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All they want for Christmas is free…..

Everyone loves presents, even dogs. But what does your dog really want for Christmas this year? Does he want a new bed? How about a nice shiny collar? Perhaps a new sporty harness? Unlikely, but luckily for us all they really want is free!

One major thing a dog craves is attention from his favourite people!

Now at this time of year we are all really busy with present buying, cooking and cleaning but the best thing we can give our dog is a little extra time.

Most people ensure that their dog gets a walk at least once a day, but why not add a sniff walk for him in the evening. Just have a wander around, letting them sniff at will, you have no idea how much pleasure that this gives them, and that lamp post or tree holds a wealth of information for them. Or how about a few of their favourite games?

Treat wise a little turkey or chicken will be most appreciated but do be careful with treats that are often left around that can really harm your pet, especially gifts you put under the tree. Many a dog has helped itself to edible goodies when their owner is not looking! Chocolate and mince pies are not advised and be very careful where you put these cooked turkey bones. Cooked bones can splinter and be very sharp and the last thing you want is a trip to the emergency vet on Christmas day!

On checking my Christmas list, I see that I still have 4 dogs and 9 cats to buy pressies for so it’s off to Pets at Home for me tomorrow.

If you are planning a gift for your pets what are you buying?

Dont let this be your dog…





Minta leaves for her forever family…

When Minta first arrived in August this year we assumed that as a beautiful white griffon cross she would be snapped up right away. But we were wrong.

In September she caught the eye of a couple from the Uk who really loved the look of her and were sure that her keen scent hound nose would make her a great candidate for training as a search dog. They were so keen that they flew over to meet her and fell in love instantly.

They went home and emailed us on the Sunday afternoon to reserve her, just as another couple adopted her. I was gutted for them and really disappointed!

Sometimes I think that some things are just meant to be and as soon as I heard that Minta was coming back to the refuge I contacted them, and they reserved her right away. I was very worried that in the meantime they would have adopted another dog but no, Minta had stolen their heart.

So, we prepared her for travel, completed her TRACES documentation and this morning very early Darcey handed her over to the transporters. Many thanks to Darcey for doing this, I know what like it is tossing and turning waiting for the transporters call which is invariably about 4am in the morning!

At the moment she is at Eurotunnel and will be with her new family about 2am tomorrow morning. As well as doing search work Minta will have two brothers, both rescues and a family who are very much into training, so she will never be bored.

I am sure that we will have pictures of her relaxing with her new family soon and I am very grateful to them for making such an effort to fly over come and meet her and offer her such a great future.

Beautiful Minta…

Adoption of Tango

It is always great when an older dog is adopted. Winter at the refuge is hard for older dogs, particularly ones who have known love all their lives before their arrival.

Nine year old Tango is at the ScPA because of the death of his owner. And so loyal was he that despite being taken in by a lovely friend of the family, Tango kept trying to get back to his old home, risking being injured on the road. So reluctantly he was brought to the refuge. That was five weeks ago, and we are delighted that he has found a home so soon.

His new owner wrote to the refuge to ask which dogs would correspond with her lifestyle. Rather than have to choose, or maybe fall in love with a dog that would just not be right, she was happy to follow a bit of guidance. Tango was one of three dogs who would have been suitable, and as he was the first one she met, he struck lucky! And I mean REALLY lucky. Tango’s new mum has two months off work to settle him in, and then in the middle of next year she will stop work completely and so will never be out of her sight. This is most dog’s dream, I am pretty sure. Many thanks to his new mum who has already sent a picture of Tango who is fast asleep in his new home.

small white dog with black head


There have been several new arrivals in recent days and so it is nice that at least one dog has left to spend life in the warm. Let’s hope for more adoptions in the days to come.

Calendars, baubles, photos….One final fundraising push!

Many people have asked whether the ScPA will be doing its annual sale of treat-filled baubles for dogs and cats this year, and today they have arrived!

Dog baubles are large and are filled with tasty goodies, and although the cat baubles are smaller, they each contain a toy as well as some delicious nibbles. At €4.50 per bauble they are a great way to treat the animals in your life. Or those waiting for a family at the refuge, of course.

