Hope Association Equestrian Car Boot Sale





10am – 5pm


If you would like to book a table for this event at just 6€, call Janet on 05 55 60 22 17



Cafe with tea, coffee and delicious home baked cakes



10 Myths about Mating – with permission from Yorkshire Cat Rescue

1. Cats should have one litter/they should be able to experience motherhood 
There is no medical evidence to suggest that cats should have one litter. Even if you want them to experience motherhood they will not remember the experience. Mating is also a very painful experience for a female cat: the tom cat’s penis has little barbs which catch on her vagina as he withdraws after mating. This promotes ovulation (release of eggs). Because cats do not ovulate until they are mated, the queen will continue to call even after she has been mated, and will remain in season for several days. It is not uncommon for a cat to be mated 10-20 times on the first day she is calling and then several times over the next few days. The screams that are heard when cats mate are the female cats screaming in pain as the tom cat withdraws.

2. She won’t get pregnant, she’s under a year old
Cats can come into season, get mated and get pregnant from when they are just five months old. She may not be mature enough to successfully raise the litter, and therefore abandon them or fail to socialise them properly. Likewise, because she is not yet fully grown, she could struggle to deliver them safely. A five-month old cat having kittens is the equivalent of a human teenager having a baby.

3. My cats won’t mate because they are brother and sister
This is a common misconception, but cats will in fact mate with their siblings, their parents and even with their own offspring. They simply don’t recognise those boundaries. Once a female cat comes into season, her body is hard-wired to mate and reproduce. She will choose the best tom cat(s) she can find. If she is unable to go outside but is locked indoors with her brother, she will almost certainly mate with him. Kittens born from such matings may suffer severe deformities and often don’t survive.

4. Neutering is cruel, it hurts the cats
Neutering is done under general anaesthetic and can only be undertaken by a registered veterinary surgeon. Painkillers are administered before the cat wakes up and these last for several days. Cats heal very quickly and by the time the painkiller wears off, the healing process is very much underway. Most cats are sleepy the day of the operation due to the anaesthetic, but return to normal the next day – playing, eating and sleeping. Neutered queens (female cats) can continue to feed their kittens almost as soon as they wake up from the operation. Neutered kittens usually bounce around very quickly afterwards too and show no signs of pain or slowing down. Again, it is in fact mating that really
hurts the cats!

5. I’ve got a male cat so it doesn’t matter, I won’t end up with kittens/I want my cat to keep his ‘manhood’
If you let your male cat outside, even if he has access to his home, food and bed, he will start to wander in search of female cats coming into season. A male cat can stray for many miles in the search of a female ready to mate. Male cats fight each other to show the queen that they are the strongest – picking up injuries and diseases as a result. They may also become injured by cars, dogs and so on, lose their way and lose weight as a result of their wandering. If you intend to keep your un-neutered male cat indoors, he will become very frustrated and probably begin to either self-harm (over-groom) or attack other members of the household – people as well as animals. He will spray urine on the furniture, walls and doors and he will frequently attempt to escape. Your male cat simply won’t be able to help it; it is his hormones taking over. The smell of ‘spray’ is a very unpleasant pungent odour that is very difficult to remove – even from wipe-able
surfaces. It is almost impossible to remove from soft furnishings. Cats don’t know they are neutered or un-neutered. They simply respond to the hormones produced by their bodies in either circumstance. So an un-neutered male cat will find himself outside in all weathers fighting, mating, starving and getting lost. A neutered male won’t have any of those urges or instincts. Instead he will be tucked up warm and dry at home with a full tummy and a healthy body.

6. She has already had a litter of kittens, she won’t want any more/she is nursing kittens so she can’t get pregnant again
Female cats can come into season when their kittens are about five weeks old, and can successfully mate while still feeding their current litter. As well as creating too many kittens, allowing her to have litter after litter will stop her regaining her weight and health after each litter, and she will become very thin. Constant mating will also expose her to a whole host of viruses and bacterial infections brought in by the tom cats she mates with.

