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Latest News

Adoption of another puppy and three dogs are reclaimed.

Today got off to a great start with the adoption of a puppy! Java arrived about a month ago at the age of five months. No idea why he was rejected, but he is yet more proof that not all pups are wanted, and that uncontrolled and irresponsible breeding, be it by puppy farmers or by individuals who do not have their animals neutered, is the cause of much misery.

However Java was one of the lucky ones. He caught the eye of a young Belgian couple who have just arrived in the area, and today off he went for what is going to be a wonderful life. Sadly kennel mate Dobby is now alone again. We will find her a new pal, but what she wants, like all our puppies, is a family of her own.

As predicted yesterday, one of the day’s new arrivals found his home. But what was NOT predicted was that the two griffon fauve de Bretagnes who arrived last Tuesday were reclaimed. Their owner was away and unable to collect them earlier. As suspected, they were mother and daughter, with the mother (who was identified) being 15 years old! Even the vet was amazed at what wonderful condition she was in. Now the daughter is identified as well, and both dogs were happy to leave with their loving owner.

Finally many thanks to the Dog School of Trèbes (Trèbes Sport Canin) for their generous donation of food, and also to all the people who loaded volunteer Moira’s car up with 120kg of food and treats to bring back from Scotland. What would we do without all our wonderful supporters? Thank you all!


Small black and tan puppy with young couple









Dobby is still waiting

Grey and white fluffy puppy looking hopeful....but no.









Thanks to everyone who donates food. This is from the Club Canin at Trèbes.

pile of dog food in car.




A puppy follow up!

Further to Moira’s excellent blog last night, you, like us, will be delighted to hear that Saturday saw the adoption of Centaurus, the second of three dogs of the Stars litter. Little Andromeda was adopted over 4 weeks ago, and we still have their brother, Gemini, waiting not so patiently at the SPA!

Of course there are other puppies waiting for their forever homes too. Scruffy griffon cross Dobby (my personal favourite) is at the refuge, as is Cartoon, a male pointer cross.  And then we have the puppies who are in foster. Don’t ignore them because they are already living with families. Our foster families are few and far between, so adopting a puppy from them makes space for the next young arrival.

If you are wanting a “blank canvas” so to speak, and wish to adopt a puppy, then please consider adopting from the SPA. Remember many of the pups there are the result of unwanted litters; which is another problem entirely. The pups from puppy farms tend to be abandoned when they are a bit older, as generally their problems (usually as a result of having been taken from their mothers too soon) often do not manifest themselves until the dog is older, typically at one year to 18 months.

One dog who was not adopted as a puppy and who was anything BUT a blank canvas, was Canaille. He was rehomed thanks to our friends at Animal Trust. After having waited in vain for over a year at the SPA Carcassonne, he was quickly adopted in Belgium. And this weekend he came third in an obedience competition. So you see, in the right environment and with the right amount of love, anything is possible! Well done Canaille!

At the SPA today we had four new arrivals, one of whom may well turn out to be a puppy. Ipnoz is a gorgeous looking shepherd cross with lovely brown markings. And we also had the arrival of Smiley, a tricoloured griffon who looks like he is going to suit his new name! The third arrival was reclaimed and the fourth should be reclaimed soon. So not bad for a Monday…..

Here is a link to the album of puppies looking for homes


Centaurus – ADOPTED

golden lab puppy looking sweet











Gemini- Still waiting

Golden lab puppy with white stripe on his nose










Canaille wins a prize



Puppy Mill Awareness Day…

Today is national puppy mill awareness day and we would like everyone to be aware of the terrible life that lots of breeding dogs have, the greed of many commercial breeders and the problems you may incur should you buy a pup from them.

Puppy mills are inhumane commercial puppy-breeding facilities that value profits over the health or well-being of the dogs used as breeding stock.  They sell their “product” to pet stores, on-line, in classified ads and at dog shows..

Commercial puppy-breeding is a multi-billion dollar industry.  And it’s an ugly one.  People we talk to are always surprised to learn that it exists and that it is legal.  But the fact is, dogs are considered “livestock” and are regulated by the Department of Agriculture whose law allows a level of care that most people would not consider humane.

These puppy-breeders take advantage of this to maximize their profit at the expense of the welfare of the dogs, inhumanely confined and bred continuously until their feeble bodies give out.  They hide the truth from the public by selling their puppies to unsuspecting consumers through pet stores, websites and classified ads, refusing to reveal where or how the puppy was born and raised.

