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Hoch is adopted at long last!

Today was a great day. After almost four years at the SPA, Hoch finally has a home. His story and photos have been shared thousand and thousands of times, he has been the subject of numerous urgent appeals, and even featured on television and radio campaigns. But strangely enough he was adopted by a couple who just came along to the SPA with no preconceptions at all. Sometimes one visitor is all you need, as long as it is the right one!

As many of you know, Hoch arrived at the SPA when he was still a very young dog. His young master had tragically been killed in a car accident, leaving poor Hoch homeless. At the time he was under a year old, and being confined in a kennel has been difficult for him, as it would be for any young, active dog. Luckily the volunteers were there for walks, and the employees there to give food, and to tell Hoch to never lose hope!

Being unable to share his kennel with other dogs, Hoch had to rely on humans to keep him company. He is a very affectionate dog, who despite a bit of craziness when first out of his kennel, settles down very well on walks and is very attentive to humans. Key players have been his long distance sponsor mum, Nathalie, and more locally Dominique, plus regular walkers Isa, Karen, Sebastian and Patricia and many many others over the years, plus of course the staff. In fact it was Estelle who changed his kennel, which stopped Hoch bouncing against the walls. We also have to say special thanks to Vincent. He is studying the world of dog, and is vounteering at the SPA fulltime, sharing with us his wealth of knowledge, whilst learning even more. Vincent was the one who guided Hoch’s new owners to his kennel. Without him they may have passed by, as so many people have done beforehand.

Adopting a dog who has been at the SPA for this long might seem a very brave move. However there is no reason why Hoch should not settle down well to his new life. Just look at Glamour, who had been at the SPA for even longer than Hoch. As a Catagory One dog she had far fewer walks than him, but has been exemplary in her new home. And of course help is always at hand if any problems arise.

There will be more than a few tears of happiness at this news, and at last we can crack open the champagne!

Please remember though that Hoch is not the dog who has been at the SPA the longest; Connor predates him by two months, so imagine how joyous will be the day he finally leaves!

We had another adoption today, that of Miss, but we will tell you all about that tomorrow, along with any other news. For now, let’s all raise a glass to the happiness of Hoch and say huge thanks to his new family for giving him a new home.

Hoch on the day he arrived

thin sad looking dog








And with his new dad saying goodbye to Isa and Dominique today

Hoch with tow women and one man



Papy Barock goes to long term foster.

Just a quick blog tonight to say huge thank you to Corinne and Maïna, who have have opened their hearts once again to a SPA oldie. They were devastated at the recent death of their foster dog Arsouille, but are all to aware of the number of old dogs needing foster homes. Today they came along to meet Barock and he used his charms to worm his way into their hearts.

Barock, you may recall, was adopted from the SPA as a puppy and came back in terrible condition at the age of eleven.  We are so happy for him and are very grateful to Corinne and Maïna and all our wonderful foster families.

We are seeing more and more elderly dogs abandoned, often as a result of illness of their owner. Sadly it is rare that a family member is able or willing to look after the dog, and the SPA seems to be the solution. Except for the dog the solution is far from perfect, and dogs who are used to lots of love and affection find themselves sad, confused and alone.

Foster families need to be close enough to Carcassonne to use the SPA vet, although exceptions can be made if a vet agrees to give so- called “association prices”. But bear in mind not all of our elderly dogs need vet treatment yet, they just need love and warmth. Of  course we don’t let our dogs leave with just anyone, (we love them all, after all!), but if you think you might be able to offer a home to an SPA oldie, please get in touch.

Barock with Maïna
Old dog with young girl

Three Monday Adoptions

Three dogs left for their new homes this afternoon.

First to leave was Paige. She arrived just over two weeks ago and we are delighted that she has found a home so soon. These hunt-type breeds are wonderful, but as many of us know, they often have one drawback. However  much work owners put in to recall training, it usually ends up with the dogs having to be on a lead if there is even the smallest chance of their nose taking over. Yes, there is a good reason why they are called scent hounds! The nose seems to block out all other senses, with dogs seemingly instantly deaf to everything apart from the call of the wild.

So when Annette and Miles met and fell in love with Paige last week, they went away to do some serious thinking. Did they want to walk their dog on a lead; would the freedom of their garden and other safe, enclosed areas be enough for Paige? Yes, this is a big decision. But if you love hound types enough, then some compromise has to be made! In any case, Paige is going to have a wonderful life we are sure, and we look forward to news and photos.

Next to leave were Bobby and Tim. Yes, a double adoption! Little Bobby, who hates being alone, and tiny Tim who also hates solitude, have gone to live together…well together with six cats! This is such good news. Bobby was brought back in February following an unsuccessful homing. As for little Tim, when he arrived he had to go straight to the vet as he had been bitten in the rear end. Ouch! Both dogs are really sweet and affectionate, and it is not surprising that their new family had trouble choosing between them. Adopting them both was the perfect solution!

Let’s hope the week carries on like this!


dog with long ears being cuddled by new owner










Bobby and Tim – ADOPTED together

two small dogs in owners' arms






Charles Moves to a New Kingdom

We only had one adoption today, but as it was of a fairly elderly dog, we are very happy!

