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Latest News

Adoptions of Mojito and Sno

We have two adoptions to tell you about today. Both dogs are a bit timid, and it is lovely to think of both of them happily homed and able to gain confidence in their new homes.

First off Mojito. This one year old border collie arrived just before new year, and wherever he had been before coming to the SPA can’t have been much fun. He was terrified of people and spent several days inside as he hated all the noise of the refuge. Dogs like this can really tug at your heartstrings, and Mojito was no exception. As well as being sponsored by volunteer Marjorie and adored by staff and volunteers, Mojito became the favourite of volunteer Léa. She was determined to show him that he had nothing to fear, and set about walking him and helping him rediscover the world.

Of course this would be far easier if Mojito were not at the SPA. So guess what? Yes, Léa and her family adopted him! So we will have lots of new and photos of this lovely lad.

border collie

Mojito – ADOPTED

Next up we have Sno. This lovely lad (who looks like a small lurcher) was found as a stray by employee Marion, and she and her family spent some 2 months trying to coax him towards their house. During this time he proved himself to be good with cats, other dogs, chickens and goats.  It broke their hearts to bring him to the SPA, but it was the best thing that could have happened, as less than 2 weeks later Sno is off to his new home. Where there are also chickens, cats and goats!



So good news today, and hopefully more tomorrow.

Adoption of Brenda and Méli is back home.

Today Brenda left for her new home together with Peter and Hilary and their ex SPA griffon Benji. In fact this lovely girl was reserved in December, but for various reasons her new family was unable to take her until today. Many of you will have realised that she has not been at the SPA for several weeks and for that we (and she) have to thank foster family Debbie and Andrew who took Brenda home so she could recover from her sterilisation in the warmth of their home. And, (judging from the photos) the comfort of their sofa!

dog lying down on sofa

Brenda on sofa

We weren’t able to perfectly match up dates, which meant a weekend at the SPA for Brenda. However the lovely staff managed to find her a spot indoors, so clever Brenda probably knew something was up. Today she left for her new life, and we are sure she will be very happy. She is a lovely girl and Debbie and Andrew became very fond of her, despite her Houdini tendencies! Many thanks to them for looking after Brenda so well and to her new family for offering her a permanent home.

pale brown and white griffon

Brenda – ADOPTED

In other news beautiful Méli  was reclaimed. She had been with us for almost ten days, and there was a wonderful family waiting to adopt her, despite the fact that she had been diagnosed with a heart condition. On Saturday a woman phoned from the Var; her dogs (both identified) had been stolen in August, and Méli bears a strong resemblance to the younger of the two. Today she drove all the way to see if she recognised Méli close up, not just on photos. So the good news is that Méli is now re-chipped (perhaps this happens more frequently than we thought?) and has gone back home. This is of course what we wish for all our “found” dogs, although it is hard for the family who had offered her a new home.

very white golden retriver


Another dog, Saturday’s arrival Magnac, was reclaimed yesterday, thanks to Estelle who prefered to give up some of her Sunday  than leave a dog wait another day for the SPA to open.

little teckel


More good news like this please. Let’s make this week a better one than the last one!

Adoption of two border pups!

The day started of badly, with the overnight death of a puppy . This young lad had been brought to the refuge yesterday by people who obviously did not want a vets bill (well, neither do we) despite having a very sick dog on their hands. He did not survive the night despite being under transfusion. At least his suffering is over, but we are reminded yet again how some animals have the worst possible start in life. If there were not so many animals bred irresponsibly and given away for free on the internet etc, perhaps people would treat them with the love and respect they deserve.

Luckily not all pups suffer this fate. Two of them left the SPA today for new lives.  First N’joy. This little girl caused quite a stir when her photo appeared on Facebook, with literally dozens of people offering her a home. As volunteer Ingrid so poignently said, if only all our dogs could attract as much attention the SPA would be empty! The staff were torn between wanting N’joy to be reclaimed (knowing that she would probably spend her life having puppies) and having to disappoint so many people

Her new family were as interested in N’joy’s character as in her looks, and that is one reason why they were selected. Why? Because N’joy is a border collie and even pups this young have their characters. And they came a long way to collect her, too. N’joy will now be living near Avignon with a spaniel friend (also a rescue)  and of course we will keep in touch and show pictures of this beauty as she grows up.

