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This is what dog rescue is all about!

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When we recently lost our chocolate labrador to cancer, Christine put us in touch with a 2 year old chocolate labrador needing rescued from Paris. He was not being mis-treated but was living in innappropriate conditions for a lively, large & intelligent dog. Almost three months later he is enjoying life to the full in rural Charente and keeping our Old English Sheepdog company all day long. I thought a photo of him enjoying his new life may encourage more people to take on "rescue dogs" !


(PS - The Old English has a frisbee in her mouth!!)

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Thank you for the great news Les Ponts, so pleased all is going well.  They certainly look happy !

What really touches me is not only the wonderful homes (still too few unfortunately) offered, but the enormous motivation of those who haved decided to rescue a pet.  They are ready to assume all, no matter the distance.  You went all the way up to Paris, Cerise went all the way to the Vaucluse from the Tarn, the girl who came from Lille down to Niort for her Argos and Amanda who is ready to go right down from England/Normandy to Bordeaux for her dear Brasco.

There are so many who are put down and forgotten in total "indifference", just a dog, a number, whatever.  You are giving them an importance, an existence, their rights.  Bravo et merci.

There were recently three "smelly old dogs" who were to be put down at the fourrière of Thouars.  Two have since been rescued and taken to the marvellous refuge of Saint Jean d'Angely, who are also taking a little dog from Niort for the same reason.   Refuge Fontorbe

But, prior to that, a young girl in Nancy saw these dogs and fell in love with the elderly Setter/Spaniel and offered to take him in foster care.  It seemed so far and impossible, but she wouldn't let go, finding out about trains, anything to save him fom being put down.  It paid off and finally a co-voiturage was organised from Thouars to Paris with her sister, after which another friend drove to Nancy and back in the night.  The dog was smiling all the way on the photos and the girl is so happy with him, I doubt if he will now go anywhere else.  She takes him to the shops, everywhere, where she has many compliments on him and is proud to say that he is an old dog she rescued from a fourrière the other side of France.

        Just after he arrived, if you click on the photo to enlarge it, it's quite funny what is written on the radiator behind him.


                She got her Bolduc.  Fantastic !


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There are plenty of animals to be rescued all over France.

For those in the north of the country we can put you in touch with a refuge on the Brittany/Normandy/Mayenne border. Not for dumping unwanted animals - they have enough anyway - but to offer homes.

Having said that some friends with a holiday home found an abandoned kitten (they have already passported one unwanted cat from France) and took it there. The refuge had to be persuaded to accept it - they were overrun - but it soon found a new home. To show their gratitude and support for the refuge our friends are now making dog and cat beds (the sort of thing that can sell for £100 or so in Britain) and donating them, and other items, to the refuge for re-sale as fund raisers.

There are also plenty of other animals needing to be rescued. Just as an example, Mrs Will has taken on the following (apart from many, many cats that have found their way to her arms, or rather her food bowls).

1. A yellow labrador, as a result of an appeal on an earlier version of this forum, last of a litter of pups who would have gone to a local French alcoholic if not found an alternative.

2. The bichon frisé on the left - snatched at the final hour from central Brittany thanks to an appeal here from Christine on behalf of some other people who were minding 16 dogs (including 9 bichons) for a woman who had been taken into hospital and just died. Had they not been rehomed the maire would have taken them over, which would almost certainly have resulted in their destruction. As far as I know, all were found homes.

3. A small black thing, found in the road, having almost been squashed under a lorry, extremely smelly, frightened and with a very advanced case of mange. No tattoo or microchip, and no record of his loss at any of the mairies or vets in the area, so he was probably thrown out. He is now back in excellent health, with a very long shaggy coat, confident, friendly and generally well behaved if a bit demanding at times, in England with my sister - she has been told he is a very good example of a Tibetan Terrier (Dhoki Apso) though of course his parentage is completely unknown.

4. A chihuahua/terrier cross of uncertain age, which had been tied up in an outbuilding for several months following the death of her elderly owner. She was supposed to be tended to by a neighbour (but this man is known for neglecting his animals and has complaints against him at the gendarmerie). The house was for sale, hoping to find English buyers, but the sight and sound of the small neglected baly treated dog was putting them off. So with the agreement of the late owner's family, the dog was rehomed (very discreetly because the neighbour is also known to be violent and possessive). Her confidence and health are returning.

