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Home to Home success – From Djabu to Zaba

On Sunday we blogged about the adoption of Roquette, now renamed Nogi, mentioning that she had gone to live with recent DRC home to home success, Djabu. We mentioned that we would tell you more about this later in the week, and here we are!

A bit of background to refresh your memories: In October DRC was contacted about a magnificent blue merle Great Dane by supporter Jane. She had heard of his plight and told us that he was threatened with a one-way trip to the vet were a new home not found within two weeks. This may or may not have been a genuine threat, but it did bring a sense of urgency to the situation.

As it happened, it took just 24 hours for Djabu to find his new home.

Zaba making his grand entrance!

His new mum, Renia, wrote this piece for us.

“There I was, innocently cooking dinner one evening, late autumn last year when ‘I think we’ve found our dog!’ came my husband’s voice from the sofa…

He had seen a FB post from Dog Rescue Carcassonne about a five year old Great Dane urgently needing a new home. As soon as I saw the photos, I agreed: We had found our first dog together.

Zaba with his new mum

Laurie replied to the post and said that we were very interested. Two days later, we met Djabu, a beautiful, blue Merle, and went for a walk with him and his temporary carer, who was unable to keep him any longer. Our minds were quickly made up and we agreed that we would come to collect him after our planned trip away.

We couldn’t wait! 4th November couldn’t come quickly enough.

Zaba enjoying café culture with his dad

As soon as we were back we drove over to collect our new family member. As soon as he was called from the house, Djabu positively galloped out to meet us and gave us the best welcome. Then, as soon as Laurie opened the boot of the car, he leapt up. This dog wanted to come home with us, no doubt there! An hour later, we were home and Zaba, as he is now known, settled into his bed, as if he’d always been with us.”

Enjoying the freedom of the beach

Isn’t that a lovely story? And you can see how well Zabu has settled in by the fact that Renia and Laurie have just adopted lovely Roquette (now renamed Nogi)

If you would like to share the story of you and your DRC home to home or ex-ScPA dog, please get in touch. You can write to us via our Facebook page or send an email to us at website@dogrescuecarcassonne.co.uk

Zaba and Nogi on their first walk together

Sunday ScPA Summary

Hardly surprisingly this has not been the best week for adoptions. As many of you will know, the river Aude, which runs through Carcassonne, burst its banks on Wednesday following heavy rain upstream, and for safety reasons the ScPA shut early on Wednesday and did not open at all on Thursday.

The land on which the refuge is located is on a steep hill, and so was not at risk from the river. And luckily the heavy rain that fell on Thursday flowed past without doing any damage. However staff had difficulty getting to work, as many of the surrounding villages were cut off. But don’t worry, those who could make it in were there to reassure the animals and make sure that they were not in danger.

Seven adoptions did take place, however, and all seven dogs must be delighted to be somewhere dry!

First off was Mini J, a small crossbreed who is absolutely adorable and despite her feistiness, is very good with cats! She actually left on Thursday, despite the fact that the refuge was closed. It seemed a shame to disappoint her new owners who had reserved her earlier in the week and had been looking forward to collecting her.


And then on Friday there were two adoptions, that of fabulous Petrus, and a dog that looks a bit like him but who is not related, the lovely Olive. She does have a brother, Popeye, who is still waiting for a home. They are the siblings of recently adopted Tom and Théa (now Betsy) and of earlier leaver Tommy. All of them have proved to be excellent companions, so if you are looking for a new dog, why not take a look at Popeye?

Petrus – ADOPTED


The weekend saw two dogs leave on each day. Puppy Susan was first off, after having arrived in a very emaciated state and probably following some mistreatment. Puppies should definitely not cringe when they are stroked. Border collie cross Maxou also left on Saturday, with some great supporters of the ScPA. He could not have found a better home.

Puppy Susan – ADOPTED


On Sunday it was the turn of big overgrown puppy Malou, who was badly homed by another local association who were not able or willing to take Malou back when his new (very elderly) owner was not able to manage this huge boy. Not exactly responsible homing; but all has ended well for Malou as he has a new home already.


Today also saw the adoption of Roquette by friends and supporters of DRC. Who remembers the Home to Home success of Great Dane Djabu in November? Well this big lad, renamed Zabu, now has a new friend, the fabulous Roquette. She too has fallen on all four paws, and later on this week you can read more about how Zaba is getting on, as we will have a Life After the Refuge tale to pass on.

