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Latest News

Olaff leaves at last, and Enrico is adopted too.

Today we have two more adoptions to tell you about.  One of them took place yesterday, and the other today, officially at least.

Yesterday’s very lucky leaver was Enrico. He arrived last week and was in a terrified state. He had been straying for some time, and as he is old and almost blind, being caught and brought to the SPA must have been extremely stressful for him. Not the youngest of lads, he has a heart problem, which means he has tablets for life. Luckily this does not put everyone off, and yesterday a couple drove down from the Gers with their elderly dog to whisk Enrico off to his new life.

Today the refuge said goodbye to Olaff, for the second time! His original adopters were obliged to bring him back as the family cats kept attacking him. Okay, they might have been able to sort this out, but as their young child was getting attacked by the stressed cats too, it seemed best for Olaff to find a new family. Which he did! He went to foster and as often happens, the foster family has decided to make him a permanent resident! So Olly is now little brother to Gretta, who was adopted from the SPA six whole years ago, and he now lives with the DRC web elves, Jane and Verity. Many thanks to them and Steve for falling for this little lad.

Olaff’s sister, Elsa, who was brought back earlier this week is in foster too. But effectively she has been adopted, although unable to travel to the UK till her TRACES paperwork is ready. She will leave to live with the son of volunteer Karen. Needless to say we will have lots of news of both puppies. Sometimes the right family does not come along immediately, but it is usually worth the wait.

Three was wonderful news for yesterday’s 19 year old arrival, Pongo. His owners were indeed looking for him, and came to colelct him this afternoon. And thanks to a huge number of volunteers, over one third of the SPA dogs were walked this afternoon. Thanks to everyone!

Enrico – ADOPTED
scruffy black dog








Olaff (now Olly) – ADOPTED

black puppy











Nineteen year old Pongo – RECLAIMED

tiny scruffy york

Adoption of Attic

Just a quick blog tonight, to let you know that today Attic was adopted. In fact it is worth a few words, just to illustrate yet again how sometimes a dog’s turn just comes.

Attic arrived just under two months ago, and so although we knew him, we did not know him as well as some dogs who have been with us for years. One thing we did know, however, is that he is a runner. Anyone adopting this lovely lad would have to be very well enclosed. In fact not all the kennels at the refuge were suitable for him, as he managed to climb into the roof space in a couple of them, hence his name.

A couple had arranged to come today to introduce Attic to their dog, but on reflection, they decided that their garden was not well enough enclosed. So it looked like Attic would have a bit longer to wait. Until about an hour later, that is, when a couple visited whose eyes were drawn to the three black griffons at the SPA. As they live in an apartment but with plenty of time for walks Attic was perfect for them. After all, even Attic cannot escape from a non-existent garden! Off he went looking very pleased with himself indeed.

So it looks like either way, fate had decided that today was Attic’s day.

We mentioned three black griffons. Yes, we all know big Roxy, but believe it or not, today we can introduce you to new arrival Pollux! He looks so like Attic that you almost do a double take when you see him! One to watch, for sure.

black griffon









“Replaced” by new arrival  Pollux

black griffon

Adoption of Tag and Nadja is back home

No blog was planned for tonight, especially as the day had got off to such a bad start. First off, last night newly adopted Gala had been really ill, and was rushed to the emergency vet. This is the result of an infection which, with typical poor timing, only manifested itself as she left the SPA. Fortunately for her, her new family were on the ball enough to rush her to the emergency vets, and now Gala is on the mend. Huge thanks to them for their prompt action. Things like this are very rare, we are not in the habit of letting sick dogs leave us, but sometimes these things happen.

Then Tyson, a beautiful white shepherd was brought back to the SPA after having been adopted in July. Then shortly afterwards, recently adopted Fadista was brought back too. Bringing a dog back to the refuge is easier for some people than others, obviously. Some people go through hell and high water to make things work, others give in at the first sign of trouble.  One option is to seek professional help, but please, when doing so, make sure that you find a reputable behaviourist. There are plently of charlatans out there, and plenty of other “experts” who might mean well but in fact have no idea at all what they are doing. Bad advice is very unlikely to help. If in doubt ask for a recommendation from someone you know has had a positive experience, and if you are in the Carcassonne area, we know several behaviourists who may well be able to help.

So it was looking like a very bad day before the day’s adoption. We finally said goodbye to TAG! This lovely boy has been at the SPA since the end of August 2015, and no one could understand why he was not adopted sooner. He arrived when he was just 4 years old, although perhaps his greying muzzle made people think he was older. Perfect on the lead, affectionate and handsome, Tag’s day has finally come.

