Home / Latest News (page 3)

Latest News

Sunday ScPA Summary

Another relatively quiet week for adoptions, but not for arrivals, sadly. In the first 12 days of the year 27 dogs have already arrived. Several of them have been reclaimed, but it does appear that there is something of a post-Christmas phase going on. Out with the old and in with the new, perhaps.

In any case, we are here to tell you about the week’s adoptions, of which there were five. Plus one very lucky old girl has gone to long term foster with friends of DRC. Old lady Tinka, a 14 year old golden lab has been lucky enough to go to live with Sally and her husband where she will be loved and cared for. Not that the same wouldn’t have been the case at the refuge, but far better for this gentle old lady to be in a loving home than in a kennel.

Tinka – long term foster

The first of the adoptions was that of Alpha, a lovely husky who had been at the ScPA for a surprisingly long time. Sometimes it is better to wait for the right home rather than let a dog leave with a high expectation that he will come back. So we hope that Alpha does not regret the time he spent at the refuge.

Alpha – ADOPTED

Elderly poodle Molly was adopted almost as soon as she arrived. It is sad when a dog arrives due to their owner’s being hospitalised, so it is wonderful that Molly found love again so soon.

Molly – ADOPTED

Little Chihuahua Elsi was also rehomed. Yes, we do get tiny dogs, but you have to be either quick or lucky or both, and above all you have to be suitable. Always worth keeping your eye on the DRC Facebook page, which is being kept up to date with new arrivals, even if the website is not at present.

Elsi – ADOPTED

We also had the adoption of young female border collie Orphée. She was abandoned by a family who was not able to keep her. And sadly although Orphée had been well socialised with other dogs, cats and children, this was all the attention she had received in her former home. No training had been done, and we all know what bored border collies are like! Orphée is adorable but will need a bit of education before she can be described as a good canine citizen.

However her new family are up to the challenge, and less than a week after arriving, Orphée’s new life has begun.

Orphée – ADOPTED

Last of the week’s leavers was Flavio, a lovely long haired brindle coloured dog who took less than 2 months to find a home since being found as an unidentified stray in a nearby village.

brindle dog

Flavio – ADOPTED

So only five adoptions this week, but as long as they are good ones, that is just fine with us!

And there is news of the dogs who left for Belgium, too, as both Edge and Finou have been adopted. As ever, huge thanks to Eline and her team.

We have exciting news about everyone’s favourite “almost annual” event to come this week, by the way. Yes, it is the much anticipated return of the DRC Dog Show with a Difference!

A Hidden Gem – Banksie

I made no secret of my love for this dog when he was at the refuge last time, and I was delighted when he was adopted at the end of October. However he is now back, and so I thought I would feature him as a hidden gem, in the hope that he has more luck next time.

Banksie is a very handsome lad with a slightly whistful air about him

Banksie spent almost a year at the refuge before being adopted, which is a long time for a great little lad like this. He was found straying in a village where he had presumably been abandoned. So although we don’t know his real age or anything about his history, we got to know him quite well before his adoption. And although this adoption has failed, it does mean that we know far more about him now, and hopefully his next family will be better suited to him. And he to them, of course. A good adoption is a two-way street.

The family who brought him back are heartbroken. They adored him and bringing him back was not something they did lightly. They, like everyone at the ScPA, would love him to find a new home soon. They wrote copious notes on the rehoming form, and talk of the hours they spent cuddling him on the sofa and the joy he brought to their lives. However they have a toddler and another child on the way, and although Banksie is fine with older children, he is not a fan of little ones. He prefers to avoid their company, which was not possible with a toddler who wanted to play with him all the time.

Banksie loves his walks

Banksie is an extremely quick learner, and would like an active family who will take him out and keep him occupied.  The garden of his recent home was not adequately enclosed and Banksie had a habit of taking himself off on walks, much to the annoyance of the neighbours. So an enclosed garden is required, although this does not mean Banksie is a runner by nature; he was off the lead on walks and stuck close to his owners at all times.

Banksie can live happily with other dogs and his family describe him as being a very sociable dog. On his return to the refuge he went straight in to share with another male dog. He does not like cats. Obviously he is house-trained and his family inform us that in the house he was very calm and never destructive. He is quite small weighing about 18kg.

