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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


Two Saturday Adoptions

We had two adoptions today and naturally we are delighted about both.

First to leave was Noelle. She arrived back at the SPA on Wednesday following a failed adoption, and it is wonderful that she didn’t have long to wait before finding a new home. She is a lovely girl, with no particular issues. However some adoptions just don’t work out. Noelle’s new family are experienced owners, and have recently lost a beloved dog. Moreover they have great neighbours, people who have recently adopted from the SPA. So Noelle will have friends to play with and we hope that she has a long and happy new life.

Black lab cross

Noelle – ADOPTED

Next we said farewell to Nina who like Noelle  is just a year old. She arrived very recently due to the death of her owner. In some ways these are the saddest dogs, as they knew nothing but love before coming to the SPA. However life has taken a turn for the better today. Nina has been adopted by a family who is well known to us, as is their dog, Kaiser. He found himself alone following the death of the family’s other dog, and he was brought to the SPA to choose his new pal. With impeccable taste, Kaiser selected Nina, although his family would have taken all the dogs had they been able.

Kaiser and (on the right) Nina – ADOPTED

We had a couple of arrivals, one is a puppy who has gone home to be fostered with volunteer Stephanie (many thanks). But the most urgent arrival is Lila. She is identified and is 14 years old. We are sure someone is looking for her, but they were not answering their phone. Lila is safe in the warm of the infirmary, and we hope her owner comes to collect her soon.

small dog

We are looking for the owners of Lila, who is 14 years old and identified

Three dogs leave, including another chance for Filou.

After a quiet couple of days (well, not really quiet, but with no adoptions to report), today three dogs set off for new lives.

First up was Billy, who has gone to live in Germany. As usual this meant quite a lot of admin, but we are getting good at this by now! TRACES documents were submitted to the DDSCPP in good time, and the certificate allowing Billy to leave was collected yesterday. All that remained was to put Billy on an officially registered vehicle (again with Christian of STIAC), and that was done before the refuge opened this morning.

Following the death of his owner Billy had spent 6 months tied up in a garden, so the SPA must have been a great improvement. But his time at the SPA is now over. It has “only” been seven months or so for him, but that is quite long enough, especially for a dog who loves walks as much as Billy! He knew something was up yesterday when Angelique and Isabelle gave him a bath so that he could meet his new family smelling his best!

tricoloured setter


Next to leave was little beagle cross Shailo. What a cutie this lad is. Apparently he was often seen wandering in a nearby village, before someone brought him to the SPA. No owner came to collect him (he was unidentified, of course) and so after ten days in the pound, Shailo needed a new home. He was a very popular lad, lovely on walks and extremely affectionate. He has only spent a couple of weeks at the SPA, and we are delighted that he has a new home.

beagle cross

Shailo – ADOPTED

Today’s third adoption will surprise many of you. It certainly did me. Filou is being given another chance. Can a leopard change his spots? Will Filou finally realise that being in a home is better than being at the SPA and reward  his new owners with love and not bites? We will see. His new family have been told EVERYTHING and are willing to have a go….so it’s fingers crossed for Filou.

small grey and white dog


Friday’s event brings joy for Gershwin!

A day of bright sunshine boosted morale today, as did the adoption of everyone’s favourite Breton spaniel, Gershwin.
And how did his new family get to meet him? Well during Friday’s mass dog walk, of course! Yes, today’s is the first adoption we have had that came as a result of this event.

Gershwin’s walkers fell completely under his charm. It is easy to see why. He is a wonderful lad, just two years old, and very popular at the SPA. As well as being great with other dogs, Gershwin is he easy to walk. Plus he is very attentive to whomever is on the other end of the lead. Some dogs are so excited to be out that they spend all their time sniffing and exploring, but for Gershwin cuddles were always pretty high on the agenda.

And in fact these character traits were exactly what drew Gershwin’s new family to him. After Friday’s walk they took a couple of days to think and then decided to offer him a home. The couple were SPA supporters, and who knows, perhaps they would have adopted a dog in any case. But it was definitely thanks to Friday’s event that they chose Gershwin. How cool is that?

Breton spaniel

Gershwin during Friday’s walk

In other good news, yesterday’s elderly arrival, Barnabe, was reclaimed. His owner saw his photo on the internet and will make sure to get the details on Icad up to date in case Barnabe ever gets lost again.

big old black lab

12 year old Barnabe – RECLAIMED

Adoption of Frimousse

During a day of mostly bad news (five new arrivals), we are delighted to tell you that little Frimousse was adopted, just three days after her arrival following the death of her owner. It is always sad when dogs arrive, but even more so when they do so in such circumstances.

Frimousse was one of the dogs from Ste Eulalie, who arrived almost two years ago from a dog-hoarding situation. Being so young at the time, Frimousse was one of the first to be adopted. So naturally she was traumatised to find herself back at the SPA, especially just before some of the worst weather we have seen in years. Luckily for her a lovely couple was looking for a small dog, one that wouldn’t pull them off their feet on a walk, and who wanted a calm and peaceful life. They recognise that it will take Frimousse some time to get used to her new home, but they are kind and patient, and Frimousse is a very lucky girl indeed, especially when you bear in mind that some of her former companions are still at the SPA, waiting for their first real home.

small terrier cross breed

Frimousse – ADOPTED

There was a reservation today, so some more good news is on the horizon.

A day of Tornadoes!