As a favourite of many staff and volunteers, Tag has been walked very often, so thanks to everyone who brightened up his stay at the SPA, and spare a thought for Estelle, who is probably still drying her eyes after a very emotional day!

Then we heard fromher owners that Nadja is safely back at home. She was lured in with the help of some tasty morsels and there is huge relief all round. So despite the bad news, this is a happy day!

Tag – ADOPTED after nearly 18 months at the SPA
big shepherd cross









And Nadja is back home

shepherd cross









Adoption of Gala, and Canaille is a Champion!

Today little Gala left for her new home. She had lots of interest, and many people will be disappointed that they were not selected as her new family. In the end it came down to a question of how much time people would have available during the first few months, which is a crucial period in the development of social skills, and also how badly people insisted on a small dog. Originally it was thought that Gala would be about 7kg as an adult, but as this now appears unlikely to be the case, it was best for her not to go to people who specifically wanted a tiny girl!

If you wanted Gala and were disappointed, please don’t despair, unfortunately there will always be more pups. And in fact one of the Frozen litter was brought back today…Sadly Elsa’s family are unable to keep her for professional reasons, so although she will not be as small as Gala when she is adult, Elsa will be a lovely companion nonetheless.

Now how about our lost dogs? Yesterday’s escapee, Nadja, is close to her home, so not LOST lost, just too nervous to come closer. Her owners are wisely letting her approach at her own pace, leaving food and bedding out for her in the barn and the conservatory. As for Boss and Ondine, both are still missing. However we know someone who can help! Or at least he could if he were closer….

Ex SPA dog  Canaille, who was adopted in Belgium thanks to Animal Trust, has become a qualified search and tracker dog. Yesterday he won a trophy, showing his prowess at helping to find missing dogs and people. This looks like a great activity, and I think it is the first ex SPA dog who works in this domain. Congratulations to both him and his owner, Sofie. What a life Canaille has had since leaving us!

black and white puppy








Three month old Elsa is back

Black lab puppy








And Canaille is a Champion

dog with golden trophy

Meet Max..a home to home success!

This is a story which will touch every doggy lovers heart. What if life deals you a very cruel blow and you just can’t keep you dog? What do you do when you know that the only solution that is fair on your dog is to rehome him?

John and Gillian were great retriever lovers, they had had 4 rescue golden retrievers before coming to France but as there were no rescues available they decided to go to a breeder and got Max, a beautiful, healthy pup.  Life was good and Max was a great pup, they walked miles each day really enjoying an active outdoor life.

But sometimes life deals a cruel blow and when Gillian contacted me a few weeks ago, Max was now 18 months old, they both were suffering from severe mobility problems and were really struggling to give Max the exercise that a young retriever needed.

We had a long chat and we both agreed that heart-breaking as it was, the best and fairest option was to find Max a new home. Can you imagine the pain and worry of entrusting the care of your dog to another person but knowing that it was the right thing to do?

Some breeds of dog are very popular and a 18 month old, handsome golden retriever was going to attract a lot of attention but I wanted to find Max the very best of homes.

Jan and Colin, a couple who help a lot with our fundraising group are also great retriever lovers. They had lost their lovely girl Madison just before Christmas and I wondered if Bailey their 6-year-old would like another best friend.

Both couples spoke and agreed that Max would come for a 2-week trial to see how Bailey and him got on. Max was already vaccinated, identified, castrated and even had a passport. John and Gillian drove Max 5-6 hours to a meet point where I picked him up and took him onward to what was hopefully going to be his new home.

Less than one week in, the decision was made and Max was adopted. Max was a good boy and Bailey was loving having a playmate!

Although very sad,  John and Gillian are delighted that Max has found an active home with other retriever lovers. Knowing that their darling boy is going to have the best of lives is the very best of outcomes.

We feel privileged that they entrusted us to help!

Max…settled and happy!


Fabulous Friday

Three more adoptions to tell you about today, one from each end of the age spectrum, plus a dog who has spent nearly a year and a half at the SPA.

Puppy Malko has been in foster with Isa since his arrival just before Christmas. Thanks to her and her family (and dogs) this little lad has had a great time being loved and socialised, rather than being at the SPA. Of course the SPA does its best, but it is never going to be as good as a family home. One of the duties of a foster is to find the puppy’s forever home, and Isa has been meeting people and making sure that his new family was a perfect match for Malko.

Today was the day when he left for his new home, and although she is bound to keep in touch, of course Isa and her family will miss Malko. Many thanks to them for getting this little lad off to such a great start in life.

We also had the adoption of Sherlock. He arrived on Monday folllowing the death of his owners. Luckily for him, some people who knew him in his former life have opened their home to him, and so after two days at the SPA, Sherlock is back in a loving home. At the age of ten, this must be a huge relief for him, as it is for all of us.

