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Latest News

Adoption of Lovely Bones!

Tonight we are delighted to inform you of the adoption of Bones. As we often say, all adoptions are good, but that of Bones is particularly wonderful. This lovely bleu de Gascogne arrived in early December and at the time he was just skin and bones; hence his name. He was so underweight that he lived inside with the cats while the staff brought him back to strength, and once again we have to thank them for the love and attention they show to the animals in their care. .

Before too long Bones was ready to join the SPA population proper, where he proved to be an affectionate and adorable kennel mate. A bit keen on his food sometimes, but who can blame him after his earlier days of deprivation? Fine with dogs of both sexes and cats too, as well as unbelievably gentle, Bones found his family today and we wish him loads of love and happiness. Many thanks to his new family for offering a home to this lovely young lad. It is great when a family knows a breed already and just falls in love with a dog at first sight. Lucky Bones. We have been promised news and photos!

In not so good news, Bullit is back. In actual fact he has been back for several days, with his adopter trying to find a solution to the problems between him and her own dog. Sadly it is probably in the best interests of everyone that this beautiful German shepherd, who will be eleven this year, is homed alone.

Bones when he arrived, compared to now – ADOPTED
very thin doglong -eared dog











Bullit is looking for a home where he can be an only dog

big german shepherd

Adoption of Hope

We had a great adoption today; that of Hope. This lovely shepherd cross arrived almost exactly a month ago and although she was already identified, her details were not up to date. Efforts to track down her owner failed. These included putting a note through his letter box. Yes, volunteers and employees take this business seriously. Once there was no response to even this, there remained no option but to make Hope as happy as possible while she was at the SPA, before finding her a new home.

Hope was a real heartbreaker. Her greying muzzle gave her the appearance of a dog older than her four and a half years, and she just had a look that could melt hearts. And steal  hearts too, by the look of things, as today she trotted off happily with her new owner. She left behind kennel mate Liquorice, whom we will try to remix tomorrow.

Dogs are social animals and tend to be far happier if they can share their space. This is not always possible, of course, some dogs really do prefer to be alone, at the SPA at least, where their space is far limited than in a home.

On the subject of mixing dogs, here is a photo of four SPA dogs, including Hope and her pal Liquorice, together in a park with kennelmates Norris and Baila. Yes, four dogs all playing together, even those we thought might not be good with others of their own sex. You see, the more space they have, the more able dogs are to mingle.

This is something we plan to do more and more at the SPA in our bid to aid with socialisation and make sure the dogs’ lives at the SPA are as fulfilling as possible.

shepherd with grey muzzle












Four dogs, one park! 

Freedom has many forms.

It has been a busy day or so at the SPA, some good news, some bad news. But such is the way of life at the refuge!

Firstly yesterday the REAL Domino’s adoption was finalised. Yes, Domino the rottweiler officially left after having his behaviour test carried out by a qualified vet, as per the law with “dangerous breeds”. Domino passed with the highest score possible, 1/4, and thanks once again to his new family for offering this old boy a home.

Today some more good news. The owner of Samuel and Sutech came to reclaim his dogs. They had been with us for ten months, and during this time almost no one had shown any interest in either dog. But in any case, the dogs made it quite clear that they wanted to stay together at all costs, refusing to walk separately, and pulling like crazy on the lead to demonstrate their unadoptability. Their owner came to collect them today, and they were once again the docile dogs who arrived all those months ago. They walked off with a skip in their step, happy that their owner is in position to take them again after some personal difficulties. It is easy to cristicise, but when they were abandoned last year, neither he nor we expected them to have so long to wait. We were unable to home them, and now we no longer have to! Result!

On a far sadder note, today we said goodbye to Cerbere. This lovely beagle has been very ill with cancer of the colon, which has made him hard to home and obliged him to wear a muzzle at all times when outside. Thanks to employee/volunteer Estelle and her husband, he was able to spend the last ten days in a loving home, before he finally joined our “angels” today. During his time with them he went to the beach and had loads of glorious walks, and that is how we all choose to remember him. He was a lovely dog to whom Fate dealt a cruel blow. We all loved him, as we do all our dogs.

Finally, thanks to everyone who has donated Scalibor collars following our appeal. The tick season has just got underway, and we want to protect as many of our dogs as possible.