As in previous years the baubles can be purchased in person from the refuge for your own animals or of course left to adorn the ScPA Christmas tree, which is in place as of today. And if you live elsewhere, you can buy baubles using the refuge Paypal address (spacarcassonne@yahoo.fr). If you prefer to send the money to DRC (website@dogrescuecarcassonne.co.uk) we will of course pass the money on. Please tell them/ us  for whom the baubles are intended, and we will try to make sure no animal is left without treats to open on Christmas Day.

Many thanks to the team of elves who have been busy creating behind the scenes. It is done with great love and care, as you can see from the photo below.

xmas baubles

Treat filled baubles for the dogs and cats in your life

If you are coming to the refuge anyway to buy some baubles, why not buy a calendar too! These are not refuge – specific (that may happen one year, who knows), but were made by the Lyon Group of independent refuges, of which the ScPA is one. The calendars are great, they go from January 2019 to April 2020 and there is a colour photo and a full page for each month, so plenty of room to note down all your appointments and activities. They make lovely presents too and are just €10, all of which comes to the ScPA!

Finally, as the Year of the Dog draws to a close, DRC thought we would make one final appeal before doing the sums and telling everyone how much has been raised.

Who remembers the dog show that took place way back when the sun was out and the skies were blue? Some people were unable to attend due to the overwhelming heat. Seems incredible now, doesn’t it? In any case, as well as taking formal “portraits”, our ace photographer Marketa took plenty of snaps of the day’s events. Jane has uploaded the best of these, in thumbnail form, and will send you the picture(s) of your choice in exchange for a donation by Paypal!

Just let us know which number(s) photo(s) you would like, make a donation (our paypal address is website@dogrescuecarcassonne.co.uk) and Jane will send you the full size jpegs.

Here are the links to the photos:

Page one
Page two

Hopefully this will raise plenty of money as well as remind you of warm skies and happy times!

And news hot off the press….As the Dog Rescue Carcassonne Christmas gift to the ScPA we are paying for the installation of heat lamps in five kennels. What a great way to bring this Year of the Dog to a close.

We will keep you informed on progress and also let you know the fundraising total for the year in due course.

A good start to the week.

When eight year old Falcor was brought in for rehoming in April this year he was quite thin and infested with fleas. A couple of weeks later and he was looking magnificent, and as this dog is fine with other dogs, cats and children, he has been a very easy “guest”

Before the adoption of ultra-timid Olaf, the two friends (who were sharing a kennel at the time) spent a few days in the reception room, and it was there that we saw what a calm and well behaved dog Falcor was. However he is not the youngest of lads, and is starting to have a few arthritic niggles. A cold kennel is not the best place for him, especially as winter starts in earnest.

He was featured on the ScPA “advent calendar” which is promoting a different dog each day, and he was being considered by a possible foster family, when the miracle happened. A couple came to the refuge and fell head over heels in love with Falcor. They were looking for a calm dog who was easy on the lead and who would not be upset at being left alone for short periods each day. Falcor was their number one choice, and he left this weekend for his new life.

setter cross

Falcor – ADOPTED

Next Cerise, who came back last week following an unsuccessful rehoming, has left again. In fact the day after her last adoption we learned that one of our regular dog walkers was interested in Cerise. So when she came back, the ScPA contacted her and asked if, knowing what we now know (those pesky cats again!), she was still interested.

So Cerise has another chance, but this time with instructions as to how dog/cat introductions should be handled. Sometimes allowing the animals to meet slowly can make all the difference, and we hope that Cerise has found her forever home this time.

brown and black setter cross

Cerise – ADOPTED (again)

Finally today we also said goodbye to Clementine, a tiny little yorkie cross who was brought to the ScPA at the end of last month. She was identified and adorable, but still she remained unclaimed. Such things are hard to fathom. In any case today she left for her new home. Her new family are actually the people who found her as a stray, and this hooks up nicely with Moira’s blog of yesterday….Finders keepers does NOT apply to dogs.

Lucky, the golden retriever was indeed identified and is back with his owners. But as Moira stated, had he not been, Cindy would have brought him to the ScPA (or the pound indicated to her by the mairie). Because any dog, identified or not, needs a chance to find his owners.

