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Latest News

The bad days are here again.

Sometimes when we have lots of adoptions there is a sense of optimism and it is easy to forget the harsh reality that is the refuge. As well as all the recent good news, there has been a fair bit of bad.
I am pleased to say that the puppy, Boza or Boris who arrived on Tuesday looks like he is going to make it, but on the negative side, we have had seven dogs arrive at the refuge in the past two days. I am not sure if people watch our Facebook page, see that some dogs have left and assume that we will have room for their cast-offs, but there seems to be a bit of a trend at the moment. I am feeling the exact opposite of how I was feeling this time last night.
People never cease to amaze me in the way they treat their animals, and sadly, for every wonderful home that we find, there will be a dog or cat cold alone and neglected. The ones that make it to us are the lucky ones, in many respects, but the refuge walls are not made of elastic and we are starting to fill up again.
Thankfully I can always find something to cheer me up. Today it is in the form of some photos received recently of ex-SPA dogs who are now happily rehomed.
Here are Lolipop, who is being officially adopted on Monday but who left yesterday as we  know her owners (they also adopted the fabulous dog, Sake, who you see here playing with his new sister). Then you can see Harlequin, who went to live in the UK thanks to a wonderful border collie rehoming association called Wiccaweys, and a human chain involving a very good friend of the refuge. Yes, border collies are a bit special (which is why so many of them end up at the SPA), but with the right owners they are hard to beat as pets!
We have several border collies at the SPA at present; if you have an outdoorsy lifestyle and would like a faithful companion to share it with, please get in touch!

Lolipop (with Sake)

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Harlequin starts agility training
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Bye-Bye Beagle

I am a very happy girl tonight. Many of you will know how much I love beagles. In fact I have one of my own, an old lady who came from the SPA, presumably dumped there after her breeding days were over. She is now about 14 and is snoring away happily on the sofa.
In mid-March a very sorry looking beagle arrived at the refuge (in fact her arrival was the subject of an earlier blog entry). Eugenie had a tumour so big that her belly was touching the ground and she could hardly walk.
She was operated on with great success, and we sterilised her while she was under anaesthetic. Since this time she has gone from strength to strength. Due to her age, I think we all expected her to end her days in the refuge, so we made her life as much fun as possible, by letting her  live in one of the parks, which she was sharing with 3 other dogs.
Then today a miracle happened. An elderly man was looking for an elderly lady of the canine variety. It was love at first sight and so we said goodbye to Eugenie.
Just look at the photos of her arrival day and that taken today! I cried a little bit, of course, but I am so happy for her! Never ever give up hope, all you oldies at the SPA, we will get you out!

Eugenie in mid March
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Eugenie today!

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Shuto Shuffles Off!

He was not to everyone’s taste; some of us thought he was cute, others thought he was ugly, and some thought he was just odd looking. Luckily we all have different taste in dogs. Shuto,  featured on this blog where he was described as being a sharpei-sausage, was adopted today. The family who adopted him had seen his photos on our Facebook page and come specifically for him. Provided he was good with cats, that is. We all held our breath as Shuto was taken to the cat house; all smiles when he emerged!
Wonderful news for this dog and I am so glad he found a home so quickly.
Bad news arrived in the form of a  tiny (and I mean TINY) puppy; 6 weeks old, found wandering in a nearby village in a skeletal state and covered in ticks.  He has gone home with some volunteers who luckily for him (and us) have veterinary qualifications. Fingers crossed that he pulls through.

Shuto leaves the refuge

Sharpie cross lovely colour

Magnificent Monday

Maybe the heavy showers on Saturday had put people off visiting the refuge. In any case, today was glorious in more ways than one, with no fewer than four dogs being adopted.  One of them, Olympique, was expected, as her new owners were just waiting for her to be sterilised before taking her home. This is a wonderful adoption for this dog who has been at the refuge since July last year (hence her name!) She arrived with a badly broken leg, but thanks to the wonderful SPA vet, you would never know that this young cross-breed has a metal plate and a dozen or so screws in her body!
Other adoptions today were those of Flocon, a big overgrown puppy who, by coincidence, is featuring on our Twitter feed today. I am so pleased for him, he was one of many young dogs who were growing up in the refuge. Freedom at last.
Fluffy little Filou found a home too, which is wonderful for him, as he couldn’t understand why he was being overlooked. And finally Bonhomme moved from one home to another; this chihuahua had been in foster care since arriving unidentified at the refuge. As soon as he had been castrated (obligatory for dogs with breeding potential) he was up for grabs, and to his foster family’s delight, he has been adopted by one of our volunteers, so he is still part of the SPA family.
So a good day, all in all. Long may it continue!

Olympique
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Flocon 
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Filou
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Bonhomme

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Little Chicken flies the nest; kittens arrive.

The good (actually the wonderful) news of the day was the adoption of little Poulette. She was collected this morning by one of our volunteers and is now on her way to a new life in Marseille, with a lovely lady who has already adopted two of our cats. We will miss little Poulette, but we are delighted that she has found a home. Not everyone is willing to take a dog of 12 years old, although I suspect (and hope)  that Poulette will last for many years to come.
The not so good news was that while leaving the refuge, Poulette’s “chauffeur” saw 5 kittens which had been unceremoniously dumped at the refuge gate. Not even a cardboard box to stop them wondering into the road or to shelter them from the elements. It is clearly marked everywhere that the SPA is closed on Sundays, apart from the first one of the month. Dumping animals when the refuge is closed is a cowardly act. Not only is there a skeleton staff at work, who are already stretched, but how on earth does one find a foster family on a Sunday morning?
This site is dogrescuecarcassonne, but the SPA has cats too, and as of today we have 5 more to cope with. A foster family was found, but my blood is only just starting to come off boiling point. These kittens are not wild, they are clearly an entire litter of someone who has just not bothered to sterilise their cat and who thinks it is okay to treat the SPA as a dustbin. Shame on them, whoever they are.
Kittens are arriving almost every day and foster families are always needed. If you would like details of what is expected of a foster, please get in touch!

