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Four on Friday

As many of our followers know, about four weeks ago eight puppies were found at the refuge gates. Whoever put them there did not take the trouble to come to reception and hand the pups over and tell us the breed mix. They also didn’t wait long enough before dumping the pups; the vet estimated them as being just 5 weeks old, too young to be away from their mum, and too young to be vaccinated.

The SPA is not a good place for puppies. Okay, it is not the worst place to be either; pups are loved and looked after and socialised as much as time and hygiene precautions allow. But being in a family is so much better. Hence our love of foster families. Usually a foster family keeps a puppy until a permanent home is found, with this change of location being easily assimilated into a puppy’s development. However two of the pups who were officially adopted today have been with their forever family for a couple of weeks, waiting till vaccinations could be safely given. That means they are already loved and well settled and won’t need to get used to a new home!

So we can’t say that today we said goodbye to Kiba and Youma, as we said farewell to them two weeks ago. But today their adoptions are official, so we say a very big thank you to their new families, and we wish them much continued happiness in their not-so new homes.



One of their brothers, Kankuro, also found a home today. He was not so lucky in that he has been at the SPA since his arrival, but he had lots of other pups to play with, as anyone who saw yesterday’s video of them all outside in the sunshine will know. And Kankuro has a big brother to play with now, as his family are already well known to us as the adopters of Odin! Many thanks to them for opening up their home to another rescue dog.

Kankuro – ADOPTED

It wasn’t just a day for pups. After a surprisingly long month at the SPA (not long for SPA dogs, but quite long for a small, cute female), Tweetie has found a new home. She is a great little girl, sociable, playful and above all lively! It isn’t just pups who can provide endless hours of entertainment, as Tweetie’s new family will find out!

Fox terrier

Tweetie – ADOPTED

So all in all it was a good Friday and we are hoping for yet more good news tomorrow.

Christmas baubles are here and puppy Yuhi is adopted.

Today the SPA is launching its now traditional “Operation Christmas Tree”. This is where supporters can purchase a Christmas bauble for their own dog or cat or for an animal who is spending Christmas at the refuge. The idea is that we will hang them all from a big Christmas tree, which will gradually fill up as the big day approaches. Baubles cost €4.50 and are filled with edible treats, cats ones also contain a toy. People in the area can pop in to buy, or baubles for SPA residents can be bought via Paypal (spacarcassonne@yahoo.fr). Don’t forget to tell us who you are buying for, or you can leave the choice to us so we can make sure no one is missed out.

Many thanks in advance and many thanks to the little elves, who are working flat out to get everything ready in time.


Why not buy a Christmas bauble for your own dog or cat. Or why not offer one to a SPA animal?

Yesterday another puppy, Yuhi, left for his new home. Like all puppies, he is a gorgeous little fellow, and we are delighted that he has found a home and delighted for his family too. Puppies are lots of fun, as well as lots of work, at the beginning at least.

brown pup with black muzzle


Two more pups are being adopted tomorrow, and you can read all about it here!

Two on Tuesday

Today sharpei cross Gaya has gone to a new home, after just over two weeks at the SPA. She arrived with another dog, Toby, who we were subsequently told was one of this girl’s puppies, and that yet another was being given away for free on the internet. What were we saying yesterday about people having litters of unwanted puppies?

In any case Toby was reclaimed, but his owner said she was not the owner of Gaya, so at only a year old, this little girl found herself at the SPA. However, as we all know, this isn’t always a bad thing. Gaia’s fate might have been to give birth to litter after litter of puppies, so coming to the SPA might have been the best thing to happen to her. Not only is she now sterilised, she got treatment for an eye infection, too.

Gaya’s fortunes really did change, as she caught the eye of employee Jeanne, and today the papers were signed! Of course this means that we will have lots of news and photos, which always make us happy. But happiest of all is Gaya, out of the cold and into a loving home!

black sharpei cross


Another happy dog tonight is puppy Paco. He is a brother of Tonino (now Marcus), who was adopted yesterday, and is a real cutie. We wish him a long and happy life in his new home.

brown puppy



Adoption of Tonino and a bit about Puppies

The week started with the adoption of puppy Tonino. Many thanks to his new family. Tonino is one of  some 16 puppies who have arrived at the SPA over the past few weeks. Several of them are reserved and a couple of the lucky ones are already with their permanent families. This is because when they arrived they were too young to be vaccinated and obviously a family home is a far better place to spend these crucial early days and weeks than a refuge.