Roquette – ADOPTED

On the subject of the coming week; now is a very good time to adopt, if you are thinking of doing so. This is because the adoption fees at the ScPA are going up on February 1st. For dogs, that is. For some reason cats are inflation-proof! Puppies will now be €220 (plus the fee for neutering) and adults will be €190.

These fees include the cost of sterilisation (for the adults) and the first vaccination (the second, too, if the dog has been at the refuge for more than 3 weeks) plus of course identification.

We at DRC find the new fees on the high side, but we have no input to this. We would happily help you find a dog from elsewhere if you like, but we would strongly discourage people from taking dogs from Leboncoin and other internet sites. Firstly these dogs are often not identified or even health-checked before being given away. If you subsequently get this done (which any responsible owner should do), this, along with neutering, will inevitably be more than the adoption fees at the ScPA.

DRC Hidden Gem – Banksie is looking for a home

Secondly dogs are often being given away for a reason, and you may not always be told this. At the ScPA the employees know the dogs and can advise as to a dog’s suitability.

Finally if an adoption from Leboncoin does not work out, it is almost unheard of for the person giving the dog away to take it back. You could well be faced with the unpleasant task of rehoming the dog yourself, or bringing him to the ScPA for rehoming. We see a great deal of this already, and it is very frustrating.

As is DRC Urgent Appeal – Mirabelle

There are certain dogs at the ScPA whom we at DRC adore. These are our Hidden Gems and Urgent Appeals. We are happy to pay a small subsidy towards the adoption fees of these dogs so that they can find their homes. Please get in touch with us first, of course, and we will sort it out at the ScPA end. Likewise if your dog leaves with the first vaccination only, and you will have difficulties paying for the crucial second vaccination, please feel free to contact us.

We hope those of you who live locally are warm and dry and that if you did have any flood damage, that everything recovers quickly.

Save the Date for the second DRC Dog Show with a Difference!

Today we have a date for your diaries. The second almost annual DRC Dog Show is now in preparation.

We hope to see as many of you as possible at the event, which is taking place on Sunday April 26th at the Club Canin Trèbes. Gill and Kai’s beautiful garden in Caunes Minervois has changed hands, but we are very lucky to have been offered use of the fabulous facilities in Trèbes, which are tailor-made for dogs and for event such as this!

Click the link above to take you to the Club’s website and see what they have on offer!

And this year we have even more fun things planned for you and your dogs.

There will be food and drink, bric-a-brac, taster sessions for various dog activities, including truffle-hunting and flyball, as well as all the fun of our dog competitions. Whose dog will win the coveted “looks most like a celebrity” prize this year, I wonder!

We are very excited to be offering a pop-up photo studio with the amazing Marketa. She is known to many of us, and is both an award winning photographer and dog-lover; a perfect combination for our event.

Many of you will have seen her work (National Geographic no less!), and some of you may know that I have recently taken my pack to her studio to have their photos taken. The results are incredible. This same studio will be set up at Trèbes, regardless of weather (there are plenty of indoor spaces) and you too can have a picture of your dog looking his or her best.

Most of you know Caillou, which is why I have put his photo here, but believe me, Marketa’s photos of Bella and Nero are just as stunning.

beautiful dog with pointy ears.

Marketa’s stunning picture of Caillou

Our friends from Cancer Support France will be joining us too, we are very happy to say.

We will give more details as the date approaches, but the most important thing for now is to keep the date free. This is one event you really won’t want to miss and we hope to see you all there!

One of the agility parks at the Club Canin in Trèbes

Sunday ScPA Summary

Another good week at the ScPA, with nine dogs leaving for new homes, plus of course the four who left for Belgium. In fact one of them, beautiful Melba, has already found a new home. This is what we mean when we talk about giving a second chance dogs who have waited a long time in Carcassonne. Melba was in Carcassonne for a relatively short 3 and a half months, but the fact that she was adopted 2 days after arriving at Animal Trust speaks volumes. And there is more good news on the way from Belgium but that can wait till next week.

On to the ScPA adoptions.

First up was husky Texas. This is his fourth adoption, so we hope this time he really has found his forever home. His lasted owner kept him for 18 months, and we thought that was it, so fingers really crossed this time. Luckily handsome as he is, he was snapped up. Spare a thought for the less attractive dogs who are brought back, they are seldom as lucky. Last week’s adoptee, Flavio, was brought back 24 hours later, and he is still waiting, as of course is lovely Banksie along with many, many others.


The ScPA also said goodbye to Moby (now renamed Monty and being proudly shown off on the Languedog Facebook page) and Luna, a lively little parsons terrier who proved in her last home that with the best will in the world, she is NOT able to live with other animals.