Right now, hundreds of thousands of adult dogs, used as breeding stock, are suffering on the “production lines” in puppy mills. They are treated like products, not living beings, and their health and welfare are disregarded to maintain a low overhead and maximize profit.  Mills range in size, some have a few breeding dogs and others have hundreds of breeding dogs packed into deplorable spaces.

It’s legal to confine adult breeding dogs to small, wire-bottomed cages, only 6 inches longer than the dog on all sides, often stacked on top of other cages, for life.  They live in overcrowded, squalid conditions, neglected, starved and left sick and injured without medical care or relief from overwhelming pain.  Most females are bred as frequently as possible, with no recovery time in between litters, and when they are no longer able to “produce” they are discarded like garbage.


Most people don’t want to believe it, but that cute puppy in the pet store may have come from a puppy mill and the mother is still there, suffering endlessly, forced to breed yet another litter.

Adopting from a rescue says a firm NO to this trade and if they don’t have the ‘customers’ they can’t continue to trade. If you buy from a pet store, online market place or advertisement in the newspaper you could be condemning a female to yet another litter and the fee you pay enables the ‘breeder’ to continue….ADOPT DON’T SHOP!




Adopt..dont shop!



Jedai adopted after a year at the refuge…

Yesterday we had an adoption which really cheered everyone up. Jedai was one of the dogs I spoke about in last night’s blog who was scared and bewildered when he arrived and hid at the back of his kennel. A young timid griffon cross who probably hadn’t been socialised and had been left to his own devices.

We are used to this and we know to go slowly gently and to build up the dogs trust. Little by little he gained confidence and he became a real favourite with the volunteers. Like lots of intelligent dogs, as he gained confidence he became bored and started to chew his paws.  We hate when dogs ‘self harm’ so we tried our best to make sure that he got his fair share of being in the park and walks.

Jedai was top of the list on the scorching hot days when we took dogs out of their kennels into the shade just for cuddles and to teach a few basics manners like sit and down. We did anything we could to stop him becoming bored and to increase his chances of adoption.

So yesterday, almost a year after he arrived he was adopted by a super family who are over the moon to have found him. His life now will be very different from before the refuge and we were really just a stepping stone towards his future.

A year ago, just as Jedai arrived, Karadoc, a lovely little pointer cross pup was adopted. Today we received an update of how he is doing along with some super photos. He has become a really handsome boy who is really loved and doing well in his forever family.

We have had two arrivals Kalanji, a fox terrier cross and Lilypuce a tiny female beagle. Hopefully their owners will be looking for them…..only time will tell!

Jedai adopted!



Karadoc..adopted a year ago


Kalenji arrived..



Lilypuce arrived..


Making life a little better…

When in homes, most dogs are able to enjoy cuddling, playing, sniffing, eating treats, going for walks, visiting with people and dogs, and learning new things. Although all rescues must provide dogs with food, water, and shelter, it is also important to provide them with social interaction, mental stimulation, and the exercise that they need. The best types of enrichment, for most rescue dogs, involve interaction with people or other dogs.

So what can we provide for them:

  • Playing with other dog
  • Playing with people
  • Hanging out with people

As all of our dogs have varying levels of sociability to other dogs they need to be given interaction opportunities that work for them. While some dogs thrive in groups, others do better on 1:1 walks or walks with a familiar canine buddy. Not only is this good enrichment, it’s important for their social skills and it makes them easier to adopt.

We have a fantastic team of volunteers who come in to walk and play with the dogs but I wonder how we could make life better for them? I would like to have some basic agility equipment which would engage both the dogs and the volunteers and I would also love to hear from anyone who could do some doggy massage, especially T – Touch.

Often the SPA is the first place an animal hears a kind word or gets the medical care they need. It can be a place to recover from abuse or find a forever home, to learn to trust or learn social skills that will help them get adopted. I have seen so many dogs come into the SPA as miserable, broken shells and prance out the door, shiny and healthy and full of life, ready to take on the world with their adopters.

We are always looking at how we can make our dogs lives better..if you have any thoughts then please get in touch!

Any T -Touch practitioners who would like to help?


Some sad news, and a plea from the team!

Dog Rescue Carcassonne received some sad news last night. Our good friend and great supporter, Evelyn of Dog Links fame, lost her beloved border collie Tania at the grand old age of 17. Tania was special for a number of reasons. She was the first dog that Evelyn adopted from the SPA Carcassonne (I think she has had seven of ours in total and has helped us home many, many more), and despite the hundreds of hours spent on the phone, this was the only time I have met Evelyn in person!

