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Latest News

Adoption of Rose and Caillou

Yesterday saw the adoption of beautiful Rose. Well, some of us call her Rose, but her given name is Stinka. Not so sure about that one, in English, at least. This fabulous black shepherd arrived at the SPA last month, and as this was not her first visit to us, we had details of her owner (and her name). However this time he did not come to collect her, and many of us were pleased. Okay, it is not nice for any dog to spend time at the SPA, and Rose was not mistreated before arriving. However her owner’s lifestyle meant that she was probably destined to have lots of puppies, so her staying at the SPA long enough to sterilise (ie 10 days), was ideal.

It took a bit longer than that to find a home, but not too long in the overall scheme of things, and she has gone to live with a wonderful family whom we know thanks to their adoption of beauceron cross Silver several years ago.

And there was another adoption today. I (Darcey) finally cracked and adopted Caillou. He arrived in early July last year in a terrified state after being tied up and repeatedly beaten. When he finally emerged from his kennel he appeared to be very agressive with both people and other dogs, and so it was decided that taking him to dog school was the best solution.

We are lucky enough to have a partnership with the Club Canin Carcassonne, who permit us to take dogs for free training and socialisation, which is incredibly generous. Caillou is not the only dog to have benefited from this scheme, and we hope that other dogs will do so in future.

In any case, Caillou made quick and dramatic progress, and the bond between him and me became very strong. Jean-Pierre the trainer, kept telling me that I would end up adopting Caillou, but with three dogs at home, I insisted that this was not possible. However as the French say “C’etait plus fort que moi”. Tonight Caillou is in his forever home and I am over the moon!

Rose (aka Stinka) – ADOPTED

Black dog with white paws










Caillou – ADOPTED

black dog with pointy ears

Sunday Adoption of Levis

Yesterday we had a visit from a couple who live in Paris and who had come all the way to meet some of our dogs, and hopefully leave with one. Facebook is a wonderful tool for many things, and it was thanks to this medium that Kate and her husband found out about the SPA. They were attracted to a couple of dogs, and decided that coming to meet them was the best way to make a final choice.

We are delighted that they have chosen Levis, a young dog who arrived at the end of March, when he was no longer a pup, and who risked doing a lot of growing up at the SPA. Although we didn’t put two and two together at the time, he and Bruce were brothers. As you know, Bruce was adopted a couple of weeks ago and is now living happily in an apartment close to Carcassonne. Levis is also going to live in an appartment, but for him it will be in Paris.

You might ask if it is possible to have a dog of this size in an appartment. Of course you need to take them out regularly and make sure they get plenty of exercise, and that depends on your working routine and level of personal activity. In the case of Levis, he will have someone at home all the time, and we are promised lots of news and photos.

Long and happy life, Levis!

Levis (renamed Rumi) – ADOPTED
black dogw wiht young couple

Yesterday’s Adoption of Tex

Yesterday we spoke briefly about the adoption of Tex, and today as promised, we will tell you more.

In the usual course of events, Tex would have been adopted immediately, as he is one of the smallest dogs we have ever had at the SPA. However despite being relatively young, Tex is almost completely blind. Initially he had to live inside, as in the outside boxes he kept walking into the sides of his kennel and bashing his head against the bars when he came to see people. However he soon got used to the park, where many of you will have seen him playing with the other dogs and puppies, and this is where he would spend his days.

Finding him a home meant finding a special person; one who would be able to cope with his blindness. And much to our (and Tex’s) delight, this is what he now has. Brigitte contacted the SPA at the beginning of May to let us know that she and her family had recently lost both her beloved (ex SPA) dogs, and  had a hole in their lives. Then yesterday a message…Brigitte was on her way to adopt Tex! Just like that! And Brigitte knows well the problems that blind dogs can face, as her boy Voyou was blind due to diabetes, so nothing will phase her. She also has a SPA rabbbit, Jumpy, and they are getting along fine together. I am not sure, but I think Jumpy might even weigh more than Tex….

This is such good news and makes us aware again that there are some wonderful people in the world. It would be nice to think that for every person who discards a sick animal, there is someone like Brigitte there to open their heart. This is not quite the case, sadly, but at least for Tex things are looking very much up!

Sunday tomorrow, but an adoption is in the offing!

Lucky little Tex; cuddles every day from now on!

Small dog relaxing


Adoption of Kopo after 3 and a half years

Wonderful news to report today. At long last, Kopo has been adopted.