7. Watching the birth is educational for my children
This is a great reason to offer your services as a fosterer carer for your local cat rescue. It is a wonderful experience, but also one that is shortly followed by lots of work – cleaning litter trays for a mother cat and her six kittens is no easy task. Sometimes kittens don’t make it and in rare circumstances they are born with deformities. Be prepared to explain the loss to your children as well. Ultimately, wouldn’t it be better to explain to them how there are too many unwanted and homeless cats in the world, and neutering them stops kittens being killed unnecessarily.

8. I can find homes for all the kittens and make money selling them
Maybe you can for some of them, but in time all your friends will have cats and if they don’t neuter them, they will also be looking for homes for their kittens. If you breed responsibly which includes having the kittens vet-checked, wormed, treated for fleas, vaccinated, microchipped and raised until they are properly old enough to leave their mum (10 weeks minimum) and maybe have them neutered, you will in fact end up making a financial loss. Kittens are very expensive. Most rescue centres charge an adoption fee, but it does not come anywhere close to covering the cost of the veterinary treatment the kitten has had, never mind the food and care. Most responsible owners these days go to a cat rescue if they want to adopt a cat or kitten, so the private market for kittens is shrinking. If you rehome to just anyone, your kittens may not have the best home which isn’t really what you want for those little furry faces you watched come into the world. Even if you do find wonderful homes for your kittens, that means there are now fewer homes to go round for France’s many abandoned kittens.

9. My cat is an indoor only cat – it won’t get out
Male and female cats cannot help coming into season and needing to mate. When they do, they will stop at nothing to do so – rushing out of the door as you come in. Cats have even been known to get out of a window that is only open an inch or so. If this happens, the chances are that your cat won’t return as it is will be on unknown territory the minute its paws hit the ground. Female cats often get chased away from their immediate garden and tom cats will wander off to look for females. At Yorkshire Cat Rescue we get a lot of lost cat reports; those un-neutered cats who have managed to escape for the first time are rarely found again. We equally get a lot of young cats with kittens and no owners. These might often have been former indoor-cats who got out. Sadly, we rarely match the lost with the found.

10. What’s wrong with it? Cats are great mothers and kittens are cute
The reason there are too many cats is because cats ARE good mothers. However, once they have a second litter they will push their first one away. Some may not make it. Cats are usually only good mothers to their current litter and those are often rejected once they reach a certain age, regardless of whether they are pregnant again or have given birth to more kittens. Kitten hood only lasts a short time. Being responsible lasts a lifetime.

With many thanks to Yorkshire Cat Rescue for allowing Hope to reproduce their wise and sensible words.

Before you adopt

Where do I start?

We suggest that you read the following information before applying to adopt a pet. We are sure that you will find all this information helpful in choosing what kind of pet would be good for you. Once you have read it all through, you can either look at our list of pets for adoption, or come in and visit the refuge to meet one of our many pets that are looking for good homes.

Does it matter if my pet sheds a lot of fur in my house?

Many breeds of dogs, and all cats shed fur. Some shed less than others, but they still shed. Pet fur will get all over your house – no matter how much you clean! Are you ready for this? Are you prepared to clean up after what could be furballs rolling down your hall?

Do I travel a lot?

And am I home enough to spend time with my pet? ALL pets need someone around to spend time with them. It is important for puppies and kittens to have owners that are home to train and socialize them at the critical points in their development. Adult dogs and cats need people around to meet their basic daily needs to avoid behavioural problems that can arise from being deprived of human contact.

Can I afford to take care of extra expenses if my pet becomes sick?

Most people do not think about care if their pet should become sick or need surgery. If they do, they often discount the thought and say, “well MY pet won’t get sick”. Keep in mind that it will cost you money just to walk into the vets. If your pet should need any kind of surgery or x-rays the cost will quickly mount up. It will cost more for an emergency. Many pets are brought to shelters because they become ill and owners refuse/cannot pay for vet care. This causes much suffering on the part of the pet, and their owners.

What size dog do I really want?