Domino – Top marks!









Samuel and Sutech – at home again…..TOGETHER!












Cerbere enjoying a day on the beach with Estelle who fostered him for his last days.

beagle is cuddled whilst looking at the ocean









Thank you!

pile of collars

Sending dogs abroad…

We get lots of comments about sending dogs to the UK. Some are questioning ‘don’t they have enough dogs over there?’, some are critical ‘that’s a ridiculous journey for a dog, you are mad!’ and some of course are positive.

The reality of rescue here  in France  that we simply do not have enough good homes locally. Our numbers are fairly constant so when, at any one time 100+ dogs are waiting for a home, yes we need all the good home we can find regardless of whether a dog has to cross a border to get there.

We are ever so careful about where we send our dogs. Homes are checked, questions are asked and we need to be very confident that the home will work out before the dog is even prepared for travel.

All of our dogs leave via TRACES unless the new owner picks them up. This means that they leave with a DEFRA type 2 transporter and so we know exactly where the dog is at any one time.

It is a long journey for the dogs but they are in a comfy cage, in a temperature controlled vehicle with regular stops. We usually use FOR THE LOVE OF DOGS AND CATS to transport our dogs to the UK and they always get our dogs there, hale and hearty and ready to go.

On Sat at 5.30am morning puppy Elsa left on the transport. You can see her below when she arrived in Reading this morning. I think that you will agree that the prospect of such a wonderful home is well worth the effort.

Many thanks to Christian and family for welcoming a rescue pup from France rather than going to a breeder for a pup.  I know that Karen, Christians mum and our volunteer will be very proud of them for supporting us and that we will have lots of updates.

If you do fancy one of our lovely French dogs, you can email us at website@dogrescuecarcassonne.co.uk , send a facebook message or call us in French on 0468253545 or in English on 0468247097.

Elsa arrived hale and hearty…






Adoption of Marley, Laya and Rex..

Two of tonight’s three adoptions are both recent arrivals and are both young, lovely looking dogs. The third is an older gent who has had quite a wait in kennels.

Laya had just more than the statutory pound time to wait and I am really not surprised. A young, friendly female of only two years old was always going to be popular.

Marley, a very handsome one year old attracted lots of interest on our social media sites and no wonder. Hes probably one of the most handsome dogs Ive seen, add to that his playful, friendly nature and its no surprise why he was adopted so quickly.

We love when dogs don’t have long to wait for their forever home and its always a bit of a mystery why some dogs attract little interest. Is it their behaviour in their kennel, their colour, whether they bark or not or why is it some dogs just don’t move?

If all of our dogs were great with other dogs, loved cats, adored children and were trained would our job be any easier? Well I think that training has a big effect on how a dog appears to potential adopters. If you ask them if they’d like to walk the dog that they are interested in and it pulls them so much they come back puffing and panting they most likely won’t adopt. Yet with only one walk a week it’s so difficult for us to teach lead manners. A recent article that I read said that if a dog lay down beside a potential adopter that they were much more likely to adopt it!

One dog who took a long time to catch anyone’s eye was 10 year old Rex who arrived in August last year. I really enjoyed walking this lovely boy as did lots of volunteers. Rex was adopted a few weeks ago but just couldn’t live with cats. Today was his lucky day and he has gone to a cat free home!

Last night I did make a little error in the blog reporting that the wrong Domino had been adopted. Below you will see a picture of the Domino who was actually adopted.

Marley adopted..

Laya adopted..

Rex adopted..

THE adopted Domino..

Elsa adopted..

Just before Christmas the ‘Frozen’ litter arrived at the refuge. Three tiny pups who were named Anna, Elsa and Olaf.  They were very cute and asElsa and Anna being females were the first to be adopted. Olaf soon followed but no sooner had he been adopted when Elsa came back.

Karen, one of our volunteers shared Elsa’s profile with her son Christian and family who live in the UK, they wasted no time at all in reserving her. That was great news but Elsa was 11 weeks at the time and couldn’t have her rabies vaccination for her passport for one week and then there would be a 3-4 week wait before she could travel.

It would have been very unfair to keep a pup at the refuge that long but luckily Shirley our fosterer who is also a dog trainer offered to foster her.