But the main reason Tania was so special was the relationship she had with her “mum”. As an older dog, she was extremely grateful to have a new home (she was adopted from us when she was 12, which is already a good age for a border collie), and followed Evelyn everywhere.

As this picture, taken last month, shows, Tania had grown old gracefully, and although Evelyn had known for some time that the end could not be far away, her loss will be felt keenly.

For any of you hesitating about adopting an oldie, both Tania and the newly rejuvenated Lagoon are a great advertisement. Tania lived for five happy years after leaving the SPA, and as you can see, Lagoon is already enjoying life.

We are hoping that some other SPA dogs find such loving homes soon. Four new dogs arrived today, but two were identified and left immediately. This leaves two new girls, both of whom appear to be hunt types, though of course not necessarily hunters!

Finally, it has been some time since we have had to remind people to please to not use the SPA Facebook page as a way of “advertising” their own dogs, whom they wish to give away or (even worse) sell. We have spent years gathering our almost 10,000 “likes”, and we did so to help the dogs and cats at the SPA. If you are having trouble with an animal, feel free to contact us by private message or email (as many of you do). We will try to help you if possible. Please do NOT use the Facebook page as a kind of leboncoin or Gumtree. It is unfair to us, unfair to the animals we are trying to home, and just plain discourteous. Thank you for respecting this rule.

RIP Lovely Tania. 17 years is an incredible age.









Lagoon discovers the joy of freedom

old dog happy in vineyard.









One of today’s arrivals, Jigota 

Tricoloured dog with long ears










And the second, a lovely fauve. Third one in 2 days!

big fluffy brown dog


Lucie leaves…

Lucie’s story began when we were contacted by one of our supporters to say that her friend had found a dog and her pup straying in a local village and was very worried about them.  We advised her to make sure that the dogs were safe and to contact her Mairie, which they did. The next day the Maire brought Lucie and her pup Lucian to the SPA.

Lucie was a good mum to her pup but there comes a fine when its time for them to flee the nest and yesterday Lucian left with his forever family.  This was wonderful timing as last night Lucie’s new adopter flew into Toulouse then travelled to Carcassonne to meet Lucie today.  Introductions went well and as luck would have it a new volunteer arrived just in time to spruce Lucie up. Many thanks to Angelique who spent a long time grooming Lucie..what a difference!

Social media is a wonderful tool and it was through our Dog Rescue Carcassonne page that Lucie’s new mum first saw her. She had intended to adopt a fox terrier from another refuge in France but when that wasn’t possible she decided to offer Lucie a home. Just as all our UK dogs need to be identified, have a rabies vaccination and be wormed, Lucie did too and today she left with her new mum and new pet passport.

Lucky Lucie will spend a few days in Carcassonne getting to know her new mum and then will be flying back to her new life in Finland! What an amazing adventure for a dog who was ‘just a stray’ a couple of months ago.

Enjoy your new life Lucie…you deserve it!

We have two more arrivals. Both are female fauves and one is identified. I really hope that we can trace their owners as the mum is 14 years old!

The SPA is primarily a dog and cat rescue but occasionally we help other animals to find families. Today saw the arrival of yet another goat. Thats two we have now……if anyone wants one, get on touch!

Lucie..what a beautiful girl!



One of our arrivals..


And the other..


Lagoon leaves at last!

When 11 year old Lagoon arrived at the SPA in November our hearts sunk. He was in quite a sorry state, covered in tumors, thin and dirty. You could see from the way that he walked that age hadn’t been kind to him and that he had a few problems with his back legs.

Luckily enough the tumors were just fatty lumps, he scrubbed up well, was ever so grateful for regular meals and as we got to know him we soon realised what a real gent this boy was. With his lovely blue eyes this boy became stunning and the icing on the cake was that he was a really easy boy to walk on the leash too!

Like most older gents he was a bit of a character and made it very clear that he didn’t like cats, in fact didn’t like some dogs…he definitely preferred to choose his own friends.

We hate seeing old doggies at the refuge but we couldn’t find him a foster place. To give him the very best quality of life that we could we built him a little exercise park where hen could potter about and watch the world going by!

This was great for Lagoon but what we really wanted for him was a retirement in a loving family and last week such a family came forward.

After meeting Lagoon they reserved him and today he left. Many, many thanks to this kind family for opening up their home and hearts to this lovely boy!