Some dogs stay at the SPA for a long time, and we are not quite sure why. Kopo arrived at the SPA in December 2013. That is three and a half years ago, and since he has been there I do not think a single person has shown any interest in him. Is it because he was already five years old when he arrived? Who knows. Before he arrived at the SPA he had spent his whole life guarding a wood yard, so family life will be something new to him.

But family life is what he will have from now on! Kopo is on his way to Germany, where a lovely couple have decided to offer him a new home. Kopo’s story (being effectively thrown away when he was no longer needed) touched their hearts. For them it was important that he was good with children, as they have grandchildren who visit from time to time. So we used the SPA guinea pigs to check. No, not real guinea pigs (although we do have some of those for adoption at the moment too). Rather the children of volunteer Fabien. The resulting photo was all the family needed and Kopo was told to pack his bags.

Like all our dogs who go abroad, Kopo has left under the European wide TRACES system, giving us the reassurance that he will be well looked after on his journey.

As ever, many thanks to everyone who has helped this lovely boy stay as happy as possible while he was at the SPA. Regular walkers Karen and Sebastien and of course Fabien and his family and others too numerous to mention. But thanks most of all to his new family.

We have news of another adoption, that of little TeX. But more news about that can wait till tomorrow, today is all about Kopo!

Kopo when he arrived in 2013 and now
white shepherd



















And the photo that helped clinch the deal

white shepherd with two kids

Adoptions of Cap and Camilla

More good news today with the adoption of two of our smaller dogs.

First up was Cap. This little lad arrived on Saturday, much to the regret of his owner, who is very unwell. Yes, there are legitimate reasons for bringing dogs to us, and when the process is respected, we know all about the animal’s likes and dislikes. This helps us to find the best home as quickly as possible; when we have a signed contract of abandon, there is no need for a dog to wait 10 days while we (and he) wait for his owner to reappear (or not).

Cap’s owner was extremely upset to leave him at the SPA, however we assured her that it would not be long till he found a new home. And sure enough the very next day he was reserved. The only reason he did not leave immediately was that he was not castrated, and due to the Bank Holiday, today was the first day when this was possible. So today, four days after arriving, little Cap is off to his new home. Now that is what I call a result!

Next to leave was Camilla. She arrived just over a month ago at the same time as the Cavalier King Charles spaniel, Charles, who has since been adopted. A lovely young spaniel cross, Camilla is friendly and affectionate and just about perfect. A move to a different kennel at the refuge gave her the visibility she needed to catch someone’s eye, and today off she went.

On a less positive note we have three new puppies and a couple of new adults, too, all of whom arrived today. News and photos of them anon.


small jack russell










Camilla – ADOPTED

spaniel cross

Papy Oural leaves for a Foster Home!

A quick blog tonight to say an enormous thank you to Debbie and Andrew who responded to the urgent appeal for a foster home for Oural. Tonight he is safe and is doubtless being cuddled as I write this.

It is easy to assume that a dog who has the run of the SPA during the day is happy, and maybe Oural was happier at the SPA than many other dogs. However being alone at night has been hard for him, as he adores company. Debbie and Andrew already knew Oural from their dog-walking trips to the SPA, and they knew already how gentle he is. As they are at home all the time, their lifestyle is perfect for him. On their occasional days out, Oural will be “dog-sat” by a neighbour, so no more lonliness for him!

Elderly spaniel Tis has taken Oural’s place as the SPA mascot, and if he finds a home, the next suitable oldie will get an upgrade in accommodation.

But for now we say a huge thanks to Debbie and Andrew and to the other people who offered a home to Oural. Yes, they were not the only ones to respond, and we are glad yet again for the power of social media and for all the wonderful dog lovers out there!

Oural leaves with his new family

couple with old dog










And here he is exploring his new garden!

dog in garden


Adoption of Kathi

The SPA was closed today, but as is often the case, a couple of vounteers popped in to check on the dogs and to get a couple of them out for a bit of a walk. There was also an adoption in the offing; what better reason to give up a bit of the afternoon?

Kathi was found at the SPA gates almost three weeks ago, complete with a bag of food. So we had to assume that she had been abandoned, despite the fact that her owner did not take the trouble to bring her in and talk to us. Yes, admittedly he (or she) did not tie her up in the middle of a forest to die, but that hardly makes him worthy of a medal. He could have brought Kathi to the office and told us all about her character. As it was, we did not even know her name! Also having officially been “found”, newly renamed Kathi was obliged to wait ten days in case her owner was looking for her.

