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Latest News

More puppy news and three adults leave the SPA.

You will be pleased to know that the really cold snap seems to be over for the time being, but we are still hoping to get as many of our dogs as possible into new homes. Because “home” is the right place for a dog, not a concrete kennel at the SPA!

Moira mentioned that puppy Olaff was left behind after all his siblings had been adopted. Well, after finding a home yesterday, he is sadly back today, as the family’s cats simply did not want a dog in their house and made his life a misery. So he sharing his (indoor) kennel with little Prosper, another lovely youngster who has finished his pound time and is now waiting for a new home too.

In other puppy news, Isa has been fostering little Malko for the past three weeks, and although he is in a warm home, he needs a family of his own! Isa tell us that he is a great little lad, who will grow to be quite a big boy. Lively and cheeky, just as a pup should be!

Better news for pups Chairo and Salsa, both of whom were adopted yesterday. And good news too for today’s new arrival, Malou. His owners phoned the SPA and were relieved to hear that he was there. They were surprised that they had not been contacted, as Malou was microchipped. Except he wasn’t any more! Yes, believe it or not chips can pop out, especially when young pups are involved, so it is worth checking this every time your dog visits the vet.

Onto the adults now! And we have three dogs to tell you about.

First to leave was Roucky, the 12 year old spaniel who came to the SPA when his owner had to move into an old people’s home. Such cases are tragic, as neither the owner nor the poor dog is not to blame. Luckily Marie-Ange lived up to her name yet again and has taken this lovely old dog into long term foster.

Then we had two adoptions, starting with Neige, a lovely lab/griffon cross who arrived relatively recently and is now going to have a wonderful life with a canine friend and lots of horses! This sounds perfect for her. And then Liquorice (now renamed Gru) left with his new family after less than three weeks at the SPA.

So all in all a pretty good day.

Olaff  needs a home
black puppy with white chest

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Prosper needs a home too

black and tan pup

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As does Malko 

small brindle pup

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Malou – reclaimed

white fluffy pup

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

12 year old Roucky has found a long term foster

brittany spaniel

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Neige – ADOPTED

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Liquorice  (now Gru) – ADOPTED

black dog

 

 

 

 

Popular puppies…

As anticipated we had lots of interest in our pups, so much so that we only have one pup left!  Aydie, Elsa and Anna have all been adopted leaving only Olaff still looking for a new family. Its strange that female pups are usually adopted before the males, this may be due to the perception that female dogs are easier than males……ha, you have to be kidding, not in my experience!

So that is quite a few families who have started off the new year with a new pup. As we keep saying, socialisation is everything and we do advise that you get your pup out and about as quickly as possible. Even if you already have a dog, its worth finding  friends with   pups or nicely behaved dogs and having as many play dates as possible. The more positive experiences that you can set up for your pup now will help your dog become a well balanced, happy adult. We also advise contacting your local club canin and taking your pup along to doggy school. This is great for the pup and the owners and is a fun way to spend a couple of hours each week!

We also had another lovely adoption. Lucky Diesel the beautiful Belgian Shepherd had a very short stay in kennels. This doesnt surprise me at all as she was a lovely looking, sweet young girl! She is only 18 months old so will soon settle down in her forever family.

We are still looking for Boss and Ondine. Lots and lots of posters have been put up in shops, bars and on lamp posts. Surely someone is going to see one of these dogs soon. We hate to think of them alone, cold and hunrgy but survival instinct is strong and they are tough little terriers so we are hopeful that they will be back with their families soon.

We will be blogging later in the week about what to do and who to contact should your dog go missing so keep an eye on our page as anyone can lose a dog!

Aydie adopted

Elsa adopted

Anna adopted

Diesel adopted

 

 

 

Still missing…

There were no adoptions today but we thought that we would take the opportunity to remind everyone that we are still looking for two lost dogs.

Boss and Ondine are both timid terriers who have managed to escape from their new families.

Boss went missing in Carcassonne and was seen heading towards the CAF. There has been a sighting of him under the road bridge towards Bram but he could be anywhere. He is wearing a blue harness and had a leash attached. Volunteers are of course looking for him. If you see him please call the SPA on 0468253545 or 0608172472

Ondine went missing from her home in Fenouillet du Razes. She was seen recently wandering in the vines between Orsans and Fanjeaux. I live in Fanjeaux and volunteer Angelique lives in Montreal We will both be out putting up more posters and searching for her tomorrow. If you see Ondine you can call me in English (0468247097) or Angelqiue in French 0682216402 or of course the SPA on 0468253545 and we will jump in the car and try and catch her.

They are both really timid so please don’t chase them, they must be really hungry and cold so we are hoping that they may be lured by something tasty!

