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A good start to the week.

It is always nice when the week starts with an adoption or two, or as was the case today, THREE! Especially when we all needed some good news after a less than happy end to the week.

Today’s three adoptees were all girls, all very different in terms of both looks and character. But that is the great thing about visiting a refuge where there are 100 dogs; plenty of choice!

First off was Canelle, a fabulous young malinois who was brought in for rehoming along with her pal Mabrouka back in mid September. Of the two dogs many of us expected Marbrouka to leave first; she is older, calmer and wonderfully sociable. But malinois, like Canelle, certainly have lots of admirers. Appearing very nervy on her arrival, Canelle soon perked up on walks and is a fabulous girl. We hope she and her family enjoy a long and happy life together.

Canelle – ADOPTED

Next up was Tara. She is a young black crossbreed who arrived as a stray in late October. She is a fabulous girl who quickly adapted to refuge life. Being black can result in a long wait for certain dogs, but lucky Tara caught the eye of a family today and was delighted to leave to confines of the refuge.


Third to leave was one of those dogs who has caught the eye of many people since her arrival at the end of October. She had supposedly been found by a family who kept her for a couple of weeks before deciding that they didn’t want to keep her. She had some bald patches which could have been due to fleas, so perhaps this was the reason why she was no longer welcome. Who knows. Their loss is someone else’s gain!

Maggie appeared to be very timid, but out on walks it is a completely different story. She is absolutely adorable, and it is no surprise at all that she has been adopted so quickly.

brown and white dog

Maggie – ADOPTED

So it was a good start to the week. And we know there is good news on the way tomorrow so see you then.

Adoption of Goltenk and Lazare’s dream is over

Today’s adoptee, Goltenk is one of the many dogs who is incredibly lucky to have made it to the ScPA. He was brought in towards the end of August by a woman who had heard his cries and helped rescue this young crossbreed from the bottom of a well. Goltenk turned out to be identified, but as his owner had been trying to give his dog away free on the internet, it was no surprise that he did not come to reclaim him. Although we are assured that he was not responsible for Goltenk’s being down the well. Hmmmm…..

In any case, today Goltenk had yet more good luck. Today he left the refuge for a new home and we hope a new life of love and happiness.

mid brown dog with pointy ears

Goltenk – rescued from a well and ADOPTED

We thought Lazare had found the same, but it was not to be. Anyone who expects a dog to adapt immediately to life outside after being in a refuge for almost 6 years has unrealistic expectations. Either of their own abilities or of the dog’s. And sadly there is a big difference between having good intentions and having the patience and understanding to allow a dog to settle in. Yes, Lazare is back, his hopes (and ours) dashed after just 3 days.

I don’t know how many times we have been disappointed like this, yet in our naivety we still believe in miracles. I guess this endless optimism (all too often unfounded) is what enables volunteers to continue bashing their heads against a brick wall.

German shepherd cross

Lazare is back. – A patient Foster family is required.

Talking about heads and brick walls, the numbers quoted in yesterday’s newspaper article concerning the ScPA collection in Place Carnot make for quite sobering reading. So far this year 610 dogs and over 400 cats have arrived at the refuge. That is a record breaking number, and the year is not over yet. And remember the ScPA is but one of many hundreds of refuges throughout France. These high figures are not unique to our region, and we are sure that the trend of receiving far more older and sick dogs is a nationwide one. No money for vets bills as well as new mobile phones and Netflix accounts, presumably.

Let’s hope that things cheer up next week.

Mixed news for Amstaffs

Today was…how can I put it….mixed!  On the good news front, the sun shone brightly and the event on Place Carnot was a huge success, with plenty of interest shown in the ScPA, and lots of visits from adoptees and their new families. Photos will be posted in due course, I am sure.

Now onto what happened at the refuge. Getting the bad news over with straight away, employees and volunteers said a sad farewell to Oxmo, who has gone to the big kennel in the sky. This very old American Staff (identified) was found in a nearby village and although it was possible that his owner would reclaim him, seeing the state of Oxmo, a one-way trip to the vets seemed the most likely outcome. Just a shame it had to be with relative strangers, rather than with his real owner. This is sadly indicative of the moral courage of certain individuals.

Although his time at the ScPA was brief, Oxmo touched the hearts of many people, and of course he did not die alone. Many thanks to the employees who accompanied him on his final journey.

Oxmo – RIP

Next up good news. Aiko, an Amstaff of whom we have no pictures, left for a long term foster family. This is because he is very seriously ill, despite being just two years old. He is lucky enough to have found a family to take care of him knowing that he has limited life expectancy. Huge thanks to them.