However all’s well that ends well and today Kathi left for her new home. Victoria came from Pau to meet her and to make sure it was a good match with her dog Winnie. And what a match it was. Apart from the size, the two dogs could be twins! A lovely life is in store for Kathi and soon her time at the refuge will be forgotten.

We know there were quite a few people interested in Kathi, so apologies to those of you who were disappointed. As we often say, small well socialised females tend to go very quickly. But there will be another one, for sure…and another one….

Tomorrow the SPA is open as usual, and we are hoping for lots more good news.

Kathi (now renamed Dixie) with pal Winnie and her new mum.
Woman with two dogs on her lap

Adoption of Puppy Neyla

As today was the first Sunday of the month the SPA was open thanks to the wonderful volunteers. And as mentioned in yesterday’s blog, we already knew that we would have at least one dog leaving.

Except that Neyla has never actually been at the SPA. Instead, immediately after being brought in, she went home with Isa, who has been looking after her while waiting for the perfect home. Neyla was one of three puppies who was found by a woman who homed the other two, but little Neyla, with her missing toes, was left behind. Her new family don’t give a hoot about Neyla’s “handicap”…and Neyla certainly doesn’t! She runs around and plays like every other puppy! Many thanks to her new family and also to Isa for giving her such a great start in life.

We had more good news. One of our foster families came to meet our older dogs, and tonight Gandalf is in a loving home. Despite being very lively, this boy is coming up to his 13th birthday, and as the weather warms up, he will find things harder at the SPA. Many thanks to Evelyne. She did Sasha proud, and her new charge, Gandalf, is a very lucky boy. Incidentally, he won the jackpot thanks to being good with cats!

We had a reservation, too and about half the refuge dogs were walked or had playtime in the parks thanks to all the volunteers who came along!

Tomorrow the refuge really IS shut, but we might have a sneaky adoption all the same…..


puppy in man's arms









“Old man” Gandalf – Long term foster!

Big border collie with woman

Adoptions of Jazzy and Fadista

Tonight we have two adoptions to tell you about.

First to leave was Jazzy, one of the sister dalmatians who were abandoned four weeks ago today. As quite often is the case with our long-distance travellers, she left in the wee small hours. This is because Jazzy has gone to live in the UK and she has a long journey in front of her. However she is travelling in a TRACES licensed van, with appropriate paperwork, of course, so we know that she will be well looked after and will arrive safe and sound. Thanks to Moira for doing the honours by putting Jazzy on the transport and thanks also to Carole, who sorted out a last minute hiccup with the departure documents, without which Jazzy would have been unable to leave.

Jazzy’s sister, Joyce, is still waiting for a home, by the way. She too is a purebred dalmatian who was born in June 2014 and is fabulous on the lead and adores children, but unlike Jazzy, Joyce is a bit reactive around other dogs. This is the only reason she is still at the SPA, but we are hoping to find her a home soon. As we are for dalmatian Dart, of course.

Next to leave, and during standard SPA opening hours, was Fadista. He had been adopted once before, but it turned out not to be a good match. However his new family fell in love as soon as they saw him, and their lifestyle sounds far more suitable for him…a huge enclosed garden sounds just what this boy needs; along with lots of love and cuddles, of course. No dog is too big to cuddle! We are all delighted for Fadista and so is his sponsor mum, Esther. Especially as, by sheer coincidence, she knows Fadista’s new family and can go and visit him whenever she likes!

Don’t forget that tomorrow is the first Sunday of the month, so the volunteers will be opening the SPA from 14H00-18H00. And we already know that one little girl will be leaving!










Fadista – ADOPTED

big brown dog with new owners

Friday Adoption of Bruce

We had another adoption today, that of eight month old “not quite pup” Bruce. He arrived exactly three weeks ago, and we have since worked out that he is the brother of Levis, who arrived a couple of weeks earlier. For a start they are almost identical, plus they were found in the same village and thirdly they are the same age. It doesn’t take Sherlock Holmes to work out the connection, or that yet again these two young dogs must be the result of irresponsible breeding. Both are lovely dogs who are fine with other dogs, well socialised and extremely affectionate, and it was just the luck of the draw as to who was adopted first.

If you like the sound of Levis, he would love a new home too, of course. And don’t forget that this weekend you have twice the opportunity to come and meet him. This is because the SPA is open on both Saturday and Sunday, it being the first weekend of the month. And we know for sure that we will have a couple of adoptions to tell you about in tomorrow’s blog, too.

Black shepherd



Levis – Bruce’s brother is still waiting for a home.

black shepherd with whilte chest