A happy smile from Poulette as she leaves the refuge
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One of the newly arrived kittens.
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Two adoptions and a fab new look for the website!

Two excellent bits of news today regarding dogs. This morning Casper went to his new home, having been delivered to a half-way point by one of our volunteers. A wonderful life awaits, as Casper is due to spend his life travelling between France and the Coltswolds. Bet they will not have seen too many Griffon Nivernais over there!
The second adoption of the day was that of Bross, who has a malformation of his front legs, which may well result in early onset arthritis. It is encouraging to see that not everybody is put off by doggy-disabilities. As you can tell from his photograph, Bross is just overflowing with love and this is what attracted his new owners.
Many dogs were walked this afternoon, despite the occasional downpour, and yet again the volunteers were out in force.
I came back home to the exciting news of a completely re-vamped website. I claim no credit for this whatsoever, it was the web-elves, so a million thanks to them. If there are any minor glitches they will be sorted out in time. Anything major, please let me know.
I am sure you all agree that it is a major improvement; as far as I am concerned, anything that helps reach more potential adopters has got to be good!
Thank you my lovely web elves!

Casper in  his new home!
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Bross leaves the refuge
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Pluto leaves our orbit

Pluto leaves the SPARemember this not so little guy? Okay, it took him a couple more days to find a home than it did for Minnie, but that was only to be expected, as he is going to be about five times her size when he is fully grown. In any case, Pluto went off to a new home today, and we wish him a wonderful, happy life.
Sadly his place as the refuge’s youngest black labrador was immediately taken by another little boy, photos of which I will post once his foster family have sent some. Yes, he was lucky enough to find a family to look after him until he finds his forever home. If you are sorry to have missed out on Pluto, don’t be downhearted!

Goodbye and be happy, Pluto

Attention all lovers of stumpy dogs!

Shuto  - a stumpy legged SharpeiRecalling the euphoria of last Thursday with its volley of departures, it is hard not to be disappointed today. No dogs were adopted, despite the reasonably good weather. That’s not to say that the refuge wasn’t busy; our devoted team of volunteers was there, and several dogs were walked and new friends made (between both humans and dogs!)
One of our employees spent the afternoon as a volunteer this afternoon (by which I mean she is not paid to be there on a Thursday afternoon but came along anyway, and she is not alone in her devotion to the animals in this regard). Her aim was to coax little Shuto out of his box. He has been at the refuge for 10 days now, and the only photos we had thus far were of him cowering in his kennel.
Over an hour of patient cajoling, and he finally emerged. Until now I had thought he was a sharpei. Hmmm.
After the recent food scandal you will all know about horse-burgers. Well how about a sharpei-sausage? This guy has way more dachshund in him than should be allowed. Perhaps that is why he has such a puzzled look on his face!
Shuto is a lovely gentle dog, very shy and in need of kindness and patience. With gentle words and love, which he is guaranteed to receive at the SPA, we are confident that this little boy will be able to go to a new home soon. Hopefully someone will see the lovely dog inside this rather strange body!

Minnie traveller!

Minnie held in a ladies armsSome dogs arrive and we just know they will leave in two shakes of a lamb’s tail. One such dog was Minnie, who has been living in the cat house since she arrived ten days ago. A female shih-tzu cross of 4 months was not going to hang around for long. Sure enough Minnie was reserved before the obligatory ten days “in the pound” was up, and then it was just a game of nerves; would her owners show up before her new owners were legally allowed to adopt her? I am always in two minds during this period. Would you wait ten days to see if your lost dog was in the local refuge, especially one that is very proactive in publishing photographs of dogs as they arrive? In fact would you have a 4 month old shih-tzu without having her identified (especially as micro-chipping is a legal requirement)?
So I for one am happy that Minnie has found a home with people who are going to love and cherish her. They came to visit her several times before the adoption could be completed, although I know they were trying not to get too attached to her, just in case. As for her previous owners, I hope they never get another dog.

Vera’s long wait is finally over.

Vera arrived at the refuge in November 2011, having been found straying in a nearby village. She was  micro-chipped, so with a bit of work (because the address had changed) we were able to track down Vera’s former owners. They had moved to Narbonne and given their faithful 7 and a half year old chocolate labrador away to a family of gypsies who happened to be nearby at the time. They were appalled that Vera was now at the SPA, but not appalled enough to come and get her. Deep sigh.
Vera has spent nearly 18 months waiting patiently. She has an eye problem, which means a daily treatment, which she bore with fortitude. But despite numerous appeals, it looked like this lovely dog was destined to spend the rest of her days at the SPA. Then a breakthrough came, as Vera attracted a sponsor, who walked her on a regular basis. Today this sponsor took Vera home.
We are all delighted. Vera is now 9 years old and her chances of being adopted were diminishing by the day. But it goes to show that it is never too late, and no dog should give up hope.
Here is Vera leaving with her new mummy!

Be happy, Vera!
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