There was a brief discussion this morning about whether or not it was even worth opening the SPA today. We had storms overnight and heavy rain forecast; the likelihood of having any visitors was small. However everyone felt that even if noone came, the animals would appreciate a bit of company and reassurance. Thunder and lightening is very scary for some dogs.

So for the most part it was a working afternoon. Volunteers busied themselves doing gardening and clean-up tasks, and others put up a much needed set of shelves in the storage area. That coupled with the clean up of the reception area yesterday and the refuge is looking pretty tidy!

Despite a few heavy showers during the afternoon, some dogs went out of walks, and we even have an adoption! Little Tornade was adopted as a puppy  from the SPA in early 2016, and was brought back on Thursday for one of the usual reasons; a move to an appartment being the main one. There was a series of other excuses, in case someone pointed out that having a 5.5 kg dog in a appartment is hardly the end of the world.

Tornade’s CV meant she was not going to have long to wait. Good with dogs, calm, housetrained, sociable etc etc. And sure enough she was adopted today by Muriel, who has been looking for a small female for some time. Tornade is now renamed Biscuit, and a happy life awaits, we are sure!

small terrier

Tornade – ADOPTED

More bad weather is forecast overnight and for the rest of the week, so it would be nice to see yet more dogs out of the refuge and into loving homes.


Three adoptions including two puppies

The SPA was a lot quieter today than it was yesterday, but that is hardly surprising, as it is not every day that we have over 80 visitors! Was it my imagination, or did the dogs seem a bit calmer today?

Some lucky dogs got more walks today, and three dogs left for new homes! All of them had been reserved earlier in the week, so were not a surprise, but nonetheless it is great news, especially as two of the three were puppies. We hate to see puppies growing up at the SPA, and these two, Rox and Roucky left at the earliest possible date, straight after the end of their pound time.

two pups side by side

Rocky and Rox – ADOPTED (not together)

Rox and Roucky are lovely lads, and they have been adopted by two lovely families. Both families were as impatient to collect their new pups as the pups were to leave, and the fun starts here for all of them.

Another dog who left the SPA on the earliest date possible was Lola. She was found in a local village (unidentified, needless to say), and was spotted on line by a gentleman who has been to walk her (with his own dog) almost every day since. So Lola is leaving with someone whom she already knows, and she looked very pleased with herself as she emabarked on her new life.

shepherd cross


The SPA is open tomorow afternoon and although the weather forecast is looking horrendous, we are hoping for some good news!

FIFTY dog Friday

Yes, you read right. Although it was not fifty adoptions that we had today, but fifty dogs all out on a walk at the same time!

Today was the first (of many, we hope) mass SPA dog walk. Led by Coraline and her beau, there was a stream of dogs all walking round in the winter sunshine. The route chosen passed through the town of Berriac and took about 2 hours to complete. Organiser Sebastien, with chief dog- wrangler Vincent and assisted by staff and other employees,  set dogs off in groups, ensuring that walkers were matched as well as possible with dogs of the right temperament and strength. And the whole thing went off without a hitch.

Of course there are more than 50 dogs at the SPA, but not all of them would have enjoyed such a busy afternoon. The timid ones or others who are not always good in crowds were walked separately by other volunteers. It was quite an erie sight to see so many empty kennels at once….Something we only dream of.

There were no adoptions, but many walkers were enchanted by “their” dog, and have plans to return. Others hope to return for regular dog walking. So the day was a huge success. Many thanks to everyone who came along; and some of you came from quite some distance. Thanks too for all your donations, leads and collars are always at a premium and were most welcome.

If the dogs could speak I am sure they would all say thanks for a wonderful day to Sebastien, Vincent and the staff and volunteers. I am sure everyone agrees that we must do this again sometime SOON!

This weekend the SPA is open on both Saturday and Sunday afternoons and we hope that there will be some adoptions to end the week on an even higher note!


couple with czech wolves

Czech wolf dogs Artos and Indian enjoying a walk with Coraline

A Stella(r) Adoption

Another day, another fabulous adoption! This time it was the turn of Stella. She arrived at the end of November, since which time she has stolen the heart of many staff and volunteers. Unlike many of our long-eared dogs, Stella is not at all nervous. She is affectionate and playful and always looking for cuddles. Recently however we have been very concerned about her, as she had started losing weight. Tests showed no illness at all, and Stella continues to eat well. It appears that she was just pining. For what, we are not sure, as of course we have no idea of her background; she was found as a stray.

Today she found her new home, and everyone is delighted for her. Her new family were unphased by her slight physique, promising to fatten her up. Her sponsor, Ingrid, is over the moon, although of course sad not to have been at the SPA today to say goodbye. I feel a sneaky post-adoption visit might be on the cards….any excuse for more cuddles!

brown and pale long-eared dog

Stella – ADOPTED

Tomorrow we have an event at the SPA. Coraline, already a SPA volunteer walker, recently won a beauty contest, and wants to use her fame to help us publicise the refuge! Usually when beauty queens say they love animals, everyone rolls their eyes at the cliché, but in Coraline’s case it is true! She already knows many of our dogs well and will be leading a 2 hour walk tomorrow starting at 14H00 (ish). There will be a small drinks reception afterwards with some colleagues from the press. Let’s hope the weather is good and that Coraline brings some welcome publicity to the SPA.

beauty queen

Volunteer Coraline is coming to walk some dogs tomorrow

Let’s hope it results in yet more wonderful adoptions, like that of Stella today!