The award for adoption of the day has to go to Nadja, however. She has been at the SPA since October 2015 when she arrived terrified and extremely thin. It has taken a lot of time and patience by both the staff and volunteers to give her the confidence that she has today. However the work is not over yet, Nadja is still scared of many things and she is lucky to have found a family who are prepared to give her the love she still needs. Her name means hope, and it suit

So a happy Friday blog and hopefully more news to come, as we are open on both Saturday and Sunday afternoons this weekend!

fluffy brindle puppy











Sherlock – ADOPTED

old brown and black dog









And Nadja – ADOPTED 

shepherd cross

Adoptions of Amber and Maddy

Today we have two more adoptions to tell you about. One of them took place yesterday, and the other today.

The first lucky leaver was Amber. Now we all knew she would go quickly, being a young, medium sized female. Moreover she had excellent body language and even without meeting her properly, it was clear that she was a super affectionate girl. Sure enough, before her pound time had even finished, she had already been reserved, and yesterday she was sterilised and left for her new home. Yes, sometimes it can be that quick!

Today’s leaver had even less time to wait. The reason for that was that she arrived having been abandoned. When we know that an owner is not looking for his dog, it makes no sense for the dog to wait for 10 days! Abandoned dogs do not go into the pound at all, they go straight into the SPA proper. No, it is not merely a paper exercise, the pound and the SPA are co-located but physically separate, with the boxes nearest to the gate being reserved for the pound.

So when Maddy arrived, she went straight to the SPA, and was already sharing her box on day one. Today for her was day six, but of course she had not the ten days’ obligatory wait. Her new owner knew her in her former life, so did not have to choose between all the other hopeful dogs in the kennels. Instead Maddy has gone to live with people whom she knows well and we are sure this will be a better new life for her.

Our only new arrival is a lovely German Shepherd pup, Aska, who is currently in the pound. She will not have long to wait, we are sure. Even less if her owners are looking for her.

pretty brown dog












pale shepherd











New arrival – ASKA

german shepherd cross


Four more leavers!

We have four adoptions to tell you about today!

Yesterday saw the adoption of Ernie, who had been at the SPA since mid September. His owner contacted us and initially said she would collect him, but she didn’t. He is quite ambitious as  a first dog, but the couple who came along today fell in love with him, and on the basis that nothing ventured, nothing gained, Ernie left the SPA.

Next up, lovely Dumbo has left for his new home. You may remember that he was homed on Boxing Day (December 26th), only to be brought back on New Year’s Eve. His family was sad, so were we and so was Dumbo; mostly because he had no idea what he had done wrong.

However this return to the refuge led to a massive amount of publicity, and all of a sudden we were swamped with people offering him a home. Because now we were able to tell them that he was house-trained, did not destroy, was adorable with children and cats, and his only fault was that he barked like a hound. Probably because he is a hound! All of the people offering him a home were Brits, and although some of them were in France, the best home turned out to be in the UK!

This morning just before the refuge opened, Moira met the TRACES registered transporter who was taking Dumbo to his new home. His new family had already undergone a home check thanks to a sister organisation, and they are very excited about the arrival of their new lad. He is bound to cut quite a dash in a country that has probably never seen a dog of his breed before! There is only one Dumbo!

This afternoon the good news continued with the adoption of Chalco. He was brought to the SPA one year and five days ago, abandoned by his owner. As a big dog, and one of nine years old, he was lucky to find a home. His new owners have been waiting to move house before adopting, and we are delighted that they have opened their hearts to a senior dog.

Finally we had the departure of Cookie. He arrived yesterday following the sad decease of his owner. We thought that for once his family would do the honorable thing and adopt their parent’s beloved dog. But no, yet again it was a question of someone coming along and handing in the vaccination book and washing their hands of the dog. Yes, we know that not everyone can take on a dog, but it is always sad when someone’s beloved pet is just dumped at the SPA, particularly when everyone knows that is the last thing in the world the owner would have wanted.

In any case, it was not a disaster for Cookie, as he was reserved straight away and left the SPA today with his new owner, after having a makeover from Angelique.

The only bad news was the arrival of a tiny boy of 12 years old who looks like a mini Dingo (who remembers him?). Let’s hope he is as lucky as the dogs who have found their new homes this weekend.











Big hound









Nine year old Chalco – ADOPTED

big black and tan dog









pale brown fluffy dog









And this is tiny new arrival Enrico

tiny black tousle haired dog


Three more adoptions…oh, hold on, make that four!

Another good day at the SPA, with several adoptions.