The first litter (of eight) who arrived were left at the SPA gates, so someone presumably still has the mother, who is presumably never going to be sterilised and who presumably will have a puppies every six months who will presumably be handed into the SPA each time. Or perhaps the mum’s owner is one of those ill-informed people who still believe that a female dog should have one litter before being sterilised. All the veterinary evidence says the opposite, but some people prefer their own version of reality, sadly. Luckily the SPA is there, and luckily there will always be people wishing to adopt puppies.

Black spaniel puppy

Tonino – ADOPTED

For anyone looking for a puppy, now is a great time, as there are lots available. Unwanted puppies are the sign of irresponsible ownership, but it doesn’t stop them from being very, very cute!

As ever, please do not adopt a pup as a Christmas present for someone else, or even for yourself unless you are planning on having a dog anyway and are just using Christmas as an excuse. And make sure you read about the responsibilities of dog ownership and are under no illusion about how much hard work (as well as fun) having a new puppy will be!

However if you are sure, then why not find your little bundle of joy at the SPA? Look at how adorable the puppies are!

Collage of four puppies

Some of the puppies at the SPA

Three Saturday Adoptions

It has been a couple of days since our last blog, mainly because there have been no adoptions. However that has changed today, so here we are!

Today was the annual Forum of Associations here in Carcassonne. This event was due to take place in September, but was postponed due to inclement weather. Today, despite a chilly start, the weather was perfect, and the SPA was there in force, showing off some of our residents. And one of them, Phoebe, found a home! We are delighted for her. She is a lovely little girl who arrived unidentified and looking very thin. The SPA was contacted by someone who knew her former owner, and also Phoebe’s original name, Nala. But looking at the state of this girl we were not too upset when she was not reclaimed.

At just over a year old, this lovely dog has a new home with a friend of SPA employee Vincent, so we will have lots of news!

black dog with long-ish ears

Phoebe/ Nala – ADOPTED

Of course we hope that the Forum of Associations will bring us lots of new volunteers, but having an adoption is a great result already.

And there was more good news at the SPA.

Thanks to Ingrid’s video, a family came to the SPA yesterday to meet lovely Anatolian shepherd, Pacha. This dog, not yet two years old, has had a very disrupted life. He arrived at the SPA on October 2nd, his story before then is complicated. Without going into details, suffice it to say that Pacha really needed a new start. A visit today to introduce Pacha to the family’s female went well today, and Pacha’s new life has begun.

anatolian shepherd


We then said goodbye to Bran. He is the last border collie from the group that was found living in the back of the vehicle and he has been with us almost three months. His life at the SPA has probably felt like heaven to him after his earlier confinement, but things got even better today. Bran is just over two years old, but his scarred face tells its own tale. He will love his new life with a family that includes two children and an elderly cat.

border collie


So after a slow couple of days things picked up today. Let’s hope it continues next week.

Two Adoptions and Balou Finds a Foster!

Today was a good day at the SPA, and amongst all the dogs and cats arriving, we need days like this from time to time.

We had two adoptions, and then just before closing time, what for many will be considered the BIG news of the day, although of course it is all big news!

The first adoption was that of César. This dog had not been with us for long, only 3 weeks or so. But when you hear his story you will realise why his adoption is cause for celebration. César was left tied up alone when his owner passed away. A group of well-meaning locals decided that the best thing would be to visit him each day to feed him, and try to find him a new home. However dogs need so much more than that, and we have to thank DRC supporter Maria for making sure César made it to the safety of the SPA. Yes, there are nicer places for dogs, but here this eight year old lad had a far better time than being tied up all day. Plus of course he could be seen by visitors, such as the gentleman who came to visit the SPA today following the sad death of ex SPA dog Comet.

So after a quick bonding walk it was time for César to start his new life, and we are sure he will be very happy.

jagd terrier


Fresko too has been adopted by someone who has recently lost an ex SPA dog. Jane adopted Guizmo from us about 5 years ago, and he has ben the perfect companion ever since. She made a tearful  visit to us today, following the sad death of Guizmo on Friday. She had seen Fresko on the website and had a feeling that he was “the one”. Her other dog was missing Guizmo, and although no dog can ever replace a beloved pet, four new paws in the house can help to heal the pain. Fresko arrived over two months ago, and although it took him some time to settle down, he is becoming less timid by the day. He will make far quicker progress in Jane’s loving home.

red spaniel

Fresko – ADOPTED

Finally to Balou! Yes, after almost three years at the SPA, this lovely old boy, now eleven and a half years old, finally has a home. Volunteer Sebastien previously fostered Tis (now Alfie, happily homed with another of our many Janes), and loved the fostering experience. This time is a bit different, though, as he has taken Balou in to long term foster!