I mention these solely to add to the point made by the original post and underlined by Christine. There are needy dogs all over France, too many for all to have a happy outcome like those mentioned in this thread. You don't have to look far to find them.


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Will, it sounds heartbreaking [:(]. I too can vouch for many animals in need on our doorstep in France but unfortunately, all are "owned" but at least in my opinion being mistreated.

I do hope I see the day that an animal is not viewed as a possession like a piece of furniture or property and they are given true rights and can be taken from so called owners. A good example would be if the poor Nelson the Great Dane is given back to his incapable owner because he is considered to be his property [:(].

Well done for everything you and your caring wife have done for these poor animals.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Our lovely silver teddy bear has found a wonderful home.



Eight year old Titite came to us a couple of months ago when her owner sold her house and couldn't take her with her.  One of the nicest, softest dogs you could meet, we had her spayed, tattooed and vaccinated.

Then last week a lady from Niort called, sent on to us from the Niort refuge, asking if we had a female about eight years old as at her age she did not wish to take on a young dog.  This is very generous thinking as she was worried about her dog if anything should happen to her in the future. I took Titite over on Saturday and so far they seem to be getting on fine together.  She has the run of a big house in Niort with a small garden and plenty of walks. 


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  • 2 months later...

Taking care of rescue dogs
Is something I do best.
I know because I've done it,
And I've surely passed the test.

The dogs I've bathed, the food I've fed,
The vacuuming I've done,
And all to watch a frightened soul
Sit dreaming in the sun.

My own dogs I've neglected,
But I tell them everyday
That I love and cherish each of them
Though a new dog's come to stay.

I know they understand this,
For in their eyes I see
The love that I have given them
Come shining back at me.

Some people think I'm crazy,
Some others think I'm great.
But very few can understand
What really is at stake.

If I can love and help a dog
To find a better way,
My own life is much richer,
I look forward to each day.

So now you know my secret,
It's there for all to see,
The love I give, the life I save,
I do it all for me.

by Kathleen Parsons


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Well it is a good idea but there can be serious drawbacks.  We've adopted two dogs recently .  The first is a serial escaper despite the wonderful conditions we have provided and is on the verge of being returned.  The second, despite assurances to the contrary, attacked our cat and then turned aggressive towards visitors, so has been returned.  Both were abandoned dogs with unknown histories.
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Thats a shame but you can only do your best. Perhaps they just were not the right dogs for you and you may go on to have a happier experience another time. I do hope so. I know many rescue centres visit would be adopters first to try and get the right 'match'

I have a friend who adopted an 18 month old Rotweiler (sp) after it previously had two other rescue homes as well as the original. They just clicked and she has had a great pet and companion for 5 years now

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Our Tempo doglet was rescued from the streets, a poor, tiny, traumatised thing he was, all cold and scared and peeing everywhere.

That was about 15 months ago, and we've never seen another dog like him, him being a "race unique" and all.   Then last Sunday, out in the woods, I lost sight of him, thought I saw him again and called him over.  I really thought it was him, but it wasn't.   And u no wot, we all agree that it was probably his mother.  So alike!   The old man with her looked very shifty and unpleasant, and took pains to avoid us, walking wide of the path and not even saying bonjour.

Having said that, that is fairly typical behaviour among the small number of people who walk their dogs here!  [:)]   No such thing as doggy-owner bonding in these 'ere parts!  [:)] 

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That is very sad Avinalarf. [:(] With the rescue centres here being overwhelmed and how some of these dogs are treated prior to arriving, I am not surprised. I am sure many of these dogs would need much patience, kindness and assurance from any new owner and of course thought into the breed etc.. 

I am sure for the rescue centres that are well funded, screening of the dogs as well as the person adopting can be provided. However, perhaps for many here it appears to be such a desperate situation in that it is a matter of just saving the poor dogs life and hope that it has found a good home. [:(]

Your post has certainly not put me off, when the time comes, I will be getting my dog from a French rescue centre.

