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Latest News

Just when you think things can’t get worse…….

This morning when they arrived at work, the SPA employees found a dog waiting for them at the gate. He looked familiar, and sure enough our microchip reader revealed that this was none other than Hector, who had been adopted from us in March this year. Phew, he has an owner. However a phone call soon revealed yet another tale of irresponsibility and selfishness. Hector’s owners were not happy to hear from the SPA. In fact it was they who had left him at the refuge gates. The reason? This weekend he had three epileptic fits. At least they assume they were epileptic fits; they had not taken Hector to the vet, just decided that they didn’t want a sick dog.
Nice, eh? So this six year old German Shepherd is looking for a new home, just three months after leaving the refuge. Needless to say we had no idea that he was ill (and indeed it may not be epilepsy). Had we known, we would have warned the adopters. And had they contacted us today, rather than just abandon the dog (and, I add, according to the contract which they signed), we may well have been able to come to an arrangement concerning treatment. But that would require them to have had a modicum of affection for the dog.
At the moment with the number of dogs being brought back, I almost feel as if we are renting out dogs, a bit like you would rent out a car to see if you like it enough to keep. Heaven alone knows what the dogs must think, when they are brought back, and in Hector’s case he must be even more confused, as he will be scared after his weekend experiences.
I understand the world less and less and time goes on.

However a lovely photo arrived, which went a long way to cheer me up. Here you can see Sveltesse (now just Tess), with Precious (now Minette) and Roxanne (still Roxanne). All three were adopted from the SPA in the past month, and have formed a solid bond in their new home. All together now….Aaaah.

Hector needs a new house.









A happy trio of ex SPA inmates!


Dogs: often the first casualty of divorce.

I mentioned yesterday that a dog had been brought back to the SPA due to a divorce. Sadly it is often the animals that are disposed of first, sometimes even before the house has been sold and the CD collection shared out. The husband’s return to the UK is hardly an excuse; after all since DEFRA changed the requirements regarding rabies vaccinations 18 months ago, a dog can return to the UK just three weeks after vaccination. No need for a blood test and a six month wait.

Poor little Dyson has had no luck at all. Found towards the end of last year and brought to the refuge, this medium pinscher was so happy when he found a home in January, at the age of six months. Now at just over a year old, he is back at the SPA. When he arrived on Saturday, he may have thought he was just coming to say hello. Lots of our “old boys” pay us visits to show how happy they are. However when he was put into a kennel, the cruel reality hit him. One of the employees, who was a volunteer during Dyson’s last stay, tried to comfort him, as you can see in this picture. But this little boy knows all too well that weeks, possibly months of shelter life lie in front of him. This is so much harder when none of this is his fault and he is just the casualty of his owners’ marital difficulties.

I hope it is not too long before Dyson finds a new home, however with all the other dogs to choose from, we all know it could take some time for him to be adopted. Next time let’s hope it really is forever.

Dyson- Back to square one

A day worth forgetting

A day of misery at the refuge today. Three dogs arrived and a tiny dog, adopted in January was brought back. I try not to take these things too personally, but it is especially hard for me when the people abandoning their dog are British; I somehow feel that it is my fault. Luckily I wasn’t there to see it. The man has left his wife and gone back to the UK; bye bye dog. No room for you in my new life.

On the bright side, one of our saddest looking dogs found a new home today. In reality Klousska was quite cheerful and sociable., but she managed to look miserable in all her photos. I bet she is smiling now!

The other bit of good news concerned our boy Gypsy, who was adopted on Wednesday of this week, and promptly went missing. His new owner was devastated, and we have been very worried about this little dog of nine years. Today Gypsy was found safe and well (by one of the SPA volunteers, no less!) and was taken back to his delighted owner.


Let’s hope things start to improve soon, though, as the bad news is certainly outweighing the good right now

Gypsy home safe and sound and Klousska has a reason to smile now!



Two out, two in

Well it was good news for two of our dogs today, but sadly their places were immediately taken by two new arrivals. We are particularly concerned for one of them, as from the state of her, she must surely have puppies needing her.
But on the positive side, two dogs start new lives today. Firstly there is Dora, a beautiful malinois. We were surprised at how long she spent at the refuge before being adopted. In fact had she been good with cats, she would have left a couple of weeks ago. But a non-cat owner fell for her charms in the end. Phew!
The second departure was that of Summer, who has left behind her sister, Sunshine. Of the two I would have expected the black and white pup to go first; black dogs tend to go unnoticed for much longer. So this is great news for Summer.
Hope her sister finds a new home soon, too. But of course all our dogs need homes! A quick tour of the site or our Facebook page will show you just how many fabulous dogs there are at the SPA Carcassonne.

Bye bye Dora




Bye bye Summer


Adoption of Roxanne.

Well, I had advance warning of today’s good news, but I don’t post things until they happen, just in case. Today beautiful Roxanne left. She is the urgent appeal on this site, and also on my weekly blog on Anglo Info. She wasn’t urgent per se, but I felt sad for her as her reservation was cancelled on the veery day she was due to leave.
But being tied up outside reception has some advantages; the dogs get seen by lots of people. And guess who spotted Roxanne? None other than the lovely lady who adopted another favourite of mine, Sveltesse (now just Tess)
So Tess has a new sister and Roxanne has a wonderful home.
Of course there was bad news. Six more kittens arrived. Ggrrr. Luckily they found foster homes with volunteers, but we cannot carry on like this!

For now, though, we wish good luck to Roxanne. I know we will have regular news and even visits from time to time! I will miss her, but Iwill not miss all the staff and volunteers  bursting into Sting impressions as they walk by her!

Bye Bye Roxanne


Nothing to report……So why not sponsor!