Nala, a young malinois cross  found a new home. She was brought in for rehoming last week as her family no longer had time to care for her. As did tiny pups George and Charlotte, both of whom had been found in a local village.


Charlotte (now renamed Solsi) – ADOPTED

George – ADOPTED

One of DRC’s favourite new arrivals, Bree, was also homed, as was yellow labrador Gloria; two fabulous and gentle girls, neither of whom had to wait very long to find happiness again.

Gloria – ADOPTED


Perhaps the adoption of the week is that of Buffy, aka Mamie Zin-Zin, a yellow lab who was brought to the refuge due to her owner’s going to long term care. Buffy is atypical of her breed; she is good with neither dogs nor cats! Moreover she appears to have had some kind of cerebral incident, meaning she has difficulty walking.

That has not stopped her finding a new home, and today she left as an adopted dog, not a long term foster! There are some wonderful people out there. We wish Buffy every happiness and long long life in her new home.

yellow lab

Buffy (aka Mamie Zin-Zin) – ADOPTED

So we end the weekend on a high and look forward to more good news next week, along with the return of Moira who is back from her Scottish sojourn and is eager to meet all the new dogs.

Four more dogs leave for Belgium

It is now four weeks since the last lucky four dogs left for pastures new at Animal Trust in Belgium, and since then two of them have been adopted. The rest are clearly loving their new surroundings, with a fresh start, loads of walks and group playtime in the huge parks. They are about to be joined by four more lucky dogs, who have set off on their journey to Belgium thanks to YOUR donations, you wonderful supporters of DRC.

In fact €300, almost half the transport fee, was donated by supporter Sharon’s book group, who meet throughout the year, each member donating €1 for each book they take from the shelf. It is amazing how this mounts up during the year, and the timing was perfect. So many thanks to all the avid readers in the Aude.

Several of you have asked how we select the dogs to go to Animal Trust. No, it is not just a question of choosing our favourites! Yes, we love them all, and that is why it is important to have selection criteria. Sometimes we pick a dog who risks falling back into the wrong hands (as was the case for last month’s leaver, Finou, and now for lucky Melba). Melba was found in a poor state and brought to the ScPA by supporter Karen, who has been to visit and walk her many times since. Melba’s owner has not come to collect her; but this could have happened and getting her to safety was important.

Melba – her hunt days are over

The second (and main) category of dog that we send is dogs who have been at the refuge for a long time and are constantly overlooked by potential adopters. Three of today’s four leavers fall into that category.

Vegas has been adopted on two occasions, but the last time was well over two years ago. This lad is now 7 years ago, and it is high time he had a change of scene.

big griffon cross

Vegas – time for a change

Likewise Jax, who was brought in for rehoming when he was under two years old. That was a whole 18 months ago.  A beautiful and well-behaved dog like this should have been adopted quickly. Perhaps it is his size that has put people off, as his only fault is that he doesn’t like cats, and not everyone in France has a cat!

big black and dark brown dog

Jax – perfect apart from his size!

And last up we have Noisette. She has been at the ScPA since September 2018, when she was brought in with her puppy Pirouette (Impala). Impala has been adopted twice since (once badly, once well), but no one has shown any interest in Noisette, who is now six years old. Time for a change of scene for her, too.

Noisette –

Of course we discuss the potential leavers with Eline, at Animal Trust, as she too has her own pressures. There are plenty of dogs who need rehoming in Belgium, and the goal is not to flood the country with foreign dogs. But by taking breeds who are unusual in Belgium (the long-ears!) and dogs whose chances of adoption in France have been shown to be poor, Eline is able to justify taking a few dogs every so often. And we are massively grateful that she does!

Of course we will give news of “our” dogs as they are adopted. We know that people here are very attached to certain dogs (Karen would have loved to have adopted Melba, for instance, but could not due to that common problem of already having too many dogs). But we are all adults and we are all here for the good of the dogs, so we have to feel happy for them to have been offered this great opportunity at Animal Trust.

Become a member of Dog Rescue Carcassonne

We have now been an established association for 5 and a half years.  Over the last few months, we have been looking at how to restructure how we work with the ScPA, on social media and how we could help more dogs in the area.

We have various projects in mind and have decided to offer annual memberships at 10 euros per year. This will boost our funds so we can help more dogs and is a great way for you to show your support for DRC. And you will, of course, be kept up to date with all our news.