Its heartbreaking to think that these dogs are out in this cold, are hungry and scared so please keep your eyes open if you are out and about.

Boss still missing..

Ondine still missing..

 

 

Here today gone tomorrow…

Last night we posted on both the SPA and DRC facebook pages that Fido had been returned from adoption as the resident cat was jealous of him. There were lots of comments about this but in this case it has worked in his favour.

Today he left with a super new mum who has no pesky cats to bully him.  This lucky 6 year old griffin bleu de gascogne had the most wonderful body language so it was no surprise that his stay in kennels was so short . He snuggled into you when you spoke to him and was just desperate for love. He only had to spend one night in kennels which is very lucky, especially with the arrival of this terrible cold spell.

It seems that English speakers here and abroad certainly love griffon breeds. Most of our French scent hounds go to English speakers and all of their new families tell us what wonderful loving pets they make.  I often wonder what traits attract certain adoptants and in this case I think that their appearance, a scruffy coat with long ears and lovely deep brown eyes really helps..well, who could resist?

If you adopt one of our scent hounds, we have lots of adoptants who are a wealth of knowledge about the breed and can help with any little teething problems.  Don’t forget that no matter wht dog you adopt from us we are here to offer after adoption advice, we have volunteer dog trainers and behaviorists so just ask if you need help.

We would love to get some more of our dogs out of the cold and into homes especially with this cold snap! We have puppies and adult dogs of all breeds and sizes so please come along and adopt if you are thinking about a new dog. You will be saving its life as well as making space for another dog who really needs our help!

Fido adopted!

 

 

Operation Kennel – a huge SUCCESS

What can we say? We were totally blown away today by the solidarity shown by everyone who came along to put up kennels. We arrrived at the SPA at 13H55 and there was a long queue of people all standing with electric screwdrivers in hand, chomping at the bit to get started on contructing the kennels.

With only a minimun of instruction which consisted of “Thanks to you all for coming. We really appreciate it. The kennels are there, get into groups of two or more and go for it!”,  the SPA turned into a hive of activity. Believe it or not 45 minutes after we blew the starting whistle, all the kennels had been built.

Most people had kept the whole afternoon free, so we had an impromptu open day, with lots of dogs being walked, and we also had a team just generally tidying the place up. Plus of course we put the new kennels into the boxes and tried to make the dogs as comfortable as possible.

Thank you to everyone who came along. It was an incredible gesture of solidarity, and we have even gained a couple more volunteers for the future. Some people were regular volunteers but other people said they were unable to adopt, but wanted to show their support for the SPA. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts, as do the dogs.

In other Sunday news, Kayla left for her new home today. She was one of the dogs who had a long distance visitor yesterday. As we speak, she is on her way north. Being a category one dog, she is officially in long term foster, but to all intents and purposes she is adopted. The law on so called “dangerous dogs” means that on paper she belongs to the SPA. But she doesn’t know that, of course! For her it is home, and the first real home this girl has ever known.

Many thanks to the association Les Delits des Anges Heureux for helping to publicise Kayla and for doing the pre-visit etc.

All in all, we have a lot to be thankful for today!

Operation Kennel in full swing.
lots of people building kennels

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kayla – ADOPTED

 

Three Puppy Adoptions

Yesterday evening pictures of five puppies were put onto the internet as being available for adoption, and this afternoon three of them were adopted and a fourth reserved! Today Mauzac, Madiran and Gaillac all found homes, Salsa is reserved leaving only little Aydie behind. Strange, as usually females are far more popular than males, when it comes to adult dogs, at least.

Don’t panic if you missed out, though. As well as Aydie, there are other pups at the SPA looking for homes. All of them will be large dogs when they are adult, so if that is not your dream, don’t get carried away with their cuteness. It is far better to wait for a puppy who will be the right size for you when it is adult. And of course if you want to be sure of a dog’s size when it is fully grown, then the best thing is to adopt an adult. Just because we have lots of lovely puppies, it doesn’t mean that the rest of the dogs at the SPA are any less deserving of a new home. The puppies are only here because the owners were too irresponsible to sterilise their dogs, leaving the SPA to take up the slack, after all!

There were plenty of visitors and volunteers at the SPA this afternoon, some walking, others planning to adopt. There is good news on the horizon for several more dogs.

Don’t forget about our kennel-building session tomorrow afternoon. If you are too far away to help, please support us emotionally by cheering us along from a distance. A kennel is not as good as a home, but all being well some dogs will have better protection from the icy winds tomorrow night!

