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Latest News

Fabulous adoption. Only one, but quality not quantity!

Today four dogs found their owners, including one who had arrived with a fractured femur which required major surgery. Lovely that his owners came to collect him, despite the huge vets bill. Almost restores one’s faith in humanity! Little Dandy found his mum, too, so I was already in reasonably good spirits when I logged onto the SPA Facebook page. There are 4 administrators of the page, so we occasionally like to give each other surprises, and BOY,  was I surprised and happy. 
Mitch has found a home. Our beautiful spaniel cross, one blue eye, one brown. He came in as an adolescent and did all his growing up at the refuge, unlike Mango, his brother who was lucky enough to arrive as a tiny puppy and who found a home easily. Anyway, Mitch’s long wait it finally over. Three and a half months is a long time to a dog of less than a year old! The SPA volunteer who is also his sponsor is a bit weepy tonight as she didn’t get time to say goodbye, but it is good news and we can go and visit him as he lives close by.

A long and happy life to Mitch, here in the arms of his sponsor.

More arrivals and a date for your diaries

Today was not exactly cheerful, with the dogs from the Bank Holiday weekend being registered. All 6 of them. Still, at least they are all safe and warm with us. Two of them are just puppies, so I present to you Guinness and Portia (meant to be Porter, but she is a girl, so I went a bit Shakespeare on her!). They are lovely girls and we hope they will find homes before too long. One lucky boy was reunited with his very relieved owner (and is now micro-chipped), and the sunshine meant that several dogs were walked. It also meant that our volunteer handymen could get on with more jobs! Hooray for Spring!
On the subject of Spring, we received agreement from the Mayor of Berriac for the use of the foyer (ie village hall) for Sunday 5th May. We will thus be holding a Spring Fayre to benefit the SPA. No poster available yet, we need to work out what to put on the poster first. So if you want to join us please let me know. Dancers, musicians, cake bakers, tombola organisers; all are welcome!

Guinness and Portia 

Bank Holiday April Fool!

Today was a Bank Holiday, so apart from a skeleton staff to clean out and feed the dogs and cats and give any medicines, the refuge was closed. However don’t assume that the volunteers have been idle. Far from it.
The big news was the departure of the lovely Pippa, whose arrival was described in an earlier post. She was found starving outside the refuge and carried in by one of the volunteers in a terrible state. Today a human chain took her to her new home, north of Limoges, where she will be happy and loved by her new family who saw her on the internet and just KNEW! The delivery went without a hitch. However this did not stop me falling for a “Poisson d’avril” in the form of an urgent phone call telling me that Pippa had been lost en route. As this photo of her meeting her new mummy shows, I can just be a little bit over-protective and (yes) panicky at times!
Tomorrow will be business as usual and my fellow volunteers will stop playing tricks on me for another year, I hope!

Good luck in your new life, beautiful Pippa!

Food Collection Planned.

In February the lovely folk at Geant Cite 2 here in Carcassonne offered to host a dog and cat food collection for the SPA. It was a HUGE success; so much so that we were able to postpone our usual food order by two whole weeks! But it was also a success for Geant, whose sales in the animal food department went up by 46%.
Now the director of Geant Salvaza (near the airport) has been in touch and he wants to do the same thing in his shop! Yippee! Not only does this enable us to subsidise the refuge food stocks, saving money, it also enables us to speak to people who do not come to the refuge for fear of being upset. We take the opportunity to tell people that the SPA has changed most importantly there is no longer any euthanasia (other than in extremis, like for poor little Rumba yesterday). It is a great way to interact with the general public. 
We will man (or more likely WOMAN!) the stall from 09H00-18H00 on Friday 12th and Saturday 13th April. If you could lend a hand please get in touch. Don’t worry if you don’t speak much French, everyone knows we are volunteers and they are very tolerant. 
Or why not come and see us and look at the display board where you can see pictures of the dogs we have at the refuge and we can tell you about them and perhaps convince you that a visit to the refuge is worthwhile!
Alternatively, why not print off the poster and stick it to your car window so everyone knows about the collection!Image

Highs and lows; Sunshine and showers

The weather reflected the mood of the refuge today. We went from lovely warm sunshine to driving rain and back again all afternoon. And we had good news and bad at about the same intervals.
Rumba, the old poodle who was found a few days ago, went to join the dog chorus. The vet told us that there was more cancer than dog and she was suffering enormously. She was held in the arms of one of our gentlest employees as she went to sleep, but I curse the owners who threw her out onto the street rather than do the decent thing themselves. 
The people who have reserved Hanover came to give him a walk and a cuddle, and a family reserved Fay, one of our little dogs. Spirits were lifted. Then a lovely man came to inform us of the premature death of a dog he had adopted in August and we all had a weep together. 2 years is no age for a dog, but a twisted gut is just one of those things. 
The dog walkers managed to avoid the showers for the most part and some of our strongest dogs were walked, thanks to a young soldier who comes to help out every weekend. And Luna, one of our puppies came to show us how beautiful she is now she is all grown up.
So what photo to add….a sad one or a happy one? Maybe one that has nothing to do with any of the stories of the day. Yes, I think I will just post a picture of Lucky, who has not lived up to his name, as at 7 months he has ended up at the refuge due to his owners’ domestic problems.
Anyone after a golden retriever? 

