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Latest News

What, no Rott?

We have said goodbe to two rottweilers in two days, which is surely something to celebrate.

Yesterday we said goodbye to Luxus, who by all accounts is busy making himself quite at home in his new surroundings. Then today we said goodbye to Ares, a mignificent lad who arrived on exactly the same date as Luxus, believe it or not. He was identified but his owner had moved house and changed his phone number and “accidentally” forgotten to change his details on Icad. He clearly was not looking for Ares, either, as his photos have been shared far and wide, thanks to the SPA’s Facebook followers, who today reached 15,000 in number. Another reason to celebrate.

Ares is not the easiest of dogs, but he was lucky enough to catch the eye of a very rottweiler-experienced owner. This gentleman has come to the refuge many times a week for several months to take Ares out for walks. Sometimes he was alone, sometimes he brought his family. This is a great way to meet a dog you are thinking of adopting. The dog gets to know the owner and vice versa, and Ares’s transition to his new life should be easier thanks to this dedication.



So we wish good luck and much happiness to Ares and declare the SPA officially a rottweiler- free- zone. For the time being, at least!

The first adoptions of summer!

Summer arrived with a bang today, and the refuge was full of volunteers walking dogs and smartening up the surroundings. A group went out on a walk around a local lake too, so plenty of dogs were out enjoying the sunshine.

Two dogs enjoying some training by the lakeside!

We have two adoptions to tell you about, as well.

First to leave was Arnold, a French bulldog cross who arrived recently along with his mum, Ambre. As neither was identified the SPA was unable to reunite them with their owners. Ambre cried when he son left, but we hope it will not be too long before she finds a home of her own, and in any case she was soon in the park playing with a couple of other little dogs, and you can see them all here.

hairy small dog

Arnold – ADOPTED

The second adoption of the day is that of Luxus. This fabulous rottweiler arrived at th beginning of January. He was very thin and spent a long time in the warmth of the infirmary. His photos were pn Facebook, and it was thus that he caught the eye of a couple who have already adopted two rottweilers from the SPA; Bisou and Dodo. They recently lost their female rottweiler, and Luxus resembles her a great deal.

Hanspeter and Eva came to visit and decided to offer Luxus a home. And today was the day. Needless to say it was smiles and cuddles all round as Luxus, now looking magnificent, left for a new life of luxury. Not all our dogs get to live in a chateau, after all!

rattweiler with couple


Let’s hope for more good weather and more good news now that summer has finally arrived.

Murray and Clyde…

This week has not been the best week at the refuge but today has cheered us up as our two 15 year olds, Clyde and Murray went to their foster home.  It’s a very special person who agrees to foster 2 oldies so a big thank you to Sharon who saw our appeal on the website and offered her help. It would be sad for two 15 year olds to spend 3 months in the refuge so a foster home is a great short term solution.

This is not their first time with us. Last year their British owner spent a long time in hospital but was then able to reclaim his dogs.  Unfortunately, he had to return to hospital but hopes to be able to return for his dogs soon.

When Sharon contacted us I couldn’t help but smile when I heard the Scottish accent and as their owner is also Scottish the boys will certainly feel at home. I drove them over to Sharon’s who lives near Bezier and I am sure that they will settle well.

On a much sadder note, on Friday we said a sad goodbye to Dick our 13 year old setter. Dick really had had a sad life and finding himself at a noisy, chaotic refuge was just too much for him. His health deteriorated rapidly and although we love saving lives we never let a dog suffer.

Many thanks to Ingrid and Carole who accompanied him on his last journey and held him in their arms as he passed over to rainbow bridge.

Next week we hope for lots of adoptions to cheer us up. The weather seems to be improving so its a great  time to adopt and and get out and about with your new friend!

Murray and Clyde

Murray and Clyde…in foster now.


Another puppy adopted…

Sometimes a litter arrives and we know that they wont have a long stay. Yesterday the second pup Morrison was adopted which just leaves puppy Jopin still looking for a home.

Morrison – adopted.

Jack Russel lovers will really appreciate this young chap..he is definitely more terrier looking than his siblings and a very lively, happy pup!

jack russel puppy

Jopin needs a home..