This is amazing news. Balou has spent a long time at the SPA. He arrived as a stray, although we subsequently found out that he was left to wander following a divorce. I wonder if his former owners ever spare him a thought….. Balou has been a favourite with just about everyone, but no one ever offered him a home, until now. Balou has a great personality, is still on fine form for his age, and we are all overjoyed that he will not be spending yet another winter in a cold refuge. Many thanks to Sebastian.

Big hairy griffon


Adoption of Enya

We were all absolutely amazed when Enya arrived at the SPA ten or so days ago. We are used to writing “labrador cross” under photographs; it is not often that a dog is obviously a pure bred labrador. Enya is a perfect example of her breed, simply stunning. She was identified, but her owners’s details were not up to date and we were unable to track them down. Besides which, why wouldn’t they be looking for their dog? Enya is well behaved and sociable; it is hard to imagine why she would no longer be wanted.

In any case, a family spotted her while she was still in the pound, and reserved her immediately. We try to discourage people from reserving dogs in the pound, as a) their owners might be looking for them and b) they have only just arrived, and sometimes it is nice to home dogs who have been at the SPA for longer. However in Enya’s case even we couldn’t claim to have a similar dog elsewhere at the refuge! Sometimes the timing is just right, and it certainly was for this family; visitors up to that point had all expected her to find her owners.

Today Enya was sterilised and left for her new home, and we are delighted for her.

So don’t listen to anyone who tells you that refuges are full of mutts. Not that there is anything wrong with mutts, but even non-breed-specific refuges can have surprising guests!

Black lab



Other than that two recent arrivals were reclaimed by their owners, and we are hoping for more good news as the week progresses.

A Remembrance Day to Remember!

Today is Armistice Day, but it was decided that as it is a Saturday, traditionally a busy day at the SPA, we would open anyway. And we are so glad that we opened. It was a wonderful day.

June left with her new family, who had reserved her last weekend. They were worried about how June would be without her brother Len, and even before his adoption, the SPA had separated the two dogs. Verdict; they were just fine, and of course Len already has a home and has adjusted to life without his sister just fine. She is a lovely girl and we wish her loads of love and happiness in what promises to be a fabulous home.

black and brown shepherd


Next to leave was Panais. Yes, Panais who has been at the SPA since April 2015, and even that was not his first time at the refuge. This lad, just coming up to his 5th birthday, has spent almost all of his life behind bars. A gentleman came to the SPA today looking for a feisty jack russell, but when his eye fell on Panais, bouncing round his cage as usual, he was smitten. One advantage of dogs who have been at the refuge for a long time is that we know them well. It must have seemed as if we were trying to put the man off adopting Panais, but no, we just believe in being as honest as possible. Panais’ new owner is going to take him to dog school and is by no means a first time owner, so, at last, this active and characterful dog seems to have found the perfect home. He is a great favourite with us all, and we are thrilled for him. We have been promised visits in the future, and am sure I will not be the only person with their heart in their mouth when we see Panais getting out of the car.

Small balck and brown dog

Panais – ADOPTED

On the other end of the confidence spectrum, we have little Hugo, who also left today. He has not been at the SPA as long as Panais, “just” since March 2016. He is one of the dogs from Ste Eulalie, and followers will know that it has been a long time since a dog from this “pack” has been adopted. Progress with these dogs has been very slow, but better that than overwhelming these timid dogs with too much too soon. As with Panais, staff and volunteers were able to pass on lots of information about Hugo, and in light of recent events (Clifford!) the crucial advice to not let him escape. Hugo’s new family seem extremely well prepared to look after a timid dog, and Hugo’s new life has begun!


Finally and without wishing to dwell on what was a very unpleasant incident yesterday, please can everybody note that it is the law of France, not the SPA Carcassonne, that requires animal leaving the SPA to be identified. If your dog or cat arrives at the SPA it is not our fault. It is your fault that he or she was straying. You will be required to pay (to the vet, not to the SPA) the cost of identifying your animal, and if you are unwilling to do so, then your animal will stay at the SPA. Assaulting hard working refuge staff is not acceptable and will not be tolerated.

For those of you with an unidentified dog or cat, why not get him identified now, while he is safely by your side? That way if he arrives at the SPA, he will be returned to you without any problem. This is just one part of being a good owner.

Three adoptions, and Clifford is back safe and well.

