A different blog tonight, telling the story of two dogs who were brought to the SPA Carcassonne in dire need of help, and whose lives have been completely turned around since.
In February this year the SPA Carcassonne fulfilled its primary purpose when it became a true place of refuge to Hulk, a 2 year old American bulldog and Red, a 3 year old doberman. The dogs had been given away on the internet by their owner, who honestly believed that his dogs were in good hands. As the article shows, this was far from being the case, and shows the risk many people take when rehoming animals to strangers. I do not want to delve to far into this, as there are ongoing legal issues, however anyone attempting to home their dogs like this should take note.
Hulk and Red as they were found in February
Furthermore, due to legal and other issues, neither dog was allowed to be officially rehomed. But we were informed that it was possible to let them leave for foster homes, should these be available.
Of the two dogs, Hulk was in the worst condition. We do not know why. He was already incontinent (the SPA has been in touch with the dogs’ former owner, who has told us all about them), but six months of mistreatment had left him hardly able to walk and he was covered in sores, as well as being seriously underweight. He received a massive amount of attention at the ScPA, and there were many people interested in offering him a home. However finding a forever home for a dog who will have ongoing medical issues (for incontinence in this case) is not easy. It is one thing wanting to save a dog who is in the public eye, quite another to make a promise for life.
Luckily Pauline, who is well known to the ScPA came forward to offer this boy a home. We all know that Hulk will be very safe in her care. A lover of all dogs, but particularly of larger breeds, Pauline is a very conscientious as well as loving owner. So in April, Hulk left for a foster home that would become permanent as soon as the all clear was given.
Huge thanks to Pauline who is responsible for turning Hulk into the maginifent dog he is today.
This left Red. As I said, he was in better condition than Hulk. He was underweight and had lack of muscilature on his hind legs, but was well enough to go into an outside kennel like any other dog. Not for him the interest online nor the offers of homes, although like Hulk he must have been traumatised by his horrendous ordeal.
Enter Nicki, a friend of longstanding and a great lover of the Doberman breed. Would she be able to help? A Facebook appeal for Red was all it took. Charlotte, a friend of Nicki’s, got in touch to see if we would consider application to be Red’s new mum. Charlotte came with excellent references, as well as loving the doberman breed, she runs a galgo rehabilitation centre in southern Spain and we have several mutual friends, all of whom were more than willing to vouch for her. So Red, too, had found his forever home.
This is Charlotte giving therapy to a galgo
This was back in April, and we had been told that Red was not allowed to leave France. But in the state he was in, it was inconceivable to leave him at the SCPA. Just like Hulk, this boy needed love as well as far more regular exercise than was possible in a refuge with over a hundred other dogs. So next we had to find a foster for him in France, and with someone who could keep him for an indefinite period. Easier said than done, eh?
Except it turned out to be very easy! Enter Janet; dog lover extraordinaire, and best friend of June, who adopted three-legged ScPA podenco Daisy a couple of years ago. Are you starting to see how this networking thing works? Janet drove down to collect Red in early May, and since this time she has given him more love than many dogs experience during their entire lives.
Janet collecting Red from the ScPA in May
Charlotte has understandably been keen to get her hands on Red at last, and as soon as the all clear was given a couple of weeks ago, his trip to his new home was arranged, thanks to June and her friend Sonja of Precious Paws. I can only imagine how attached to him Janet has become during these 4 months. I am sure more than a few tears were shed as she said goodbye to Red last night. Especially as, to add insult to injury, she had to drive for several hours in the middle of the night to put him safely on board the transport. And then drive home to get her girls to school on time, as today is the dreaded Rentrée! And she has to work tonight too. Just as well thay she is superwoman in her spare time!
As I write, Red is in the final few hours of his journey to Andalucia where Charlotte is waiting. It has been a long wait for her, but thanks to Facebook we have all been in constant touch. Janet has sent news and photos on a regular basis, and June has been to visit (and to pass on some much appreciated funds). We have all seen Red gain in strength and confidence, and seen him blossom into the magnificent dog he must have been before his mistreatment.
June pays a visit to Red
Of course we will show you photos of Red in his new life. But for now I want to thank everyone who helped Red get to his new home. First off to Nicki for all the help she has given, including the fundraising she did with Jackie Amor and Doberman sans Frontiers.. To June for all her contacts, as well as her help and advice, to Janet for being the best foster mum a dog could ever have, and to Charlotte for offering Red a new home.
Red in the safe hands of Dave – he is on his way!
It has been quite an adventure, and perhaps a longer one than anyone expected when we started, but both Hulk and Red have found wonderful homes. We hope that no one ever has the pain of finding out that the person to whom they entrusted their dogs has abused them in this way. But for Hulk and Red, the nightmare is well and truly over.