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Occitane Leaves For The Aveyron

Today was my first day back at the refuge after a few weeks in Scotland and what better way to celebrate than the departure one of my favourite dogs who has been with us for just over a year! I am sure that Occitane would agree that the wait for the perfect family was well worth it and she cuddled into her new mum on the back seat of the car as she left for her new life in the Aveyron. A year is a long time to spend in kennels but dogs move on quickly and daily walks and a loving family who is at home all day is her reward!

Next to leave was Gold, a small ratier cross found in Carcassonne yesterday. He wasn’t identified but his owners were at least looking for him and he left this afternoon after a visit to the vets to be chipped. This means that if he happens to escape again and arrives at the SPA we can call the owners and let them know that he is safe and sound and ready to go home!

Unfortunately for most departures there is an arrival and sure enough we had two arrivals. The first was a dog from Limoux who we have called Dundee. He’s a very handsome hunting hound who we hope will be claimed really quickly.

The next to arrive was a small Bouledogue cross who we have called Ewok. He’s not identified either but hopefully like Gold his owners will be looking for him and come to collect him soon.

Dundee and Ewok were this years arrival numbers 401 and 402, a very sad reminder that a lot of people still view dogs as disposal items.

Please think very carefully about how a dog will affect your lifestyle before getting one, please sterilise your dog and of course don’t forget to get it identified and keep the database details up todate!

Occitane Adopted!


Gold left with his owners…


Dundee Arrived!


Ewok Arrived Too..


“César” is reclaimed and Ella is adopted, but Gold arrives

The week got off to a typical miserable start, with two dogs found over the weekend being brought in. Firstly we have César, a young handsome German Shepherd who was found in Cuxac Cabardèslast night. Unidentified, of course.

The next arrival was Gold, a small ratier cross found in Carcassonne. Again he was not identified. What is the point of a law that everyone ignores? It is just so frustrating. The law is there for a reason; it is to help reunite owners with their dogs and cats. And if you do not want the SPA to be able to contact you should your animal arrive with us, then maybe you should not have an animal in the first place.

But then things got better! César was reclaimed by his owners (who phoned the SPA to see if he had been brought in, so clearly they DID want him) and he is now identified. And then we had an adoption: Lovely Ella left, fresh from being sterilised. This lovely girl was found by an English family who were here on holiday, and funnily enough DRC received an email from them today to say that if she is unable to find a home, they would like to make arrangements to adopt her and have her transported to the UK. We wrote to tell them that she had already stolen someone else’s heart too. I am sure they will be feeling a mixture of both relief and disappointment!

I understand when a family feels a “responsibility” towards a dog whom they have brought to a refuge. This is how Yessa found her home with the UK-based Bates family, after all! In Ella’s case, though, someone more local fell under her charm! Lucky Ella, to have two families wanting her!

We have other Brittany spaniels at the refuge, of course, both male and female. They are a lovely breed, as many of you know!

César – in and out (and now identified!)











Tiny new arrival – GOLD













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A special delivery from Belgium

I said yesterday that in addition to the marvellous collection of cat-related goodies at Maxi Zoo, the SPA had had a very special delivery.

Yesterday long-term and long-distance SPA Carcassonne supporter Sarah arrived from Belgium, bringing a whole van load of treats for the refuge. She drove all night, stopping for a sleep in a service station on the auto-route. Her van was so full that she slept on top of all the bags of dog food that she was bringing to us! She said it was quite comfortable, especially once she had got used to the smell!

She arrived at the SPA yesterday afternoon, where she stopped to unload the van before going to her parent’s home for some well –deserved sleep.

All of the donations were courtesy of the Association Animal Trust (http://www.animaltrust.be), with which the SPA has a long and close relationship. Many thanks to Eline and Kevin for their generosity once again. All the leads and collars will be of use, too; they are one of the items that we can never get enough of at the SPA.

Some of you may recognise the name Animal Trust in connection with previous adoptions, and you would be right. Some ten dogs have been rehomed thanks to them, and I am happy to tell you that yet again, Sarah will not go back to Belgium with an empty van.

At least three lucky dogs will make the journey back to Belgium, where we hope that they will soon find new homes. Sometimes a dog just need to reach a new “audience”, and Eline has a good idea as to which of our dogs will appeal to Belgian eyes!

Watch this space!!

Sarah ready to unload












And sorting out leads today

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Cat collection and two adoptions, but Dragonfly returns :(

Today was the collection on behalf of the SPA cats courtesy of Maxi Zoo and there was a relay of volunteers manning the fort and in some cases returning to the refuge for dog walking “duties”. Things seemed to flow nicely, with a laptop presentation of the cats and kittens, and plenty of donations. Thanks to everyone for their support. Below you can see a picture of the lovely staff at Maxi Zoo, along with some of the goodies collected toady. Let’s see if things go as well on September 27th, when it is Dog Day!

