As you will know by now, LAARF (Les Amis des Animaux des Refuges en France) is a network of volunteers who have come together to aid the animal rescue refuges and organisations in France. So many of us despair at the plight of unwanted, abused and abandoned animals here in France yet there IS something we can all do to help!
A striking example of where we can make a big difference is this little refuge, tucked away in the deepest countryside of Saint Yzan de Soudiac, at the border of Départements 33 and 17 (see map).
Until now, we had never heard of it but it was discovered by Kate Potter, one of our LAARF volunteers, who reported that they have “absolutely nothing” except the love for the animals in their care. The refuge was founded by Madame Rivot. Previously a chef, then a cruelty officer for the French SPA, she bought the house in 1988 with the purpose of creating her own refuge.
This refuge is tiny; tiny, little known, under-resourced and with only one person to help Madame Rivot, sinking fast. They have 30 dogs in their care, plus one extra who was thrown over the fence a couple of weeks ago.
Like every refuge, this one needs dog walkers, cleaners, bedding and food. But most pressingly, they need to finish construction of their now one year in-the-making new kennels. Sadly, they have run out of money and materials and the project has come to a halt, so if you are a builder or a builders’ merchant and can offer any materials or time, this would be massively well-received. Just a morning’s work here and there would help them get back on their feet and would ensure that their 30 or so dogs are warm and safe this winter.
So far, Kate and another local lady have visited to help walk the dogs and to donate bedding. The response is bemused delight. Yes, we are here to help, and help we shall!
If you are worrying about the poor dog who was thrown over the fence, fear not; this story does have a happy ending as an English lady, a friend of LAARF, found out about her and adopted her.
So, whatever you have to offer, please get in touch, either with the refuge directly:
Refuge SPA de la Haute Gironde: 22 Chemin des Barreauds, 33920 Saint-Yzan-de-Soudiac.
Or by contacting us, the LAARF SPA Volunteer Network, on:
Facebook: SPA Volunteer Network