This morning before the gates opened to the public, David, a dog transporter, came to collect Aimee and take her to her new home on the French side of the Swiss border. Aimee had not been with us for long, just four weeks, in fact. She arrived in a dreadful state; it looked like she had been kept in a very small space or perhaps tied up for literally years; her coat was so matted that huge chunks had to be cut out, leaving horrible burn-like marks on her skin where she had lain in her own urine. Horrific. Incredibly this dog bore no malice to people despite her treatment at the hands of mankind, and was one of the most gentle and loving dogs we have met. The couple who found her and brought her to the SPA came to visit her regularly and they were delighted, as were we all, that Aimee has found such a wonderful home. Her new family are well known to us, and seven year old Aimee really has won the jackpot. Mind you, she deserves it after the life she has had up to now.

Thanks to Angelique for giving Aimee a wash and brush before she left. You can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear, but we are sure that in time Aimee will be revealed in all her beauty; external as well as internal.

Second to leave was little Prosper. And guess what? He has gone off to live with recently adopted Aydie (now renamed Shelby). Her new owners say double the puppies means double the fun, and Propser was over the moon to meet his new playmate. We still have a couple of pups, including Olaff who is alone again (for sanitary reasons we cannot mix him with the other SPA pup, Gala). Olaff is absolutely wonderful and surely must find a home soon!

Our third adoption was that of FanFan. He is a lovely fauve who arrived some two and a half weeks ago, and whom we posted immediately on the usual fauve rescue sites. However he has stayed local, and although his new owners have three other dogs, FanFan is their first fauve. Introductions with the family’s other dogs took place in the park today, and all went well, so at nearly seven years old, FanFan’s new life begins!

Last but by no means least, news Lawson. Like Kayla who left two weeks ago, Lawson was officially a “dangerous dog” according to French legislation. He had the good fortune to be stunningly handsome, and also to benefit from the publicity given to him by the association Les Delits d’Anges Heureux. It was thanks to them that this lad left the SPA last week, although initally, as per the law, this was in a foster home. Today however he went to see the vet and he has been “decategorised”. JOY!  As of this morning Lawson is a dog just like any other!  No more muzzles (unless he is on the train, of course), no more need for his owners to have special insurance and attend special training courses etc.

Wonderful news to complete another good day.

Aimee – ADOPTED after presumably years of misery
scruffy looking grey dog









Prosper (on right) with Shelby

shelby and Prosper










FanFan (now Dougal) – ADOPTED

Fauve de bretagne









Lawson – no longer a dangerous dog – ADOPTED




More puppy news and three adults leave the SPA.

You will be pleased to know that the really cold snap seems to be over for the time being, but we are still hoping to get as many of our dogs as possible into new homes. Because “home” is the right place for a dog, not a concrete kennel at the SPA!

Moira mentioned that puppy Olaff was left behind after all his siblings had been adopted. Well, after finding a home yesterday, he is sadly back today, as the family’s cats simply did not want a dog in their house and made his life a misery. So he sharing his (indoor) kennel with little Prosper, another lovely youngster who has finished his pound time and is now waiting for a new home too.

In other puppy news, Isa has been fostering little Malko for the past three weeks, and although he is in a warm home, he needs a family of his own! Isa tell us that he is a great little lad, who will grow to be quite a big boy. Lively and cheeky, just as a pup should be!

Better news for pups Chairo and Salsa, both of whom were adopted yesterday. And good news too for today’s new arrival, Malou. His owners phoned the SPA and were relieved to hear that he was there. They were surprised that they had not been contacted, as Malou was microchipped. Except he wasn’t any more! Yes, believe it or not chips can pop out, especially when young pups are involved, so it is worth checking this every time your dog visits the vet.

Onto the adults now! And we have three dogs to tell you about.

First to leave was Roucky, the 12 year old spaniel who came to the SPA when his owner had to move into an old people’s home. Such cases are tragic, as neither the owner nor the poor dog is not to blame. Luckily Marie-Ange lived up to her name yet again and has taken this lovely old dog into long term foster.

Then we had two adoptions, starting with Neige, a lovely lab/griffon cross who arrived relatively recently and is now going to have a wonderful life with a canine friend and lots of horses! This sounds perfect for her. And then Liquorice (now renamed Gru) left with his new family after less than three weeks at the SPA.

So all in all a pretty good day.

Olaff  needs a home
black puppy with white chest












Prosper needs a home too

black and tan pup









As does Malko 

small brindle pup











Malou – reclaimed

white fluffy pup












12 year old Roucky has found a long term foster

brittany spaniel



















Liquorice  (now Gru) – ADOPTED

black dog