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Latest News

Megan’s Progress

I know I witter on endlessly about our volunteers and the fabulous work they do. Well, as I may have mentioned, not only is their “work” restricted to dog walking.  Some of them take the more urgent of our dogs home to foster. This can mean puppies who would otherwise be exposed to the illnesses of the refuge. Once they have their second vaccination they can return to the refuge without any risk to their health (if they have not already been homed directly, that is)
It can also mean taking home dogs who are elderly or poorly. And tonight I wanted to show you some photos of Megan, who arrived less than a week ago at the SPA, having been used as a staple gun practice area. She was absolutely terrified in her kennel, and so it was a case of “Volunteers to the Rescue”. Here is Megan before and after. She has only been out of the refuge for 4 days. It just shows what a difference a calm, loving environment can make to a dog; even the most hopeless looking of cases.
Yesterday little Bobby, the bichon left with a new foster family, and I await some “after” photos of him, too!
If you would like to be part of this amazing work, please get in touch via my website http://www.dogrescuecarcassonne.co.uk/ . Or perhaps you might like to adopt the beautiful Megan, who is just 18 months old and is busy learning what a wonderful place the world can be!

Megan on her arrivalImage
And 4 days later
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Spring Fayre – the Results!

Well, I can’t say that people came in droves, I think the weather meant lots of people stayed at home doing gardening or just lounging around. The Brits were out in force though, and I hope a good time was had by all. 
The Aude Shantymen entertained us with their songs, as did Rick (and Jane) and we had the best chips and (so I am told) fried chicken in the world. I ate more cupcakes than I care to mention (thanks Dotty!) and I was delighted to see so many ex-refuge dogs, now healthy and happy in their new homes.
Numbers-wise we made 500 euros in cash, plus 400 euros in cheques, so it was a success as far as that was concerned. Just a shame we didn’t have more people, but it was their loss!
At the refuge, meanwhile, plenty of dogs were walked and one was reserved. I will keep the suspense until she leaves. On the negative side, eleven kittens were brought in, supposedly having been found. Honestly, people must think we were born yesterday. HURRUMPFFFF.
For today’s photo I thought I would show you the fabulous poster made by the girls who ran the bric-a brac stall. It is the cover photo for the SPA Facebook page! 
You can see it there, as well as all our lovely dogs in glorious technicolour!
Thanks to everyone who came along today; great to see you all and your dogs!
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Spring Fayre Final Reminder.

Well, the movement was in the right direction today, with dogs leaving, rather than arriving at the refuge! Three dogs left us today, Magnolia,  the last lab cross puppy (but we have other pups, never fear!), as well as Giggle, one of our labrits, who has gone to live in a chateau (seriously) and also beautiful Hugo. He is an Australian Shepherd, whose owners couldn’t be bothered to collect when he arrived at the SPA with his brother Goonis. We gave them fair warning (the dogs arrived over a month ago, and every time we phoned the owners they hung up the phone, sometimes after having increased my knowledge of French obscenities). Clearly they didn’t deserve these two beautiful dogs. I hope Goonis finds a new home soon too, and that these selfish people never ever get dogs again!

See him and all the other dogs on our Facebook page www.facebook.com/SPA.CARCASSONNE or on my site http://www.dogrescuecarcassonne.co.uk/ (links to both are on the right)

Finally, please don’t forget tomorrow’s Spring Fayre at Berriac Town Hall. There will be a raffle, a tombola, music, food and drink and lots of stalls selling arts and crafts and loads more. And as the town hall is so close to the refuge, you can go and meet our dogs and cats too, as the SPA will be OPEN and manned by our fabulous volunteers! Go and make their day by adopting an animal!
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More arrivals; it must be the holiday season!

ow do you know when it is holiday time in France? Because loads of dogs arrive at the refuges, of course! Yesterday we were shut, but 6 dogs still managed to arrive, and a further 5 today. Where are we expected to put them all? Well, clearly that is our problem; the people who dump them all clearly don’t care a jot.
The only person with whom I have any sympathy is the owner of Snoopy, a beautiful dalmatian, who was brought in today. The poor woman has a terminal illness and is unable to look after her dog. She was clearly very ill, and in my opinion this is why the SPA exists, to accept dogs whose owners have a genuine reason for giving them up, not just a change of heart. In any case, Snoopy should find a home easily, as despite being 7 years old, Snoopy is fine with all other dogs and cats. And I know there are lots of fans of this breed out there!

It was not all bad news today, as apart from one of the new arrivals whose owner came to get him, there was actually an adoption. Little Ed, has been renamed Elliot, and gone to a lovely new home. The last Elliot we had at the refuge was a magnificent rottweiler. As someone pointed out, the colours are the same, but there is about a 50kg difference in weight between the two!