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Difficult dogs are not that common, for the others a little patience and education usually works.  Over the many years we have rehomed dogs, very few have come back.  One was a a young couple who separated, not the dog's fault.  Another was because he was said to have killed a neighbour's duck so they brought him back.  He has since been rehomed with another family who absolutely adore him and have no problems with this lovely soft natured pet.

There was a fox terrier we rehomed who was rather excessive and nervous, biting the chair legs and finally snapping at the children.  The life was too "boisterous" for him, so we took him back and still have him.  I took another little dog more suitable to the family and everything was fine.  Another we rehomed chewed up things in their house while they were out (we now know that the travel kennel system can train them not to do this).  We also took him back and he is also still with us!

If you go to a refuge to adopt a dog, don't judge it by it's attitude in it's kennel with all the others barking around.  They are stressed, excited, frightened, whatever, they are not themselves.  If you can, ask to take the dog out away from this atmosphere and have a walk with him on the lead.  When I have been to get dogs out of Niort, such as Beanz for example, they are sometimes jumping around in their pen barking like mad, which puts people off.  But once they are out on the lead and then in the car, in a secure situation they have know before, they become calm, quiet and well behaved.  It's amazing.

Please don't be put off having a rescue dog when if things really don't work out, after having persevered a little, most refuges will take the dog back and try to help you choose a more suitable one.


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Agree with Christine - and also most refuges will make sure you get the right dog if you tell them honestly about you and your lifestyle.  When we got Trevor from the Vaucluse, I told the girls on the phone that even though I was experienced with dogs I couldn't take a really difficult dog because of our lifestyle - with the B & B we could not take a dog who was difficult with strangers or did not get on with our other dog.  They went to a great deal of rouble testing him in different situations, with children, other dogs etc and they even sent me a video of him so I could see his behaviour for myself.  That didn't mean he was perfect, I still had to house train him, teach him to walk on a lead and generally work on his education but it meant that we were pretty certain he would be OK for us when we got him.  When you get a rescue dog treat him as though he was a new puppy e.g don't expect that he won't chew the sofa because he is 4 years old, expect that he WILL and act accordingly.  If he turns out to be already educated then great surprise and if not you are starting off on the right foot.
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Just read this thread and the poem brought a tear to my eye.

I'd like to congratulate ChrstineAnimal on all the good work she is doing and to keep posting the success stories of all the animals she has rehomed.  Also to all those people who have given new homes to such animals.

I hate to see any animal neglected or homeless, badly treated, ill, etc, and it does take patience to gain the confidence of such animals when they have been left at a refuge through reasons which may not be their fault, and as ChristineAnimal says being unused to their surroundings in the refuge.

I haven't rescued any animals but when I couldn't find homes for my wildcat and her three kittens, decided to keep them.  Missy (mum) is still wary, but will come into the house to eat as do the kittens, except for Podge who is definately becoming a house cat taking up position on the kitchen chair nearest the fire most evenings.  She is so affectionate, loves to sit on my lap (still wary of OH) and is now getting used to being combed (daily routine flea check).  She can purr for France.

Boysey & Marlene, the other two kittens can be affectionate when they here the food tin being opened and wind themselves around your legs waiting for the dish to put down.

They say dogs have owners, cats have servants - I can verify that - but I would not be without them.  Especially when they come and play around me when I'm working outside.

What I do find though, especially with cats, is that is so expensive to get them neutered.  Our local vet wanted 300 Euros for Missy and the Kits (there being 3 females and 1 male).  Females are by nature more expensive because the operation is bigger.  We tried another vet in a different town just down the road who is a bit more sympathetic and did us a deal which came to just under 200 Euros.  Is there not a government run scheme whereby people can take strays or animals to be rehomed/already rehomed and get them neutered at a cheaper rate or is it just up to each individual vet?  Some older people I know who have cats cannot afford to have them neutered which means they breed unchecked and that is why you find so many abandoned cats left to die by the roadside.  It's a matter of cost which a lot of people can't afford.  We baulked at the idea of 300 Euros, even 200 Euros as we don't have an income, but at the end of the day, the money we spent was well spent and the kittens, who will be 1 year old on 23 April have given us so much enjoyment.

