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Latest News

Adoption of Kyklos and Molly…

This weeks 2 adoptions are dogs who arrived last year, were adopted last year and then were returned.

When Kyklos first arrived he was a well behaved handsome boy who we thought would be quickly snapped up.  Time passed and like lots of young males he became a bit unruly, pulling on walks and pushing boundaries. Eventually in August he was adopted but this was not to be and back he came. After another long wait we are delighted to say that he has been adopted again!

Kyklos is typical of many a young male who arrives and all that is needed is love, consistency, and training.

Kyklos adopted!

Next to leave was Molly. Molly was adopted last September and came back a couple of months ago. She was one of DRC favourites and a dog that behaved much better out on walks than she did in her kennel.  We really hope that this time is her forever home and that she has the life that she truly deserves!

Molly adopted!

Rita has been rehomed!

Many thanks to everyone who shared for Rita and enquired about adopting her; she now has a wonderful new home!

It is wonderful that so many adoptions have taken place during lockdown, and this is proof, if any more were needed, of how important the company of animals is during stressful times. Yes, despite restrictions on our movements, life carries on in all its rich tapestry. Including, sadly, people needing to rehome their dogs.

DRC is trying to find a home for lovely Rita, an 18 month old German Shepherd. Or Shepherdess, rather! Rita’s owner is seriously ill, and in fact the only reason she has not gone to a hospice is that were she to do so, Rita would be left alone. So yes, time is of the essence.

Rita’s owners were already elderly when they took her on, and sadly the husband passed away last week. An unwise decision to take on a dog, for sure, but that is not Rita’s fault. Nor is it her fault that she has had little in the way of education. However she has been visited by a dog educator who can vouch for her wonderful nature, and is in fact the person to be contacted with reference to rehoming Rita.


Rita is a beautiful 18 month old German Shepherd who needs a new home

He, Arthur, assures us that Rita responds well to training, and like most dogs of her breed, will be a loving and devoted friend. As is typical of GSDs, she has a tendency to guard but has never shown any aggression to humans. As long as introductions are done properly, Rita can live with other dogs. She has been living with cats although she does have a tendency to chase, without ever doing any damage. She shows no aggression to children, although Arthur feels that due to her boisterous nature, young kids might be at risk of being bowled over.

Rita’s ideal home would be with a training minded family, preferably one who knows the breed. They will have lots of space and time to exercise and play with this young, exuberant dog. She has a lot of learning to do, and is not used to the lead, but she is quick to learn and eager to please.

Rita is beautiful and friendly and will make a great friend

Rita is currently living between Mirepoix and Lavalanet but can travel to her new home. She is vaccinated, identified and will be sterilised before joining her new family. There are no adoption fees.

If you can offer a home to Rita please contact
Arthur Groves: Tél Port (English)
Brigitte Seguela Tél Port (French)

Adopted during lockdown…..

Since our adoptions recommenced our staff has been busy! 15 dogs have been adopted, who were the lucky leavers?

Tico adopted!

Gimby adopted!

Youcki adopted!

Naya adopted!

Freddy adopted!

Pepito adopted!

Gaston adopted!

Cliff adopted!

Crunch adopted!

Bulle adopted!

Apple adopted!

Bouboule adopted!

Boldie adopted!

Piper adopted!

Comete adopted!

Phew, quite a list! We wish the and their new families all the very best!

Dogs in lockdown!

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there have been a lot of new restrictions in place in terms of social distancing and staying home to help flatten the curve. As a result of this, all pet owners and their furry loved ones have been affected especially if they are used to going on daily walks with their doggy friends, seeing new people, and smelling new smells!

At this point, hopefully, we have all come to terms with our new situation and how to keep ourselves safe. With us all stuck at home, we need to find ways to entertain ourselves and our pets! Dogs still need to be stimulated to keep their curiosity up, which keeps their boredom low. A bored dog can lead to destructive attention-seeking behavior, which could lead to you having to replace an item or two!

We thought we.d suggest a few boredom busters and we’d love to hear any of your suggestions too!

