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Woof Woof..

Your love for your own best canine pal, may lead you to look past her constant barking, but your neighbour may not feel the same. Certain dog breeds tend to bark incessantly – sometimes for no reason at all – while other breeds have reputations for being more quiet.

Some living conditions do not lend themselves to a yapping dog, such as living in an apartment where the walls are thin or a house where you are surrounded by neighbours on all sides and incessant barking is enough to drive anyone mad. If however you live in the country without neighbours and you don’t mind your dog barking then that’s fine,no harm done.

So, most dogs bark for a reason and you need to determine what this is. It could be reaction to something they can see or hear, excitement, frustration, boredom or attention seeking.

Once you understand why your dogs bark you  try and remove the stimuli. When I am at home in Scotland my dogs can see people and dogs passing the end of the drive from our lounge window. Phoebe loves a good bark so as soon as she starts I move her away from the window and she stops. But I wouldn’t leave them in that room where I know that she is prone to bark whilst I go out.

If your beloved pooch is already a nuisance barker and your neighbours are not the type to grin and bear it, talk to a dog training expert to determine the reason why it is barking and how you can help her.

Bulldog, greyhounds, bull mastiffs and Salukis are breeds who are not big barkers but it is important to remember that although these dog breeds are not renowned for barking, any dog may become a bothersome barker if it does not get enough attention or is not well trained.


Two lucky girls, but Misery is back!

Today we have had two adoptions..

When one year old Kenzo arrived she was very thin and definitely in need of lots of tlc. Luckily for her Carole and Aude are great retriever lovers so it was no surprise when they offered to foster her. Putting a dog into foster allows us to assess the dog in lots of ways. We can soon tell if they are house-trained, have lived in a house before, are good with other animals and children. If they are underweight we can ensure that they get extra rations and can monitor their weight.  It also means that the foster family can vet any prospective adopters and make sure that the dog goes to a suitable family!

Today after spending a month in foster Kenzo left with her forever family, many thanks to Carole, Aude and Isa too who looked after Kenzo when Carole went on holiday.

Pistache arrived at the refuge at the end of June. We knew that this tiny weeny female terrier cross would not have a long wait and we were right. Today she left with her forever family!

Small, cute, young females are very popular…how I wish that all our dogs were so popular.

Today’s sad news is that Misery is back.  The other dogs just wouldn’t accept her but the adopters assure us that she is fine in the house and well behaved so if nothing else we now know a bit more about her.

We did have three arrivals, two of whom have left with their owners and we have been made aware of an old 12 year old spaniel whose owner has died will be arriving on Monday.

So a lucky day for Pistache and Kenzo but poor Misery’s luck has not yet changed!

Kenzo adopted


Pistache adopted


Misery is back..



How to catch your dog……

Today there was little news from the refuge. Two dogs who arrived yesterday were reclaimed and we had one arrival so I thought we would have a look at how we get our dogs back when all our recall training goes out of the window and the dog is just not behaving!

When you let your dog off its lead, there’s always a chance that your four-legged friend is going to bolt in a flurry of excitement. Smells, other animals and people can all prove too much for a young dog to resist!

With this in mind, it’s always good to have a few tricks up your sleeve for catching the dog when it forgets all its training..even a good dog can have a bad day!

1.Lie down…ok you might look stupid but who cares! Sometimes lying down stimulates prey drive in some dogs and they will come          rushing back to you!

  1. Run in the opposite direction…again, sometimes this is such a shock to your dogs that it races back to catch you. You need to really know your dog though. You could end up even further away from it.
  2. Use a squeaky toy or ball….whatever gets your dogs attention.
  3. Hold up the lead…for some dogs seeing the lead means walkies and sometimes you can trick them into rushing back to get their lead on, forgetting that they are already on a walk.
  4. If you are near the car and he wont come back…try opening the door and stand back. Hopefully he’ll jump in and you can simply close the door.
  5. Treats…for those food oriented dogs..rustle the treat bag and back they come! That works well with my Labs!
  6. Forgotten treats….pretend you have them…rustle anything you have in your pocket. If this catches him reward him with a cuddle instead.

Now they say that you should never chase after your dog as the dog will think it’s a game and the bad behaviour will be reinforced. But, I don’t know anyone who is going to watch their dog disappear over the horizon and not try and catch it. My advice would be to run, run fast and get your dog!

Of course we need to all need to do recall training with our dogs and keep them safe whilst they are learning. If you have any tricks, then please leave a comment…anyone can lose a dog for all sorts of reasons and it would be interesting to know what you do!




Two adoptions and a sad goodbye…

Today the refuge was closed so we will catch up with yesterday’s news.

Yesterday, 14 year old Sasha crossed to rainbow bridge, after spending 7 months with foster mum Evelyne. He arrived at the refuge in December and at 14 years old we just couldn’t put him in a concrete kennel. Luckily for us Evelyne offered him a home under our FALD ( long tern foster) scheme. Sasha has without doubt spent the best months of his life at Evelyne’s, surrounded by love and creature comforts.

