

Gershwin’s walkers fell completely under his charm. It is easy to see why. He is a wonderful lad, just two years old, and very popular at the SPA. As well as being great with other dogs, Gershwin is he easy to walk. Plus he is very attentive to whomever is on the other end of the lead. Some dogs are so excited to be out that they spend all their time sniffing and exploring, but for Gershwin cuddles were always pretty high on the agenda.

And in fact these character traits were exactly what drew Gershwin’s new family to him. After Friday’s walk they took a couple of days to think and then decided to offer him a home. The couple were SPA supporters, and who knows, perhaps they would have adopted a dog in any case. But it was definitely thanks to Friday’s event that they chose Gershwin. How cool is that?

Breton spaniel

Gershwin during Friday’s walk

In other good news, yesterday’s elderly arrival, Barnabe, was reclaimed. His owner saw his photo on the internet and will make sure to get the details on Icad up to date in case Barnabe ever gets lost again.

big old black lab

12 year old Barnabe – RECLAIMED

Adoption of Frimousse

During a day of mostly bad news (five new arrivals), we are delighted to tell you that little Frimousse was adopted, just three days after her arrival following the death of her owner. It is always sad when dogs arrive, but even more so when they do so in such circumstances.

Frimousse was one of the dogs from Ste Eulalie, who arrived almost two years ago from a dog-hoarding situation. Being so young at the time, Frimousse was one of the first to be adopted. So naturally she was traumatised to find herself back at the SPA, especially just before some of the worst weather we have seen in years. Luckily for her a lovely couple was looking for a small dog, one that wouldn’t pull them off their feet on a walk, and who wanted a calm and peaceful life. They recognise that it will take Frimousse some time to get used to her new home, but they are kind and patient, and Frimousse is a very lucky girl indeed, especially when you bear in mind that some of her former companions are still at the SPA, waiting for their first real home.

small terrier cross breed

Frimousse – ADOPTED

There was a reservation today, so some more good news is on the horizon.

A day of Tornadoes!

There was a brief discussion this morning about whether or not it was even worth opening the SPA today. We had storms overnight and heavy rain forecast; the likelihood of having any visitors was small. However everyone felt that even if noone came, the animals would appreciate a bit of company and reassurance. Thunder and lightening is very scary for some dogs.

So for the most part it was a working afternoon. Volunteers busied themselves doing gardening and clean-up tasks, and others put up a much needed set of shelves in the storage area. That coupled with the clean up of the reception area yesterday and the refuge is looking pretty tidy!

Despite a few heavy showers during the afternoon, some dogs went out of walks, and we even have an adoption! Little Tornade was adopted as a puppy  from the SPA in early 2016, and was brought back on Thursday for one of the usual reasons; a move to an appartment being the main one. There was a series of other excuses, in case someone pointed out that having a 5.5 kg dog in a appartment is hardly the end of the world.

Tornade’s CV meant she was not going to have long to wait. Good with dogs, calm, housetrained, sociable etc etc. And sure enough she was adopted today by Muriel, who has been looking for a small female for some time. Tornade is now renamed Biscuit, and a happy life awaits, we are sure!

small terrier

Tornade – ADOPTED

More bad weather is forecast overnight and for the rest of the week, so it would be nice to see yet more dogs out of the refuge and into loving homes.