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Adoption of Socks

Today was a very busy one at the SPA, with lots of walking, some arrivals (LOTS of arrivals), but also an adoption, which has helped to raise morale. Especially as it is of one of our not-quite pups, by which we mean dogs who arrive when they are no longer cute puppies, but have none of the calmness of an older dog. Those adolescent years can be the worst, can’t they?

Socks arrived at the SPA at the end of September, and it was no real surprise that he was unidentified. Despite the legal obligation, the number of dogs arriving at the refuge without either a tattoo or microchip is considerable. With no way to trace Socks’s owners, it was up to them to look for him. They never came, and so as with all dogs entering the SPA without being officially abandoned, after ten days in the “Pound” Socks was put up for adoption.

At only a year old, Socks’s prospects were good. And add to this the fact that he is very sociable with other dogs and fine with cats, we were hopeful that his wait wouldn’t be a long one. Many people have walked him and so his life at the refuge has been brightened up somewhat, but what he wanted was a proper home. Today a couple came to walk him, and once they had bonded, they introduced him to their jack russell, first on a walk and then loose in the park. The two dogs were instantly best friends and so Socks was off to his new home.

We are very pleased for him. We often worry that our not quite pups risk being pushed back by the arrival of younger pups at the SPA, but Socks did not have a long wait before finding happiness! Many thanks to his new family, and we look forward to news and photos.

black and white dog


In not so good news, Facebookers may have seen that yesterday’s adopted dog, Clifford, has run away from his new home. As usual a search is underway, and we hope to bring you good news tomorrow.

Adoptions of Clifford and Len

Today brought joy to Clifford, a young Brittany Spaniel who arrived at the refuge towards the end of September. Although they didn’t arrive at the same time, both he and his pal Boston were left behind in a nearby village when their owners moved house. Boston was happily rehomed  last month and today was the turn of his pal Clifford.

It might seem incredible that someone could leave their dogs behind when they move house, but it happens more frequently than you might think. To be fair, usually the owners plan ahead a bit and make arrangements to bring their dogs to the SPA, assuming this is the only option. Leaving them behind is cruel and irresponsible. Lucily it has ended well for both the dogs in this case.

Clifford now has a loving home with a garden and we wish him lots of happiness.

brittany spaniel cross

Clifford – ADOPTED

We didn’t blog yesterday, but in fact an adoption did take place. Not even three weeks after arriving, shepherd cross Len left the SPA today. He and his sister June were found lost in some vinyards by a dog walker who brought them to the SPA. These beautiful dogs, only a year old and unidentified, were not in bad condition and were very well socialised, but no one came to reclaim them. Luckily despite their size both dogs were reserved quickly and Len was the first to leave with his new family. June’s adoption will follow very shortly.

German shepherd cross



Adoption of Nikki.

Today it was the turn of a pale dog to leave the SPA. After a mere 2 days we said goodbye to Nikki. She was abandoned on Saturday having been adopted as a puppy in May. Since this time, according to her owners,  she has become “uncontrollable”, although this cannot possibly be the family’s fault, as they have “had dogs before”. Please remember that dogs are not all alike; like people, they each have their own personality, and what is right for one dog may not be right for another. And never be too proud to ask for help; no one person has all the answers.

In any case, Nikki did not have long to wait for her new home. Today some supporters of the SPA came along with members of their exptended family to look for a new dog, and they fell for Nikki. At less than a year old this girl is perfectly receptive to be educated (in fact there is no age limit to a dog’s ability to learn, contrary to popular belief), and Nikki’s new life has begun in record time.

pale shepherd


One of our pups left with his family, but we will leave news of that until the adoption is official.

All in all it was a positive start to the week. Especially as today we totted up the results of the Hallowe’en promotion. During the eight day period, a total of four  black dogs and three black cats left at the special price. That is excellent. of course some of these animals may well have been adopted even without this relatively small financial incentive, but we are happy to point the spotlight at animals who would otherwise not be noticed.

