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Oldies Find Happiness

We had a lovely adoption today, that of Chips. He only arrived on Saturday, abandoned due to the death of his owner. It is always tragic when this happens; the last thing anyone wants is for their beloved pet to be brought to a refuge when they die. Sadly however not everyone is lucky enough to have a family member who is able or willing to take care of the dog. In Chips’ case, at least he was brought to the SPA in a responsible manner, ie by appointment and by giving the SPA the maximum amount of information possible about his character, likes and dislikes.

Knowing that Chips was fine with other dogs and children meant that all we needed to do was test him with cats. A dog who is okay with all three is easiest to home. Plus in this case it meant that Chips was easy to foster, and Carole fell for him instantly. Not only that, the SPA already had a prospective family in mind, so even before Chips’ arrival, we had match-made him with a couple who had contacted us to say they were looking for a calmer, elderly dog.

So lucky Chips went straight from the SPA to spend the weekend with Carole (many thanks!), and today he went home with his new family. Okay, we are sure he would have preferred to be with his original owner, but things have not worked out too badly all in all!

And on the subject of oldies who arrived following the death of their owners, Tis, who went home to be fostered by supporter Jane, has done pretty well for himself, too. Despite his many quirks (like preferring to sleep amongst her shoes, rather than in the luxury bed bought just for him), Tis, now renamed Alfie, has wormed his way into Jane’s heart. Lovely to see him crashed out on the tiles, not in a baking hot concrete kennel at the SPA. Many thanks to her and to all our other fosterers who help the SPA oldies live in comfort.

I guess the lesson is to not assume that your family will take care of your animals should something happen to you. We know all too well that this is seldom the case. And sadly not all dogs who are left behind in this way are as lucky as Chips and Tis. Another of Saturday’s arrivals, Billy, is there due to the death of his owners, and there are many more dogs at the SPA and in other refuges who are in the same sad position.

black cocker spaniel








Tis (renamed Alfie) – Happy in his long term foster
black spaniel










Will 5 year old Billy find happiness following the death of his owner? 

Tricoloured setter




Relief as Spotty Dogs Leave.

Well, it has been a bit of an epic, but this morning in the wee small hours and 24 hours later than expected, the SPA’s two dalmatians left for the UK. What a roller coaster it has been. I expect Moira has been lying in a darkened room with cool flannels and lots of gin today!

All was going well until Friday night, when we heard that the transport vehicle had broken down. Okay, our dogs were not on board, but others were. And the repair was not an easy one, either, requiring the replacement of several different parts. It really was a race against the clock, not just because as with all TRACES transports, the animals’ comfort and well-being is paramount, but also because there are serious and non-flexible time constraints. The treatment given to dogs entering the UK against echinococcus is valid for 120 hours. If this time is exceded then it all has to start again. And that means redoing all the TRACES paperwork. GULP! Luckily it all worked out and Joyce and Dart joined the transport at 3am today and are now well on their way. PHEW.

Three year old Joyce was abandoned with her sister, Jazzy, in April. Jazzy (now renamed Lily) also left for the UK last month and is now doing wonderfully, and we hope the same will soon be true for Joyce. Her new family has another dog, and although everyone is confident that everything will be fine, there is a foster family on standby just in case. So whatever happens, no more refuges for her, and many thanks to the association Save a Spanish Spot, who saw our urgent appeals and got in touch about both Joyce and Dart. No, DRC does not set out to home our dogs to the UK, but incredibly the SPA was unable to find a family for either dog in France.

Dart was abandoned just after the start of the new year. Most people know that dalmatians do not cope well  in kennels, and Dart has found the SPA particularly tough. Over 8 when he arrived, this boy was already starting to show signs of age. The volunteers and staff, most notably Estelle, have done their best to give this boy the love and companionship he craves, but he has become less and less active, developing lumps and bumps from lying on hot concrete and from stress generally. In fact just earlier this week he had a benign lump removed as an emergency. Luckily his new mum, Mary, is a nurse, and is not at all phased at the prospect of Dart’s recent surgery. A fabulous life with a huge enclosed garden awaits this lad, and he deserves it 100%.

Many thanks to Moira for the time spent organising the TRACES and liaising with both families, especially yesterday, when keeping everyone informed was crucial. At the time of publishing both dogs are on the M20 having made it safely through the Chunnel. Whoopee!

That really IS a good way to end the week!











Adoptions of Caramel and May

We had two adoptions today to end the week. Well, the week is not over, and if all goes according to a very flexible plan, there should be a couple more dogs leaving tomorrow, but for now let’s just stick with what we know!

First to leave was Caramel. He is one of the older beagle/bulldog crosses and he has left with a lovely family who are very excited about their new companion. Quite rightly so, a new puppy is a time of great joy. The last of the younger pups was reserved today, but as he will not be going to his new home for a week, and as his new family are friends of hers, volunteer Isa has taken Sesame home so he is not alone.

One male and one female of the now 9-month old litter are still waiting for their homes. They really are amazing dogs, and we took a video of them today so you can see them in action! Who can resist?