Snoopy arrives

snoopy

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ed (Elliott ) leaves

ed

Our wonderful volunteers strike again!

gibusNo more arrivals today, I am relieved to say, but no departures either. Well, not permanent ones. One  of the things that keeps me going when times are rough, is the devotion of the other volunteers. In fact when I say volunteers, quite often I mentally include the employees, several of whom were volunteers before being offered a paid post at the refuge. After all, not only had they already proved their devotion to animals by giving their free time to the refuge, they already knew how things work, so there was no need for extensive training.
Several of our volunteers take puppies and kittens home until they have their 2 vaccinations, or just to help with training and socialisation. Other volunteers see a dog in need and offer to foster them, too. On Tuesday little Benson went home to be fattened up, yesterday Megan (she of the staple gun attack) left for some R+R, and today Snoopy the dalmatian left with one of our ex-volunteers/now employees. What is most remarkable about that is that she had a baby boy 3 weeks ago, also has a 3 year old daughter plus 3 dogs and the same number of cats. So when I say that the SPA Carcassonne has the best team of volunteers of any refuge, you will know why!
In other news the last remaining puppy, from the “flower” litter, Magnolia, has been reserved, and today she met her new big brother, Gibus, who also left the SPA as a puppy (but spent his pre-adoption time with yet another family of volunteers!) Here is a photo of him today; some of you may remember him from when he was little!
Can I just also add a PS: Like everyone who works in animal rescue, I am incredibly busy. Please can you decide whether you do actually want to adopt a dog (and have the permission of your children if required) before making me spend my precious time jumping through hoops answering your questions. I have little enough free time as it is. À bon entendeur salut, as they say in these parts!

Our wonderful volunteers strike again!

No more arrivals today, I am relieved to say, but no departures either. Well, not permanent ones. One  of the things that keeps me going when times are rough, is the devotion of the other volunteers. In fact when I say volunteers, quite often I mentally include the employees, several of whom were volunteers before being offered a paid post at the refuge. After all, not only had they already proved their devotion to animals by giving their free time to the refuge, they already knew how things work, so there was no need for extensive training.
Several of our volunteers take puppies and kittens home until they have their 2 vaccinations, or just to help with training and socialisation. Other volunteers see a dog in need and offer to foster them, too. On Tuesday little Benson went home to be fattened up, yesterday Megan (she of the staple gun attack) left for some R+R, and today Snoopy the dalmatian left with one of our ex-volunteers/now employees. What is most remarkable about that is that she had a baby boy 3 weeks ago, also has a 3 year old daughter plus 3 dogs and the same number of cats. So when I say that the SPA Carcassonne has the best team of volunteers of any refuge, you will know why!
In other news the last remaining puppy, from the “flower” litter, Magnolia, has been reserved, and today she met her new big brother, Gibus, who also left the SPA as a puppy (but spent his pre-adoption time with yet another family of volunteers!) Here is a photo of him today; some of you may remember him from when he was little!
Can I just also add a PS: Like everyone who works in animal rescue, I am incredibly busy. Please can you decide whether you do actually want to adopt a dog (and have the permission of your children if required) before making me spend my precious time jumping through hoops answering your questions. I have little enough free time as it is. À bon entendeur salut, as they say in these parts!

Gibus
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More arrivals; it must be the holiday season!

How do you know when it is holiday time in France? Because loads of dogs arrive at the refuges, of course! Yesterday we were shut, but 6 dogs still managed to arrive, and a further 5 today. Where are we expected to put them all? Well, clearly that is our problem; the people who dump them all clearly don’t care a jot.
The only person with whom I have any sympathy is the owner of Snoopy, a beautiful dalmatian, who was brought in today. The poor woman has a terminal illness and is unable to look after her dog. She was clearly very ill, and in my opinion this is why the SPA exists, to accept dogs whose owners have a genuine reason for giving them up, not just a change of heart. In any case, Snoopy should find a home easily, as despite being 7 years old, Snoopy is fine with all other dogs and cats. And I know there are lots of fans of this breed out there!

It was not all bad news today, as apart from one of the new arrivals whose owner came to get him, there was actually an adoption. Little Ed, has been renamed Elliot, and gone to a lovely new home. The last Elliot we had at the refuge was a magnificent rottweiler. As someone pointed out, the colours are the same, but there is about a 50kg difference in weight between the two!