So what can you expect when adopting a pup? Well, lots of fun and also lots of work.  When you get puppy home house-training, crate training and walking on a lead all have to be learnt.  Puppy training classes are a great idea and for anyone in the Azille area we can highly recommend Centre d’Education Canine Azillois. These classes are in both English and French so no need to worry about language!

Tomorrow being Saturday will be busy at the refuge. lets keep our fingers crossed for lots of adoptions.






Five adoptions after some difficult days

We have waited a long time for some good news this week. After the joy of Saturday things reverted to normal pretty quickly. Poor Roxy was brought back to the SPA less than 24 hours after leaving, as was one of the puppies. On neither occasion was it the fault of the dog. For puppy, Dannie, it was no big deal, she was rehomed quickly (see below). But for Roxy it is a huge disappointment both for us and for him. As usual it takes us all some time to recover emotionally.

Not only that, but the SPA had eight new arrivals yesterday. It really is never ending. However as well as this, two earlier arrivals were reclaimed, so it has not been all bad.

The first adoptions of the week took place today.

Marcel was brought to the SPA ten days ago, he had been found in the cellar of an empty flat where he had been left to die. Such is the world we live in. Unsurprisingly Marcel was very thin and very frail, but as soon as his photo was put on Facebook, he struck lucky. Mand much to everyone’s delight, he was spotted by a woman who was more than happy to make the long trek from Bordeaux to Carcassonne to come and take Marcel home. Massive thanks to Mathilde for her kindness towards this lovely old boy, who can now live out his days in peace.

pale dog with blue eyes

Marcel – ADOPTED

Another rather sad looking dog left too. Volunteer Petra has offered a home to Denver. He is a 5 year old labrit who was found in a horrendous state by a woman walking her dog. Thank heavens she brought him to the SPA; otherwise this boy would surely have perished. Weighing jut 10kg on his arrival (less than half his expected body weight) Denver’s fur had all disappeared due to a mixture of severe malnutrition and parasites.

Four weeks later and Denver is looking far better. But of course his fur needs to regrow and he needs to put on a lot more weight. His recovery will be far quicker in a loving home. And needless to say we will have regular photos of his development.

bald dog

Denver (renamed Pepper) – ADOPTED

Today’s other adoptions are all of pups, including, as mentioned above, the lovely Dannie. Her sister, Nicole whom we all felt so sorry for on Saturday, has also found a wonderful home. The third pup to leave is from a different litter and these pups are also proving to be very popular. When you see Janis’s photo you will see why. But these are no lap dogs. Nicely feisty, as we would say! One of them, Joplin, looks just like a jack russell, which probably explains a lot!

Australian shepherd

Dannie – ADOPTED (again)


Nicole – ADOPTED



So it took a few days for the adoptions to start this week, but we got going today. We have an adoption scheduled tomorrow, but maybe there will be some other good news, too.


What did you say? NINE Adoptions!

In what felt like the middle of the night, but which was in fact very early morning, we had our first departure of the day. This time it was Babar who left with a TRACES registered vehicle for his new life in the UK.

Babar’s story is quite interesting, and many of you have read the diaries written by his foster mum. Before leaving for his new home, Babar was lucky enough to spend several weeks with Kate. She is a very experienced fosterer, having fostered dogs for “Guide Dogs for the Blind” amongst others. Needless to say Babar made huge progress while he was with her and we cannot thank her enough.

TRACES legislation meant that Babar had to return to the SPA for a couple of days before his departure, which must have been a shock for him. And even with all her year’s experience of fostering, Kate admitted that saying goodbye was very emotional. I know exactly what she means. There is something about a timid dog that just gets hold of your heart; you are their world, and they have such trust in you. Still, knowing that Babar’s time at the SPA would be short must have helped, along with the knowledge that he is going to such a wonderful home.

Babar is going to live with Kath, who adopted dalmatian Jazzy last year! Babar is used to having a friend to play with (he always shared his kennel at the SPA, and Kate has another dog, too), and we already know what a great life Jazzy has. So good things await Babar!

long eared beagle


Huge thanks to Kate for looking after Babar and of course to Kath for adopting a second dog from us! We look forward to news and photos. And we are happy to know that the two families (foster and adopters) are going to keep in touch. Kate is already talking of visiting when she and her husband are next in Scotland.

Believe it or not this afternoon we had eight further adoptions.