First item of news tonight, Clifford is back at the SPA safe and sound. People have been contacting us with sightings almost non-stop, and Clifford seemed to be hanging around a supermarket where he was spotted both yesterday and today. No one was able to catch him, however. A further sighting was reported this afternoon and employees Marion and Jeanne hot-footed it down to see if they could help catch him. By the time they got there volunteers Stephanie and Morgane were already on the case. Success! Clifford is now safe and well and back at the SPA, presumably eating like a (small) horse and sleeping a lot after his adventure.

Thanks to everyone who went out looking for him, be they volunteers or just dog-lovers, and to everyone who phoned or contacted us by mail to tell us he had been seen.  It is reassuring to know there are so many people out there willing to help. Oh, and a big thank you to Carole who has been the hub of all the phone calls; let’s hope she gets a good night’s sleep tonight at last.

A live action shot of this afternoon’s successful search party!

Now to the adoptions:

Dana arrived at the SPA about six weeks ago unidentified (quelle surprise), since which time she has been stealing the hearts of just about everyone at the refuge. It is not often we have a dog who is walked off the lead almost immediately and who is this wonderfully socialised. Despite being only three years old, Dana had already had several litters. So as soon as the ten days’ pound time had passed, she was sterilised and then it was just a question of finding her a new home.

Dana really hated being at the SPA and cried each time she was put back in her kennel (which she shared, of course). Being so well behaved, Dana was given special privileges, in that she was free to wander throughout the refuge in the mornings. But Dana just craves company, and the contact she had with humans at the SPA was not enough. In order to help her find a home, volunteers made videos and shared them on social media, and it was thanks to this that she caught the eye of her new family. They are very good friends of Mozart’s family, (Mozart being an ex SPA dog, as is his mother, my own dog, Bella), so we will be able to keep  in touch and visit. Personally I am hoping to visit when Dana is in her family’s second home, which is on a beautiful beach!

man holding big brwon and black dog


It is true that not everyone has enough room for a dog of her size, but Dana is far easier than many of the smaller dogs that we have at the SPA. One exception might just be little Romy, who also left today. A tiny pinscher, she too arrrived unidentified three weeks ago. As her new family live quite far from Carcassonne but close to the home of volunteer Dominique, she kindly offered to do a pre-adoption visit (for which many thanks!). That took place this morning and Romy’s new family wasted no time in coming to adopt her.

small brown dog


The third dog to leave today was another female, and also another fairly recent arrival. We told you last week that Princesse had been adopted and that her sister, Kiara was still waiting. Well sure enough she did not have long to wait! Today a family came to visit her, they took her on a walk and Kiara behaved immaculately. So two weeks exactly after being abandoned, both sisters have new homes. How quickly life changes for some dogs!

brindle dog


We wish every happiness to today’s lucky girls, not forgetting Clifford, who is, of course, a very lucky boy. His story could have ended very differently indeed.

Tomorrow is a national holiday in France, but the SPA will be open. Properly open, with employees as well as volunteers, so a “normal” Saturday. And one adoption is already on the cards. Who will it be?

Adoption of Socks

Today was a very busy one at the SPA, with lots of walking, some arrivals (LOTS of arrivals), but also an adoption, which has helped to raise morale. Especially as it is of one of our not-quite pups, by which we mean dogs who arrive when they are no longer cute puppies, but have none of the calmness of an older dog. Those adolescent years can be the worst, can’t they?

Socks arrived at the SPA at the end of September, and it was no real surprise that he was unidentified. Despite the legal obligation, the number of dogs arriving at the refuge without either a tattoo or microchip is considerable. With no way to trace Socks’s owners, it was up to them to look for him. They never came, and so as with all dogs entering the SPA without being officially abandoned, after ten days in the “Pound” Socks was put up for adoption.

At only a year old, Socks’s prospects were good. And add to this the fact that he is very sociable with other dogs and fine with cats, we were hopeful that his wait wouldn’t be a long one. Many people have walked him and so his life at the refuge has been brightened up somewhat, but what he wanted was a proper home. Today a couple came to walk him, and once they had bonded, they introduced him to their jack russell, first on a walk and then loose in the park. The two dogs were instantly best friends and so Socks was off to his new home.

We are very pleased for him. We often worry that our not quite pups risk being pushed back by the arrival of younger pups at the SPA, but Socks did not have a long wait before finding happiness! Many thanks to his new family, and we look forward to news and photos.

black and white dog


In not so good news, Facebookers may have seen that yesterday’s adopted dog, Clifford, has run away from his new home. As usual a search is underway, and we hope to bring you good news tomorrow.