Snoopy arrives

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Ed (Elliott ) leaves

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Ball of Fluff on a Piece of String

Today the refuge was shut to the public as it was international workers’ day, so what better way to celebrate than by not working? Of course cleaning and feeding took place as usual but the dogs spent the afternoon asleep in some long-awaited sunshine.
This lack of activity gives me the chance to tell you about another of yesterday’s arrivals.
Meet Benson, everyone. He is a Coton de Tulear who was born in September 2010. His owner has been hospitalised, and Benson was left alone without food and water for 3 days until someone came to rescue him and bring him to us. Luckily for Benson, two of our lovely volunteers took him home to feed him up, so he is being well looked after while he is recovering from his ordeal.
Benson is a tiny dog. Okay, he is underweight right now, but he is never going to be much of a guard dog. Great as a lap warmer, though! 
Benson is fine with other dogs and is house-trained. The perfect dog, if you don’t mind walking a ball of fluff on the end of a piece of string! He is likely to find a home very quickly, so if you are interested don’t hesitate to get in touch, either via our Facebook page www.facebook.com/SPA.CARCASSONNE or via the contacts page on my website http://www.dogrescuecarcassonne.co.uk/

Benson at the refuge and in his foster home (below)Image
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Three out, three in! And maybe a fourth of a non-canine variety!

Had some nice, not to say surprising, events today. A lovely French family came along to volunteer dog walk; I had the feeling that they were on the look out for a dog, but wanted to start off slowly. In any case, I had just been to the infirmary to visit with Sylphide and Sveltesse (you know I have a soft spot for those two), and I suggested that they take Sylphide out for a walk. They came back having fallen in love. All our females have to be sterilised before leaving the refuge, and Sylphide is far too thin to undergo an operation, so the family have taken her home to fatten her up. Once she has been sterilised the adoption will be finalised! Fabulous news for her, although I feel sorry for Sveltesse, who is now all alone in the infirmary. Maybe her chance will come soon. Who knows?
In other news, our little wire haired teckel left, as did the lovely Greta (now called Lily Blue). Here is a picture of her looking a bit sleepy (post sterilisation), but wearing her brand new collar!
Three dogs were brought in, and I can’t help wondering if it is due to the bank holiday tomorrow. Free kenneling  perhaps? One girl, Megan, is in a particularly sorry state, and seems to have undergone a bit of home surgery; either that or someone has been practising how to use a staple gun. Grrrr. We are not looking for her owners as French law being what it is, rather than being prosecuted for cruelty, they will probably get the dog back! She is a lovely (though terrified) sharpei, so she will find a new owner and lots of love while she is waiting.
Oh, and just as we were closing the Police phoned to tell us that they were bringing us a goat. As I say, you just never know what each day will bring!

Lily Blue with her Netherlands Orange Collar
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Megan, new arrival, complete with staples.

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Death Sentence; What Death Sentence?

Well, after the sadness of yesterday’s post, here is something to cheer us all up.This story dates back over 2 years. At the time the SPA was a very different place. We had no internet sites, no Facebook and very few volunteers. Dogs were put down on a regular basis due to lack of space. It was extremely difficult to keep going as heartbreak was the norm. There were not many volunteers, as the refuge was not a place for the fainthearted. I often returned home in tears.
A few of us long-term volunteers can remember as far back as Alex. He was a magnificent English Setter who was found and brought into the SPA; identified but owners untraceable. It soon became clear that Alex had leishmaniasis. The (former) SPA vet says it was a matter of weeks before Alex would die as his liver was affected, and nothing could be done. “That may be the case”, said the wonderful Evelyn from Doglinks, “but Alex does not have to spend his final days in the SPA”. So rather than being taken on a one-way journey to the vet, Alex moved to a family home. That was 2 years and 3 months ago, and here he is, looking happy and healthy with one of his sisters, Tarka.
So as well as saying thank you again to Evelyn (who is a huge supporter of this and other refuges), I want to highlight to you two things. Or three, maybe.
First, don’t turn your back on a sick dog. In the right environment  and with lots of love, almost any dog can flourish.
Second, if you have dogs, read about leishmaniasis. It is spreading northwards through France and once your dog has it, he has it for life (although if caught early enough a dog can lead a normal life with treatment that is not budget-busting)
And (yes) thirdly, buy your dog(s) a Scalibor collar. This protects them from being bitten by the sandfly which is the sole vector for this uncurable disease. A vaccine is being developed, but it is only about 60% effective, whereas a scalibor is 100% (provided it is renewed regularly, about every 5 months). The refuge tries to put Scalibors on as many dogs as possible, most of them are donated by well-wishers under our sponsoring scheme. 
It has been a long time since we have had a case of leishmaniasis at the refuge, and we are determined to keep it that way! Make sure you protect your dogs, too, and stop this horrid disease from spreading!

Here is the beautiful and incredible lucky Alex, busy defying the odds! 
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