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Latest News

Trumpets sound and Snoopy is reclaimed!

Well, for those of you who read yesterday’s blog, the dog we thought was Snoopy WAS in fact Snoopy and has now been reclaimed. Fabulous news for this 12 year old dog!

Good news for another oldie too. Who remembers Scampi who was really called Trompette and was brought to the refuge on Sunday? His owner is in hospital and he initially said that his neighbours would look after his dog, but then he phoned back to say that the dog is old and we should just put him down. Well today Trompette was adopted, so yah boo sucks to you, Sir! Thanks to his new family for giving him a second chance!

However there was a horrid start to the afternoon. I was not there, thankfully, but I am upset nonetheless, as are the employees. Someone decided that the SPA is the right place to leave their dead dog. So they dumped his body in one of the external boxes, complete with his vaccination book. Carole phoned up to find out what was going on, and apparently the dog was hit by a car and died. How many times do I have to say, we are not a dustbin. And that applies to dogs who are alive or dead. Take some responsibility, people!

On the subject of taking responsibility; I am getting more and more irritated by people who fail to identify their dogs and then expect us to move heaven and earth to help them find them. It is okay if the dogs arrive at the SPA and then leave us micro-chipped, but what about the dogs who return back home either on their own or thanks to a third party. Are they ever micro-chipped after they have been found? Probably not. Personally I have taken the decision to only help find dogs who are chipped or tattooed. If a dog arrives (identified or unidentified) at the SPA, as usual we will pull out all the stops to track down its owner, but for those of you who profess to adore your dog but haven’t bothered to get him or her identified, I am no longer going to spend my time on you. IT IS YOUR OWN FAULT. If your dog is identified and he or she goes missing, I will share your photo far and wide.

This is my personal decision and as yet will not apply to the SPA Facebook page, but it is under debate. So be warned, our sympathy is starting to wane.

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Trompette (aka Scampi)- ADOPTED


Laika leaves or Freedom for Fetide!

I have no doubt many of you remember Laika, the beautiful setter who arrived with such stinky breath that she was baptised with the name Fetide, which we decided might not help her chance of adoption so was changed. Her name was changed to Stella when she was adopted for 48 hours, but she reverted to one of the two names when she returned to the refuge.

Others of you may be sharp-eyed enough to recognise the gentleman in the photo with Laika. Who remembers when Blanca, the deaf dog was abandoned, coincidentally also 48 hours after being adopted? This gentleman happened to be at the refuge at the time, and was kind enough to hold Blanca so I could take photos of her. And here he is again, having come back to the refuge for a second look at Laika, and this time he adopted her!

She is going to be one happy dog, and photos have been promised!

Two dogs arrived today, one of whom we think may be called Snoopy and we think we may have tracked down his owner, although the dog is not identified (Grrrr) so we won’t be sure until they come to see him.

The second of the day’s arrivals will be known to the older (in terms of time, not age) volunteers, as he was adopted two years ago. His owner came all the way from Montpelier to collect him. Sadly she was not prepared to come all the way back from Montpelier when she abandoned him. So two of the SPA directors drove to collect him today, and Shadow is back with us. It looks like the long walks that this woman promised would take the weight off him never happened. The contract that she signed clearly stated that the dog should be brought back to the SPA Carcassonne. Do you not think that we have enough to do already, without going to collect dogs from two hours away.  Thank you to the SPA Montpelier for contacting us and for driving Shadow to the payage, which made navigation much easier.

However other refuges should take note that we DO collect our dogs, unlike many others  who refuse to do so. We have several dogs who “belong” to other refuges, and not only do these SPAs refuse to collect them, they even refuse to take them back even when we offer to deliver them to their door.

We are supposed to be on the same team, but sometimes I have my doubts.

Laika / Fetide – ADOPTED
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New arrival – possibly Snoopy










Shadow- Abandoned miles away- Thanks, you inconsiderate *******s



One Border Collie is Seldom Enough!

Today we had two new arrivals and although thats not unusual  what is, is the arrival of  four  Border Collies in the last few weeks! This is particularly sad as we find that Border Collies often dont fend well in traditional rescue kennels and the sight of a Border Collie bouncing of the walls of a kennel can send a prospective new owner running in the opposite direction! These clever dogs need much more physical and mental stimulation than we can offer!