Banksie loves home comforts and adores the sofa, where he lay for hours being cuddled

Banksie loves to play and especially loves to chase tennis balls. He loves long walks and has good recall. According to the vet, Banskie was born in December 2012, making him just over 7. However he could be younger than this estimate, which was based on the state of his teeth and paws when he arrived. And as we know that he had been straying, this might not be the best indicator.

It is sad for a dog who is so close to being perfect to be back at the ScPA. And sadder still that his family really did love him. However he proved while he was with them that he is really is a wonderful dog and hopefully finding him a new home will not take as long as it did last time, now that so much more is known about him.

Please help Banksie find a new home either by sharing this post or by talking to friends and acquaintances about him. Or why not come to the refuge and meet him in person. He might just be the perfect companion for you!

Sunday ScPA Summary

Until this evening it looked as if it was going to be a bad week in terms of adoptions. This would have been understandable in many ways; tomorrow is back to school for kids, and for many others it is the first day of normal life after the long Christmas and New Year break.

We always say that better one good adoption than 100 bad ones, but as it turned out, today brought a flurry of activity, more than doubling the week’s total number of adoptions from three to seven!

The last two adoptees of the year left on the 31st, with both Vladimir and Mousqueton finding new homes. We have DRC volunteer Petra to thank for Vlad’s departure, as she brought her Dutch neighbours to the refuge to look for a new pal. And Mousqueton, the other day’s leaver has fallen on his three and a bit paws, too. He has an old hunt injury but his new Anglo-German family were not at all phased by his missing toes. So the refuge definitely ended the year on a high.

Vlad (now renamed Tibo) – ADOPTED

Mousqueton – ADOPTED

Things were quiet for a couple of days until the next adoption, which was that of long-eared lovely Abby. She had arrived very recently and proved to be very popular, with several people offering her a new home. The photo is quite deceptive, she is under knee height. An utterly charming young girl.

Abby – ADOPTED

Then today there were four more leavers. Bobby was extremely timid when he was brought in for rehoming at the end of November. But he soon perked up and showed his true personality; full of joy and smiles. Even more so now that he has a new home. Likewise Sky, still a puppy, who was brought in as her family did not have the time needed to turn this lively girl into a good canine citizen. She attracted a lot of interest, with a key requirement being her new family’s commitment to doing some formal training before Sky becomes too much of a handful.

Bobby – ADOPTED

Sky – ADOPTED

The adoption of the week is probably that of Hermés. His name has been mentioned recently as the last of the dogs who was left at the refuge gates early last year. The recently (and successfully) adopted DRC Hidden Gem, Kéops, was the second to last to leave. And finally it is Hermés turn.

This spaniel cross was the most timid of the “pack” and although he was adopted once before, he was brought back literally 24 hours later for (ah-hem) being too timid. Of all the problems dogs can have, this is one that his previous adopters could not have failed to notice. For some reason they seemed to think that one night in a home would cure him. Hermés’ new family have no such illusions. They have spent literally hours in the ScPA park with him, always sure they would take him home, but keen to wait until Hermés felt more relaxed around them in order to make his transition easier. Now that is what we like to see.

Spaniel cross smiling

Hermés – ADOPTED

The week’s last adoption was of Matt, and we at DRC are very happy about this because he is an old dog who arrived at the refuge following the death of his owner. Matt had known nothing but love all his life and seeing him in a cold kennel was really sad. However he is a wonderfully friendly lad and it didn’t take him long to find a new home, and we hope that the shock of losing his owner is soon put behind him as he starts his new life.

Matt – ADOPTED

So a good start to what we hope will be an excellent year. More adoptions, fewer abandons and far more happy dogs!

Happy New Year from DRC

As you will guess, this is the last blog of the year from us here at Dog Rescue Carcassonne. We have had another good year and would like to thank everyone for supporting us during 2019, be it by donating, attending (or hosting) fundraisers, sharing our posts or by dog walking or adopting.

The dogs at the ScPA Carcassonne remain the key focus of our rehoming efforts and the statistics from there are particularly shocking this year. As of the end of the year, a total of 698 dogs have come through their gates. That is almost 2 dogs every single day. This is more than has been the case for many years and it is hard to find anything positive to say about this figure.