Thank you so much to Evelyne, it really takes a special person to foster an oldie knowing that they won’t have them in their lives for too long but wanting to make sure that their last months are spent in comfort and that they feel loved.  Evelyne stayed with Sasha during his last hours at the vets and was with him right until the end. We all know how sad she will be feeling but I hope that as the hurt passes she will feel proud of what she has done for Sasha.

On a happier note we had two adoptions..

Lots of you will remember Misery the 5 year old griffon x who arrived in April in a terrible state, with several large tumours and as thin as a rake. Well after several operations and lots and lots of tlc she was adopted yesterday. This poor girl really has had a life of misery but that is now behind her and she now has the family that she truly deserves. Just goes to show that coming to the SPA really is a life saver for many dogs.

Next to leave was Hermine. This lovely shepherd cross was only with us a couple of weeks. Lucky girls as we have several shepherd crosses who have spent a long time with us!

We also saw the sad return of Klitchko, returned after a month as the family is moving and three more dogs arrived too.!

So a day of both good and sad news…such is the life of dog rescue!

RIP Sasha


Misery adopted


Hermine adopted


 Klitchko is back..


Keep your pets safe on 14th July!

Warning..tomorrow night will be very scary for animals in France!

France commemorates the start of the French Revolution with a national holiday on 14 July. So there will be mass celebrations up and down the country which inevitably involve fireworks!

At the SPA we prepare ourselves as we know that we’ll get a large number of stray animals and lost dog reports on Thursday for animals that got spooked with the fireworks and happened to be outside at the time. Last year on the 15th we had 11 reports of lost dogs and then more during the week as people realised their dogs weren’t going to come home on their own!

As a responsible dog owner, please do everything in your power to protect your dog tomorrow night which will be filled with loud bangs, pops and sizzles!  Remember, your dogs hearing is 10 times more sensitive than yours!

Your best bet is to keep your dog indoors somewhere where he is likely to do the least amount of harm to himself, and your house! You should also turn on the TV or a radio, with the volume turned up loud to make it less likely that he will be able to hear the fireworks outside. Since the flashing lights can scare your dog just as much s the loud noises, be sure to close all the curtains and blinds inside your home and turn ON all the lights in the room. This will make the bright lights from fireworks less noticeable to your dog. Plus, closed curtains and blinds offer a small degree of sound-proofing in your home, lowering the high pitched sounds a tiny bit.

Here are a few precautions you can take way ahead of time to prepare your dog for this stressful night:

Make sure your dog has his collar and ID tags on. In the worst case scenarios, dogs have been known to chew through crates, doors, and even jump out of windows due to their anxiety.

Let your dog outside to toilet before people start setting off their own fireworks. Have him on a leash, even in the garden.

Exercise your dog earlier in the day by taking him on a longer-than-usual walk. This will tire him out and make him less likely to over-exert himself later if/when he becomes stressed from the sound of fireworks and play some music to drown out the fireworks noise!

So please don’t take any risks, no matter how steady you think your dog is. It’s only one night a year and simply not worth the risk…keep all pets inside and safe!

Tonights good news if that recently adopted Asame, who escaped from his new home has been found as is safe and well!

Carcassonne will be a scary place for dogs tomorrow night!



Not any news from the refuge today so I thought that we would have a look at some FAQ’s..

  1. Why does it cost 170 euros to adopt a dog? Well the short answer is that although we are a charity, like any other business we need to viable. For 170 euros your dog will be identified, vaccinated, had kennel cough, wormed, flea treated and of course sterilised. We also have overhead costs which seem to escalate every year. So the 170 euros is a contribution towards these costs.


  1. Can we take a dog on a trial basis? In theory this seems sensible but we no longer offer this. Mainly because adoption should be a lifelong commitment and we like to make sure that we discuss any foreseeable problems before you adopt. We also offer support after adoption and can talk you through most problems.


  1. Can you transport the dog to me? Yes. Logistics have never been a problem!



  1. Does the dog get on with cats? Well that would need a blog to itself but we can ‘cat test’ the dog to rule out that they are out and out cat haters but most dogs are very intimidated going into the cat house and can seem to be scared or ok. We always advise safe and careful introductions to your cat.


  1. Can I bring my dog to see if he gets on with X? Yes…we encourage adopters to do this and will help you do careful introduction and then advise whether we think the dogs are a good match.


By far the most common request is ‘ I want a female dog, not too big and not one that barks or digs or chews. And not one that sheds, or that isn’t house trained. I have grandchildren so must be ok with children and I also have a cat so not a cat chaser’.


We do get dogs that fall into that category but it may take a little while to find the perfect dog so please bear with us and we will find your perfect pooch!




A Monday Adoption

It would be a miracle if we had as many adoptions this week as last but who knows as its only Monday and we already have the adoption of Tyson.

Tyson was found straying in Limoux but guess what…he was chipped but the owner had moved without leaving a forwarding address!

What a shame as he is a large, friendly, gentle giant who loves everyone and I bet was a very loyal pet!  Never mind, his 5 month stay with us is not as long as some large breed dogs have and he has left with a super forever family.