border colie with one blue and one brown eye


Today’s other adoption was of border collie pup Tao. In fact his new family were initially interested in N’joy, but as they seemed perfectly suited to a border collie, we steered them towards Tao who arrived on the same day, but who received not even a tenth of the interest. This despite the fact we knew far more about Tao, as the family that brought him in had kept him for a short time whilst looking for his owners were able to tell us that he was good with cats, house trained and very well behaved. His new family seemed delighted with him, and the feeling appeared to be mutual!

border collie pup


In other news, long term category one dog Nina left for a long term foster with volunteer Jean-Luc, which is wonderful news, and we had a lovely reservation too. So our hebdomas horribilis didn’t end too badly after all.


Two adoptions and a mis-chipped Missie!

It was a slightly better day at the SPA today, with two adoptions and one dog being reclaimed.

The reclaimed dog was Missie, who arrived yesterday as an unidentified dog. However eagle-eyed Carole spotted her on Pet Alert, where it was clearly stated that she was identified. In actual fact the truth was somewhere in the middle. Rare though it is, microchips can become defective, and such was the case here. Luckily Missie’s owners were so relieved to find her that having a new chip inserted (a matter of seconds) was no issue. Next time you see your vet, why not have him or her check your dog’s chip, just to make sure it is still working. Beautiful Missie would no doubt have found a new home soon, but she has a home already!


The first of the day’s adoptions was that of Nikita. This little malinois puppy arrived some two weeks ago, and went straight into foster with volunteer Stephanie. She is the sponsor of malinois Isidor, and hopes to adopt him in the future, so she was determined not to fall for her new pup. True to her word, she set about finding a new home for her pup, and today Nikita left for her new home. Many thanks to Stephanie for her first successful foster! (A failed foster is when the family keeps the dog, as many of us know!)

Malinois pup

Nikita – ADOPTED (many thanks to foster mum Stephanie)

We then said goodbye to Loucky. He arrived last week, wearing a collar with his name on. Although this can be useful, it does not count as identification, especially when there is no phone number. At least with a number there is a chance that owners can be contacted. As it was, though, Loucky waited in the pound for 10 days before being put up for adoption. He is a fabulous looking boy, and we are delighted that his wait was not a long one.

white and beige chunky dog

Loucky – ADOPTED

Let’s hope the week carries on in a positive way.


Adoption of Nessie and Hachi is back home

So first up we have the adoption of little Nessie. This pinscher pup has been at the SPA for exactly ten days, and she has been lucky enough to spend it all inside the warmth of the infirmary. She is a real cutie, due to be medium sized when adult and at a great age. Old enough (at some three and a half months) to be playful and fun, although of course there is something so adorable about really tiny pups too. We are always happy when pups leave, but even happier if people sterilise their dogs so that there are no unwanted pups at the SPA!

pinscher pup

Nessie – ADOPTED

Then onto what is today’s strangest news. Hachi is back at home with his owners.

What to say about this? Well, the truth is that most people abandon their dogs and think no more of it. Others are plagued with sleepless nights.  Such was the case with Hachi’s owners. He was the first dog they adopted from the SPA and the hardest to leave behind as they leave the area. Like many of you I cannot imagine the circumstances that would lead me to abandon my dogs. However perhaps it is just that nothing has happened yet that has forced me to take a decison this drastic. Who knows

However putting myself in their shoes for a while; far from my native land, with hostile neighbours threatening to shoot my dogs, perhaps I would have acted rashly too. And who amongst us hasn’t taken a bad decison or two, especially in the heat of the moment. So I am trying to be not too judgemental (although it is not easy).

In any case the SPA ethos is to do what is best for the dog. Neither Hachi nor the other dogs  (Gino and Tex) have been mistreated at all, had this been the case of course we would not have let Hachi leave. And of course there is no doubt that he is better off out of the refuge than in. Of course the same is true for the other dogs. But do we make all three stay rather than letting one leave? Of course not! Hachi left today with his owners and we will keep in touch to make sure all is well.

chow chow cross

Hachi – home again

There was a reservation too, so let’s hope that things pick up after a terrible start to the week.

Adoption of Harry, but a sad farewell to boxer Harley.