What a lucky pup and what a lucky family as they are getting a housetrained, cage trained, very well socialised pup who also has the basics like sit and down, a pre-trained pup you might say!

Karen and I popped over to Azille to puppy class last week and spent a wonderful afternoon watching Elsa play with the other dogs, one of who was her brother Olly ( ex Olaf).  There were 6 ex SPA dogs in class that afternoon so if anyone is looking for a doggy class then do contact Shirley via https://www.facebook.com/CECAdogclub/?ref=page_internal.

On Wednesday I picked up Elsa from Shirley, took her to the vets for a check over and worming, completed her TRACES paperwork and as you read this blog I am waiting on the transporter picking her up.

Many thanks to Shirley and her doggies Jake and Ellie for looking after her so well. I know that Jake will be missing his playmate, she is a pup that everyone loved!

Its sad when pups leave but I can just imagine how excited her new family are at the prospect of the ‘doggy bus’ arriving with their new puppy. We will of course have lots of updates and Elsa will have a doggy sister called Chloe to show her the ropes.


Elsa adopyed




Finders keepers…????

Tonight’s story will make everyone smile!

I am sure you remember Shadow and Dreyfus who were adopted by Nikki and Dave. Shadow was adopted just over two years ago and Dreyfus about a year ago.

When I took Dreyfus over to Pau to meet Nikki she told me about her previous dogs and one who was called Hector, a lovely border terrier who had simply disappeared. In fact, she donated his doggy coats to the refuge!

Well today, two and a half years after going missing, Hector appeared on their walk! He still has the same collar and has obviously been very well fed wherever hes been. He recognised Nikki right away and seemed delighted to be back.

I can only imagine Nikki and Daves delight tonight..they simply cannot believe their luck! Shadow and Dreyfus seem quite happy with their new ‘brother’.

Hector was of course microchipped and yes Nikki tried really hard to find him. Also, you don’t see many border terriers in France! So, I guess someone found him and never checked to see if he was identified. I wonder how he found his way back and if all of this time hes been local…who knows but tonight we have one happy family! What a happy ending!

If you do find a dog who appears to be lost please always take the dog to a vet to check for identification. Its not a case of finders keepers with animals…anyone can lose a dog, that’s why identification is so important!

Tomorrow we will hear about two great adoptions, an oldie and a puppy!

Hector…home after 2 1/2 years!




Animal mistreatment in France…

The mistreatment of animals, abuse and neglect are reasons many people contact the refuge. Every week we get calls or emails from people about dogs on chains, stuck on balcony’s, donkeys or horses in a poor state…the list goes on.

The first point to make about animal abuse or neglect is that it is often difficult for people to understand that something they have seen is not tantamount to neglect or abuse in France. What people believe to be abuse or neglect is largely subjective and depends often on the situation.

Animal welfare is largely agreed to be composed of five “freedoms” which then go on to govern much animal welfare legislation.

The Five Freedoms are:

  • Freedom from hunger or thirst
  • Freedom from discomfort (the weather, temperatures etc)
  • Freedom from pain, injury or disease
  • Freedom to express (most) normal behaviour (access to space, facilities and other creatures of their own kind)
  • Freedom from fear and distress

These Five Freedoms are the basis of legislation in France concerning animal abuse or neglect. When investigating animal abuse or neglect cases, these are the rules we try to bear in mind. They are not always possible and neither are they enforceable.

In France, the law stipulates that:

  • The owner must allow the animal access to appropriate food of a sufficiency to ensure the animal is kept in good health.
  • The owner must allow the animal access to clean water in an appropriate, clean receptacle that is kept free from ice in winter.
  • The animal must not be enclosed in a space that has no fresh air, is dark, insufficiently heated or inappropriate for their physiological needs
  • No animal should be shut in the boot of a vehicle that is not sufficiently aerated.
  • Any animal shut in a parked vehicle must have sufficient air and must be parked in the shade.
  • In case of injury or sickness, the owner is responsible for ensuring appropriate care.

But, a space big enough for their physiological needs can be much smaller than you might imagine. A dog who lives outside permanently with access to shelter, water and food may not be considered mistreated or neglected.  So our idea of what is ideal is often not illegal here.