Aiko – Long term foster

Finally after almost a year Julia left the refuge. This American Staff arrived in early January and was the first dog to be put into the ScPA’s album of miraculous survivors. When she arrived she was absolutely skeletal after severe neglect; hard to imagine that she was not a stray. Less than two months later and she was a different dog, full of life and fat as butter. Yes, that is all the time it took for her to recover, thanks to the tireless efforts of the ScPA.

emaciated dog

Julia when she arrived in January

It may surprise you to know that she has now gone back to her original owner. But don’t worry, this is not the person responsible for Julia’s terrible condition; all the mistreatment happened after the couple separated. Photos taken before this show Julia to be a much loved member of the family, and we hope that is what she will be once again. The ScPA will be monitoring her progress and Julia will always have a home back with us if ever she needs it.

Fat dog

Julia 6 weeks later and now RECLAIMED

As I say, it was a mixed day, but there was a reservation and perhaps another wonderful one to come.

Adoption of puppy Texas

When puppy Ranger was adopted yesterday everyone was delighted…..apart from one poor soul, her brother Texas, who was left alone looking through the bars of the park. Yes, there is always a first and a last to leave of any litter, and when there are only two pups, it is even sadder, especially as it can be days or even weeks between the two adoptions. Not so in this case, however, as just 24 hours after her brother left, it was Texas’s turn to start her new life.

So less than two weeks after being found lost and alone in a forest, these two gorgeous pups of some 3 months have both been happily rehomed. That is quite a turnaround in fortunes for these two gorgeous pups.

Black and tan puppy


In other news, for anyone who is local to Carcassonne, the ScPA will be in Place Carnot tomorrow to show off some of the wonderful dogs who are waiting for homes. So if you plan to visit the market or maybe do a bit of (very early) Christmas shopping, why not go and say hello and meet them and some of the team. It is a great way to find out more about the refuge and the work it does at Christmas and throughout the year.

The week is far from over, and of course we are hoping there is more good news still to come.

Adoption of Ranger and a Miracle for Lazar.

Today we had the adoption of Ranger. He is one of two puppies who was found last week alone in a forest and were lucky enough to be brought to safety. A lovely black and tan lad, he is fun and friendly and everything a pup should be. He has gone to live with the family who adopted Tyron towards the end of last year, so he will have lots of canine as well as human companionship. We wish him and his family loads of happiness together and look forward to lots of news and photos.

His sister Texas is still waiting, but we hope that she too will have a new home before winter sets in properly.

black and tan puppy

Ranger – ADOPTED

Yes, the cold weather has arrived with a vengeance. It seems not so long ago that we were complaining about scorching temperatures and admiring the cold water spray system that was installed this summer. Now it is a question of hoping that as many of our dogs as possible find homes before it gets any colder. Yes, there are heat lamps in some of the kennels, but the comfort they provide cannot be compared with that of a loving home.

Lazare was about to spend his 6th Christmas at the ScPA, believe it or not. He arrived in Summer 2014, when he was just over a year old, and a few of us can even remember his arrival, which was due to a divorce. His owner promised to collect Lazare once his life was back on track, but inevitably that never happened.

Lazare was diagnosed with cancer of the toe some time ago, and the ScPA has been desperately seeking a foster family for him. It looked like this miracle would never take place. But then it did! Lazare left today with the promise of gentle walks, a warm hearth and lots of love and affection; all he could possibly need! It truly is a miracle and more than a few tears were shed, including Bénédicte, a volunteer who was active at the time and who now lives many many miles away, but who has never forgotten one of her favourite dogs!

German shepherd cross

Lazare – gone to long term foster after 5 years at the refuge

As for Gucci, no he was not adopted today, but he was reserved, which is the next best thing!

Adoption of Chanel and Angie

Today two dogs from the same family left for new homes. When I say “same family” I am referring to both their own (canine) family and their human family. These two girls were brought in for rehoming with their big brother or maybe father just over two weeks ago. As is often the case, it is the girls who have been adopted first.

Angie is the younger of the two, and she has gone to live with a long term DRC supporter, Sheila, who adopted timid little Maisie from the ScPA about eight years ago. Maisie arrived with about 2 dozen other dogs (no, that is not a typo!) in a mistreatment case, and although she is still timid, she is a far happier dog than she was back then. Losing her pal recently has set her back, so Sheila was keen to find her a new playmate, and lucky Angie was the one who caught her eye.

poodle cross angie


Second to leave was Chanel. She, like Angie, has been neglected rather than mistreated, so it is just a question of lots of love and cuddles, and we are sure that Chanel will be right as rain too.

poodle cross

Chanel – ADOPTED

Many thanks to both of today’s adopters, and if you like the look of these two dogs, please spare a thought for Gucci. He is a lovely boy and he too would love a new home. He was born in May 2011, and like Chanel and Angie is a fluffy smallish poodle cross with fabulous tousled fur. And like the two girls, he has been living with other dogs and cats, plus he is great with children.

Gucci – Still looking for a home. Okay with dogs, cats and children

We are hoping for more good news tomorrow; will that include the adoption of Gucci? Let’s hope so!


Adoption of senior dog, Djux

There was an adoption today, and as it is such a good one, we are doing a short and sweet blog, rather than wait till tomorrow when there will be more good news. Let’s face it, when the weather is like this, we all need a bit of cheering up, so why wait!