It was another sad day at the SPA, brightened by the adoption of lovely Harry. This young shepherd cross arrived not long ago, and he was lucky to catch someone’s eye very quickly. Being well under a year old, Harry has lots of time to forget his very brief stay at the SPA; he is a fabulous well socialised dog and we hope he will be very happy.

shepherd cross


The bad news of the day involved Harley, a six year old boxer who was brought in for rehoming 12 days ago. His owner was ill, and her family did not want to keep the dog. When they brought Harley in, they mentioned  that he was drinking more than usual, but knew nothing more. He was clearly unwell from the beginning and further examinations carried out today revealed kidney failure due to advanced cancer of the prostate. Harley had perhaps a couple of months to live, but with increasing pain. He was already unable to eat.

A decision was taken to end his suffering. The first thing was to try and contact his former owners, so that Harley could end his life in the arms of someone he loved and who knew him well. However the phone numbers were no longer in service. It fell to employees Carole and Vincent to take Harley on his final journey. Many thanks to them; I am sure they agree that however many times you do this (rarely at the SPA, luckily), it does not get any easier. We were all aware that this dog would have been far better of spending his last days where he had always been, in front of a fire with his owner.

brown boxer

Oh, and to those of you who do not believe in castration; please take note. Had Harley been castrated, it is extremely unlikely that he would have contracted this illess and could have doubled his lifespan. Furthermore the SPA could have rehomed him, as was doubtless the owner’s expectation. Instead it was a sad end for this magnificent dog who should have been in the prime of life.

We hate to end on a negative note, so here is a picture of Cliona, who came to visit today. You see what the SPA can achieve? As long as a dog is not fatally ill, we can do miracles, and we should never forget that fact!

black lab

Cliona – morale booster


Adoption of Cally brightens a bad day.

One adoption today, that of Cally. This lovely girl was brought to the SPA earlier this month for rehoming and we are pleased that it hasn’t taken too long for her to find a new home. Looking at her picture it is not hard to see why. She is a stunning girl and is gentle and just adorable.

brindle dog


Once again we saw the value of identifying your dogs. Patcha was brought to the SPA on Saturday by a family who had found her and desperately wanted to keep her. They brought her to the SPA, but reserved her immediately in the hope that after the ten days had passed, Patcha would be theirs. However Patcha was identified, and was being looked after by a third party while her owners were away. Her owners did not even know that she was missing, so would not have come to look for her. It is safe to say that had Patcha not been identified, there is little doubt that she would have been rehomed, despite the fact that she is a much loved pet.

As it was, the microchip reunited this lovely young girl with her rightful owners. Sad for the people who found her, of course, and they would have been great owners too. Let’s hope another dog at the SPA is lucky enough to be adopted by them at some stage.

Malinois cross


Oh, and we have some news from last week to catch up on. On Friday Frimousse was adopted again. This is her third adoption, the first did not fail per se, sadly her owner passed away. Her last owners, although well meaning, were just not able to deal with Frimousse’s extreme nervousness. This time things are looking much better for her, though.  Sometimes it takes a bit longer to find the right home, but

Frimousse small female cross breed

Frimousse – ADOPTED (and third time lucky, we hope)

We had bad news in the form of the return of three dogs who we thought were happily homed. There has been no hint of trouble from their owners, who have kept in close touch. So it was a shock when they brought all three dogs back to the SPA today. This was due to problems with the neighbours and village cats, apparently. But whatever issues you are having, please try and give the SPA some warning if you cannot keep your dogs. Or better still, try and get outside help before things deteriorate to this extent. In any case, as of today Hatchi (aka Paddington), Tex and Gino are all looking for new homes.

Gino, Tex and Paddington are all back at the SPA

So despite the adoption of Cally, today was not the start to the week that we wanted. Let’s hope there is good news on the way.

Adoption of Baxter..

Today was Baxter’s lucky day. This very handsome boy arrived in October and I am really surprised that he spent so long with us.  Blond dogs generally go very quickly especially when they are as good looking as Baxter!

It’s true that had Baxter been a girl she would most likely have been adopted much quicker. It’s a sad fact that young adolescent males are much more likely to find themselves in a refuge than females and generally stay much longer too!

So why do lots of young males end up in rescue? One thing is sure it’s not their fault but usually that of the owner. Too little training, too few walks, too little socialisation and of course not neutering males will make them want to chase after the girls.