However the fact that the number of dogs present at the refuge is still under one hundred is very positive. As of  course is the fact that this is achieved without a single dog being euthanised. This is a very different picture from when Moira and I started volunteering at the ScPA many years ago.  So things have improved in that respect at least.

As mentioned in a previous blog, DRC as an association plans to branch out a bit in 2020. We plan to help out more dogs via our home-to-home feature, and are open to helping dogs in need from other associations if requested.  It is planned to give the website a new look sometime in the new year, and other changes are afoot.

We remain very much present and active and are excited about the year to come.

We would like to wish you all and your families (including dogs) a wonderful 2020 and let’s hope that lots more dogs are happily homed in the coming year.

Sunday SCPA Summary

It has been a quieter week in terms of adoptions, which is understandable bearing in mind it is Christmas and there is lots going on in the majority of people’s homes. It is generally understood that this is a bad time to introduce a new dog into the family, but of course there are some people for whom Christmas is the ideal time to adopt; they have time off work and owning a dog is a long-held dream, not just a fickle caprice.

Such was not the case for Gnoky who it turns out had been adopted to be given away as a Christmas present. And an unwanted one at that. He was brought back straight away, much to the ScPA’s disappointment and disgust. However he was rehomed very soon afterwards, and his brother, Osso, found a new home too. So his return was a short one, and we hope that the people who adopted him as a Christmas gift have learned something from this experience…..Especially as when they adopted Gnoky they wanted to adopt his brother too. Talk about poor judgement as far as gift-giving is concerned!

We never stop saying it, but (all together now)….A dog is for life, not just for Christmas!

Gnoki was given as a Christmas present and brought back on Boxing day, but was ADOPTED again two days later

His brother Ossa was ADOPTED too

Other leavers this week were lovely young border collie Pooky (who had been brought in for rehoming),  and pretty little brindle girl Dolly. Neither of these two had been at the refuge for long and it was great that they found new homes so quickly.

Pooki – ADOPTED

Dolly – ADOPTED

Two long-ish termers were homed, as well. First up was Pegase, a handsome Breton spaniel who arrived way back in July with his sister Muse. As is usually the case, the female left quicker, but Pegase’s long wait is over at last. And just as wonderfully, Sand found a home. He was just a year old when he arrived in August and this can be a difficult age to find a new home. He was, to paraphrase Brittany Spears, “Not a puppy, not yet a dog”. Yes, that in-between age can be tricky. Besides which, in superficial terms Sand looks similar to many other dogs at the refuge, and people kept passing him by. In fact he was due to be the next DRC Hidden Gem, as there was no reason that he should not find a home. And QED, cos this week he left for a wonderful new home!

Breton spaniel

Pegase – ADOPTED

pale coloured shepherd cross

Sand – ADOPTED

And then today, the last day of the week, there was what was for many the adoption of the week. Noctis had been brought in for rehoming in early August by his family who did not have the time to look after  him. He was only 8 months old at the time, so it looks like getting a puppy was the wrong decision for them, but at least they admitted it relatively quickly and gave Noctis the chance of a new life.

When this young lad arrived at the refuge it was clear that he had seen nothing in his life thus far. He was scared of his own shadow. It has taken a lot of work by staff and volunteers to get him to the stage where he can walk on a lead and enjoy playing in the parks. Okay, Noctis is still afraid of lots of things, but his fears are now manageable and he will make far quicker progress away from the refuge.

shepherd cross

Noctis – ADOPTED

We wish him and the week’s other leavers lots of love and happiness in their new homes.

A Hidden Gem – Mirabelle

Mirabelle

We thought it was about time to present you with the next DRC Hidden Gem; the lovely Mirabelle.

I know for a fact that Mirabelle is a hidden gem, because even when people come to the refuge and specifically ask for a young, medium to large female, everyone always forgets about Mirabelle. And I include myself here, too. I have no idea why this is; yes, she is in one of the lower kennels which are less visible to visitors, but that is no excuse. Mirabelle is a fabulous dog and should really have been adopted before now, so let’s hope this “spotlight on” article gives her the boost she needs to find the home she so deserves.