Look in a breed book or online at breed types, their size when grown, and requirements of the breed. Just because they are small doesn’t mean that a dog will be a lap dog or just because they are big doesn’t mean that it won’t be easy to handle. Many small dogs are constantly on the go. Another misconception is that small dogs are better with children. Now, sometimes this is the case. However, you must remember that because they are so tiny, small dogs learn quickly how to fend for themselves and if they feel endangered they are quick to nip and bite. Small dogs can be good for apartments or people who can’t physically handle a large dog. Large dogs require more strict training than small dogs simply because of their size. A large dog with no manners is MUCH harder to control than a small dog with the same problems. Are you prepared to go through training with your large breed dog? Also remember that large breed dogs can sometimes “take a beating” much better than small dogs. Large dogs are not usually quite as offended if a child accidentally pulls a clump of fur or trips on them. Again, read up on “your breed” and most importantly think about each dog as an individual and how that specific dog will fit into your family.

Do I know how to take care of a pet?

Do I know what the pets needs are? Many people are not aware of everything that owning a pet involves. Talk to people who have had pets, or have pets now. Possibly offer to pet sit for few days so you get a small idea of what it will be like to have a pet in the house. Talk to adoption staff if you would like information on specific needs of your new pet.

Am I willing to exercise and clean-up after my dog several times a day?

No matter how big or small, calm or active your dog is he or she will need to go outside for exercise and to relieve himself AT LEAST 3-5 times a day. This can increase with puppies, small dogs, or senior dogs. Dogs don’t care if it bright and sunny or raining “cats and dogs”, when they need to go, they need to go!

Can I deal with a cat scratching my furniture?

There are many ways to prevent a cat from scratching furniture but it will occasionally happen. Are you prepared to deal with this. We DO NOT recommend declawing as a way to stop cats from stretching. See our training tips page for more information on this subject.

Am I familiar with the basic personality traits of different breeds of dogs that I might be interested in?

As mentioned above, it is a wise idea to research the basic personality traits of the breed of dog you are interested in adopting. This does not mean that the dogs personality will be exactly how the book describes, but can be close. In mixed breed dogs, you may find a dog LOOKS like a particular breed but ACTS like another – make sure to take this into consideration too. It is very important to be familiar with the breed or mix you are adopting, but remember that every dog is an individual and beware or expecting your dog to fit into a cookie cutter image of a specific breed/type of dog.

Will my current pets accept a new pet?

Please consider your current pets when taking a new pet into the home. Some pets just won’t be happy with a newcomer. A lot of times current pets can exhibit bad behaviour as a result of the stress caused by a new pet in the home. Usually these behaviours can be corrected with a lot of time and patience, but sometimes it is just not a good idea to have a new pet in the home. Some things to consider are: The age of your current pets – sometimes older pets don’t want to be bothered with new, rowdy children. Consider adopting an older, calmer pet to help keep a happy balance. How socialised are your current pets – sometimes if not socialised well with other animals current pets may never accept a new pet into the home. Possibly try socialising your current pet with the type of pet you are considering adopting to see how they react. How needy are your current pets – Some pet require a lot of time and attention either due to personality or medical concerns. Will you still be able to give that pet all the attention it requires if you adopt a new pet?

Am I getting a pet to teach my children how to be responsible?

If done properly pets can be a great way to teach children responsibility. But most of the time this theory results in pets being brought to refuges. Children cannot be expected to be the sole caretaker of a new pet no matter how much they promise! Are you ready to pick up all the slack as the newness of the pet wears off? A good way to teach children responsibility is to give them certain jobs that relate to pet care, such as feeding, clean water, brushing, etc. and then follow up with them to make sure it gets done.

Does anyone in my family suffer from allergies to animals?