Coincidentally (or not), both the cats featured on this blog a couple of days ago, Betty and Mimi, have since been adopted, and we hope that today’s publicity will bring more adopters to the SPA.

As promised, here is picture of the dog who was brought in yesterday. He has been named Pulco and is a young male setter cross. He was found in Trebes, which is not far from Carcassonne, so with any luck his owner will come and look for him. If not, that will mean yet another youngster looking for a home. Sigh.

One youngster did find a home today; little Aelis, who is one of the Camelot litter. It was her brother, Karadoc, who was brought back on Thursday, so still two left, just a different two this time!

And another very lucky boy was Jam, aka Sam. He changed his name due to a typo, but will revert to his real name in his new family. In fact he was lucky twice today; two different people wished to adopt him. First on the scene were Fred and Margaret, who have decided to get back in the saddle after the death of their foster dog Alfie a few months ago. It took a while for their hearts to heal, and although they will never forget Alfie, their dog Flossie needs a friend, and Sam ticked all the right boxes, despite being blind!

Unfortunately it was not all good news. Libellule, our lovely Bleu de Gascogne was brought back. Boredom leads to all sorts of trouble, and in this case it was her destructive tendencies that got the better of her. Of course there are strategies for dealing with this, but in Libellule’s case the owners did not contact us for help, they just contacted us when they were so fed up with their dog that bringing her back was the only option they would consider. If your dog has any behavioral problems, please get in touch before things escalate to this extent!

The SPA had a special delivery today, but I will tell you more about that tomorrow; we have had quite enough excitement for today!

Many thanks to the staff of Maxi Zoo on behalf of the cats of the SPA!
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New arrival – Pulco





















Sam – eight years old and blind, but ADOPTED!

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Skipton skips off and a collection at Maxi Zoo

Those of you who do not have Facebook but who follow this blog, may not be aware that the lovely people at Maxi Zoo in Carcassonne are hosting a collection on behalf of the cats of the SPA. A further day is planned for the dogs later in the year, and of course anything that benefits the SPA helps both dogs and cats…The more money we save thanks to donations means the more cash we have to spend elsewhere. So if you can pop along to see us tomorrow, whether you are a dog or cat lover, your support would be very welcome.

Maxi Zoo can be found at 170B, rue Alessandro Volta, ZAE La Ferraudière, which is close to the airport area (Decathlon, Tridome etc). We will be present from 10H00-19H00. Come and say hello. And if you prefer to donate something for the dogs instead of the cats, we will not turn it down, although as I say, a dog day is planned for a bit later on.

At the SPA, little Skipton, the Yorkie, was adopted, having arrived on August 10th. That means he was with us for 19 days. This is quite long enough for his former owner to have come to reclaim him, even in summer. Despite some of the comments on Facebook, we cannot possibly keep dogs indefinitely just in case his owners decide to come looking three weeks later. The same ten day rule applies to small dogs as to big ones. It is not necessarily the case that a Yorkshire terrier is more likely than a big dog to have a good owner. Skipton had the offer of a new, loving home, so we let him leave and we wish him well.

There was one new arrival, but I have no more information than that, so all I can say is that pictures will follow.

We hope to see you either at the SPA or at Maxi Zoo tomorrow; or maybe even at both!

Meet us and see pictures of the SPA cats tomorrow at Maxi  Zoo from 10H00-19H00











Skipton – ADOPTED and now at his home!



Two puppies in, one big dog out, thanks to Ambassador Rex!

As with yesterday’s mass arrival of felines, today’s first arrival happened before the refuge was even open. A puppy this time, a pale coloured female shepherd cross who has been named Mirza. We are always in two minds when female pups arrive at the SPA. On the one hand it is tragic for them, but on the other hand at least if they leave under a contract of adoption from the SPA, at least we know they will be sterilised. Only in this way can this ridiculous and eternal cycle of unwanted dog (and cats) be broken.

Mirza has gone off to be fostered with employee Fabrice (thank you!) but I have a feeling she will find a home pretty quickly. Of course we have other pups who are still waiting for homes too, all of them desperate to have a normal, family life.

On the subject of pups, today saw the return of Karadoc, who had been adopted on Saturday. Apparently the son is allergic to dogs. To cynics, this allergy thing seems to be the equivalent of a no fault divorce. It is not our fault, but of course it cannot be the puppies fault, because everyone knows what puppies are like before they adopt them; no one just falls in love with their cuteness….