Followers of the DRC website may notice a couple of new categories today. Thanks to our web-elf, we now have a sub-section in the adoption tab, entitled “Home to Home”. This is obviously to promote dogs who are not at the SPA but whom we are trying to rehome. We also have a section for training tips (as a sub category of latest news), where you can read about, amongst other things, Shirley’s progress with Poppy.

Hallowe’en Adoption of Cliona

Tonight we are all in celebration mode. The last dog to leave for Hallowe’en is none other than Cliona.

By now everyone knows or knows of this dog, who was found neglected and alone in a village in a terrible state, with huge tumours and severely malnourished. She finally made it to the SPA, luckily for her. Large medical bills awaited, and in a huge effort of solidarity many of you donated generously in order to ease the financial burden on the SPA. Yes, that is what the SPA is there for, but of course the are limits to our funding and therefore limits to what we can do. In Cliona’s case, not even the vet was sure she could be saved, but we wanted to try.

After her operations were complete, we saw the true beauty of this dog. Not only did she become a magnificent looking dog, but she is also affectionate and gentle and oh so willing to trust humans, despite her weeks or months alone. Lots of people love and walk her, but since her arrival in August, no one has offered her a home. However yesterday a family came to meet her and today they returned with the good news; after an evening’s reflection they had decided to offer Cliona a home.

It was an incredibly emotional moment for all those present. Cliona is much loved and in many ways represents all a good SPA (like ours) should be. And we are even more delighted that with is being Hallowe’en, Cliona, a black dog, should leave for her new far far better life.

Cliona when she arrived.

And leaving today!

Thanks to everyone who donated to help the SPA help Cliona. Look what we can achieve together! It is truly inspiring. And thanks to her new family for offering her a home.

Thanks also to everyone who joined us today. The weather was kind almost till closing time, and we had another reservation as well as lots of dog walks. and some scary goings on…

Hallowe’en “finger” biscuits thanks to Carole

Some frightening volunteers

It was a great day and tonight we are very happy indeed!

Two Saturday Adoptions and a Huge Donation.

Today we have two more adoptions to tell you about.

The first of the lucky dogs is Princesse, who was adopted yesterday. She and her sister Kiara were brought to the refuge at the end of October by their owner who could no longer look after them. Not only are they stunning dogs, but they are both fine with children, cats and other dogs. It was no surprise that with credentials like these, Princesse found a home so soon. In fact the SPA has already received photos of her lying happily on the floor with her new family’s toddler. Let’s hope Kiara finds a new home soon, as well.

Princesse – ADOPTED

Next we said goodbye to Hallowe’en dog Denis “Piout”. This stunning border / beauceron cross has been at the SPA since mid August, but this was not his first time with us. He had visited the Pound on a number of occasions, and each time, just before the ten days were up, he was reclaimed. One of those times we had an adopter who was desperate to take him home, too, so we were very disappointed that he left. And more so when he arrived once again, never to be reclaimed. On the other hand, he is now castrated, which would never have been the case otherwise! And today he has a new home too.

big black and white dog with one blue and one brown eye

Denis “Piout” – ADOPTED

Also today we have to pass on huge thanks once again to the amazing team at Dog Park 11 who donated over 300 kg of dried food to the SPA. This was collected during a recent group walking event and we are very grateful to Fabrice and everyone at this fabulous local association for their continuing support.

Many thanks to Dog Park

Finally please don’t forget that the SPA will be open for the first Sunday of the month tomorrow. It is the end of our Hallowe’en week, and volunteers have been discussing their costume choices. If you or your children would like to wear an outfit, you will be in good company!

Pador leaves for Scotland.

Its always a privilege and also a bit nerve wracking when someone asks you to choose a dog for them.  Lyndsay, the daughter of one of my best friends has always wanted a dog and although there has never been a family dog, she has grown up around all of my dogs as well as numerous aunties’ and friends’ dogs.  Now that she is an adult, has a job and her own house, she decided that it was at last time to get a furry friend.

It took me a few weeks to find her a suitable dog. I wanted a young dog who was sociable with everybody and especially other dogs and cats. A small to medium sized dog would be best and as Lyndsay has direct neighbours, not a barker. This was to be a dog who would be around her and her friends’ future children so I wanted a confident dog who seemed at ease with everyone they met. When I suggested Pador, Lyndsay was delighted. Pador was reserved and Lyndsay booked a flight to come over to meet him, spend a few days getting to know him and to formally adopt him.