Cavalier King Charles spaniel Charles arrived two and a half weeks ago, and as he was identified, we expected his owner to reclaim him. Sadly there was a problem with the identification; it was still in the name of the pet shop where he had been bought as a puppy. And this particular pet shop does not keep records of where puppies are sold. Thus the SPA had no way of getting in touch with his owners. Of course they did their best, putting photos on Facebook and other sites in the hope that the owner would be alerted. However there comes a time when the best thing is for a dog to find a new home.

Charles is not the youngest of dogs, but is very handsome. And sure enough it did not take long for him to attract the attention of a family who knows the breed well, and were delighted to find such a perfect (if “chubby” 😉 ) specimen at the SPA.

So that was not a bad end to a week that has been more positive than negative. And with glorious sunshine and a great team of volunteers giving dogs more frequent walks, things are looking good!

Charles – ADOPTED
KCK spaniel

Artigo Emigrates.

Today our beautiful bleu de Gascogne, Artigo, left for his new life in the Netherlands. This is the first time one of our dogs has gone to live there for quite some time, or at least without going to an association first. Artigo was spotted on the DRC website by a hound lover who has experience with this breed, a large enclosed garden and children. Artigo is going to be in heaven. He has been at the SPA for just over three months, and although he has been out on many a walk, it was never enough for this lively and sociable young lad. As with all our dogs, Artigo travelled under the European TRACES system, essential in preventing the spread of disease and ensuring safe and comfortable travel via a licensed transporter.

We look forward to news and photos as he settles in and many thanks to Jochem and his family for offering a hound a home!

More good news came in the form of the departure of Rocky and Jaina. You may not have met these two. They arrived courtesy of the police on Monday, Rocky at nearly 13 years old and his pal Jana totally blind. They were identified to two different owners, and it was the breakdown of this relationship that caused the owners to abandon their dogs.  How can a refuge possibly help dogs like this? Of course we would have tried, but really, dogs deserve so, so much better!

Luckily purebred collie Jana had been bought from what appears to be a rare beast, a responsible breeder. When contacted and informed of the plight of Jana, she said immediately that she would find a foster family. And when Carole explained that the two dogs were totally reliant on each other, this changed to a foster family for both dogs! Wonderful.

Tuesday’s late arrival, Ness, was reclaimed by her owner. Ness was outside her house when the police scooped her up. Please don’t let your dogs wander, or at least put a collar on them with a name and address. That could save so much worry for owners and stress for dogs!

Artigo – ADOPTED
bleu de gascogne







Rocky and Jana- Thanks to Jana’s breeder, they are together in a foster family, not at the SPA.

tricoloured border collie
















And 14 year old Ness (aka Croquette) – RECLAIMED

very old dog


The Return of Ondine at last!

No adoptions today, but fabulous news nonetheless. Ondine has finally been caught and is safe and well. And better still, she is not at the SPA.

Ondine, as many of you know, was adopted on 1st December last year, and went missing in early January. There were several “lucky” aspects to her escape, the main ones being that her adopters lived in a rural area, meaning the chances of her being hit by a car were less than they might otherwise have been. Also there has been a small group of employees and volunteers who just refused to give up on her.

The main players here have been Angelique and Angelique! Yes, two like-minded and determined women, one a volunteer, one an employee. Angelique B (the volunteer) has been feeding Ondine and monitoring her via occasional sightings since the word go, and she has been working with a nice hunter (yes!) to keep Ondine safe and to bring her home. After months of trying to coax her into a cage, they resorted to borrowing a humane trap, and it was a matter of days later that the hunter called Angelique to let her know that Ondine had been caught.

Angelique L, a SPA employee, has been helping throughout, and she was at the SPA today to meet Ondine as she arrived. Ondine doesn’t seem too much the worse for wear; covered in ticks and missing a bit of fur on her head, but otherwise apparently in good health.

After all that freedom (stressful though it undoubtedly was at times), a kennel at the SPA would have been awful. So we are happy to report that Ondine has gone home to live with Angelique L. She was Ondine’s closest human at the SPA, and always promised that she would adopt Ondine if ever she was found.

Thanks to the Angeliques and everyone else who helped bring Ondine back. Just goes to show; never ever give up!

Ondine- GOTCHA!
small white dog in cage

Bumper day for adoptions

It was an extremely busy day at the SPA today, but it was a good one, as it resulted in the adoption of three puppies and two adults!

On the puppy front, we said goodbye officially to Sherlock. He has been in foster with a family who was desperate to adopt him but had to wait till the end of the pound time, just in case his owners were looking for him. Today their wait was over, and now the contact is signed, he is theirs!

We also said goodbye to Lydia, and just when we were starting to feel sad for little Nico, back came the family who had been looking at him on Saturday. Yes, it is a good idea to have a think about what is a huge decision. But we are glad they didn’t think for too long, as this way Nico didn’t spend any time alone!

Next to leave was Engy. She arrived at the SPA at the beginning of February this year and was an immediate hit with just about everyone she met. Already nearly eight years old, this lovely Brittany spaniel is very lively, good with other dogs and wonderful with cats. We had quite a bit of interest in her, but the homes on offer would have meant her spending the days alone, and as she was not used to this in her old life (before her owner fell ill), we decided that it might be better for her to wait. Especially as she was not particularly unhappy at the SPA.