Two reservations today.

Okay, it may not sound like much, but the two reservations made today have raised my spirits enormously. Melodie has been reserved by the friend of one of our best long-distance supporters. This lovely lady lives in Switzerland, and about a year ago she adopted one of our longest (as opposed to oldest) residents, whom she FLEW to her home. And now a friend of hers has fallen in long-distance love, and once again a Carcassonne dog will be taking to the skies! This time the lucky girl is Melodie, who has only been at the refuge for a couple of weeks, but being a black dog, she could have had a long wait.
The second reservation is wonderful news too. Hanover was brought into the refuge on Tuesday, and the couple who brought him in were in tears. This despite my assurances that NO, we would not put him down after ten days. In any case, they have not been able to get Hanover off their minds, and today they phoned up to reserve him. This is such good news, as we are not short of long-eared dogs at the SPA. How lucky for him that he was found by such kind people. 

Melodie Image


More ex-chasse dogs arrive

The sun was out this afternoon, and so were the volunteers! We tried to concentrate on the dogs who have not been out for a while, as adding photos to their Facebook albums draws attention and with any luck this will result in an adoption or two. 
As ever there were many distractions; people wishing to abandon their dogs, and sadly the arrival of yet more ex chasse dogs. The three new arrivals have obviously been “lost” for some time. All three, now named after German cities as they look so much like the recent arrival Hanover, are very thin. One of them is badly injured and is under under transfusion at the vets, awaiting an operation tomorrow. Bonn and Cologne are in the cat house being fed little and often, and we hope that they will pull through. Here is Bonn, a lovely gentle female who is in a skeletal condition. You will understand when I say that hunters are not my favourite people right now. 

Two dogs back with their owners and a sad new arrival.

The two dogs who were found yesterday on the motorway were reclaimed by their very grateful owner today. The second dog is now chipped and the owner is going to have another attempt to dog-proof his garden, now he realises what a lucky escape his dogs have had. 
Sadly this good news was tempered by the arrival  of another lost soul. This old girl was brought in by the police today. She is covered in lumps and bumps and her fur is all matted. Of course we will do what we can to clean her up, but it is important to post photos of her as she is now, as that is the only way her owners are likely to recognise her. She has a tattoo in her ear, but as with Ray, below, it is illegible.
We have named her Rumba, and in 10 days time she will be looking for a new home or a foster family. I am scared that this is yet another case of a dog’s owners not being able to accept the declining health of their animal, so they just leave it to die alone. Cowardly and beyond comprehension to me and to all real dog lovers.

So young and already mostly blind.

Today was mostly fun. A couple of volunteer handymen were hard at work, making a lovely decking area in the cat house (yes, we have cats too), and several other volunteers were on hand to walk dogs in the sunshine. A couple of dogs arrived, found on the motorway, but we are hoping that it may be a case of the wanders, as opposed to a deliberate act, as one of them is chipped. 
I spent as much time as I could today with Ray, who is a griffon Bleu de Gascogne, and despite his relatively young age, is virtually blind. He sees movement, but not much more. Ray is only 6 years old and has a tattoo, which sadly is illegible, meaning we have no way of finding his owners.Once his 10 days “pound time” are over we will have to decide what steps to take. Do we leave Ray’s eyes as they are, or is an operation possible? One thing I know is that this dog deserves the best possible care. He is a true gem, great with other dogs and very affectionate. Bearing in mind he can only see vague shapes approaching, it is incredible that Ray shows no fear and welcomes caresses from humans and licks and nuzzles from other dogs. He had long dreadlocks from neglect and sat patiently while these were removed, and he has an ear infection that is being treated. He is in good hands and has stolen everyone’s hearts!


Over a year behind bars is finally over for these two boys!

These two boys had each spent well more than a year in the refuge, but every dog has his day, as the saying goes. Tyson left on Saturday, and Guido was reserved on Saturday and left today. We are delighted for them both. Sometimes it takes a little while for the right owner to come along, and it is the refuge’s job, employees and volunteers alike, to keep the dogs socialised during their time at the SPA. Walks are important as is play time in the parks. Castrating Tyson enabled us to mix him with a female, which made his last few months at the refuge far more enjoyable, as well as freeing up some space for a single male. 
Clearly we can only mix males and females when one of them has been neutered. This is one very good use that we make of any donations received. If you have a favourite dog at the SPA but are unable to adopt, why not help pay towards his/her castration/sterilisation? It almost always helps find them a home and definitely makes their life happier while they are waiting! Or why not join our ever-growing team of volunteers and be the one who takes the dogs out of the refuge for a walk and a cuddle?
For more information on how to donate or volunteer, please see my website (www.dogrescuecarcassonne.co.uk) or visit us on Facebook www.facebook.com/SPA.CARCASSONNE. Links to both are on the right of this page.
Thank you!

Guido (with the beautiful Tiffany, who is not up for adoption)
Tyson, happy on a walk last summer