Of course, the Border Collie is not the ideal dog for everyone, and one of the greatest myths people have is that they are easily trained. In the right hands, they will learn quickly, but it also means that a Border Collie will pick up bad habits just as quickly and a bad habit learnt in 5 mins can take up to much longer to train out!

The Border Collie is a herding dog, which means he has an overwhelming urge to gather a flock. That flock could be sheep, children, cats, squirrels, or anything that moves, including cars. This instinct to nip and bark, along with his energy, must be directed. He must have a job whether it’s actually herding sheep or competing in dog sports. A short walk or a game of fetch every day isn’t enough activity for the average Border Collie!

However, this energy and instinct if channelled properly through agilty, flyball. trick or obedience training, or indeed just a very active lifestyle will give you a fun and very loyal family dog. Not only do we  find that once someone has  a Border Collie  they are very reluctant to have any other breed but that once someone has a border they get another! I think that proves that in the right environment they are wonderful  dogs!

Both Harlequin, our handsome boy who went to Engalnd and is now competing in agility and Sake who featured in the blog a few weeks ago as a therapy pet, have active, training minded owners and that is exatly what we are looking for!

So here are our four Border Collies who are looking for a new home:

Heart – 3 year old boy who needs a home!



Ako – a two year old boy!



Ycare – is also a two year old boy!



Alana – a one year old girl!


Weed waves goodbye, but otherwise, nothing but bad news.

Well there was nearly some good news today. We found out that the owner of the dog whom we had named Scampi is really called Trompette. His owner is in hospital but phoned us to say that his neighbours would come to collect the dog and look after him until he is back at home. Great. This was then followed up by a call telling us that he doesn’t want his dog after all and that we can put him to sleep if we want.  Not so great!

So Trompette is looking for a new home. At ten ears old maybe that won’t be easy, but for a small dog, ten is nothing, and we certainly have no plans to take him on a one way trip to the vet! The owner maybe, but not the dog!

A new dog arrived today, one whom we have seen before at least three times. This time he may be with us for keeps; Falco was found tied up to a lamp post. He had been so distressed that he had wrapped himself round and round the post and was strangling himself. And guess what? He was wearing a prong collar. The rubber stops were still on the spikes, meaning the skin had not been pierced, but Falco is lucky he didn’t choke to death. Or perhaps that was the plan? In any case, he is with us for now, and we will wait to see what his owners say when we manage to track them down.

How many of these prong collars are out there, I wonder?

This is a site dedicated to dogs, but sometimes a cat gets a mention. This time it is for a bad reason. What sort of sick person throws a young cat from the walls of La Cite? The cat has a couple of broken bones and some internal bleeding but should pull through. I don’t have any photos, as the police took the cat straight to the vets (unfortunately they didn’t catch the sadistic morons who were responsible). But it is a castrated grey cat with a black collar, so if you know of a cat of this type who is missing, please get in touch.

Don’t despair, there is one piece of good news: Weed was reclaimed! This lovely husky cross with different coloured eyes was brought in on Saturday; his owners are on holiday and he had been left with neighbours and it was they who came to collect Weed today.

Just another day in the life of the SPA!

Trompette- No longer wanted
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Falco arrives AGAIN

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Falco’s collar (Grrrr)

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Three dogs find their owners.

No fewer than three recent arrivals found their homes today; two were dogs who are already well known to us as “runners”. Jaguar (aka Geo) belongs to a Russian lady, and when Melissa phoned her on Friday to tell her that her dog was with us, the owner was in Moscow! However she asked her brother- in-law to come and get the dog, so as of today he is back where he belongs.

Second was Hercule, who is a SPA regular. He was found wandering on the Pont Vieux by Lucie, one of our supporters. She brought him to the SPA this afternoon and then delivered him back home. It took a bit of time, as the owners were  out looking for him, so Hercule spent some of the afternoon playing with Lucie’s ex – SPA dog, Harley.

Oh, the joys of identified dogs!

The third dog to leave was Joanna, who arrived on Saturday. Her real name was in fact Tika, but we didn’t know that, because she was not identified. (No comment). One of our most loyal supporters, “vide-grenierist” extraordinaire, Fred, lives in Quillan, and it was he who emailed us to tell us that one of his French neighbours had lost his dog. We asked for more information, and as soon as the photos arrived, we knew that Joanna had found her owner. Excellent news! She is now identified, of course!