There are laws about animals being tethered :

  • Any animal kept tethered (usually a guard dog) must have a collar and tether that are appropriate to its size and force. A chain in itself cannot be used as a collar.
  • The tether mustn’t be too heavy.
  • The tether mustn’t interfere with the general movement of the dog (other than to prevent it from moving further than the distance of the tether, of course)
  • The chain or tether must be strong enough to protect any visitors.
  • The chain or tether must be fixed either to a horizontal cable or be fixed appropriately to prevent the animal escaping.
  • The tether must be at least 2.5m if attached to a horizontal cable, or be at least 3m if fixed to a permanent position.

So what do you do if you still feel that the animal is in danger or that the law is being broken?

The first port of call should be the mairie and then the gendarmerie. If they don’t take action you can contact your local department vet (DDSCPP Aude)

The contact numbers below may be helpful…

The rights of animal welfare associations in France are limited but they do have experience at dealing with local police and mairies.

When reporting neglect you need:

  • Full details of the animals you have seen, including number, size and exact location.
  • Photos if possible (clear ones will definitely help) or video footage.
  • A description of how the animal is being harmed.

Its not an easy process getting something done about neglect but we animal lovers can’t turn a blind eye either. Just persevere, be insistent and be assured that its always worth the effort to save an animal.



Another great ‘home to home’ and an adoption..

It seems that there are no end of dogs needing new homes but the rehoming that I enjoy the most are the ‘home to homes’ where the dog stays with its owner until we find the perfect home for them. This means that the dog never has to come into refuge which is far less stressful for the dog and both of the families involved.

Leo is our latest home to home. Pippa contacted us to say that she had rescued Leo from her elderly neighbour who had been given him as a pup as a present! This elderly lady could not look after him and poor Leo was stuck inside day in day out with lots of cats. Pippa asked the elderly lady if she could walk him daily and then eventually if they could help her by rehoming him.

Life with Pipp was great for Leo but Pippa knew that the best she could offer Leo was a temporary home as she was going back to Australia.

She asked DRC to help find a home for Leo and we were happy to help.

The power of social media is immense! Pointer lovers ,Carole and her hubby who live in the UK saw our post about Leo and contacted us to say that they would drive over with their two pointers and if all dogs got on they would adopt him!

So last week Carole and family arrived in France, met Leo, introductions went very well and Leo left with them for a great life in the UK.

Many thanks to Pippa for saving Leo, organising his passport and getting him ready to travel, to Carole for bringing her dogs all the way from the UK and to everyone who shared Leos story.

This just proves that there are super families out there who will really go the extra mile to help a dog!

Today’s adoption was that of puppy Nita. As soon as her details went online she was reserved and no wonder….what a pretty girl she is.

Lucky Leo….now with his forever family!



Simba adopted and Sunday snippets!

Tonight we have an adoption and bits and bobs of news to catch up with.

Simba, a handsome one year old was adopted yesterday. Sometimes its easy to guess a dog breed but Simba we think is a real ‘mixed’ breed.  It would be very interesting to DNA test some of our dogs but of course our funds don’t run to that. If however you do want to know your dog’s heritage you can buy the kit from amazon and three weeks later you will have the results. Its very useful to know what breed traits your dog may have and could certainly help you understand some behaviours.

There have been quite a few comments on facebook about the arrival of Lego, a young husky cross. He certainly is a very handsome boy but I hope that prospective adopters will think about breed traits before offering him a home.

We have also had news and photos of Ollie ex Gadget who is settling in well with his two sisters. The arrival of a bouncy pup is a shock for any resident dogs and it takes time and management to make sure that this works out. Pups are dynamic and its very important to give older dogs a break from puppy.  We always recommend crate training pups as it means that you get a good night sleep, you don’t have a kitchen covered in wee to clean up in the morning and of course the other dogs are assured a peaceful night free from puppy madness.

The next bit of new is not so good. We heard from Evelyn at Doglinks that Scramble, the Brittany spaniel that she adopted from the SPA 6 or 7 years ago has died. When Scramble arrived at the SPA he was full of lead pellets and couldn’t walk. After lots of tlc he recovered and enjoyed life with his many doggy friends. RIP Scramble and thank you Evelyn.

Simba adopted..

New arrival Lego..

Puppy Ollie ..

RIP Scramble