Then we said goodbye to May. She is a lovely tiny black and white spaniel cross who has not been with us long. Pretty, lively and affectionate, this little girl has charmed us all, and her new family are already under her spell. They have renamed her Lila; a feminine name for a very pretty girl.

So let’s see what tomorrow brings. Good news is expected!

Caramel – ADOPTED
bulldog beagle cross











May (now Lila) – ADOPTED

black and white dog


Second Annual Yard Sale on July 2nd

Facebookers may well have seen the announcement concerning the upcoming event at Chateau Miaou. This year we are again holding a yard sale, where clothes, books, DVDs will be for sale, along with delicious British style sausages, hand made by Mister Saucisse. The event lasts from 10H00-14H00 and if last year is anything to go by it will be great fun.

If you atttended the DRC fashion show last month in Fanjeaux, you will have seen the quality of the clothes we have for sale. Sabine and her team do a fabulous job of selecting the items that are displayed. Likewise the books are in good condition and are primarily recent novels.

Chateau Miaou has good parking and for those of you who have cats, is a great place for your feline to spend his or her holidays while you are away enjoying yours. Sharon will be there so you can have a chat with her.

We will have a tombola too, with lots of lovely prizes and hot and cold drinks will be available to accompany your food.

If you would like to pre-order sausages to take home, please contact Tim (aka Mister Saucisse) directly. Last year he ran out of sausages during the event, and once you have tasted them you will know why. As he himself says, “Good to freeze, great on the barbecue. No yucky bits, hand made by me on a mountain in the Pyrenees.”

Basically there is something for everyone. A great chance to socialise with old friends and new, eat (or buy to take away) some fine quality sausages, revamp your wardrobe and buy some summer reading. Not to mention supporting a worthy cause; helping the dogs at the SPA Carcassonne.

Please let your friends know and help make the event as big a success as it was last year.

Operation SHADE gets underway, and Adoption of Puppy Cacahuète

We have not blogged for a couple of days as things have been very quiet at the SPA. Hardly surprising in the baking heat. Walking round a refuge in the blazing sun, looking at dogs who are desperately trying to shelter is not everyone’s favourite way to spend an afternoon. There are over 100 dogs living in concrete kennels with a minimum of shade. So as you complain about the heat at your home or garden, spare a thought for all of them.

One dog who is now out of the heat is little Cacahuète, who was adopted today and we wish her loads of happiness in her new home, which we hope will last longer than the home of ner elder (by 6 months) brother Nougat who was brought back after a week. The landlord does not allow pets, supposedly. Strange.

One way of improving the lives of the animals at the SAP is to provide them with more shade. To this end, yesterday “Project Shade” got underway. This is the brainchild of volunteer Michelle, who is a bit of a DIY wizz. She sourced on the internet some canvas material, lightweight and able to be attached over the tops of the boxes. Many thanks to everyone who donated to the fund and thanks to Michelle and Amaury for all the effort that is going into putting the shades in place. Already there was a big difference, with dogs in the lower boxes able to emerge into the open area of their kennels.

The plan is to extend this to other areas of the refuge, prioritising the boxes that have little or no shade at present. And the cats will benefit too, with plans to shade some of the outside area.

On the subject of cats, our friends at Maxizoo are currently carrying out a promotion for the cats at the SPA. Why not go and add a can of cat food to the pyramid? You have until June 24th, when all this food will be delivered to the SPA. Come on, let’s see how big that pile can grow!

Cacahuète – ADOPTED









Operation SHADE gets underway

shade over box








Maxizoo helps out once again

publicity for cat food promotion
















Tao leaves and Edwards is adopted!

We some great news today.

Yesterday border collie Tao left the SPA. This is thanks to the association Borderline Collie, who have found him a foster family, whilst he is waiting for a forever home. Tao, as many of you know, was found in a skeletal state last summer and adopted. However he was brought back to the SPA as he started nipping the children in typical (but painful) border collie fashion. He was unable to stay with his next foster family due to problems with their dog, and he has been at the SPA since being returned in November. And not at all happy about it. He either likes people or doesn’t; meaning that finding a family willing to take on such a temperamental dog was proving difficult.

His new family is not a permanent one, but they have a border collie and know the breed well. With them Tao can develop and gain in confidence. In time the association will hopefully him his forever family. Many thanks to them, and also to volunteer Isa, dog trainer Roger and other staff and volunteers who have worked with or walked with Tao and made his time at the SPA more bearable.

We had another adoption, too, that of Edwards. A young, lively black and white crossbreed, this lad had spent just the minimum time of ten days at the refuge before finding his new home. We wish him  a long and happy life with his new family.

Not a bad way to start the week, eh?

Tao – many thanks to the association Borderline Collie
black and white border collie








Edwards- ADOPTED

small black and white dog


Three Adoptions including Yuki!