Today’s lucky dog, Breton spaniel Djux, only arrived a week or so ago. His family brought him in for rehoming as they were moving to an apartment and didn’t think that their elderly dog would be happy without a garden. Djux is going to be twelve in January, so he might well have been fine. And certainly he would have been happier with his family as opposed to being at the refuge. But ultimately if a dog is no longer welcome, whatever the reason, it is better for him to find a new home.

And to everyone’s delight, today that is exactly what Djux has! Huge thanks to his new family. We hope Djux has many more wonderful years ahead of him, and that his few days at the refuge is soon no more than a fleeting memory.

brittany spaniel

11 year old Djux – ADOPTED

If you would like to offer a home to a senior dog, you might be interested to know that their adoption fee is just €80, for which the dog will be vaccinated, identified and neutered. And as many of us know, older dogs are the BEST!

More good news is due tomorrow, so see you then!

Nervous about adopting a dog with Brexit looming?

Tonight’s blog is in response to adopters who are a bit wary of adopting a pet at the moment due to Brexit.

First of all, if you adopt in France and your pet has an EU passport you don’t have a lot to worry about. Worst case scenario is that your pet needs a blood test one month after they have their rabies vaccination. You will then have a wait of 10-14 days for the result and providing the blood test is successful you can then travel back and forward as usual 1 month after the blood test was taken.

So the procedure is:-

  1. Rabies vaccination
  2. Blood test after 1 month
  3. Travel as normal 1 month after successful blood test.

Once your vet has the results, he will stamp your pets passport. As long as you keep your rabies vaccinations in date there is no further blood test needed.

That is the worst case scenario…it could be that some agreement is made and pets travel as normal.

If you are like me and have older dogs, you may have had a blood test done before the UK entered the EU.  Surprisingly, as long as you have always kept their rabies up to date, no further blood is needed.

For those in the UK , with a Uk passport, the process is a bit longer and you will need about 4 months to prepare your dog.

Here us a successful rabies blood test result, Anything above 0,5 is a pass…this cats is 12,4!

Page 8 in the old style UK passport is where the vet would have stamped to confirm a successful serology test!







Adoption of Paco, Missy and Lost…

Well, today was certainly a busy day at the refuge. We have the adoptions of Paco, Missy and Lost and then Gaspard found a foster home!  After that tiny Fry was reclaimed so thats 5 leavers…what a day!

We will start with the youngest. Puppies Pepsy and Paco arrived at the refuge about 2 months ago. victims of neglect. Pepsy was adopted last week leaving poor Paco waiting on his own. Luckily he didn’t have a long wait and left today to live with another dog and 9 cats!

Puppy Paco has a home at last!

The next adoption was that of little Missy. Missy was found and brought to the refuge. After her 10 days pound time, she was adopted by the person who found her. I know some people will wonder why she bothered bringing her in if she was going to keep her. Well this was absolutely the right thing to do, When you find a dog it’s not finders keepers, someone may be distraught and looking for their dog! 10 days pound time gives owners time to reclaim their dog.

Missy is off to live with 2 other small dogs!

Next to leave was Lost. This is another dog who was reserved soon after arriving and has left soon after his pound time was up. Lost is off to a family with another dog so he will have a friend to help him settle in.

Lost adopted!

The next boy to leave was Gaspard, a lovely but poorly German Shepherd. He has at last found a foster home where he can have the tlc that he so needs. A massive thank you to the family who have taken this boy in!

Gaspard has a long term foster…lucky boy!

Last but not least, little Fry was reclaimed by his owners. That’s only1 night he had in kennels..another lucky boy!

Fry was reclaimed..


Happy Huskies (or A dream comes true for Nilo and Oaka)

Today something wonderful happened. The ScPA’s two huskies, Nilo and Oaka, left for a new life together!

I can’t count the number of times that dogs have arrived together and been separated upon adoption. Okay, dogs usually bounce back fine, even when they seem very attached to one another. But it is always a bit sad to see them go their separate ways. However adopting two dogs at the same time (and often from the same family) is not for everyone, and hardly ever happens. Especially when the dogs are not small and are of a breed known for being a bit difficult.

Today however the dream came true for Nilo and Oaka. They arrived together towards the end of September and today a young couple who are experienced with the breed offered a home to both dogs! There had been other people interested in one or other of the dogs, (unsurprisingly more people wanted Oaka, although she is the more complicated of the couple), but keeping them together is far better.

So tonight we say thank you to their new family and wish Nilo and Oaka many happy years ahead. Still together but in a much more suitable home.

Oaka – ADOPTED…..


….together with her mate, Nilo

There was more good news, with a very elderly dog who arrived about a week ago being reclaimed. Harry was estimated as being 15 years old, so finding him a new home would have been no easy task, especially as he is a quite a big dog. Far better that he should be back in his own home.

Fifteen year old Harry – RECLAIMED

We could do with lots more news like this, and there is still a weekend ahead for more miracles!