Karadoc went straight back in with his two sisters, Aelis and Demetra, and probably said “hey, this being homed lark is not all it is cracked up to be!”

Next came the best adoption of the day. Okay, there was only one adoption, but even had there been several, this would probably have won. Remember Rex, the German Shepherd who was adopted recently? Well his new onwers have friends, also Belgians, who were staying on the same campsite in Carcassonne. They were told how great the SPA is by Rex’s delighted owners, and along they came today to see our dogs.

They left with a very happy Blanco, a dog who was abandoned in January at the age of 6 because his owner “had no time for him”. Blanco was supposedly no good with other dogs, except that at the SPA he became mentor to several of the more timid arrivals, and turned out to be a lovely, well-balanced male.

His big chance came today, and he seized it with both hands, charming his new master, who claimed that “dogs never like him”. Well Blanco did, and is now on his way to Belgium! Wonder how he and Rex will get on!

So two puppies in, but one big boy out. Not bad for a Thursday, and that is without mentioning all dogs who had walks today thanks to the usual crew of volunteers!

Mirza – new arrival










Karadoc – What am I doing back here?

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Blanco- Belgium beckons!

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Another dog who is better off with us….plus too many cats!

We had a sad and shocking arrival at the refuge today; Nestor, an Ariegeois cross who was found with a collar so tight that it had become embedded in his neck, leaving a festering wound. Now why on earth did his owner do this to him? These dogs are invariably gentle, and Nestor has such sad eyes. Hardly surprising bearing in mind what he has been through. We would love to find out who owned this dog and find out what on earth possessed them to treat a dog in this way, but of course they are unlikely to come forward to face our wrath. So Nestor will be needing a new home.

All you lovers of scent hounds stand by. This boy could cut quite a dash in the UK, methinks!

The second arrival of the day is another boy, this time a shepherd cross, who, we are assured, is good with other dogs, children and rabbits! He has been named Aȉko and he looks beautiful.

Two other dogs arrived but were reclaimed, thanks to being identified.

I know that this is Dog Rescue Carcassonne, but just sometimes there is enough reason to veer into the world of our feline friends. Now is such a time. A further six cats arrived at the SPA today. And we are not talking kittens here, although we have over 50 of them as well. Today’s arrival were all adults, found at the refuge gates this morning. We don’t know if they were once cute kittens who have now been replaced by a younger (and free) kitten, let’s face it they are being given away on websites all over the place. This of course is illegal, unless the animals are identified. The situation at the SPA is desperate and we see no way out unless people sterilise their animals. And the benefits of even that will not help this year’s “crop”.

Any cat lovers out there, please think of the SPA cats and kittens and bear in mind that for 120 euros you can have a cat who has been sterilised, micro-chipped, as well as tested for leucosis and FIV. And a kitten is just 70 euros! Far less than paying for all of that if you get it done at your own vet.

So come on, all you cat lovers! Now is the time to adopt a moggy!

I am Nestor and I am glad to be at the SPA so they can heal my poorly neck and love me











Look what my owner did to me 🙁













Aiko – new arrival













I am Betty and I am one of the many kittens at the SPA











And I am Mimi; I am ten years old and I would like a home too!


Vanille is reclaimed but three new dogs arrive.

Thanks to Facebook, the owner of the ten year old Yorkie was alerted to her arrival, so the afternoon got off to a good start, with this little dog leaving after just one night at the SPA. The owner has promised to get the details updated on the central database, as that way if Vanille ever goes wandering again, we will be able to get her home immediately!

I mentioned stalwart supporter Elinor yesterday, and by coincidence she features in tonight’s blog, too. Not with news of Renée (who was clean overnight and is fabulous, of course), but for another reason. Elinor nominated us in a Bank Holiday giveaway taking place in the UK, and we were chosen from dozens of overseas rescue organisations to receive a selection of leads designed to prevent dogs from pulling. These are now on their way to us thanks to Dave at Gentle Lead (http://www.gentleleads.com/ or www.facebook.com/pages/Gentlelead/326302347487811). A full report will be made in due course, but we are excited already. Anything that can make walking a dog more pleasurable has got to be good, providing the dog is happy with the arrangement, of course.

At the refuge we had the arrival of three dogs; two very young female puppies and a young male griffon. The two pups were very lucky, volunteer Marie-Pierre just happened to be at the SPA, and she went home with more than she bargained for! She will send us names to go with faces in due course, but in the meantime, here they are, 2 months old and cute as buttons!

The little griffon is lovely too, and I have a feeling he will appeal to more than a few of you. We have named him Tico.

So although it was not a great day, we  have had worse!