Mauzac – ADOPTED
black lab puppy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gaillac – ADOPTED

black lab

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Madiran – ADOPTED

yellow lab puppy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Aydie – still waiting, along with several other pups.

tricolouored puppy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Three Adoptions, a Foster, and Winter Preparations

Today three dogs left the SPA, which is great for them, as some more bitterly cold winter weather is on its way to us. More about that later on.

First to leave today was Jemma. She hasn’t been with us for long, and in fact she found her home without any photos appearing on the intenet. Some dogs are just lucky enough to be picked out of the many dogs who all vie for the attention of visitors to the SPA.

She was quickly followed by Dylan, who has gone home to live with a couple who were after an older, calmer dog. Those of you who know Dylan are aware that he is not either of these things, but sometimes the heart takes you somewhere unexpected. Despite being young and handsome and fine with cats, Dylan has waited since the end of June to find a new home. Is this the curse of the black dog? Perhaps, but in any case, Dylan’s long wait is finally over.

Third (but not last) to leave was Pogo. He is spending a night at home with Moira, waiting for his onward transport to Maria and her family near to Paris. Usually organising a covoiturage is very quick, but with the Christmas holidays it was very hard to sort out. So the best thing was to wait till everyone had settled down again and to send Pogo with a commercial transporter. His new family have been desperate for his arrival and they are very excited. No doubt there will be lots of news, although Moira tells me that already Pogo has proved to be far from the timid lad we saw at the SPA, so he will be just fine!

The fourth departure was that of rottweiler Domino, who has gone into a foster home. This is mainly to shelter this old man from the cold and we hope he behaves himself with the cat so that his new digs become permanent. If not, Hanspeter and his family will try to at least keep him warm for the next week or so. Huge thanks to them.

Finally and again on the subject of the cold, the first of the recently arrived DRC funded kennels have been put together. And thanks to other donations we have some lovely new blankets and mats to go inside. For those who don’t know, we are having a working afternoon on Sunday to put the rest of the kennels together, this in an attempt to keep warm the poor dogs who have so far not found a home.

Jemma – ADOPTED
malinois

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dylan – ADOPTED
black dog with pointy ears

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pogo (now Winston) – ADOPTED And spending the evening at Moira’s house!

spaniel cross

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Domino – in foster with his paws crossed for luck!

 

rottweiler

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And the first of the kennels is up thanks to keen volunteer Valentin.

man building kennel

 

Timid dogs and keeping them safe!

Today we are absolutely delighted that All Black is back home. He escaped from his new home last Friday and we were all very worried. He was trapped in a garden not far from his house and was recognised by a very kind gentleman who had seen his poster. I am sure that his new mum and family will be really relieved, what a fright this boy has given us but as they say ‘alls well that ends well’!

Adopting and keeping a very nervous dog safe can be quite a challenge. You know that you have done a great thing and are full of love and encouragement but it takes time for a timid dog to realise this.  A timid and nervous dog can move very quickly and can be very determined so its very important to keep it safe.

The most important thing to be aware of is that many of our dogs were strays or hunters and have been used to living on the streets or in the spa for some time.  Given the chance, some of them may make a bid for freedom if they have the opportunity, so you need to be extremely vigilant at all times.

The golden rule is to keep your dog on a harness AND collar with either two leads or a double ended lead. This means that if the dog panics and backs away, if one fails the other should keep him nice and safe.

Collecting your dog 

It is vital that you can secure your dog on the journey home. The best way for a dog to travel home is in a crate  and will ensure that when you get home your dog won’t jump out of the car and run!

Don’t stop to walk your dog on the way home – better a wee and poo in the crate, than a lost dog!

Arriving home

Take your dog into the house using its double lead. Some dogs have never lived in a house before so may need encouraging (or carrying) into the house. Again, every dog is different but always err on the side of caution. Everything will be strange to your dog, from strangers voices on the TV to the washing machine or hoover. Keep everything really calm and low key, I remember accidently really scaring a pup by shaking out a bin bag!

In the garden

However high your fences are, keep your new dog on a lead or long line in the garden for the first few days until you have judged how likely they are to try to escape. Every dog is different, but we have had instances of dogs attempting to jump six foot fences in their panic to get away. Scared dogs become very athletic when panicking. Keeping them on the lead until they know where the door is to the house and until they are familiar with you, is a wise move. Better to have the dog on a lead in the garden for several days, than risk losing it!

In the house 

Having a quiet place for your dog will make him feel more secure. A crate with the door open and a cover on makes a great den. Feed your dog in there so that it becomes a happy place to be. Some of our dogs have food issues – they have literally been starved and even the most gentle soul may turn into a maniac when food arrives!! Feed your new dog separately from other dogs until you can judge how he will be with food. Putting up a ‘baby gate’ can separate dogs when needed, or feed your dog in the crate.

