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Adoption of Harley

We had a small adoption today, a 5 kilo one, to be precise!

Yorkie cross Harley arrived in mid May having spent most of his life on a balcony, when he wasn’t being used to make puppies, that is. He was then given away, but his new owner did not want him, so at six years old, Harley found himself at the ScPA.

Harley has now gone to live with Chris, who came along today with one of his dogs to make sure they were compatible, as this is the dog with whom Harley will spend all his time. The last companion was a St Bernard, who has sadly passed away, so it is a bit of a change of size of paymate. Harley will have lots of other new friends too; dogs, cats, sheep, horses and even some koi carp. Yes, Harley is going to live on a farm, and will have freedom like never before. What a lucky lad!

yorkie cross

Harley – ADOPTED

Apart from that one dog was reclaimed by her owner, and there were some dogs out on walks. And hopefully there will  be more of the same tomorrow when the ScPA opens its doors for the first Sunday of the month.

There will be a blog tomorrow night, regardless of whether or not we have any adoptions, by the way. Something is afoot. Or perhaps ON foot is more appropriate. Read all about it tomorrow evening!

Adoption of Gloubi and an important name change.

Today the ScPA said a fond and happy goodbye to Gloubi. No, don’t be worried, neither by that sentence nor by the photo; Gloubi is fine. It is just that she is most often seen in this position; relaxing in the office while life goes on around her. Gloubi was reserved several weeks ago, and should have already left the ScPA, however her new family had some logistical problems. Anyone who has moved house in France will understand that these things happen, and her new family have been walking her regularly, along with a dog they rescued in Dubai. A wonderful life awaits our old lady labrador. She will be part of the welcoming committee for anyone staying at her owners’ gite; and who could fail to feel instantly at home with such a pefect dog in residence!

yellow lab

Gloubi – ADOPTED

Who will be the next lucky dog to take the “golden spot” in the office, I wonder?

So only one adoption to tell you about today. The week is far from over, though. The ScPA will be open tomorrow and again on Sunday, as it is the first Sunday of the month. This means there is time to make up for what has been a quiet week adoption-wise.

You may have noticed that we are using the term ScPA and not SPA. The additional “C” stands for “Carcassonnaise” This is because the SPA Paris took court action to prevent the Lyon based group (the Confederation Nationale of 260 independent refuges) from using the letters SPA. It would be nice to think that, as we are all in the same business, no one would mind. Ho hum. We have until June 15th to make any changes to our logos and to stop using the forbidden letters. If we at DRC make an error, we will turn ourselves in to the police and wait for you all to rescue us from prison! If not, send chocolate!

Adoption of Border Collie Bob.

Adoptions are few and far between at the moment, as you have probably noticed. We have no idea why this is; May, with its numerous bank holidays, might may seem like a good time to welcome a new family member; or perhaps people are chosing not to adopt when they have already made plans. In either case, staff and volunteers have been remarking on how quiet things are at the SPA.

Today however we have a lovely adoption to tell you about. Bob, a fabulous looking border collie arrived with Meg, presumably his mum, in early April. Both dogs were thin and were initially very nervous of people. Once the dogs had left the pound (ten days after their arrival), the SPA separated them so that each was sharing with another dog. This may seem cruel, but it is usually for the best. Very few people adopt dogs who arrive together, and separating them early enables dogs to create new relationships with other dogs and humans, and not just stay in their existing roles.

Bob has remained quite timid and aloof with people, however. He is fine with other dogs, but even on walks has tended to keep his head down and avoid eye contact. However as you can see from the photo taken as he left today, all that has changed! Bob has hit the jackpot big time, and he seems to know it! His new family lives in Germany and as soon as possible, Bob will move there. But he has family here in France too, and lucky Bob will have canine friends in both countries. Not only that, his new young mistress is very training minded. The family know that it will take a long time for Bob to come properly out of his shell, and are prepared to be patient. And judging from the smile on Bob’s face, a huge hurdle has already been overcome.

So we say goodbye and good luck to lovely Bob and look forward to hearing news of him as he starts his new life.

border collie with other dog

Bob (on the right) with one of his new friends and already looking much happier than when he arrived!

Unforeseen dangers (2)…Heat Exhaustion!

Its getting hot and many people do not realise the dangers of exercising their dogs in the heat and how quickly a dog can overheat especially if its humid as well as hot!

Of course, our dogs cant hibernate during summer and do need exercise so let’s look at how to do it safely,

Keep in mind that dogs can potentially overheat much quicker than humans. Here are a few reasons why they can overheat:

  • They have fur! Imagine running with a fleece on in the heat!
  • They lack the rapid heat loss from sweat (e.g., as they only have sweat pads in their paws).
  • They don’t know how to pace themselves  (e.g., they’re so excited they are running all over the place initially):
  • Lots have extra insulation. My Labrador certainly does and while I want you to exercise him, I am very conscious that I need to be careful.

People with pups, seniors, over weight dogs or brachycephalic dogs really need to be especially careful. We are very careful at the SPA not to exercise dogs when it above 30 degrees and even when less than that we choose who can cope with the temperature on any given day!