So thanks Fred! I don’t think the owner had thought of contacting the SPA!

So a day of reunions. We did have a new arrival, and I will try and take pictures of him tomorrow and see if we can find his owners, or maybe a new home.

Jaguar- owner in Russia arranges for dog to be collected!








Hercule- delivered home by a SPA supporter

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Tika (Joanna)- RECLAIMED (and now identified)


News in pictures and pictures in the news!

The refuge was shut today, but we still made the news, albeit briefly. The report on Charly was transmitted as promised, but the 2 hours the film crew spent at the refuge was condensed into about 2 seconds and despite our pleas, no mention was made of the need (and legal obligation) to identify one’s animals. Instead it turned into a human (or rather canine) interest story, but of course that is better than nothing at all. And from our point of view it was wonderful to see actual video footage of Charly with his family, rather than the photos we have had up till now.

Here is the link, and you can see Charly at about the 12 minute point. You have to put up with a lot of advertisements first though! Just talk amongst yourselves while you are waiting!


And that is not the only news we have of recent adoptions. Take a look at this photo of Onyx (now renamed Tuche). He has become a prize winner, but for equestrian events. That leaves me a bit puzzled, as although he was almost as big as a Shetland pony, he is still a dog. Doesn’t he look great, though?

And here is a photo of little Neige, adopted just this week. She was one of Charly’s sisters, remember, and now she has had a bath she is looking even more beautiful than before!

Finally, look at Clara, lying in the sun with her new pal, Jackson. With two terriers there was bound to be a couple of minor squabbles at first, but it certainly looks like peace has broken out now!

As I have said many times, we never get bored of hearing stories of our former “inmates”, nor of seeing photos. If you would like to see your dog in our Facebook album “Life after the Refuge”, just send us a picture and let us know if it is for public release or just for us. And if you would like to do a guest blog about your experiences of adopting from the SPA Carcassonne, you would be most welcome to do so. Moira and I are always happy to hand over the reins on a Sunday, so this could become a regular feature!

Contact us via website@dogrescuecarcassonne.co.uk

Tuche (ex Onyx) – A prizewinner












Lady (ex Neige – still as white as snow) 

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Clara with Jackson – lazy sunny afternoon


Live long and Prosper!

You may recall that last week we had a dog brought in wearing a prong collar. Gizmo was lucky to the extent that his fur was sufficiently thick to protect him from the spikes. One dog who was not so lucky was Prosper, who arrived in June last year, with horrific injuries to his neck. He had to have over 20 stitches to repair the damage.

Since this time he has been sharing his kennel with both males and females, and has patiently awaited his chance. And today was his turn! This followed a visit on Thursday by a couple looking for an older dog to be a pal for their aging labrit. They fell in love with Buffalo, but sensibly, in our opinion, decided to take an older dog as they themselves are not in the first flush of youth, and felt that it would be unfair to adopt a dog of two years old. So they returned to their original choice of Prosper, and after a small snip this morning (goodbye family jewels!), Prosper left with a no- pull harness generously donated by Moira.

Apart from the volunteers and employees, I know of at least two people who will be happy at this news, Propser’s official “ sponsor”,  and one of Prosper’s former neighbours who has been sending us a direct debit to help with his costs. Oh, and his new owners, Jim and Chris too, of course!

In other news, Blanca’s new owners reported that everything is going well. She was calm and clean overnight, so I have no idea what the heck went on in her last home, but it looks like she is much happier with her new family.

A dog who arrived yesterday left with her owners, which is always good, and we are hoping to find the owner of today’s new arrival, who if we have read his tattoo correctly is called Weed!

Apart from that, there were plenty of walks so thanks as ever to everyone who came along to take the dogs out for a stroll and take photos of them to add to their albums on Facebook.

Several people have asked me, so for those of you who are interested, the TV report on Charly will be on tomorrow on Channel M6 (Toulouse) at 12H45.

Injuries from Prosper’s prong collar. This is why we don’t like them!
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But here he is once all his injuries had healed
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And leaving today with his new pal Benji










Today’s new arrival “Weed”

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Two more adoptions!