Visitors

Please make sure that you are extra careful when people come to your house who aren’t used to your dog. Danger points are open doors and gates. There have been very sad incidents recently of rescue dogs slipping out through an open door or gate. It takes a split second for a dog to slip through! Don’t be tempted to show your dog off to all and sundry for a few days. He will be physically and emotionally exhausted so allow him plenty of rest and to get used to you and your family.

Food

Don’t over-compensate in the first few days. A bland food is ideal – mine have rice and chicken for the first few days then I add kibble  gradually over a few days.

Some of the dogs have an upset tummy when they arrive – sometimes caused by the stress of travelling and changing homes. If it doesn’t settle within a very short time, ask the vets’ opinion but most upset tummies settle quickly.

Water

I have found that the dogs are a little dehydrated when they arrive home, even though they have fresh water available at all times! Make sure that they have water available and don’t panic if they don’t wee for a day, it will happen!!

Walking

Don’t be tempted to let a timid dog off the lead until you have practiced recall and are sure that he wont bolt or run off.

As your dog settles into its new life and you begin to understand and respect each other you can relax and give your dog more freedom.The best thing is to allow them to progress at their own pace,keeping then safe as they do. It really doesn’t matter how long they take – they all get there in the end.

Double lead system…one lead attached to collar and one to harness..

 

 

 

 

 

Adoption of Houshous, but two more dogs go missing.

On Saturday a beautiful and young golden retriever was abandoned at the SPA and today he was adopted! Yes, sometimes it can be that quick. Providing we have a contract stating that the owners are surrendering their dog, there is no need to look for the owners, and hence no need for a dog to wait 10 days. Moreover this dog, Houshous, had everything going for him. Young, fine with other dogs, fine with children and fine with cats. Needless to say we had many people keen to adopt him.

We are delighted that he has gone to live with people we know well; a family of keen volunteer dog walkers who are great supporters of the SPA. Sometimes dedication pays off; Fabrice and his family had no plans to adopt a fifth (yes, 5th) dog when they came to help out on Saturday, but when they saw Houshous they decided that they had room for one more. Yesterday compatibility was tested during the open day and today the adoption was made official.

We are delighted for Houshous of course, whilst at the same time being a bit sad for the other dogs who wait for months or even years at the SPA because they are not as instantly attractive. They deserve homes too!

It also shows why, if you do need to separate from your dog, it is far better to provide as much information about his behaviour and preferences as possible. That helps the SPA find the best home as quickly as possible.

In not-so-good news, following the disappearance of All Black on Friday, two more recently adopted dogs have gone missing today. Like All Black, both dogs are very nervous (both are from the Ste Eulalie dog-hoarding affair), and they went missing within hours of each other from their respective homes. Ondine is missing in Fenouillet de Razes and Boss in Carcassonne.

A blog on how to look after nervous dogs is being prepared as we speak. However  the bottom line is if you have a dog like this please take great care. A moment’s inattention is all it takes for a dog to go missing. It is cold outside and it is heartbreaking to think of these dogs out there despite having loving homes who are desperate for their return.

Houshous – ADOPTED after 2 days!

golden retriver with mum and kids

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ondine and Boss are both missing. 

white dog with brown ears white dog with brown ears

Sheila and Pence leave together

Sheila, a typically terrified but gentle griffon and Pence, a typically outgoing braque arrived about a week apart, but thier destinies were interlinked almost from the start. While visiting their holiday home in Mirepoix, Anne and her husband decided to come to the SPA with a view to adopting one dog. However when husband was drawn to Pence, and wife to Sheila, their plans changed. Yes, they decided to adopt two dogs instead of one!

We love it when this happens, especially in cases where the dogs have become almost inseparable whilst at the SPA. This morning the two dogs were given a bath (thanks Patricia!) and set off on their long journey back to the UK. We look forward to news and pictures of the newly renamed Asha and Athos in their new home, and say huge thanks to their new mum and dad, who came all the way to collect them.

Thanks to everyone who walked these two dogs while they were at the SPA. Their new mum and dad were impressed at how much progress Sheila (sorry, Asha) has made since her arrival, and it is thanks both to the care shown by the employees as well as the socialisation that comes as a result of getting out of the kennels and meeting other people and seeing a bit of the world.

Thanks also to everyone who came along this afternoon to walk the dogs. The fact that there were no more adoptions doesn’t mean that it wasn’t a great way to spend a sunny (but cold) afternoon.

We are open tomorrow afternoon, as we did not make it on January 1st. We are not expecting any adoptions, so there probably won’t be a blog, but who knows!

Sheila (now Asha) – ADOPTED
griffon cross

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pence (now Athos) – ADOPTED

braque