Lyndsay is a primary teacher so she knew that if this was going to work, mum and dad, who luckily live only 10 mins away, would also have to be prepared to puppysit Pador during the day, take him for walks and help with training. This was something that both mum and dad were more than happy to do and so Pador will have a big extended family too.

Like all adopters Lynsday realised lots had to change. No more long lie-ins but up at 6am so Pador can have his first walk before work , no more rushing in at 6pm and out again with friends but instead home sharply and out with Pador.

But, as well as a great responsibility a first dog is really great fun. We all learn on our feet with a first dog but to give themselves a head start Pador, Lyndsay and Dad will be off to dog training.

If you adopt a dog you can of course elect to have him transported home. For Lynsday this made sense as it’s a long drive to Scotland, especially with a dog that you don’t really know.

So tomorrow morning, very early, I will be sneaking into the refuge to hand Pador over to our transporters FOR THE LOVE OF DOGS AND CATS who always deliver our dogs in tip top condition.

Lyndsay will be able to follow Pador’s journey via a tracker system but his bed is already prepared, all ready and waiting for him.

Like all teachers, Lynsday never misses a learning opportunity and her class will be learning all about rescue dogs, adoption and the responsibilities of having a pet. If they are very good they might even get a VIP visit from Pador himself at the end of term!

Pador adopted!


Padors new bed awaits..

There was an adoption at the SPA today, but we will tell you about that and all the other news tomorrow.





Adoptions of Chronos and Sunset

We have two adoptions to tell you about. Neither of them are “Hallowe’en Specials”, but there is still chance for some more of our black dogs and cats to leave, as the end date for the special offer is this Sunday, after the open day.

First we said goodbye to Chronos. This young lad was abandoned just under a week ago when his family moved to an apartment. Chronos is only nine months old but is already a big dog, and his family decided that life without a garden was not right for him. He was busy playing in the park earlier this week when he caught the eye of some visitors who were attracted by the very qualities that made Chronos’s owners want to rehome him, namely his size and liveliness. So one quick trip to the vet later and Chronos is off to his new home, complete with large garden. Wonderful news for this handsome lad; he will soon forget about his time with us, and in any case, he seemed very happy, meeting lots of new canine friends and running round playing.

Pale shepherd

Chronos – ADOPTED

Next to leave was Sunset. In fact she was one of two dogs who were reserved while we were officially closed yesterday. Yes, it was well worth opening, two reservations and lots of dog walks. Perfect!

Sunset is a stunning Australian Shepherd who arrived at the SPA some three weeks ago unidentified and with an estimated age of just 10 months. I don’t think anyone thought she would wait this long to find a home. Admittedly, three weeks is not a long wait compared to some dogs, but it is a long time for a dog of this breed and age. However once we got to know her the reason became clear; Sunset, although beautiful, is not the easiest dog in the world. She has what we euphamistically call a “strong character”. Several people came to meet her and left with a different dog or no dog at all. Sunset is no dog for a beginner!

Luckily her new family are far from beginners. They are already old hands at dog school, and are experienced and training-minded owners. And Sunset will have a playmate, a lovely braque, who is steady although lively enough to cope with her energy levels! We are delighted for her. Goodbye beautiful girl, be happy!

Australian shepherd

Sunset – ADOPTED

We would also like a mention in dispatches  for June who came along today to walk dogs and left with a foster cat! Room for kitties is extremely tight, and freeing up a space for the SPA today was so welcome. What would we do without our volunteers? Thanks June!

And our second Hallowe’en leaver is….Pica!

Today almost  black dog Pica left for her new home, and we were as delighted for her as we were for Kalou yesterday. No, her life had not been anywhere as difficult; but her arrival at the SPA was equally tragic. Pica was one of several dogs who is at the SPA following the death of their owner. Pica has “only” been with for 2 months, but at eight years old at the time of her arrival, we were not sure how long she would have to wait. Luckily not everyone wants a puppy or even a younger dog. There are definite benefits to adopting a calmer, older dog, as Pica’s new family will doubtless find out.