Of those the “best” (they were all wonderful) is that of Roxy. Two years this dog has waited. Would his turn ever come? Of course it would. And it did. A few weeks ago a gentleman came to walk Roxy and couldn’t get him out of his mind. Sometimes it just happens like this. Today he came back to adopt the dog of his dreams. Roxy couldn’t believe his luck. He went round giving everyone kisses before leaving. It just goes to show that we should never give up hope and neither should the dogs. With wonderful staff and  volunteers to keep the dogs socialised and to give them regular walks, it is just a question of finding the right person. Many thanks to Stephanie, Roxy’s sponsor who has walked him almost every time she has visited, but who was not there to say goodbye today. However Roxy’s new owner has promised regular news and visits, so I am so they will meet again.

black griffon

Roxy – ADOPTED (after 2 years)

The other adult to leave today was Lady. She had been brought in for rehoming yesterday by someone who really loved her but whose circumstances had changed to the detriment of his dog. Labrador Lady had everything in her favour; good with dogs, cats and children. Not only that, the day before, Estelle had taken the name of a family who were looking for a labrador. She phoned them today and they came in to meet Lady, and this lovely girl left after just 24 hours at the SPA.

pale lab


The other six adoptions were all of puppies. Four of the five Australian shepherds left with their new families who were selected thanks to the recently introduced Pre-Adoption Questionnaire. Yes, this litter attracted a lot of attention and so staff and volunteers wanted to select what arae considered to be the most suitable families. This is the case for all adoptions from now on, with the plan being that we have fewer (or in an ideal world) no puppies going to families just because they are beautiful to look at.

Australian shepherd


Australian shepherd

Dannie – ADOPTED

black and tan puppy

Gibson – ADOPTED

red merle pup


Puppy Froggie, who was fished out of the canal before she drowned was also homed, as was puppy Tonnerre, who was abandoned on Wednesday this week.

Froggie – ADOPTED

Tonnerre – ADOPTED

So it was a wonderful (and busy day). A final plea….Please don’t forget the last of the Australian litter, Nicole. She may not have the instant charm of the others, but she is a gorgeous affectionate girl who is calm and sociable. Let’s find her a home soon!

black and tan puppy

Nicole is still waiting for a home


Happy day for Hounds…and not only hounds

Today got off to a flying start, with three dogs leaving before the SPA had even opened. Three of our hounds, Jura, Hershey and Comete are on their way to new lives in Germany, thanks to the association Tierfreunde helfen Tieren in Not. There, these three fabulous dogs will have a complete change in environment, and hopefully very soon families to adopt them.

lovely big hound

Jura has left the SPA after over two years

Incredible though it may seem when you look at their photos, no one has shown any interest in adopting any of these lovelies. Jura has been at the SPA for over two years, and although he is adored by everyone, he has not been chosen. Hershey and Comete have been with us for less time (Hershey one year and Comete just over 6 months), but why wait? They were offered the opportunity of a new start, and who are we to deny them this!

Hershey is off to a new life, as well

Of course we will keep you in touch with how they get on in their new lives and we would like to express our thanks to the association for taking them in and also to Carole who spent much of the last couple of days tearing her hair out due to TRACES documents. And when I tell you that another dog is leaving tomorrow under TRACES and that our usual contact at the DDSCPP is on leave, you will understand why several of us are looking a bit frazzled. Or more frazzled than usual, should I say? Still, it was all in a good cause!

hound dog

As is seven year old Comete

Then of course it was a “normal” afternoon at the SPA. Although what is normal these days? In any case, we had one adoption, and it was of a dog who has been at the refuge since just before Christmas, when his owner decided he was too much of a handful. Titou is a very lively dog, and is extremely enthusiastic when it is time for walks. Who remembers Zebedee from the Magic Roundabout? Well, that is Titou. Luckily though he is not very big; he looks like a short legged malinois. He caught the eye of a gentleman who visited the refuge a few days ago and he returned today to adopt Titou.

small malinois


We wish him and all today’s leavers lots of happiness. There is another dog leaving in the middle of the night, so it is an early night for me!

See you tomorrow with more (good) news.

Four dogs are reclaimed.

Although there were no adoptions today, four dogs were reclaimed, so it was not the worst day we have had.