There are lots of reasons why people cannot keep their dogs. Some are feeble and pathetic but some are genuine and it really is in the best interest of dog that its rehomed.

If you find yourself in this situation please don’t just abandon your dog in the streets or at the gate, please come in and speak to us, we will arrange an admission date and we will ask you all about the dog.

This means that we know what and who your dog likes, if he has lived with children or other pets, if he can be trusted not to roam etc. etc. and we can find him the perfect forever family much quicker.

We have so many families come to us and ask for a dog who is good with children it really increases their chances of spending as little time with us before being adopted.

Adoption is a lifetime commitment, not a decision to be taken lightly so please think how you would cope with your dog should your circumstances change, A little forethought can save many abandonment’s!

On the arrivals front a Jack Russel arrived who is identified so we hope that he will be leaving very soon.

Tyson adopted..



Is your dog’s microchip up to date?

It’s a fact! Lots and lots of contact details on the ICAD and other pet databases are incorrect as owners have forgotten to change them when they move house or the dog changes ownership.

Implanted under the skin, each microchip, the size of a grain of rice, has a unique barcode and 15 digit number. When your pet arrives at the SPA we then use handheld scanners to read the code and trace the contact details held on one of the national pet identification databases.

However we often we find that the details are not up to date and this delay in reuniting pets with their owners can cause additional stress to a lost dog as many find the wait in kennels distressing. Sometimes we simply cannot trace the owners! Whether it’s due to moving house, a change of phone number or owner, it’s important to update this information straight away.

If your dog is already microchipped, you can easily update the stored details by contacting your dog’s registered database directly. Its easy and quick to do and you can often even do it online.

Please remember that all dogs in public places must also wear a collar and tag marked with their owner’s name and address, which can also help lead to a quick reunion. If someone finds your dog wandering, they just need to read the disk, call you ..et voila..your dog is back home!

In the future I am sure that we will have microchips with GPS and we will be able to track our pets from our phones. Lots of people already use GPS trackers for their dogs which are small devices attacked to the dogs collar. If the dog then runs off the owner can track the dog using a computer or smart phone.

Its so very worrying if your dog runs off and gets itself lost so make life easier for yourself, your dog and us by updating your database details.

reading chip


Two more adoptions to end the week.

There is good news and bad today.

Firstly we had two lovely adoptions to end what has been a pretty wonderful week in terms of adoptions. It is rare that we have so many dogs leave, especially when you look at the mixture of sizes and time spent at the refuge.

Today was the turn of two littlies, but this week we have seen the adoption of several big dogs, too.

First to leave was little Posca. She is yet another of the dogs from Ste Eulalie, and although not all of them are as sociable as her, several of them are doing well enough to be fine in loving, patient homes. Posca’s new mum has a small courtyard and plenty of love, and we are sure this little girl will be very happy.

The second adoption was that of Lion. He, as you may recall, arrived in mid- June in a terrible state and only started looking like the fabulous dog he is now thanks to Angélique. So what a change it has been for this little dog; losing all that matted fur and then finding a great home.

The not so good news is that Asame, who was adopted on Thursday, has run away from his new home in Department 31 and is still missing. It is too far for most of us here to be any use, but if you are in the Revel area or know anyone who is, please keep and eye out for him.He is of medium size and is very timid but gentle.Naturally he is castrated and microchipped and we would very much like to know that he is safe.

So a bit of a worrying note to the blog, but that aside, WHAT A WEEK!!!

Posca – ADOPTED ( and feeling better already!)
small white and beige dog on lap










white dog looking happy










And Asame has gone missing from his new owner’s home.

fluffy mid brown dog


Three more dogs leave, including a long-termer!

On July 1st we wrote about some of the poor dogs who have been at the SPA for over two years, which is the length of time that DRC has existed on a formal basis. One of those dogs, Falco, left for his new home today.

He was brought to the SPA in March 2014 as his young owner, who lived with her parents, was unable to spend as much time with the dog as he needed. At the time he was just 15 months old. He had seen very little of the world, having spent most of his time in a garage. Since arriving at the SPA he has been to dog training school and learnt to walk on a lead; and although life has been far from perfect for him (in fact some people wondered if it wasn’t better beforehand), at least at the SPA there is always the chance of a better life, even if it is sometimes a long time coming.

As an incredible coincidence, Falco was sharing his kennel with yesterday’s lucky adoptee, Asame. It is almost as if Falco’s job (of socialising Asame) is done, and now his new life can begin.

Today’s other adoptee was Jedai, a tiny, very lively little lad who has been waiting for a surprisingly long time. During his stay with us, he, too, has done his bit to help, as he has been sharing with two of the dogs from Ste Eulalie, both of whom have gained a  lot of confidence thanks to Jedai’s bubbly personality.

A third dog, Oreo, left us too. He arrived just over a month ago and was recognised by a woman from Beziers who came to make sure he really was her dog. Tears were shed and Oreo became Flash again. And his new/old owner did not even mind that we had castrated him!

So a good day for three dogs and we had a reservation too!

Falco – ADOPTED after 27 months!
Back labrador









small fluffy white dog with tennis ball













stocky dog with strange ears