If you already donate monthly via paypal then you will automatically get a membership but if you don’t and would like to become a member then you can do so by paypal website@dogrescue carcassonne.co.uk or via the donate button on our website http://dogrescuecarcassonne.co.uk/

Your support is very much appreciated!

Sunday ScPA Summary

Another relatively quiet week for adoptions, but not for arrivals, sadly. In the first 12 days of the year 27 dogs have already arrived. Several of them have been reclaimed, but it does appear that there is something of a post-Christmas phase going on. Out with the old and in with the new, perhaps.

In any case, we are here to tell you about the week’s adoptions, of which there were five. Plus one very lucky old girl has gone to long term foster with friends of DRC. Old lady Tinka, a 14 year old golden lab has been lucky enough to go to live with Sally and her husband where she will be loved and cared for. Not that the same wouldn’t have been the case at the refuge, but far better for this gentle old lady to be in a loving home than in a kennel.

Tinka – long term foster

The first of the adoptions was that of Alpha, a lovely husky who had been at the ScPA for a surprisingly long time. Sometimes it is better to wait for the right home rather than let a dog leave with a high expectation that he will come back. So we hope that Alpha does not regret the time he spent at the refuge.


Elderly poodle Molly was adopted almost as soon as she arrived. It is sad when a dog arrives due to their owner’s being hospitalised, so it is wonderful that Molly found love again so soon.


Little Chihuahua Elsi was also rehomed. Yes, we do get tiny dogs, but you have to be either quick or lucky or both, and above all you have to be suitable. Always worth keeping your eye on the DRC Facebook page, which is being kept up to date with new arrivals, even if the website is not at present.


We also had the adoption of young female border collie Orphée. She was abandoned by a family who was not able to keep her. And sadly although Orphée had been well socialised with other dogs, cats and children, this was all the attention she had received in her former home. No training had been done, and we all know what bored border collies are like! Orphée is adorable but will need a bit of education before she can be described as a good canine citizen.

However her new family are up to the challenge, and less than a week after arriving, Orphée’s new life has begun.

Orphée – ADOPTED

Last of the week’s leavers was Flavio, a lovely long haired brindle coloured dog who took less than 2 months to find a home since being found as an unidentified stray in a nearby village.

brindle dog

Flavio – ADOPTED

So only five adoptions this week, but as long as they are good ones, that is just fine with us!

And there is news of the dogs who left for Belgium, too, as both Edge and Finou have been adopted. As ever, huge thanks to Eline and her team.

We have exciting news about everyone’s favourite “almost annual” event to come this week, by the way. Yes, it is the much anticipated return of the DRC Dog Show with a Difference!

DRC’s Hidden Gem – Banksie has a home!

I made no secret of my love for this dog when he was at the refuge last time, and I was delighted when he was adopted at the end of October. However he is now back, and so I thought I would feature him as a hidden gem, in the hope that he has more luck next time.

Banksie is a very handsome lad with a slightly whistful air about him

Banksie spent almost a year at the refuge before being adopted, which is a long time for a great little lad like this. He was found straying in a village where he had presumably been abandoned. So although we don’t know his real age or anything about his history, we got to know him quite well before his adoption. And although this adoption has failed, it does mean that we know far more about him now, and hopefully his next family will be better suited to him. And he to them, of course. A good adoption is a two-way street.

The family who brought him back are heartbroken. They adored him and bringing him back was not something they did lightly. They, like everyone at the ScPA, would love him to find a new home soon. They wrote copious notes on the rehoming form, and talk of the hours they spent cuddling him on the sofa and the joy he brought to their lives. However they have a toddler and another child on the way, and although Banksie is fine with older children, he is not a fan of little ones. He prefers to avoid their company, which was not possible with a toddler who wanted to play with him all the time.

Banksie loves his walks

Banksie is an extremely quick learner, and would like an active family who will take him out and keep him occupied.  The garden of his recent home was not adequately enclosed and Banksie had a habit of taking himself off on walks, much to the annoyance of the neighbours. So an enclosed garden is required, although this does not mean Banksie is a runner by nature; he was off the lead on walks and stuck close to his owners at all times.

Banksie can live happily with other dogs and his family describe him as being a very sociable dog. On his return to the refuge he went straight in to share with another male dog. He does not like cats. Obviously he is house-trained and his family inform us that in the house he was very calm and never destructive. He is quite small weighing about 18kg.

Banksie loves home comforts and adores the sofa, where he lay for hours being cuddled

Banksie loves to play and especially loves to chase tennis balls. He loves long walks and has good recall. According to the vet, Banskie was born in December 2012, making him just over 7. However he could be younger than this estimate, which was based on the state of his teeth and paws when he arrived. And as we know that he had been straying, this might not be the best indicator.