Clementine’s new family could have just kept her without her passing via the ScPA. But they would have always felt a bit uncomfortable had they done so. Very few people could sleep well at night, knowing that perhaps a family is searching for their beloved pet. As it is, everything has been done correctly. For anyone with a conscience, honesty is the best policy!

yorkie cross

Clementine – ADOPTED

I was going to share with you some end of year fundraising news, but tonight’s blog is already long enough. So that will have to wait for another day!

Found in Limoux….

Today one of our volunteers found a stunning golden retriever running about on the road in Limoux, and as any dog lover would do, caught him and is keeping him safe until we can locate the owner.

We regularly get asked what to do when someone finds a dog, So I thought that I’d mention what steps to take should it be you.

First of all, make sure the dog is well and if it is hurt, that is a priority and you can take it to any vet.  If the dog is thirsty, give it a drink and maybe a little food if hungry.

Next thing to do is check if the dog is wearing a collar with an identification disk or number written inside the collar. If not take the dog to the nearest vet to check for a chip or tattoo.

Social media sites really help.

Place details of the dog on the web site www.chien-perdu.org , where there is a section for found dogs. Your local SPA may also have a lost / found section on their website. Please also contact Pet Alert France – a Facebook group dedicated to finding lost pets. This group is regionalised, so search for and post on your own region’s group.

All stray dogs are the responsibility of the Mairie so let him know that you have found him and they will tell you which SPA / Pound to take it to.

When the dog reaches the SPA we publish their photo and details in the hope that the owner recognises the dog and comes to collect him.

Please do remember that its not a case of finders keepers. If no owner comes forward and you want to adopt the dog then that is fine but its only fair to give people time to find their dog…anyone can lose a dog and not all lost dogs are without owners.

Tomorrow our volunteer who has found the stunning golden will have him checked for a chip at the vets and if there is no chip will bring him to the SPA.

Anyone recognise this handsome chap?



Adoption of Mecano and Oscar (at last)

Oscar was brought to the ScPA for rehoming in April 2017 by a family who was unable to cope with such a strong dog as well as their other animals. And to be honest at the time he was a bit of a hooligan. Just over a year old at the time, this lad had been hand reared from 2 days old, which is far too young for a dog to leave his mother, and unsurprisingly he had what we can politely call “issues”.

Mother’s milk is very important to dogs; without it they do not have what are known as the “codes”, a kind of secret language that tells dogs how to behave in certain situations. At first, and through no fault of his own, Oscar did not have these codes. However in his 20 months at the ScPA, Oscar has made huge progress. He has shared his box the entire time, and the employees have been careful to mix him with dogs who would teach him how to be a good doggy citizen.

But when would anyone notice him? Well, the answer is TODAY! A woman came along looking for a companion for her elderly female golden retriever. She wanted a dog who would get on with her dog, obviously, but also preferably one that had been with us for a while and needed some good luck. And she chose Oscar!

It is wonderful news for this boy at last. He is still under three years old and has plenty of time to make up for his missing years, and we hope that his new friend will keep him in line if he gets too exuberant.

mid brown coloured dog

Oscar – ADOPTED after 20 months at the refuge

And that was not the day’s only piece of good news, either. Many of you know that there is a team of volunteer handy(wo)men, who beautify the refuge. Well the head of this team is Philippe, and like all the team he is a great dog lover. Today he finally cracked! Six year old setter, Mecano, who has been in and out of the ScPA his whole life, has a new home. And it looks as if he has settled in already!

We are delighted for this lad, and we know that he could not possibly have a better life ahead of him. Huge thanks to Philippe.

Mecano – ADOPTED

We had a couple of wonderful reservations too, and so it looks like the Christmas miracles are about to start!

Adoption of Django

We had another leaver today! This time it was Django, a dog of some six months who was brought in for rehoming on Saturday. The person bringing him in had found him a month earlier and decided that dog-ownership was not for her. It didn’t take long for him to find a new home, however. Let’s hope his previous owner was not looking for him, although no one has signalled such a dog as being missing to the refuge or to the other internet sites.