Make an obstacle course…Since you’re under house arrest and outdoor activity is so limited, make a fun obstacle course for your dog. Put up some low jumps using sticks/umbrellas or a pouffe. Make a tunnel using your coffee table or with a couple of low stools joined together. You can even line up your dining table chairs and make your pet weave through them too. This way you now have one course with jumps, weaves and tunnels. First take your dog through each part individually and then you can make him/her run through the entire course at once.

Teach your dog new tricks…They say you can’t teach an old dog   new tricks, but I beg to differ! During the COVID-19 lockdown, keep your dog occupied by refining what they already know. Once they’re comfortable with that, you can start to teach them something new and more complicated! Examples of new tricks can be: training them to put their toys back into a basket, or show them the name of their toys so they can retrieve them upon command. They will come out of lockdown with a fresh set of skills that are guaranteed to impress!

Puzzle Games…Much like humans, puzzles can really work the brain, and force us to problem solve and think critically! Giving your dog the same task will provide them with the same kind of stimulation. The most popular type of puzzle game would be a snuffle mat. These mats allow you to hide food or treats between the flaps and folds, and it encourages your dog to hone in on their natural foraging skills. They will spend time trying to dig through the mat to try and find the treats! Various treat dispensing toys can help curb boredom as well. They are designed to make your dog work for the contents inside by flipping it around and finding a way to dispense the food through different holes and compartments!

Chew Toys – Chewing is something dogs love to do! A great way to bust away their boredom is to provide them with a Kong full of their favorite treat! Change the filling inside the Kong every once in a while, to give your dog a pleasant surprise. You can purchase a premade stuffing from the pet store, or you can make your stuffing by blending some fruits and yogurt for a yummy treat for your dog!

Most dogs love kongs!


What have you been doing with your dog to prevent boredom…..let us know!

Adoptions during lockdown….

Following the new ministry instructions, the shelter has decided that adoptions will be able to resume on a case-by-case basis and under a very strict and correct protocol.

If you see a dog on facebook or the website that you like you can email the ScPA for a questioner. They will the read it can call you for a phone interview.

All the necessary measures will be taken to protect you and us and we will advise you of these on the phone.

Any request should be sent directly by email to spacarcassonne@yahoo.fr

Thank you for your understanding 

Our Spring time Scalibor appeal….

Once again its time for our annual Scalibor appeal. And who would have thought that we would be launching this appeal under such desperate circumstances and that the refuge would be in lockdown?????

Unfortunately, the ticks, fleas, and mosquitos don’t obey lockdown so we still need to protect our dogs.

A Scalibor collar protects against tick borne diseases as well as the dreaded sandfly transmitted, leischmania.

We would really love every 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 20 euros each, this would be an enormous expense and we need to spend our pennies on essentials!

Normally If you wanted to donate a collar you could simply pop in with one, but his year that is not possible.

To keep everyone as safe as possible we are asking you to make a donation via paypal (website@dogrescuecarcassonne.co.uk) with SCALIBOR in the narrative and we will buy one!

If you don’t have paypal you can pay by card following the link on  our website http://dogrescuecarcassonne.co.uk/how-to-support-the-spa/

Sometimes people want to donate a collar to a specific dog and that is no problem…just send us a message or note in the name in the comments and we will ensure the dog of your choice gets the collar.

DRC will then place 1 order and get the package to the refuge safely.

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!




As everyone in France and probably everyone elsewhere already knows, France is now officially on full lockdown. No one knows how long this will last, but an initial period of two weeks is certain and this will presumably be extended depending on the speed of propagation of Coronavirus.

The Government has made it clear that dog walking is permitted, although not in social groups. So there is no need to deprive yourself or your dogs of their usual exercise regime. However you will be required to carry a self-declaration explaining why you are out of your home. It can be downloaded here, but if you do not have a printer, you can copy it out and sign your handwritten paper.

Of course there will be a huge impact on the refuge. Health authorities have made it clear that the virus is not carried or transmittable to animals, so there is no need to abandon animals. Although sadly people will do so. The ScPA will doubtless fill up and there is nothing that can be done about this.

However rest assured that when this period of lockdown started there was quite a lot of free space. Plus some incredible work was carried out before midday today, meaning that many of the elderly and vulnerable dogs are now in foster families. Huge thanks to all the effort that was put in by staff and volunteers and huge thanks to people who took in or offered to take in animals.