While I'm on this thread - is anyone interested in two adult full sized, good natured goats who won't be parted.  They were rescued by a friend who has had them for quite a while now, but they have outgrown their accommodation.  Said friend already has a horse, rescued donkey, 12 rescued cats, including one that was left to die because it was born with only three legs, 4 dogs and countless chickens.  I think she spends more on animal feed than on food for themselves.

She is looking for a good home for these two good natured goats - anyone interested (Correze area)


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  • 2 months later...
Yes there is another side to taking on rescue dogs ..........my sons.is a rescued ridge back cross they found had a "thing " about sheep ....ran one into a river and drowned it .......after my son had spoken to the farmer  he discovered  not only was this the finest sheep in the flock it was expecting quads and was a sure thing to win the champion of champion show that was pending....so a fat cheque was parted with .....The dog now has a pal ....a rescue lab that I am told cowers when sombody reaches into a kitchen cupboard  so appears she has suffered a beating in her past.......he is now hoping ths one hasnt got a "thing " about sheep as well ... he surrounded by them  and they are bound to be champion stock .....
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......after my son had spoken to the farmer  he discovered  not only was this the finest sheep in the flock it was expecting quads and was a sure thing to win the champion of champion show that was pending....so a fat cheque was parted with .....

Yeah, those are always the sheep that get killed - strange.....[;-)].   Sorry!

With rescue dogs, just as with puppies, it's YOU that has to be in charge, teach them (kindly but with assuredness) how to behave and, if necessary, help them through their "baggage".  And YOU are responsible for their behavioue with livestock, other people's pets etc.  Nothing comes for free and the work at the beginning pays off tenfold later.  As a long-term refuge-animal rehomer, I salute all others who do this and wish the whole pedigree-puppy thing was underplayed a bit and the neutering of all pets emphasised and made more economically attractive.

Oh dear, I've included about 10 different subjects here!

Chrissie (81)

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Yes it really depends on the animal and the home. My daughter had two rescue cats that she adopted and came to live with her own two cats - making four in total. They had been abandonned in a quarantine centre by their owners and had been stuck in cages for two years, poor things. Baccy integrated well in the house but poor old Fluffy...! He is a ginger rag doll cat - beautiful to behold! However he was a pee-er partout! My daughter had him seen by vets and even an animal phycologists - each had a different solution - none of which worked.However when Fluffy decided to pee in my son-in-law's squash bag that was when my daughter called in the lady from the local cat rescue. It was really interesting this lady's reaction after she had listened carefully to the tale of Fluffy's misdemeanors. She said, "Poor Fluffy!" This took the wind out of my daughter's sails as most people had sympathised with her but this VERY clever lady saw things from the cat's point of view. She saw what nobody else had and this was that he was terribly unhappy with being one of four, he needed to be a one person cat! So she loaded Fluffy immediately into his carry box and off she went promising to come back in four weeks time to report on his progress. And good as her word, she did, she had him re-homed with a single lady whose house backed onto Hampstead Heath. He had rapidly become her pride and joy and he was lapping it up! He even slept on her bed! And his erstwhile bad habit was long forgotten! Thank goodness!
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Christine, I only meant that my family and I have always taken all our animals from pounds/refuges whatever - NOTHING like the superb organised job you do of actively searching for homes for unwanted pets.  By this means we have found out first-hand about all sorts of problems and a lot, thought not all(!) of the solutions.   Although my husband did do voluntary work on the rehoming side for the RSPCA while we were in the UK (and saw with huge frustration some classic examples of dogs going to homes which were clearly unsuitable). 

I do get cross with these TV progs which imply all rescue dogs are immaculately behaved and will immediately fit into your household with no particular effort, although this does happen to some lucky people.  I'm a bit overly sensitive on the subject at present as we have just lost, within 6 weeks of each other, our two current dogs, aged 16 and 17 respectively, so they made up for their lousy starts in life.  But the house is very empty with just one remaining elderly, deaf cat!

And no, we are NOT in the market for rehoming at present, as we are going to have our first holiday together for some years!  But about March next year......

Chrissie (81)

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