I am remote blogging, and despite (or maybe because of) the wonders of technology, this will have to be brief! The only news from the refuge was the officialimage adoption of Lolipop, following her sterilisation, that took place today. Other than that things were pretty quiet, apart from the fact that three more of our dogs were lucky enough to find sponsors. This scheme enables dogs, like Tammy here, to have some home comforts, even if the likelihood of her ever finding a home is slim.
Tammy is 14 years old, and appears to have been dumped at the refuge just at the time when she needs a home the most. I wish I could say that her case is unusual, however sadly this is not so, and we see more and more elderly or sick dogs arriving at our door.

Sponsoring a dog is simple, you just choose which ever dog (or indeed cat) you like, and it is up to you where you go from there. Some people send a monthly donation, others visit and walk or groom their chosen animal, others but small gifts, like Scalibor collars (which protect them against ticks and mosquitos. The choice is yours. Some fosters even end up adopting their dogs! Whatever you do, it helps the SPA and certainly raises morale of both animals and humans!

If you are interested in sponsoring a dog at the SPA, please get in touch. We  have plenty of dogs who so far are without a benefacteur. They would love to know that someone cares about them as they lie in their kennel….



More on the Bullet Dog

I spent the afternoon at the refuge today, and after returning from dog training school, I have been busy uploading the photos taken today of all the new dogs who have arrived. You can see them on our Facebook page, and they will be put on this site too once  update the has been completed.
Good news today in the form of the adoption of both Trufette and Mambo. I wish them both well.
That is not the only thing that has lifted my spirits, though. Following my blog yesterday, someone made a donation by Paypal towards  the cost of the vaccinations, micro-chipping and sterilisation of the “bullet dog”. Thank you so much; it is people like you that motivate those of us “in the business” to carry on when times are tough.
I thought you would like to see a better photo of the little girl. She is looking much happier than she was yesterday, and I am not surprised, being away from her horrible owner. She has been named Hera, and is very affectionate. Couldn’t get enough tummy rubs today! I would love her to find a home and the happiness she deserves.

Hera the “Bullet dog”


The worth of a dog

Sometimes people re-home their dogs due to a change in personal circumstances. Not all of these changes of ownership go well, clearly, and sometimes the dog arrives at the refuge without the knowledge of the original owner. Such was the case with Bali, who arrived on May 24th. Luckily the change of ownership was never registered at the Centre in Paris, as after the handover was made, the new owner failed to send off the paperwork. So when Bali arrived, we phoned the old owner. She was surprised to hear that Bali was with us, but actually she was quite pleased. She had given Bali away two years ago when her circumstances had changed, but had always regretted it. So today she came to reclaim her dog. Sometimes these things are just meant to be….

On a far less positive note, we have a new arrival. A rather unpleasantly aggressive man arrived to abandon his dog, stating that she barks too much. We politely asked if he could wait a while (abandoned dogs, as opposed to those that are found straying, are the only thing that we have control over, and to avoid over-crowding, we have a waiting list). He stated that if we didn’t take the dog immediately, he would shoot it. It didn’t look like he was bluffing, so we agreed to take his dog, a little female crossbreed of 7 years. We asked if he would possibly make a donation, as the dog is not vaccinated or identified, and the SPA is a charity which survives on donations and adoption fees. He replied that a shotgun cartridge costs one euro, so that is all he would give us. Nice, eh? Let’s hope she has better luck with her next owners!

Beautiful Bali leaves









Sad little girl arrives

This way to the SPA

Today was the first Sunday of the month, so the refuge opened its doors. Volunteers arrived en masse, and we had plenty of potential adopters too. There are 120 dogs at the refuge, and about tow thirds of them were walked today; it was an incredible effort, so thanks very much to everyone who came along to help.
A couple of dogs were reserved and they all got lots more attention than most afternoons, let alone on Sundays, when the refuge is usually shut.
I have been busy uploading the 172 photographs that I took onto the SPA Facebook page, but one that I haven’t shown to the world can be seen here. For literally years people have commented on the difficulties they have when trying to find the SPA for the first time. We have put up various signs, but nothing has really worked. However, today one of the long-standing members of the Association (the SPA is legally a charitable association), delivered this fabulous new sign. It is made of exterior quality plastic and is robust and quite simply beautiful (as well as being BIG!)
We need to attach it to the lamp post at the end of the road. Any ideas, anyone? Next time (or maybe the first time) you visit the SPA, you should have no trouble finding us!
Also today we had two groups of volunteers doing fund-raising activities for the SPA; one at a plant nursery in Caunes Minervois, and the others at a car boot sale in Couiza. And I thought Sunday was meant to be the day of rest!
Thanks to everyone!


A small departure and a big arrival!

There was only one adoption today; that of Kenzo, who was the black labrador puppy who arrived as Pluto left, and who spent his 10 days of time “in the pound” (during which dogs can be reserved but not adopted in case their owners show up) with a volunteer. Today it was time for him to leave with his new family and we hope he will be very happy. And don’t worry, Val, I am sure we will have a new puppy to take care of soon!
One lucky dog made a brief entry and re-exit, as despite the fact that his tattoo was hard to read, his owners were looking for him.
But as ever it was not all good news. We had another dog brought in today, and he is a BIG one! Information to come, but if you are after a Pyrenean Mountain Dog, you may want to keep an eye on this boy.
We have called him Hercules purely due to his size.
Other than that, plenty of dogs were walked, and we will try and walk some of the unlucky ones tomorrow, which is our monthly Sunday opening. Why not pop in (14H00-18H00) and lend a hand. There are rumours of sunshine…
Oh, and someone brought us a fledgling crow, which was nice.

Goodbye Kenzo







Hello Hercules