Inevitably the dog show planned for next month has been cancelled. Up till this point there had been minimal investment of time (apologies to Marcus who did the fabulous poster), and we need to be realistic.

Take care everyone. Keep walking your dogs and look after them; you are all they have and equally I am sure that they are providing you with comfort and company during these difficult times.

Look after yourselves; look after each other and hopefully we can get through this without any more distress than is absolutely necessary.

Last Leavers before Lockdown

Many of you will have seen that France is now closed due to the Coronovirus. As of midnight on Saturday all non-essential public services are closed by governmental order. And that includes the refuge. Of course we all have our own definition of what is and what is not essential, but ours is not to wonder why.

Of course staff will be on hand to look after the animals present at the refuge, and will do their best to keep all the residents as happy and occupied as possible. Animals will still be arriving, as the refuge fulfills the role of pound for any dogs and cats found straying, and measures will be put in place for owners to reclaim their animals and even to adopt. All visits will be via appointment though, so it is worth making a note of the ScPA phone number. It is 0468 25 35 45 and staff will be on hand every afternoon from 14H00-18H00 ie during normal opening hours.

So who managed to get out before the shutters came down?

This week seven dogs found new homes. Actually it was eight until today when one of the week’s earlier leavers was brought back. Also sadly one of last week’s adoptees, puppy James, is back too. Clearly the adopters did not see or care about our last blog about patience and preparedness….. But the good news is that four of this week’s leavers are all puppies!

Charly – ADOPTED

Chaplin – ADOPTED

Brothers Charly and Chaplin left for new homes, as did another set of brothers, Stan and Oliver. All four are tiny terriers who all look set to create a suitable amount of mischief in their new homes. If France is set to enforce self-isolation on its population, we know of four families who will have plenty with which to amuse themselves!


Oliver – ADOPTED

The other leavers were beautiful boy Starck and delicate whippet cross Lina, as well as stunning dalmatian Ooper (now renamed Hooper). He particularly has had a stormy ride up to now. He arrived at the refuge once before only to be reclaimed by his owner who subsequently tried to rehome him for free on the internet. Fine with other dogs, cats and children, Hooper’s only fault was that he gets bored when alone all day and escapes. That should be solved by a three pronged approach; an enclosed garden with a family who is at home all the time, plus castration which should suppress the desire to chercher la femme! Hooper’s new family are over the moon and we are sure that Hooper is too.

Starck – ADOPTED


Hooper – ADOPTED

We have no idea how long it will be before things return to normal (or whatever becomes the new normal). At the time of publication dog-walking on your own dog is not a proscribed activity. Plus it has been confirmed that neither dogs nor cats can carry or transmit the disease. So enjoy the company of your four-legged friends and take care of yourselves and each other.

New Dog- No Panic!

Earlier this week the ScPA was contacted by a family who were about 48 hours into an adoption and were considering bringing their puppy back as they felt that they had made a huge mistake. They felt completely overwhelmed and unable to cope. As things turned out they calmed down and for the moment all seems to be well.

But it got us talking, and it turns out that just about everyone feels the same. It was a bit like a confession session; people whom I regard as perfect owners, completely unflappable and competent; even they had a post-adoption wobble, certainly when adopting their first dog. I know I did! And not just a first dog, each time a new dog is added to a pack, we worry if it is a good idea or whether we should just keep the status quo.

It is a perfectly normal reaction. Unless your dog is going to live in isolation in a garden and have no impact on your life other than to bark at the approach of guests (and, sadly, some dogs do live this way), then he or she is bound to change your life. And change is as exciting as it is frightening.

So what to do? Well step one, before you even adopt,is to read lots and talk to lots of people, preferably good, experienced dog owners. Then have a really long think. Anyone who tells you having a dog won’t change your life is lying. Consider the following:

Will you be happy taking the dog for walks in the pouring rain and to clear up muddy paw prints afterwards?

Are you willing to take your dog to education classes if necessary?

Are you prepared for vets bills. Not just annual vaccinations, but what happens if your dog falls ill?

Are you ready to get up early in the morning to let a dog out, especially during the first few days when house-training might be a problem, or longer if you are adopting a puppy?

Are you prepared for a few toilet related accidents as your dog gets used to his new routine?