Mirabelle is a very smiley dog

In fact Mirabelle did have a home until the middle of September when her owners moved house and decided not to take her with them. This is something that seems inconceivable to many of us, but as we are not in the family’s shoes, we are probably not best placed to judge. I like to think that it was a tough decision for them, because it has certainly not been easy for Mirabelle.

When your DRC friends first met her, this poor girl was cowering in the back of her kennel. She was sharing with another dog, but definitely did not feel like meeting new people, or even showing her face to the world. Moira and Jane persevered and finally coaxed Mirabelle out for a walk, and once she was out of the refuge, her behaviour changed completely. The shock of being in a noisy refuge with lots of other unhappy animals (as well as lots of happy ones, of course) had had a very bad effect on her.

Mirabelle on her first walk with volunteer Jane

Since this time, Mirabelle has settled in well and is now happy to go on walks without too much coaxing. In fact she is currently helping to “bring on” a very timid dog and is often seen in the park when there is group playtime. She really is a lovely girl.

Mirabelle was born in August 2016. According to her documents she is a malinois cross, but I am not sure about that; she just looks like a lovely mix of various shepherd-types to me. She is medium to large size and very gentle, not at all pully on the lead and already with good basic training.

She will be devoted to her family

We are sure that whoever adopts Mirabelle will be delighted with her. She would be fine as an only dog or would fit in well with a new pack.

Please help us find a wonderful home for Mirabelle. Please share if you see this post on Facebook, share it to pages for dog lovers, share it far and wide. All it takes is that one family to see the post and Mirabelle’s life could begin again.

Mirabelle is alert and active, is fine with other dog and already has good basic training, including being perfect on the lead

How to choose a good refuge….

So you have decided to adopt a rescue dog, that is great news but how do you choose a good refuge and what should you ask to make sure that you make the correct choice?

ASK, OBSERVE AND RESEARCH.

Conflicting answers or reluctance to answer questions are red flags.

  1. Ask about the dogs heath and request to see all medical records if there are any problems, not just vaccine records.  Look for any discrepancies between intake paperwork and what is being advertised. Glaring age, breed or weight differences should be a red flag.
  2. What is the dog’s known history – not just where did this organization get the dog but what do they know before then?  Was it stray?  Owner surrender?  History is important because dogs with poor early socialization or bad experiences may be may require more extensive training but be sure to confirm what they KNOW versus what they’re ASSUMING.
  3. What socialization has the rescue or shelter been doing with the dog, especially if it’s a puppy?  What do they know about the dog’s formative early months of life? Do they have the puppy’s mother?  Have they been using food during socialization or just exposing the dog to things without ensuring it was a positive association?
  4. Ask about behavioral issues.  Concerns should be discussed with their certified behaviorist (who should also be the one administering behavioral assessments).  Inquire about guarding behaviors, body handling and sociability observed while the dog has been in their care.
  5. Why was the dog abandoned, if the dog was an owner surrender? Was it for behavioral reasons?  Many rescues and shelters often try to downplay behavioral concerns or owner neglect.
  6. Where has the dog has been while it’s been in this organization’s care?  In a kennel?  In a foster home?  What interactions has the dog had with children, kids, cats or other dogs
  7. What training methods do they use?  If they don’t publicly say, ASK!   It should specify they do not condone the use of aversive methods including prong, choke or shock collars or electric fences.
  8. Research and read reviews about the organization you’re considering adopting from.  If they are a charitable group, ask around for recommendations.
  9. And lastly, OBSERVE:  Before you’re ready to adopt, visit a few times. Do the animals seem happy, well cared for and the volunteers/staff happy to be doing their job?  Are the dogs being happy talked and given treats?  How are the animals being handled?  Are they being dragged around by their leash at events?  Are they cowering in their crates?

Happy looking dogs!

So, it’s buyer beware, and it’s up to us to help keep refuges accountable.  Ask lots of questions, demand answers and yes, trust your gut. Making good matches – for both the people and the dog – should be their top priority, not just trying to move out as many animals as possible.

Doing your homework beforehand could cause a lot less heartache afterward!

 

 

 

Another SUPER Sunday ScPA Summary

Despite not having a litter of adorable pups to home this week (luckily), it was another bumper one for adoptions. As well as the four dogs who are now settling in happily to life at Animal Trust, the ScPA said goodbye to a further 12 dogs. And several of them are thanks directly to DRC and our ever-growing network.