Allergies are on the list of top reasons people surrender pets to refuges. Before adopting a pet make sure that no one in the family is allergic. If you are not sure if you are allergic or not spend a lot of time with friends who have pets to see if you get a reaction to the pet hair and dander. A lot of time people will not react right away if not severely allergic, but having a pet in the home for a period of time, as the pet dander builds up, will have an allergic reaction. If after spending time with a friend who has pets you don’t get a reaction, or get a mild reaction, you may want to consider going for allergy testing. It will be worth it to find out now, before committing your heart and home to a new pet, and then finding out you are allergic. If you are mildly allergic and don’t mind having a pet in the home talk to adoption staff for a list of breeds/types that are better for people with allergies.

With thanks to Ramapo Bergen Animal Refuge, Inc

Seven good reasons for adopting an older dog

1. Senior dogs at shelters need homes just as badly as younger dogs. Many older dogs were once owned and loved by someone. For whatever reason, they were given up and abandoned in a shelter and are in need of a home. Just like puppies and younger adoptable dogs, they make loyal and loving companions.

2. Adopting an older dog may save its life. Many people are quick to adopt puppies and younger dogs, often overlooking dogs over the age of five. Shelters are overcrowded and unfortunately, older dogs are among the first to be euthanized if they aren’t adopted in a timely manner. By adopting a senior dog, you are not only providing it with a better life but are also saving it from being put down.

3. Older dogs are not necessarily “problem dogs” as many tend to think. Senior dogs lose their homes for a variety of reasons, usually having nothing to do with their behavior or temperament, but more due to the fact that their owners are unable to keep them for reasons including: the novelty of owning a dog wearing off, allergies, death of a guardian, a new baby, loss of a job, a move, change in work schedule, and various other lifestyle changes. These dogs need homes just as badly as young adoptees do, and make wonderful household pets.

4. Older dogs usually come trained and understand at least basic commands. Most older dogs are potty-trained and have mastered the basic commands such as “sit,” “stay,” “come,” and “down.” Adopting an already-trained dog will save you a lot of time and energy that you’d normally have to dedicate towards training a young dog.

5. You can teach an old dog new tricks. Dogs can be trained at any age and older dogs are just as smart as younger ones. Older dogs have a greater attention span than a puppy, which make them easier to train.

6. Older dogs are calmer and less energetic than younger dogs. An adult dog has graduated from the puppy stage and has an established demeanor and temperament, which will give you an instant idea of how it will fit into your household. Older dogs have all their adult teeth and are out of the energetic puppy phase, which will result in less destruction to your home. Many of them do well with young children as they have a lower energy level and have possibly lived with them in their past homes.

7. Older dogs make instant companions. Unlike a puppy, which requires leash training, etc. an older dog is ready to accompany you on a long walk and already knows how to play fetch. An adult dog will make a great workout partner, a loyal companion, and a late night snuggle buddy.

Hope Charity Shop open in Bussiere Poitevine 87

The Hope Charity Shop will be open every Wednesday 10h-17h from 4th February 2015, selling books, bric-a-brac, pre-loved clothes and hand-crafted cards.

Please bring your unwanted items, clothing, bric-a-brac and books for us to sell to raise money for animals in need.
Join us for a cup of tea/coffee and a slice of cake and a chat.
Also open: first Saturday of every month, commencing 7th February 2015.
Find us at: Route 66, Ave de la Liberation, 87320 Bussiere Poitevine.

Thank you, thank you, thank you

A massive thank you goes out to all the volunteers and the public who supported The Hope Association at the recent Book Sale event at Clussais la Pommeraie. The results were amazing and because of you all, we are now able to send donations out to many associations that provide help and refuge to so many abused and abandoned animals in need. A special thanks must go to all the hard working volunteers who made this event so successful, also thank you to all of you who baked those wonderful cakes, what a selection of mouthwatering delights they were. Thank you all for your continued support.

Hope is pleased to announce that donations are being made to the following associations:

Twilight retirement home for elderly dogs
L’Association Orphee
SPA Limoges
SPA Mornac
L’Association Levriers
L’Ecole du Chat Libres de Poitiers
Feline pour L’Autre
Poor Paws
Dog Links
Galia Association
APA Niort

And the happy winner of the Hope raffle, generously donated by January Moore

Hope book sale 17/18/19th October 2014 – come and have a fun day with us

Photos from the October 2014 Hope Book Sale – thank you all for coming and supporting us.