Are you prepared for destructive behaviour and chewing?

Are you ready to find dog hair on your clothes, your furniture and even your food?

Are you prepared to have plants dug up and holes dug in your lawn?

Are you prepared to share your sofa (not obligatory, of course)

Have you thought about where your dog will spend his time if you are unable to take him out or away with you?

Are you prepared to sacrifice days and evenings out in order to keep your dog company?


Of course you may be lucky, and you would be very unlucky indeed if you were faced with even half of those issues. But forewarned is forearmed!

I am sure many of you realise that in terms of life-changing events, taking on a dog has a lot in common with having a baby. And it is rare for new parents not to have at least some doubts at first. Of course parents are not able to have second thoughts and take the baby back where they got it, they just have to get used to the “new normal”. For the most part everything works out fine. And that is usually the case with dogs, providing you can overcome your initial panic.

The good news is that you are not alone, and nor should you feel alone! The other good news is that, once the initial panic is over and you and your dog have settled down, a dog enhances your life enormously and the benefits to your physical and emotional health are incalculable.

Have you experienced any of the issues above? Why not share your tales of post-adoption panic with us. What happened and how did you overcome your issues? We will publish a selection at a future date!

Please bear in mind we would never discourage anyone from adopting, but unless you are prepared for at least some teething troubles, maybe dog ownership is not for you!

Sunday ScPA Summary

This has been a good week. Not only was the number of adoptions up to its usual mark, but it also saw the departure of more puppies. Including (today) the adoption of the last puppies from two recently arrived litters. We have said on many occasions that it is always sad to see the last puppy of a litter alone at the refuge, but we have also said that often they end up being the happiest of all.

But let’s start at the beginning, with Monday. That was a bumper day, with four adoptions, including 2 of the Patou/ border collie cross pups, Spirit and Cimarron. Gorgeous balls of fluff right now, these are destined to be big dogs and it was important that potential adopters were made aware of this. As mentioned in last week’s blog, one of the litter who was homed directly from the mum’s owners was later brought in to the refuge as the family did not want a dog of that size. Far better to be forewarned!

Spirit – ADOPTED

Cimarron – ADOPTED

Monday’s other leavers were both “second-chancers”, ie dogs who have been brought back from failed adoptions. The first of them. Pepsy, was adopted as a puppy last summer (grrr) and the other, Pollux, was a more recent leaver. We hope that all of them really have found their forever homes this time!

“Second chancer” Pepsy – ADOPTED

And a second chance also for Pollux – ADOPTED

Another dog who has left for a second chance is fabulous Star-Lord. As with Pollux he was adopted and brought back very quickly, but this time things are looking far more positive and we hope he is as happy in his new home as he deserves to be.

Star- Lord – ADOPTED

Poor little Cookie, who arrived following the death of his owner, found a new home, as did cheeky looking Mercury. Then later in the week said goodbye to fabulous husky Orion. Dogs of this breed usually attract a lot of attention when they are available for adoption and staff have to be doubly vigilant when selecting a new family. Lucky Orion did not have long to wait for what we all hope is the right home this time!

Cookie – – ADOPTED following the death of his owner

Mercury – ADOPTED


Finally today the week ended on a high as the ScPA said farewell to the “last” puppies. Little James’s siblings had both left a couple of weeks ago, and the refuge staff and volunteers were starting to get a bit worried for him. Or not so much worried as sad, to be honest. No one likes seeing puppies grow up at the refuge, although on the positive side, it usually means that there are some decent photos!

“Last” pup James – ADOPTED

The same is true for River, the last of the Patou/ border puppies. As with huskies it is important for prospective owners to understand what they are taking on when adopting a dog of this breed (or this mixture). Yes, it is important to find the right people for every single dog, but with some breeds future behavioural issues are easier to predict. Little River is adorable, and as she was brought up in a family environment, perhaps she will be the perfect dog. However her new family is prepared for any shenanigans!

And “last pup” River- ADOPTED

So that makes ten adoptions! Not bad considering it rained constantly for most of the week, which is hardly likely to inspire people to take on an animal that will require lots of time outside! So many thanks to all the week’s adopters and may we all be blessed with nothing but sunshine from now on!