Kéops’s story was shared on Wednesday as a hidden gem, and as was the case with the two previous hidden gems, he now has a new home. Unlike hidden gem Prune, who also found a home this week, Kéops has a number of behavioural issues, most specifically acute separation anxiety. So it was important that the person adopting him was well aware of the work that adopting him would entail. But on Friday Kéops found what looks to be the perfect home with a very experienced owner and three other dogs and who will give him the love and stability he needs.

DRC “Hidden Gem” Kéops – ADOPTED

Prune was just about as perfect as a dog can be, but that doesn’t mean she should be adopted with less caution than any other dog, and we were delighted when she left with a fabulous family who have been looking for a new dog via DRC for a while.

black dog

DRC ” Hidden Gem” Prune – ADOPTED

The third dog was actually thanks to the lovely ladies who set up LangueDog, where anglophones can discuss all things canine. A gentleman asked for advice on how to adopt in the area, and so many people wrote of their positive experiences with the ScPA and DRC, that he decided to bring his family to meet Lana, one of the many dogs who has just been unlucky up to now. Her luck has well and truly changed; she has an enclosed garden and will have plenty of walks; no time to get bored and head off into the wide blue yonder. Many thanks to Henny and Yvonne for setting up LangueDog, this one is down to you!

Lana – ADOPTED thanks to LangueDog

Other lucky leavers this week were gorgeous spaniels Nugget, and Gypsy, whose daughter Volga left last week. Wonderful that she didn’t have too long to wait before finding happiness. She just has to learn to leave the family hens alone and all will be well.

Nugget – ADOPTED

Gypsy – ADOPTED

Other adopters this week were little terrier, Ouille, bichon cross Vernon (who has gone to live with ex ScPA dog Zara), elderly lady Albertine plus two dogs who had been brought in for rehoming as opposed to having been found as strays; sharpei Tiger, and huge labrador cross Gnocky

Ouille – ADOPTED

Vernon – ADOPTED

Albertine – ADOPTED

Tiger – ADOPTED

Gnocky – ADOPTED

Another puppy (a lone one this time), Mamba, was adopted, as was Fido, who has waited for this moment for a long time; 16 months, in fact!

Puppy Mamba with her new much bigger pal – ADOPTED

Fido – ADOPTED

Lazare has gone to long term foster again, and has got a new lease of life thanks to the family’s other dog, with whom he is playing non-stop.

German shepherd cross

Lazare – Long term foster found

That is two super weeks in a row; it really does seem as if Christmas has brought a little bit of magic to the refuge!

Four set off for pastures new in Belgium.

On Sunday we will tell you about the adoptions that have taken place this week. This blog however concerns four dogs who have left the refuge not with new families, but to find homes via another association. This initiative is down to Dog Rescue Carcassonne and is one of which we are very proud, hence this rather long blog.

Some dogs, as we keep saying, are hidden gems, and just seem to be invisible in a refuge situation. Others just do not seem to appeal to people in our region, for whatever reason. Some have behavioural difficulties, which, despite its enormous expertise, the ScPA is unable to resolve sufficiently for an animal to be adoptable. This is where other associations can be so useful.

For some eight years DRC has had a wonderful relationship with Animal Trust, a small, private refuge in Belgium. This link is thanks to Sarah, who has become a very good friend of mine. She came on holiday to Carcassonne many years ago and got in touch with DRC about volunteering while she was here. At the time she also volunteered at Animal Trust, and when she returned to Belgium, and spoke to Eline, who runs Animal Trust to see if she could help.

Dogs having fun at Animal Trust

At the time things at the ScPA were very different. Although euthanasia was no longer commonplace, the refuge was in pretty poor condition and was very overcrowded. Animal Trust gave a lifeline to a group of “no hope” dogs and the relationship got started in a very positive fashion.

While visiting Belgium the following year I went to visit Animal Trust and have been back several times since, as well as becoming friends with several of their volunteers and adopters. It is truly a wonderful organisation with facilities that are second to none.