Looks like it was the right decision, as volunteer Monique had her eye on Engy too! We love it when our volunteers adopt. Firstly they know the dogs well, and secondly we know that we will have plenty of news! So happy new life to Engy, and many thanks to Monique and her family. The first photos have arrived already, and we now know that Engy loves water!

Then finally just before the SPA shut, we had a last minute adoption. That of Hermione, a lively 2 year old spaniel who has only just finished her pound time. Her new owner is young and sporty, which is probably just as well!

The Easter break is over, so let’s hope this heralds the start of a new flurry of adoptions!

Sherlock – ADOPTED by his foster family
scruffy puppy










Black and white puppy












Brittany spaniel










Engy – ADOPTED (and already in the pool!)

Brittany spaniel










Hermione – ADOPTED





Two puppies and a Bird fly away!

Today saw the adoption of two pups and one adult.

First off was Lola, who went straight to a foster home (many thanks Shirley) and then left with her new family after the minimal amount of time. Lolo had a bit longer to wait, and although she spent it at the SPA, she was with her brother, Nico. Today she too left, and as her new family are the parents of volunteer Esther, we will have plenty of news and photos, of course!

Then we had the adoption of Bird. This lovely flatcoat arrived at the SPA very thin and having been tied to a lamp post in a nearby village. No news of its owners, until a third party contacted us by Facebook to tell us about the missing dog. We responded that he had been at the SPA for four weeks, had now been vaccinated, identified and castrated and that his owner would be expected to pay an adoption fee (which is still less than all the treatment he had received). After declaring herself to be delighted, she then decided it was not her dog (who was still missing), despite his being identical in every way, including the half docked tail.

Well, her loss is someone else’s gain! Today Bird left with a lovely young retiree and who came a long way to adopt the dog of her dreams. She met a few dogs before Bird caught her eye, and he was just what she was looking for. We are delighted for this beautiful young dog. As is often the case, the SPA was a stepping stone to a better life!

Please don’t forget that the refuge is shut both tomorrow and Easter Monday. Have a lovely break, and remember, don’t share your easter eggs with your dogs!

Lola – ADOPTED (thanks to her foster family)












And Lolo – ADOPTED

spaniel pup












And Bird – ADOPTED

flatcoat retriever


Adoption of Puppy Jäina and Mycroft is reclaimed

Before the SPA had even opened today we already had two pieces of good news.  First of all one of the dogs who arrived on Sunday (one of the weekend’s famous 12 dogs) was reunited with his owner. Funnily enough it was an announcement on the “Lost” pages of chien-perdu that caught the eye of a volunteer, whereas photos of the dog have been in the “Found” section of the same website since Saturday night, thanks to the Hartley family, to whom Jawa had been delivered by a woman who thought he was their own dog, Gretta!

In any case, Jawa (or Mycroft as we called him at the SPA) has been reunited with his owner, just a bit later than would have been the case otherwise. Jawa has a Serbian microchip, which is not on the French database, and this is something to be aware of if your dog is “foreign”!

Then just a couple of hours later, puppy Jäina left for her new home. She arrived ten days ago and had the good fortune to go into foster with Isa and her family (and dogs). This gave this young pup the best possible start in life (well, the best possible life for an unwanted pup). Jäina is a real cutie and we are delighted that she has found a home so quickly. It has freed up a valued place in foster for another pup, too 😀 . Many thanks yet again to Isa and her family.

Puppy Sherlock has also left for a foster home, and they plan to adopt him assuming he is not reclaimed, so fingers crossed for him (and his foster family too!) More of this in a future blog!

As for Jäina , her new family, they have horses and lots of land and 2 cats. So a wonderful life awaits!


puppy being held by her owner









Mycroft (Jawa)- RECLAIMED

bruno de Jura

Two Monday Adoptions

With twelve new arrivals in less than 24 hours over the weekend, the SPA was desperately in need of some good news. And today we had it. Two adoptions!

First to leave was Mambo. He arrived fairly recently,  and sadly like many dogs, required vet treatment. In this case this puppy appears to have been impaled in the neck. Sometimes it is best to not know too many details. In any case he is fully recovered and today this little lad left for his new home, and so things are looking up for him after a horrid start to life.

Next our three-legged lovely, Fudja left for her new home and after seven weeks at the refuge.

Despite missing a leg, there was no need for anyone to feel sorry for Fudja. There are far sadder dogs at the SPA! Many of you will have seen the videos of her racing around like any other dog.  Her history is still a mystery: How did Fudja lose her leg? And why, after taking such good care of her injuries, did her owner then either leave her in the external box a the SPA, or not bother to collect her? But ultimately who cares why she arrived, the most important thing is that she has found a new home.

And what is more, as with Idefix, she has been adopted by volunteers, so we will have news and pictures on a regular basis.

Let’s hope that this is a good omen for the week ahead.

Puppy Mambo – ADOPTED











And Fudja – ADOPTED

three-legged dog