The observant amongst you may wonder if Django is a categorised dog. Well, the answer is we don’t know as yet. The official “diagnosis” of breed cannot be made until a dog is 8 months old. So Django’s new family has to be prepared for him to be officially labelled a “dangerous dog” in a couple of months when this boy is fully grown. That alone should tell you how ridiculous this law is; one day a dog is happily wondering around and the next day he has to wear a muzzle and his owners have to have special training in order to be able to control him. Ho hum.

Django’s new family are prepared for this eventuality and we will let you know when the results are in. However  there is no doubt that Django is an adorable young dog and we are pleased that he didn’t spend too long at the refuge before finding a new home.

Many thanks to his new family. And watch this space, as they say!

black and white stocky dog

Django – ADOPTED


Adoption of Osky and Lana

Puppy Osky arrived at the refuge in the middle of November and since this time has proved to be the perfect puppy. At night he has been living in the nursery with the recently arrived cats, and during the day he has mostly playing in the small park with other dogs, greeting everyone with a gentle nose through the bars. On walks he is a joy, he seems to be familiar with a lead, and skips along nicely; no pulling, no frantic twisting like some dogs who have never been out on a lead. So where did he come from and why was no one looking for him? This is one of the mysteries we often come across at the ScPA; dogs who appear to be perfect nevertheless remain unclaimed.

We are always careful about homing puppies. We want their home to be forever, not just till they grow up. And with very few exceptions, we prefer not to home dogs to hunters, several of whom expressed an interest in Osky. We wanted this little lad to have an indoor life, with lots of love and walks. So when Elise said she wished to come and meet him, we had our fingers crossed that she, too, would fall under Osky’s charm. Today she made the trip from Roujan (yes, we have quite a few dogs in that area now) and decided to offer Osky a home. He has been renamed Oscar and is now sharing this with two elderly female Breton spaniels and will have company all the time.

We could not wish more for this delightful little lad.

setter cross

Puppy Osky (now Oscar) – ADOPTED

But that is not the only good news of the day. Do any of you remember Lana, aka Pheobe? She was found and brought into the refuge in 2017 and has had two unsuccessful rehomings since. Lana is a young, active dog, unsuited to life in an apartment (some dogs can live in apartments obviously, but Lana is not one of them, particularly not with an owner who had no time to exercise her) and also unsuited to an unenclosed garden. Recall is not her strong point, not yet, at least.

However things might just have worked out for the best after all. After waiting since March , finally on Saturday Phoebe was visited by a family together with their husky. The two dogs got on fine, and everything was set in motion for Lana to leave the refuge today. The fact that Lana’s new family are husky owners is reassuring, as that almost certainly means that their garden is enclosed and that they are used to dogs not always coming when called. Lana should be very happy indeed! As are we all on her behalf.

black dog with white chest


On the not-so good news side of things, today saw the return of Cerise. Contrary to what we had expected thanks to her previous home (where she lived with cats and ferrets), Cerise did not settle with her new family’s cat. So she is back, but we are hoping she will not have too long to wait before she has another chance.

black and brown setter

Cerise is back, but we hope not for long

Adoption of Etoile

There was quite a reaction to the photos of Etoile that were posted on her first day at the ScPA, just three weeks ago. It is true, she looked absolutely terrified, and many people contacted the refuge and DRC to see what they could do to help her. Of course, what she needed, like most new arrivals, was a bit of time to realise that things were not so bad after all.

Etoile when she first arrived

A week or so later and the pictures told a different story. Etoile had found her feet, was sharing her kennel and enjoying her walks. Life wasn’t too bad after all.

But what she didn’t realise was that it was about to get better still! Sandra, who had found Etoile and brought her to the refuge to see if her owners were looking for her, could not get Etoile off her mind. Let’s face it, many people who bring dogs to the ScPA forget about them immediately; even when they are their own dogs! Not Sandra, however. She resolved to offer a home to Etoile if she was not reclaimed, and this is all the more wonderful as Sandra lives in Germany. She was only on holiday in Carcassonne when Etoile came into her life and has just made the journey back to collect her new dog!

So Etoile, complete with rabies vaccination and passport, will soon be on her way to a new life in Germany!

spaniel with two women

Etoile – ADOPTED and looking much happier.

Stories like this make us all smile, so many thanks to Sandra and her friend for making such a long journey to collect this little dog who had stolen her heart.