Lots of us will be off on holiday with our dogs so how are we going to keep them cool but still get out and about?

I am just back from a week in Spain and it was hot. My doggies are oldies and so I was very careful not to overdo it. We walked in the mornings on planned walks with lots of little coves where there was shade and of course they could swim.  We always planned to be back for about lunchtime and the dogs slept in the air-conditioned apartment in the afternoon. They were then happy to have a little stroll when the sun went down in the evening.

So, when in doubt, exercise during non-peak heat hours… very early in the morning or late in the evening. Take plenty of breaks and frequent water stops. Also limit the amount of off lead madness if necessary. If you are lucky enough to live where your dog can swim, then let them have frequent dips in and out…this really helps them stay cool.

Heat stroke can be deadly, so if your dog shows any of the symptoms below, get him to the vet asap.

·         Vomiting or diarrhea

·         Excessive panting or difficulty breathing

·         Dark red or dark pink gums

·         Elevated heart rate.

·         Reluctance to move

·         Staggering drunken gait

Don’t forget that it’s very easy to underestimate how hot the pavements can become. Have you ever tried to walk over hot sand on the beach? It can be agony so do make sure that you test the pavements with your hand…if its too hot for the palms of your hand, then it’s too hot for doggy paws! Burnt pads are very uncomfortable!!!!

So, summer exercise should be shorter early morning / late evening walks and if your dogs must be out and about when its hotter look for walks with water and shade to keep them as cool as possible!

Exercise in the morning or evening when its coolest!


Adoption of Cliona and Fynn is back home!

Lots of you will remember Cliona, the dog who arrived in a terrible state, covered in lumps and bumps and in dire need of lots of vet care. A campaign was launched to cover these fees and after several months of tlc you would not have recognised her as the same dog.

We were delighted when she was adopted by people who regularly walked her but were devastated when she came back after 5 months!

Cliona had without doubt not had an easy life before she arrived at the SPA. She was suspicious of new people, especially men but once you had gained her trust she was fine. It takes a very special person to adopt a dog who will need lots of time, patience, and careful management. But today she left and we all have our fingers crossed that all goes well!

Cliona adopted!

We are also delighted to report that Fynn, who escaped from his carers on Thursday is back home! We were all very worried as it took 7 months to catch him and get him to the SPA and although he has come on in leaps and bounds he is still a wee bit wary of people. His mum and friend went to the area where he had been seen very early this morning and on hearing her familiar call he came out of hiding and right to her!  This is fantastic news and I am betting that tonight he is being spoilt rotten!

Fynn is home!

Adoption of Flute..

After two days without any adoptions we are delighted to report that Flute has been adopted!

On Monday Darcey blogged about the adoption of Ficelle who arrived a few weeks ago with her sister Flute. These two unidentified pups certainly have lady luck looking over them as both have left with super families.

Its very lucky for two adolescents to arrive as ‘strays’ yet be really sociable with dogs and cats as well as have great lead manners. It just makes you wonder why someone would put so much effort into their dogs, yet not have them identified or reclaim them!

Without a doubt being female helped and had they had been young males their fate may have been very different, despite being great dogs.

Gender still makes such a difference even although all of our dogs, male or female always leave sterilised. The most common request from prospective adopters is ‘a nice medium sized female’.

Is it a myth or not that females are easier then males? Not in my personal experience  but I know lots of you will think otherwise.

Tell us what you think re gender. Our opinions are usually based on personal experience but what is it that makes us prefer one sex to another when choosing a dog or cat?

Flue,,adopted 3 days after her sister Ficelle!




Scalibor Appeal…

Last nights blog was all about ticks and Piro and tonight follows on with our annual Scalibor appeal.

A Scalibor collar protects against ticks borne diseases as well as the dreaded sand fly transmitted, leischmania.

We would really love ever dog to have a collar but with so many dogs and such a turnover of dogs this is something that the SPA cannot fund. At about 18 euros each, this would be an enormous expense and we need to spend our pennies on essentials!

If you could donate a collar you can simply pop in with one, order one online and have it sent directly to us (SPA Carcassonne, Chemin de la SPA, 11000 Carcassonne) or make a donation via paypal (website@dogrescuecarcassonne.co.uk) with SCALIBOR in the narrative and we will buy one!

Sometimes people want to donate a collar to a specific dog and that is no problem…just send us a message or tell reception if you are handing one in and we will send you a photo of the doggy of your choice proudly sporting his new collar.

So, should a dog become infected by a sand fly bite what can you expect? In most dogs who have become infected, the first sign of disease appears about 2-4 months after the initial infection. Symptoms may include sores on the skin, peeling, ulcers, loss of weight, bald patches, conjunctivitis, blindness, nasal discharge to name but a few.

The good news is that many dogs can be treated and the symptoms kept at bay by a drug administered daily.  If you suspect your dog has been infected then take them to the vet asap, early detection gives your dog the very best chance !

Scalibor collars are needed to protect our dogs!