DRC has overseen the transfer of dogs to Animal Trust on many occasions, and each time we are amazed at the speed at which dogs whom we are unable to home in Carcassonne find new families. Sometimes we send breeds that are seen as being “exotic” in Belgium (the hunt type dogs) and other times the care they get at Animal Trust, which has far fewer dogs than are at the ScPA, means that their behaviour improves quickly and dramatically.

Eline with one of the refuge dog

I should add that it is far calmer at Animal Trust than it is at the ScPA; the kennels are fewer, they are indoors and heated, and they have a large park in which the dogs play in groups during the day, complete with a lake for swimming. Plus Animal Trust, unlike the ScPA, does not act as a pound, meaning they have no obligation to take stray dogs. This is why they can control their numbers in a way the ScPA just cannot.

This latest tranche of departures is thanks to one dog, Finou. He arrived in a terrible state in mid July, and as thanks to a bit of detective work, the ScPA found out who his owners were. Without going into many details, getting away from them was the best thing that could have happened to Finou. The ScPA did not hide him, but neither did they actively search for his owners. This meant no album on Facebook and that of course meant it was hard to find a new family for Finou. Plus he is a hunt type dog who was already nearly nine years old when he arrived. Not a good adoption prospect for this area.

Finou

So I decided to ask Eline if she might be able to find a home for him. Her answer was typical; “Of course, but there is no point just sending me one dog. Who else have you got who needs help?” That is the kind of answer we LOVE at DRC.

So together with Eline and the ScPA we looked at dogs who needed a bit of a boost and a change of scene. One thing that Animal Trust are really expert at is helping terrified dogs (in fact they are often called upon by the Belgian authorities to take dogs from dog-hoarding situations). So after Finou, terrified Kaline was top of the list. As it turned out she was offered a home by the friend of a volunteer who could not bear to think of Kaline leaving the area, but had Eline not offered her a place, Kaline would no doubt still be waiting at the ScPA.

Next up was Edge, who has been rehomed several times but who needs more work before he can settle. I have to point out that this is no reflection on the ScPA or its staff at all. Edge has made huge progress in Carcassonne, but a busy refuge is not the best place for Edge, and the calm atmosphere at Animal Trust will make it far easier to work with him.

pale fluffy dog with amber eyes

Edge

Next were the two brothers, Mickey and Levy. They were the remaining dogs of 7 who were all left alone in a garden when their owner moved house. That was in August 2018 when they were a year old, but already very large. 18 months is a long time to be in a kennel, especially for young dogs, and despite the huge progress they have made at the refuge (thanks to staff and volunteers, particularly “sponsors” Corinne and Eva), no one was interested in either of these lads.

In fact of the seven dogs, not a single one has been homed to a French family. Mattie, the mum, went to a Brit, as did Sally and Sammy. Billy and Trudy went to Animal Trust in February this year (and both were homed in super quick time), and now the last two have left the refuge and will most likely be adopted by Belgians or maybe Dutch families. In any case, Eline finds amazing homes, and keeps in touch with her adopters for ever.

Levy

I did propose a number of other long termers to Eline, and without wishing to spoil the surprise, she has told us that any of them who has not found a home beforehand can come to Animal Trust in January. So you will just have to wait and see who the next lucky dogs are.

Choosing the dogs is phase one of the task. As the dogs are leaving from a refuge, they have to travel with a TRACES licensed transporter, and with special permits that are obtained from the French Government. Moira is the DRC expert on TRACES and has all the answers relating to these complex laws at her fingertips. I am nowhere near as knowledgable, but am able to fill in the forms, which have become easier with practice, inevitably.

We are lucky to know many wonderful transport companies; several of them do runs from Spain and Portugal to the UK and this is more Moira’s part of ship. I do the European side of things and in fact I have accompanied Christian from STIAC on a couple of his dog-delivery jaunts in the past. This means I know how well he looks after the dogs while they are travelling, but this level of care is universal in the animal transport world.

Christian confirmed that he had space for the lucky four dogs on his next transport, so next it was rabies vaccinations and paperwork all the way. Yesterday, once the dogs had been for a final visit to the vet for a health check, the “export permits” for the dogs were issued and it was all go go go. Carole at the refuge has become something of an expert in the paperwork too, and we always exchange a little cheer of joy when we see the final documents; it is not always easy to bring everything together seamlessly, but we have not missed a transport so far!