Lets not forget that when you take on a pup, male or female you take on the responsibility for that pup for life. You take on the responsibility of socialising, training, exercising and caring fir that pup right throughout their life. Its very naive to think that over 15 years your life circumstances wont change and if you take on a pup you need to be willing to adapt to accommodate that pup no matter what life throws at you.

So what reasons do we hear every day when people want to abandon their dog? Divorce, work schedule changing, don’t have time to exercise, moving house, expecting a baby, the dog hasn’t trained himself! And these are just a few!

Luckily for some of these poor dogs who have been let down by humans, there are fantastic families out their who are happy to welcome them and ensure a happy ever after but for some poor souls there is a long wait in kennels, years often.

We don’t know why Baxter arrived in rescue, he was found as a stray but please make sure that if you commit to a pup don’t let it end up in rescue because you don’t carry out your side of the bargain.  Be responsible….and make sure that you understand that a dog is for life, not until your circumstances change.





Adoption of Achille and Poly..

Today we had two adoptions, one pup and one oldie!

First to leave was Achille a very cute Jack Russel cross. Achille arrived in December and was lucky enough to go right into foster.  When in foster we learn lots about a pup and can begin the basics such as housetraining and socialising.  Small breed cute pups seldom have a long wait and today he left for his forever home.

It’s never easy fostering a pup. Pups need lots of attention, regular trips outside to toilet and like babies often keep you awake at night! So a big thank you to Achilles foster family whose house will be much quieter tonight!

Achille adopted!

Next to leave was Polly. Polly arrived as a stray on the 26th December and at nine years old could have had a long wait. Luckily for her, a super family contacted us to ask if we thought that she could live their elderly springer and Labrador cross.  We had already determined that she was a lovely sociable lady and so off she went to a loving family where she will be adored for the rest of her life.

We are always so very grateful when families will take on an older dog and give them a second chance at happiness. Without people like that dos like Poly would spend their last years in a concrete kennel and that really is far too grim to contemplate.

Poly adopted!

We were also very happy to hear that Teasel, an ex SPA dog who went missing after a very exciting fox chase is back home safe and sound. Any of you who have had a dog go missing will realise the panic and fear that owners go through. The best thing to do should your dog go missing is to get the word out there. The more people who are aware the greater chance you have of getting the dog back.


Popsye leaves and Shaun is adopted

It is inevitable that some dogs should find it easier to find a home than others. Yesterday’s arrival, N’joy has been a real hit, with dozens of people expressing interest in her immediately her picture was put on Facebook. Other dogs are not as lucky. Take Popsye, for instance.

This young griffon cross arrived in August of 2017, and had she been a normal dog, we could have rehomed her ten times over. But Popsye has a problem that makes finding her a home almost impossible. As a result of (presumably) being hit by a car, Popsye is incontinent. And in the worst way. So despite the fact that she is absolutely adorable, as well as being good with dogs and cats, the SPA was at a loss as to what to do with her.

Of course Popsye could spend her life at the SPA. She shares her box well, and everybody loves her. She gets regular walks and regular baths. But she is only two years old, and this is really no life for her, not in the long term. So what to do, what to do?

Answer: Try and find one of the many many incredible associations out there, one that is specifically set up to deal with dogs like Popsye. This afternoon Volunteer Petra and I took Popsye to meet her new foster mum. Popsye will spend a few weeks in Toulon with Dominique. There she will spend some time being assessed before moving onto the next step. Either she will move further to Italy, to live in a family environment in a specially adapted home with other dogs like her. Or if her condition improves, perhaps she will be adopted directly.

Dog with woman in pine forest

Popsye with Petra in a pine forest. 

This might be possible because in recent weeks Popsye has started copying her kennel mate when he (ah-hem) assumes the position, and tries to do the same as him. And sometimes she is successful, indicating that her muscles are perhaps getting stronger!

So we are all rooting for Popsye to make a full recovery. But at least we know that she is going to be loved and looked after for the rest of her life, even if she always has questionable hygeine! And we are sure to have news, so of course we will keep you informed of Popsye’s progress!

fluffy black dog

Popsye starts her new life!

In other refuge news, one of the year’s first arrivals, Shaun, a lovely young border collie was adopted. We wish him a wonderful life and hope the other ever growing number of border collies at the SPA find homes equally quickly.

black and white border collie