Today little yorkie Guess left for her new home, and what a lovely surprise her family had when they came to collect her. Today was the end of her pound time, and as well as being sterilised, Guess was also groomed by Angelique. And what a difference it has made. Doesn’t she look amazing?  Guess is a very sweet girl, just two years old and fine with other dogs, cats and children. We have no idea what she was doing at the refuge. However with people constantly failing to identify their dogs and others abandoning them due to changes in circumstances, there are some real gems to be found behind bars! Many thanks once again to Angelique for de-scruffing little Guess!

We also had the adoption of Jet, and we are particularly happy about that, as this dog is just wonderful and seemed to be one of the dogs who just gets left behind. Arriving as an adolescent is one of the worst things for a dog. Quite often they are just reaching that difficult stage (a bit like human adolescents, in fact), where discipline is a problem and owners (and parents) can get very frustrated. Jet is just a very lively dog, with no behavioural problems other than a surplus of energy.  Not aided by being at the SPA, of course, despite our dog-walkers’ best efforts.

He arrived towards the end of March and has been a favourite with staff and volunteers alike. And in fact he had just been made the urgent appeal on Dog Rescue Carcassonne’s website. A lot of us have been rooting for him, and today he left for his new home.

And the big news of the day was the adoption of Yuki. Looking at his SPA reference number, it appears as if this dog has been at the SPA for just a few months, but this is not the case at all. Yuki was adopted after over three years in December last year and brought back within a week by people who should never have adopted him in the first place. Upon his return his regular dog walkers (Sebastien, Karen) resumed their “duties” and they, like all of us, hoped that his turn would come again.

Well, this time looks like it is right, and Yuki has a home once again!

So a great way to end the week!

Guess (before and after) – ADOPTED
sruffy yorkie then groomed yorkie











pale labrador cross









Yuki – ADOPTED at last

big yellow dog









Three More Adoptions

We have three adoptions to tell you about today! In fact one of them, that of French bulldog/ beagle puppy Coco, took place yesterday. We did tell you that these pups are going quickly! Her sister Pistache left today, meaning there is just one male and one female of the very young litter left, but of course Caramel and Mirabelle of the older litter are still waiting. All of them are wonderful dogs who will be great family members.

On the subject of wonderful family members, today we also said farewell to lovely Tia. She arrived at towards the end of May abandoned by her owner, proving that even a perfect dog is not immune to this fate. A calm seven years old, Tia is fine with other dogs, children and cats. Her tears as she saw her owner walking way will haunt many of us. However she is smiling now, as her new life begins again with a family who will be with her all day. And we are sure that Tia will reward their devotion with all the love a dog can bring. And that is a lot!

So a good week for lots of pups, and a couple of older dogs were lucky too. Let’s hope that tomorrow sees more dogs in loving homes!

Coco – ADOPTED (yesterday)
White puppy








Pistache – ADOPTED

pale brown and white puppy









brown and black spaniel

Three little ones leave

Three more dogs left the SPA today. No, not all of them were puppies this time. Yes, another of the beagle/ bulldog crosses left, but you still have time to adopt one if you have fallen in love!

Today was the turn of little Pavot. He was not due to leave for another day or so, but his new family just couldn’t wait, and have organised things earlier than planned in order to take Pavot home as soon as possible.

We also had the adoption of Zoumba, a tiny chihuahua/pinscher cross who arrived exactly ten days ago. Yes, just the minimum time at the SPA for her. And we will have lots of news, too, as she was homed thanks to a volunteer dog-walker!

Another little dog was reclaimed, and we are particularly pleased, as Sisi was 14 years old. Not that we knew this, as she was not identified when she arrived. All we knew was that she was very old and very very scared, and so it was great news that her owner was looking for her. Needless to say she is now identified and is back home where she is safe.

Puppy Pavot – ADOPTED
beagle bulldog cross









Zoumba – ADOPTED

small dog with big ears










tiny grey dog









And Another Pup is Off

Today saw the adoption of beautiful Capucine. In fact she was the first of the beagle/ French bulldog pups to be reserved, but of course unlike the 2-month old pups, the older ones have to be sterilised before leaving the SPA. So Capucine spent most of the day at the vet, but now she is safe and well in her new home. She has a new pal, Jango, a magnificent pointer, whose father was actually a French champion. Perhaps Capucine (now renamed Bella) doesn’t have quite his looks, but she is sure to turn a head or two.

People quite often ask us why sterilisation is an obligation, and in answer we point out the number of pups at the SPA. That should be all the answer anyone needs! So yes, if you adopt a dog over six months of age, he or she will be castrated or sterilised, and if you adopt a puppy younger than this, then you will be asked to leave a cheque which will not be cashed but which will be returned to you once you send us proof that the dog has been neutured. It works quite well, and despite the recent arrivals, in general we have seen fewer puppy arrivals. At the very least we know that the SPA is not responsible for any puppies that our born.

We had quite a few visitors and quite a few dogs were walked, and there was a reservation too. Which means more good news on the way!

Capucine (now Bella) – ADOPTED
Beagle bulldog cross