Of course the transport is not free. And this is where you guys come in. The fee paid to the drivers is thanks to YOUR donations. Not that it is a fortune, the drivers work extremely hard for relatively little remuneration, working in teams of two and not stopping other than for fuel and comfort breaks until the delivery is complete. And they take many more dogs than just ours, doing huge distances with multiple dogs on board. They do it for love as much as anything, but I have to say that it is quite addictive. It is really the final link in the chain for the dogs, many of whom have literally been saved from death in some of the overcrowded refuges in Spain and Portugal and beyond.

So it was a partly tearful and partly cheerful goodbye to the four lucky dogs who are starting their new lives in Belgium; of course they were much loved at the ScPA but dog hoarding is not the business of a refuge.

Dogs enjoying life at Animal Trust

So this is the end of what might just be the longest blog ever. I could write far more about Animal Trust and how lucky we are to have this link with them. Also how it is only thanks to your donations that we are able to send dogs to new lives. Moira and I believe passionately in cooperating with other associations; sometimes everyone needs a helping hand and when that is offered with such grace and generosity, it would be foolish to turn our backs.

We will keep you posted regarding the dogs’ progress, but I have to say that regardless of how long it takes them to find their forever homes, knowing that they are in 5 star care in the meantime makes me very happy indeed.

Hidden Gem Kéops has been adopted!

I bet you were starting to think that the only dogs we feature in our “Hidden Gems” section are young black dogs. Well not so. Today we have a beautiful tricoloured beagle to show you, and we hope that this post will bring him luck in the form of a new home.

In fact Kéops has been homed twice already, but both times he was brought back to the refuge. When you hear about his background, this perhaps makes sense. Kéops was one of six dogs dumped at the refuge gates one morning, all unidentified. It seems likely that they came from a hunter, as all were beagle or other small hunt-types. And all of them have been adopted, but two of them, Kéops and Hermés have not found forever homes …..yet.

Kéops was born in March 2014, meaning he will be shortly reaching his 6th birthday. Despite this, in many ways he is still very puppy-like. No, don’t worry, he is house trained, and in fact is very calm and well-behaved in the house, providing he has company. It is when left alone that his puppy-like behaviour comes to the fore. Kéops suffers from severe separation anxiety, and becomes very destructive. If left alone too long he will probably devour your entire house.

In fact his first family preferred to leave him in the garden, but of course all he did was dig under the fence and go looking for company. He is really not a dog who copes with solitude at all. This of course is understandable, he has probably never spent any time alone. And it is something that can be worked on, but sadly neither of his families up till now had the time or patience to do this.

Kéops has loads of things in his favour. He is fine with other dogs, fine with children, fine with cats. He is gentle on the lead and is extremely affectionate. He really is a great dog.

He is lucky in one very important aspect; he is one of two ScPA dogs who is attending dog school on a regular basis. This is because one of the volunteers takes her favourite dog to training, and the membership fee entitles you to take a second dog along. Kéops is the one she chose. So he gets plenty of interaction with other dogs, and better still, he often changes his “handler”, so is used to being manipulated by different people, which helps with confidence building.

Kéops is terrified of being abandoned again. Although his first two families meant well when they adopted him, being returned twice on top of his initial abandonment would not have helped. So this time we are looking for a real forever home. Ideally a family who are at home all of the time, or who can work up gradually to leaving Kéops alone from time to time. A couple of retirees would be ideal, or maybe a stay at home parent situation or someone who works from home. Of course an enclosed garden is essential, but if he has company, Kéops’s desire to escape will be less. He would far rather lie around at his owner’s feet than search for human company elsewhere. A second dog in the family is a must, preferably one who is happy and confident.

A person who has already overcome this kind of issue would be ideal, and of course a dog behaviourist would be able to give tips and strategies for overcoming Kéops’s anxiety.

If you are a lover of beagles, surely your heart will go out to this young lad who has had such a troubled past. Kéops is not a difficult dog, he just needs lots of love and patience to help him settle down in the home he so desperately deserves.

Please share far and wide with beagle lovers and with dog lovers in general, with people who have cats and with people who have children. He will love them all.

Let’s find a home for Kéops!