We had lots of books

and even more books

and cakes and more cakes

Look at the size of those buns

Stallholders setting up

Plants and flowers supplied by Sue Flay

The infamous Mr Wuffa Wuffa, who raised over 75€ by giving kisses and lurve baby

Lunch! Provided by Boite Deliceuse and Mr T – I can almost smell those bacon butties and fish and chips

Mrs Twilight, Mrs Hope, Mrs Orfee and Mrs Felin pour l’autre

This little sweetheart was adopted

These furry bundles found themselves new homes

And lastly, Peanut – who was dumped on the road outside the Book Sale – was quickly snapped up for adoption

A massive thank you goes out to all the volunteers and the public who supported The Hope Association at the recent Book Sale event at Clussais la Pommeraie.  The results were amazing and because of you all, we are now able to send donations out to many associations that provide help and refuge to so many abused and abandoned animals in need.  A special thanks must go to all the hard working volunteers who made this event so successful, also thank you to all of you who baked those wonderful cakes, what a selection of mouthwatering delights they were.  Thank you all for your continued support.

Hope is pleased to announce that donations are being made to the following associations:

Twilight retirement home for elderly dogs
L’Association Orphee
SPA Limoges
SPA Mornac
L’Association Levriers
L’Ecole du Chat Libres de Poitiers
Feline pour L’Autre
Poor Paws
Dog Links
Galia Association
APA Niort

Hope Book Sale – 16/17/18th October 2015

You can never be too early planning your book buying and your social calendar.

Hope Book Sale at the Salle des Fetes, Clussais-La Pommeraie 79190. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. (D45 Sauze Vaussais to Lezay road).

Thousands of English and French books, fiction and non-fiction for adults and children for just 1€.

Many attractions and stands including the Hope cafe with refreshments and delicious home-baked cakes, fish and chips from Mr T, bacon butties from La Boite Delicieuse, exciting bric-a-brac, Eddie’s hand crafted greetings cards and loads and loads more.

Please bring along a tin of dog or cat food to drop off at our collection point at the door. This will be delivered to local SPAs and animal refuges.

Hope Association is after your old greetings cards, DVDs, CDs, good quality bric-a-brac, and, of course, books – which you can also bring along with you to donate. We can arrange pick-ups in certain cases. Please email givebooks4hope@gmail.com.

I’m sorry but we cannot accept videos or cassette tapes.

If you can bake a cake for Hope, please email baking4hope@gmail.com

Any other queries please email soomog4hope@gmail.com

We have a special open viewing for disabled book lovers – Thursday 15th October, 3 p.m.-5 p.m. The Hope cafe will NOT be open on this date.

Where the money goes – Book Sale May 2014

Once again after a successful May book sale and numerous other fund raising events, I am now able to inform you all that due to the tireless work of the volunteers at HOPE and the continued support of the public, Hope has, in the past few days sent donations to the following associations to help them in their endless work of helping animals in need. Cheques are now winging their way to the following refuges and associations:

Twilight Maison Retrait pour Chiens

L’association Orfee

Poor Paws

Levriers & Co

Felin Pour l’autre

Association Galia

APA Niort

Mornac SPA

Centre de soins de la faune sauvage poitevine

Hope has also continued to help many individuals financially in their campaign to sterilise feral cats in SW France, this will hopefully help towards reducing the number of feral kittens born in the future, this is an ongoing campaign which Hope will continue to support.

The association has also helped in the rescue of a great number of abandoned and abused animals in distress, many have been vaccinated, chipped, received urgent veterinary care, re-education by dog behaviourist (Julie Stansbridge) and then successfully re homed. None of this would have been possible without the tremendous support we receive from our volunteers and you, the general public.

If you would like to join our mailing list so we can keep you informed of all Hope’s future events, or would like to donate or volunteer, please email linda.burns4hope@gmail.com.