She is a great girl, and as she was one of our recent stars of Hallowe’en, it seems fitting that she should leave today. Yes, we know she is not really black, but as with so many things, flexibility is the key, and Pica was on the list of Hallowe’en dogs and cats.

Pica getting into the Hallowe’en spirit

In not such good news Connor returned to the SPA today. However as he was clearly not happy in his new home and has lost weight since leaving us, perhaps it is for the best. He didn’t seem too upset to find himself back at the SPA, so for the moment that is where he will stay.

Tomorrow is a Bank Holiday, so the SPA will be closed apart from a few sneaky dog – walkers. Enjoy your time off everyone, and there will be more adootion news on Thursday! Oh, and a couple of people have asked about the Hallowe’en outfits that they have seen on Facebook (one of which is modelled here by Pica)  Yes, they are for sale in exchange for a small donation and can be seen at the SPA.

A selection of Hallowe’en costumes at the SPA


Hallowe’en joy for Kalou and adoption of little Mia, too!

Today we had the first black dog adoption since the start of this year’s special promotion. After nearly 10 months at the SPA this time, Kalou left for a new home. We say “this time”, because this was not his first time at the SPA. Kalou and his siblings were rescued from horrible conditions when they were quite young pups and came to the SPA, from where they were all homed. Kalou’s home did not work out, and he was returned in February this year, as being not good with cats or other male dogs.

Only one of those facts turned out to be true. It is mistake that people often make. Because two dogs do not get on, it does not mean that they will not each get on with a different dog. There is chemistry between dogs, just as there is between people! Since coming back to the SPA, Kalou has lived happily with several different males. He is still not good with cats, though!

When he arrived back he was extremely nervous of people and had never been on a lead. Enter the staff and volunteers, who have walked Kalou, loved him and a couple of them even took him to dog school to help him regain confidence in himself and in people. He is far from being the terrified dog we re-met in February. Plus he is incredibly handsome, and today his good looks caught the eye of a young woman who already owns a three year old malinois, Kaylah.

The dogs got on wonderfully together, and Kalou was off. The Hallowe’en fund was put into action, but Kalou would have left even without this financial incentive. It really was love at first sight, and we are delighted that finally Kalou has the home he deserves.

black shepherd cross


So that is the first adoption of a black dog this Hallowe’en season, and two black cats have been lucky so far. Who will be next? This handsome lad, perhaps?

big black lab

Will Kalou’s kennel mate Liquorice have the same luck?

Kalou was not the only dog who left us today. Another dog who has not had the best start in life also found a home! Today tiny pinsher/ pug cross Mia left for her new home. She arrived ten days ago, and although her former owner contacted us to tell us a bit about Mia, we had no contract of abandon and so little Mia had to wait ten days before being able to leave. Still, it is the end of a long period of instability for this little girl. Mia is not even a year old, but has already moved homes at least 4 times.

We wish both her and Kalou lots of love and happiness  in their new homes.

The reality of colour…

Halloween is a great excuse for us to speak about black animals in rescue. Time and time again we see black dogs and cats being overlooked for lighter coloured ones, no matter what the breed or nature.

Adolescent males are the dogs hardest to move and some have years to wait on a home. This is the reality of rescue and although common sense tells us that they are just as good and nice natured as lighter dogs they are still being overlooked.

So, what as a refuge can we do to give these dogs a chance?

Well from the 28th October to the 5th November our black animals can be adopted for 50% of the normal fee.  Of course, we still have to be sure that the dog is the correct match for the adopting family and that the family have realistic expectations, but maybe, just maybe, it will allow these disadvantaged dogs a chance!

With regards to the cats the same applies. We can’t wait to see how successful this promotion is and to see these animals in their forever homes.

Even if you can’t adopt do come along and walk a dog or pet a cat. And if you are feeling brave we even have pet Hallowe’en outfits in all sizes, which can be yours for a donation!

Come and join in the fun!