It is sad for a dog who is so close to being perfect to be back at the ScPA. And sadder still that his family really did love him. However he proved while he was with them that he is really is a wonderful dog and hopefully finding him a new home will not take as long as it did last time, now that so much more is known about him.

Please help Banksie find a new home either by sharing this post or by talking to friends and acquaintances about him. Or why not come to the refuge and meet him in person. He might just be the perfect companion for you!

Sunday ScPA Summary

Until this evening it looked as if it was going to be a bad week in terms of adoptions. This would have been understandable in many ways; tomorrow is back to school for kids, and for many others it is the first day of normal life after the long Christmas and New Year break.

We always say that better one good adoption than 100 bad ones, but as it turned out, today brought a flurry of activity, more than doubling the week’s total number of adoptions from three to seven!

The last two adoptees of the year left on the 31st, with both Vladimir and Mousqueton finding new homes. We have DRC volunteer Petra to thank for Vlad’s departure, as she brought her Dutch neighbours to the refuge to look for a new pal. And Mousqueton, the other day’s leaver has fallen on his three and a bit paws, too. He has an old hunt injury but his new Anglo-German family were not at all phased by his missing toes. So the refuge definitely ended the year on a high.

Vlad (now renamed Tibo) – ADOPTED

Mousqueton – ADOPTED

Things were quiet for a couple of days until the next adoption, which was that of long-eared lovely Abby. She had arrived very recently and proved to be very popular, with several people offering her a new home. The photo is quite deceptive, she is under knee height. An utterly charming young girl.


Then today there were four more leavers. Bobby was extremely timid when he was brought in for rehoming at the end of November. But he soon perked up and showed his true personality; full of joy and smiles. Even more so now that he has a new home. Likewise Sky, still a puppy, who was brought in as her family did not have the time needed to turn this lively girl into a good canine citizen. She attracted a lot of interest, with a key requirement being her new family’s commitment to doing some formal training before Sky becomes too much of a handful.



The adoption of the week is probably that of Hermés. His name has been mentioned recently as the last of the dogs who was left at the refuge gates early last year. The recently (and successfully) adopted DRC Hidden Gem, Kéops, was the second to last to leave. And finally it is Hermés turn.

This spaniel cross was the most timid of the “pack” and although he was adopted once before, he was brought back literally 24 hours later for (ah-hem) being too timid. Of all the problems dogs can have, this is one that his previous adopters could not have failed to notice. For some reason they seemed to think that one night in a home would cure him. Hermés’ new family have no such illusions. They have spent literally hours in the ScPA park with him, always sure they would take him home, but keen to wait until Hermés felt more relaxed around them in order to make his transition easier. Now that is what we like to see.

Spaniel cross smiling

Hermés – ADOPTED

The week’s last adoption was of Matt, and we at DRC are very happy about this because he is an old dog who arrived at the refuge following the death of his owner. Matt had known nothing but love all his life and seeing him in a cold kennel was really sad. However he is a wonderfully friendly lad and it didn’t take him long to find a new home, and we hope that the shock of losing his owner is soon put behind him as he starts his new life.


So a good start to what we hope will be an excellent year. More adoptions, fewer abandons and far more happy dogs!

Happy New Year from DRC

As you will guess, this is the last blog of the year from us here at Dog Rescue Carcassonne. We have had another good year and would like to thank everyone for supporting us during 2019, be it by donating, attending (or hosting) fundraisers, sharing our posts or by dog walking or adopting.

The dogs at the ScPA Carcassonne remain the key focus of our rehoming efforts and the statistics from there are particularly shocking this year. As of the end of the year, a total of 698 dogs have come through their gates. That is almost 2 dogs every single day. This is more than has been the case for many years and it is hard to find anything positive to say about this figure.

However the fact that the number of dogs present at the refuge is still under one hundred is very positive. As of  course is the fact that this is achieved without a single dog being euthanised. This is a very different picture from when Moira and I started volunteering at the ScPA many years ago.  So things have improved in that respect at least.

As mentioned in a previous blog, DRC as an association plans to branch out a bit in 2020. We plan to help out more dogs via our home-to-home feature, and are open to helping dogs in need from other associations if requested.  It is planned to give the website a new look sometime in the new year, and other changes are afoot.

We remain very much present and active and are excited about the year to come.

We would like to wish you all and your families (including dogs) a wonderful 2020 and let’s hope that lots more dogs are happily homed in the coming year.