Next to leave was puppy Lucian. Lucian arrived with his mum Lucy a couple of months ago and as luck would have it  she is reserved and will be leaving very shortly!

We have had two arrivals. A female shepherd cross who is one of the lucky ones whose owners were looking for her and who should be leaving later today! The other was a young male Labrador cross who we will have more about soon.

Lagoon adopted!



Lucian adopted..




This lucky girl will be leaving…



This chap isnt so lucky..


Scary statistics…

I was just wondering what to blog about today when I ready a post on Dogs Today facebook page which was really quite an eye opener..

‘Extraordinary stat alert… is this really true?

Seventy per cent of pets change families more than once in their lifetime

Really???? Only 30% of dog/cats etc don’t end up being rehomed????

Is that right? Are we becoming dog borrowers. Is rescue a lending library? Do we hand them in like a Boris bike and pick up another when it’s convenient?

Even though they are called Aquarium software – the company reference 4 legged pets in their press release….

“Pet insurance software expert Aquarium Software says the process of insuring our four-legged friends could become further complicated in the future due to pets moving families too much. Statistics show that seventy per cent of pets change families more than once in their lifetime, something which could not only be debilitating and unsettling for the pet itself, but also jeopardises its pet parent’s chances of acquiring appropriate insurance.

“Animals are no different to us humans, in that they need consistency and structure in their lives, and they may react adversely to constant change” says Mark Colonnese, VP and Sales & Marketing Director at Aquarium Software Inc. “By moving around families too often, it also becomes more difficult to track a pet’s insurance and medical history, which adds to the problem from the insurer’s perspective.

Pets can move families for a variety of reasons – pet parent job relocations; tight financial budgets; human relationship split-ups, etc. An important part of the mix in reaching a sensible premium calculation is to know the animal’s detailed health and medical history, which can obviously made more difficult if the pet has moved from owner to owner.

Aquarium Software is currently being implemented by a number of key pet insurers, and affinity partners in the UK, Europe, USA and Canada’.

So have we really become a throw away society where people give up on dogs far too easily and do so many people seriously lack commitment to their pets? Or is it just that life happens, relationships breakdown, ill health etc and people consider whats best for the dogs?

Statistics can be scary and also can be manipulated but thinking about this subject has really made me realise the importance of getting dogs into the correct home in the first place.

Its such a big responsibility re homing a dog and you have small window of opportunity to evaluate potential adopters. You then have to weigh up rescue numbers and those dogs on the waiting list.

Juggling all of these factors weighs heavy on rescuers consciousnesses…ahhh I will never sleep tonight!





Yesterday’s adoptions…

Today, as promised we will catch up with refuge news. I mentioned in an earlier blog that Bounty our 11 year old shepherd cross was going to have to come back to the refuge as his foster mum was ill, well the great news is that we have found a forever family for him!

This is really great news for any older doggy but this lovely boy is a gem, great with other dogs and cats.  a really loveable boy! Sometimes adopting an older doggy is a sensible choice depending on your lifestyle and most oldies become devoted. loyal companions really quickly!

Next to leave was Marjolaine. I was really pleased to hear this as she arrives in a box with her 2 sisters three weeks ago and her sister were adopted on Friday. That is the whole litter who have had vet care, been vaccinated, micro chipped and rehomed in only a few weeks. This was definitely down to the power of social media!

So yesterday one senior and one puppy left….a good day!

September means the start of the hunting season in France, or la chasse, and it can be quite a shock to see a group of hunters heading past your house.

Each Sunday you will see the countryside dotted with vans and cars and will hear the distinctive howl of hounds as they flush out or chase the game. You are sure to cross a group of hunters heading off into the woods with guns slung over their shoulders so if you are out walking it’s wise to wear bright clothing.  I would strongly advise keeping your dogs on the leash, one in case they are ‘accidentally’ shot and two because the hunt dogs have on many occasion swarmed my dogs and some dogs could find this very intimidating. You would think that the hunters would have trained dogs so could simply call their dogs away, not a chance! Most chasse dogs are hunting by instinct alone and have had no or little training!

All chasse dogs should be identified but very few are, as this legislation, like lots of legislation regarding the chasse in France is not enforced. This unfortunately makes it very easy for the hunters to abandon dogs who aren’t good hunters, who are too old or are hurt and need vet treatment.

So we careful out there, especially on Sundays and take no chances with your doggies!




Marjolaine adopted..