Puppy number one
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Puppy number two
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And today’s third arrival, Tico
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Just walk away, Renée

A mixed day at the SPA today. Someone left an empty cage in one of the exterior boxes, so we will never know what small animal escaped from it. The owners did not have the courage to walk in and hand the animal over to make sure it was safe. And no, they were not donating an empty cage, as there was food left inside, and sawdust. So some small creature (a kitten, a rat, a ferret?) is now lost in the middle of nowhere, or perhaps already dead. For every wonderful person out there, there is always someone who makes you despair at their idiocy and selfishness.

In better news, Ilda left the SPA. This is the little girl who was brought in on August 19th by the police of Limoux after being abandoned by her owner who no longer wanted her. Dog Rescue Carcassonne knew of her plight before she was brought in, but did not manage to find a “home to home” in time. However once she was at the SPA and we were able to meet her and take some better photos, Moira’s plotting came to fruition! Ilda has not left for her forever home, but is being fostered by Elinor, a great supporter of the SPA and adopter of Maddie (ex Malaga), who is going to give her loads of love and then deliver her to Scotland when she and her husband return home in a couple of weeks.

We will have an official adoption announcement when she reaches her final destination, and in the meantime we will have news and photos thanks to Elinor. The first one has arrived already. Ilda has been renamed Renée which of course means “reborn”. And she is already looking a lot happier, isn’t she? Great work Team!

Two dogs arrived today. Copernic is a lovely looking cross breed and we will have more information about him in due course. Who knows, perhaps his owner is looking for him……And then we had a tiny female yorkie brought in having been found in Palaja. She, unlike Copernic, is identified, but the details on her tattoo are not up to date. Let’s hope her owners think of contacting the SPA, otherwise she will be looking for a home at the age of ten years.

Ilda, now Renée – in foster before moving to Scotland!








Copernic – New arrival










And a ten year old female yorkie- another new arrival





A very special guest blog

Tonight we have a guest blog, so without further ado, I will hand over to Jane. Her words speak for themselves, so I will just say a very big “Thank you” to all concerned, and our sympathies once again.

For nearly ten years now I have had the good fortune to be a member of a very special online community of some sixty plus wonderful men and women. Brought together by our love of food and cookery, we stayed together via various forums and Facebook by our mutual respect and genuine friendship, despite the majority of us never having the opportunity to meet. Two weeks ago, one of our members died suddenly leaving us all grief-stricken. Darren was a gentle, sweet and generous soul who had an affinity with dogs. He once told me ‘I am almost embarrassed by how much I love my dog – almost…’

Once we had got over our initial shock we knew we had to do something meaningful to honour this incredible man, and asked his partner for suggestions. It was easy – Darren would have wanted to help a dog refuge and I was suggested as the person who might know of a suitable rescue centre. Well, I certainly did. I have been associated with the SPA for a few years now; I adopted my dear, quirky Rookie in March 2012, and try to do what I can to support fundraising events. I have seen first hand how hard the staff and volunteers work to care for their dogs, with all that this involves and well as lavish as much love on them as they can. They are miracle workers!

So my friends and I decided to sponsor an SPA dog in memory of Darren. Rowan helped us chose Gus, a beautiful laborador cross who was brought to the refuge because he had been badly mistreated. Left tied up on a short rope to starve, he arrived at the SPA in a very sorry state. Covered in fleas and ticks and half starved. Desperate to escape, he had rubbed his face and ear until it was raw and bleeding. When Rowan told me how gentle Gus is, despite all that he has been through, I knew that he would be the perfect dog for us; the word we have all used to describe our dear friend was ‘gentle’. It seemed fitting.

Sponsoring an SPA dog is incredibly easy; once we had decided all we had to do was inform them of our choice and they did the rest. The sponsorship turned from an idea (thank you Evie) to received funds in a matter of hours. The SPA (via DRC) are keeping our donations separate for Gus and we will decide how they are spent. The top of our list, once he is well enough, is to get him castrated.  This way he can be integrated with more dogs – his time spent at the refuge more enjoyable and he’ll be a more attractive prospect to potential adopters. It’s our great wish that this sweet boy is rehomed to a loving family, as all dogs deserve, and in the meantime we hope to help make his stay at the SPA as comfortable and happy as possible.

Sponsoring Gus has given us a purpose during our grief – we feel that we are doing something positive and worthwhile to remember our friend. We hope you are proud of us Darren; we miss you dreadfully but we will do our best to make a difference for Gus in your memory.

Darren Mann. 2nd December 1974 – 10th August 2014. Missed by all who knew him












Gus. A gentle soul












And Jane’s dog Rookie- just because Darren loved him