First to leave was Lea, a beautiful yellow lab. She arrived yesterday and her photo was put on Facebook where she was immediately recognised by her owner. As well as by friends of her owner. Social media is wonderful in so many ways. But naturally identification is better!

yellow lab


Second to leave was Easy, a young border collie. She had been found in Narbonne yesterday, and the person who found her brought her to Carcassonne. Luckily Easy was identified, and even luckier her owners came to collect her immediately. This is not always the case, so in general it is far better to take any animal you find to the nearest pound. Had Easy not been identified, one cannot assume that her owners would have thought to look for her in a refuge so far away. Still, all is well that ends well.

border collie

The two other dogs arrived today so had no albums on Facebook. And of course all four of today’s leavers are now equipped with a microchip!

We will have lots of news tomorow, so see you then!

An Easter excursion and adoption of Skip

Welcome to the first blog of the week. Yes, the SPA was shut yesterday, but as usual some volunteers took some time off from eating pancakes and chocolate and devoted their afternoon to walking some of the refuge dogs at a local lake. They had a wonderful time, by all accounts, so chances are there will be more such excursions in the future. Many thanks to Sebastien and the rest of the team.

Three dogs enjoying an Easter excursion

Now, onto today. As you know we always love it when a dog is adopted by a volunteer. First of all it means we know that the family are real dog lovers, and secondly of course it means we will continue to have news. So we are delighted that little border collie pup Skip has been adopted by volunteer Sylvie. He arrived ten days ago, and due to the arrival of yet more puppies, we were worried that he would be left behind. Yes, the new pups are indeed stunning, but so is Skip! Many thanks to Sylvie. She is quite smitten, it must be said, and we can all see why. Skip is a fabulous lad and already a much loved member of the family. Skip has been renamed Spike after the “good vampire” in Buffy, by the way.

black and white border collie pup

Skip (now renamed Spike) – ADOPTED

Two other dogs were reclaimed; nine year old Tequila, who arrived on Thursday and who had a tear-jerking reunion with her loving owner today, and Gawa, who was just as delighted to be back home.

elderly shepherd



big beaceron cross


Now let’s see what the rest of the week brings us. We all hope that Bowling turns up safe and well. If only he had waited long enough to realise what a wonderful home he had found, this dog would have never left!

Adoptions of Onyx and Bowling

Today, amidst the wind and rain and brief sunny spells, we had two adoptions.

First to leave was American Staffordshire terrier Onyx. She arrived in mid-December, but this was not her first time at the SPA. She had spent some time with us last summer, but just as she was about to leave with a wonderful new family, her owner showed up to reclaim her. This time there was little chance of that happening, as inbetween times, Onyx had been given away to someone else. This new home clearly didn’t want to keep her, so although it has taken another relatively brief spell at the SPA, what was needed from the outset, ie a new home for Onyx, is finally here.

Onyx is a fabulous dog but as she is falls into the category of “dangerous dogs” (haha), some paperwork is needed. However her new family got all this sorted out in double quick  time, and today they came along to take Onyx to her new life. We wish loads of love and happiness to Onyx and her family, who have promised us news and photos.

brindle coloured staff


Today’s second leaver is Bowling. This terrier cross arrived some two weeks ago in a very sorry state. Not only did he have piraplosmosis, but he had been hit by a car. Unsurprisingly he was more than a bit nervous of people. However as we well know, the SPA is excellent with timid dogs. Treating them with love, kindness and respect, even very shy animals gradually realise that the bad times are over, and that they can trust us humans. Work with Bowling had hardly begun, however, when he caught the eye of a couple who had recently lost a beloved dog.

They came to the SPA on Thursday with a short list of dogs whom they wanted to say hello to. Although they did go to meet the dog who was second on the list, once they had met Bowling their minds were pretty much made up. Although this little boy is very scared and shy, he is clearly adorable, showing no aggression at all to people or to the new “house cat”, Abricot.

Yes, Bowling has a long way to go. He will need lots of love and patience, but in a new home he will be far more relaxed than he would be at the SPA, and progress should be quick. He is a very lucky boy indeed.

small rough haired terrier

Bowling – ADOPTED

The SPA will be open tomorrow, as as well as being Easter Sunday, it is also the first Sunday of the month. And so far the weather looks like it will be a bit kinder than it was today. Having said that our wonderful (and ever-growing) team of volunteers was out in force today, so a bit of rain will not change our plans.

Happy Easter everyone.