As Charly’s rise to superstardom continues (he will be on TV on Sunday, along with his owners and some SPA personnel, who were interviewed today), the future of his “brothers and sisters” is still playing out. Little Neige left today, all fresh from her sterilisation, and the oldest of the four dogs, Tim, is reserved too. He is just awaiting the date when his new owners are ready to receive him; not long to wait now, little chap.  In the meantime he has a pretty kennelmate who will go with him to his new home!

Regarding Charly, there are people who are determined to see the negative side of every situation and think that Charly’s fame will result in his owners deciding to breed from him. Can I just be clear that a) they are far too responsible to do any such thing and b) Charly is castrated. We have quite enough misery already without having people try and show a negative side to what is a good news story. Yes, it is fine to be cynical, but we deserve moments of happiness too, please.

In other refuge news, here is a name you have heard before, at least three times. Once when she first arrived, once when she was adopted (to much joy), and once when she was brought back 2 days later, (to much less joy).

BLANCA! Yes, our little deaf girl finally found a home today. And it is with the parents of great friends and supporters of the refuge, so we are confident that all will be well. Or at least that if help is needed that it will be asked for and acted upon, and Blanca will not just be brought back like a discarded sock. And better still, we will have NEWS!

This evening we held a meeting of the Board of Directors of the SPA. This fixed the date for the AGM  (23rd May 2014) and for all of you who were members in 2013, you will be receiving notice and proxy voting forms in due course. If you would like to become a member, it costs 26 euros a year and means you can have your say as to what happens at the SPA. Get in touch if you would like more details about this, which counts as a charitable donation and therefore is deductible if you make a French tax declaration. Win win!











Blanca – ADOPTED


Bye- Bye Barbour

We had one arrival and one departure at the refuge today and lots and lots of walks. The sun was shining and the volunteers, mostly British, it being a Thursday, were out in force. In fact I had to laugh;  a gentleman phoned up and asked if it would be possible to do a two week work placement at the SPA. He has just finished an English language course and had heard that the SPA is a great place to practice speaking English!

It is true, we do have a lot of British volunteers, and adopters too. But today’s adopter was Italian. He had visited the refuge yesterday and fallen in love with one of the beautiful setters, Barbour. To be honest, had I been asked to place a bet, I would have expected Hunter to leave first. But as I have said on numerous occasions, it is a good thing we do not all have the same taste in dogs!

So Barbour left the refuge, leaving his brother behind. You may recall that the owner of these two boys came to collect them, but refused to agree to have them identified. It only took six weeks for the first of them to find a new home. Let’s hope Hunter leaves soon, too.

The new arrival is a lovely girl, whom we have named Joanna. She has an ulcer in her eye, for which we are treating her. She is a young dog, born in Jan 2013 according to the vet’s estimate (should we call this a Vestimate?). And guess what? She is not identified. Let’s hope her owner comes to collect her, but if not, someone else will, as she is a gentle affectionate girl.

So numbers stay the same, but good news for Barbour!

Barbour – ADOPTED
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His brother Hunter is still waiting
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And Joanna arrives

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Charly hits the headlines and Mojo waves goodbye!

The Independent came up with the goods and did a lovely article about Charly, which the French speakers amongst you can read below. Front page, no less! Personally I will never get bored of reading about this story, it is a real morale booster.

Several other newspapers, radio stations and even 30 Million Amis have been in touch with us, all of them wanting to talk about Charly! Good job he is so photogenic! Here he is, by the lake on Sunday.

The little shih-tzu who was found on Monday (unidentified) and brought to the refuge was reunited with her owners. She is now identified and I am once again wishing that I had a euro for every time an unidentified dog arrived at the refuge. Charly’s story should act as a lesson to everyone, but lots of people would rather save a few pennies and take the risk, sadly.

And there is yet more good news from the refuge. One of my favourite dogs, Mojo, was adopted. You may remember that this lovely young dog was brought into the refuge by two kids, with their mum courageously remaining outside in the car. They told a tale of how the dog had been found by their father and given to them against the wishes of their mother. He must have had an owner before that, or maybe he was a Christmas mistake, but in any case we are glad that he will not do all his growing up at the refuge.

There were two more reservations, and only one arrival, a female border collie, so today was yet another good day!

Charly out and about getting used to being a celebrity











Midori – RECLAIMED (and now identified)











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