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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.