Unforeseen dangers (1) …

There has been a spate of unforeseen doggy deaths so we thought that over the coming weeks we would deal with some of them on days when we don’t have any adoption news.

Recently we had news that one of our ex SPA dogs had died and as he had previously been healthy this came as a huge shock to his family and to us.

He went downhill very rapidly and despite vet intervention nothing could be done. What did he die of?


Lots of  people coming to France as well as new doggy owners are often not aware that many of the French ticks carry a parasite known as Piroplasmosa Canis, which causes a potentially fatal canine disease called piroplasmosis or ‘piro’. These ticks are more active in warmer, wetter weather, so spring and autumn tend to be the danger periods.

So, what are the symptoms of Piro?

Different dogs react to the infection in different ways, and symptoms will differ according to the individual dog and the stage of the disease, but the most common signs are:

  • lethargy and loss of appetite
  • fever, shivering and elevated temperature
  • dark urine
  • anaemia (to test for this, press a finger against your dog’s gum. When you release the pressure, the blood should return immediately. If the spot stays pale for a few seconds, it can indicate a problem).

Dogs bitten by an infected tick typically start to show symptoms within 24 – 48 hours, and the disease can be rapidly fatal. The dog’s kidneys try to filter out the infected blood cells, and are themselves damaged in the process. It’s important to catch the disease as quickly as possible to limit the possibility of kidney damage, so play it safe and take your dog to the vet.

How can you prevent Piro?

  • If your dog is long-haired, keep him trimmed and well-groomed. The best prevention is to find and remove the ticks before they can bite. All French vets and pharmacies sell a tick removal tool.
  • Wait several days after bathing your dog before applying the anti-tick treatment, and don’t bath him for a couple of days after application.
  • Make sure the treatment is applied directly to the skin, not the hair.
  • Keep a close eye on your pet.

In addition to applying the anti-tick treatment, we also advise a Scalibor collar. This is impregnated with an active ingredient that gives many months of protection, and can be used with the Advantix without fear of overdosing to give maximum protection. ( do check this with your vet though)

If you catch the infection very early, there should be no long-term consequences but time is of the essence and there are no guarantees!

So prevention with Advantix, a Scalbor  collar and quick action should you notice the symptoms, keeps your dog safe and sound.

Protect against this…

Adoption of Ficelle

Today was yet another bank holiday here in France, so the SPA was closed. However as is becoming more and more common, several volunteers came to keep  the dogs and cats company, which is wonderful. The animals love spending time with humans, even if they have to share the love a bit more than if they had a home of their own.

And as promised in yesterday’s blog, we had an adoption. Lovely Ficelle arrived some three weeks ago, supposedly having been found with her sister, Flûte. Both dogs are delightful; sociable with dogs and cats, and extremely affectionate, as well as being great on the lead. Apart from being a bit thin on arrival they were in great health; but they were not identified, so the SPA could not track down their owner.

Dogs like this tend not to have too long to wait, and sure enough Ficelle caught the eye of a couple last week. They are none other than Imogen and Kate, the owners of Le Jardin Châmpetre They were looking for a dog to spend long lazy days with in their nursery, and take long active walks with in the surrounding countryside. The dog had to be good with other dogs and people of all ages, as she will be with her owners when they visit clients. A fabulous life awaited the lucky dog.

Last week several dogs were put through their paces, but it was Ficelle who ticked all the right boxes. A busy weekend was forecast at the nursery, however, so it was decided that Ficelle would leave today to allow her to settle in calmly.

brown poiner cross

Ficelle (now renamed Jenka) – ADOPTED

We look forward to news and photos. And if anyone likes the sound of Ficelle, then why not come and see her sister, Flûte, who is every bit as wonderful!

dark brown lab cross

Lovely Flûte is still looking for a home

The SPA will be back to business as usual tomorrow, of course.

Save the Date for Summer Fun!

As many of you have remarked, it has been a quiet week at the SPA and that of course means a quiet week on the blog. But don’t worry, we have not been idle! We are already busy planning the next fundraising event, which is due to take place next month; on June 17th to be exact.

This will be third annual Yard Sale and Barbecue to have been hosted at Chateau Miaou, and this year it will be even bigger and better. As well as books, DVDs and a tombola we will once again have a barbecue courtesy of our hosts Willie and Sharon, who together with Mr Saussice, will be serving up wonderful British-style bangers. There are also rumours of some bacon butties! This year vegetarians will not be left out, either, thanks to Kim’s astounding home-made marmalade.

There will also be an opportunity for those who couldn’t make it to Fanjeaux to buy any of the amazing clothes and accessories. This year we will have a bric-a-brac stall, and  plenty of fun to be had for all.

Everyone is welcome; parking is available and there are just no excuses for not joining us. Come and say hi, grab yourselves a bargain and help Dog Rescue Carcassonne support the animals at the SPA Carcassonne.

Come and join us and bring your friends!

The refuge will be closed tomorrow for Pentecost, but we know that one lucky dog will be leaving. We do try to be flexible, especially when it means a dog being in his new home as soon as possible. So see you tomorrow night when you can read about the week’s first adoption!