It's what we do

We are a charitable organisation (Reg: W653003173) established to support the well-being of domestic animals – notably dogs and cats. We raise and distribute funds for specific targeted projects, as well as providing help and support to animal shelters. Our primary focus is Departments 65 (Hautes Pyrenées) and 32 (Gers), although we do stretch beyond as the need or opportunity arises.  For example, we have fosterers in 31, 64, 11 and 46 - and have had dogs and cats adopted in many other Departments too, not to mention to the UK.

How are we different?

  • We are a hub, brokering collaborative services for the welfare of domestic animals.
  • We offer a range of welfare services that complement and enhance the work of animal shelters.
  • We raise and direct funds for identified projects and purposes.
  • We ensure that monies collected go direct to the service provider.
  • We are responsive to specific needs.

Our philosophy

We always try to provide a professional, thoughtful and sensitive service.  Our community of volunteers and helpers come together as a highly effective and motivated team.  We use our wide network of contacts throughout France and farther afield to match each animal with the right home.

We are not a refuge; we work closely with different refuges in the area to provide them with specific support.  In addition to helping unwanted dogs and cats find permanent homes, we also have targeted projects negotiated between ourselves and the refuge concerned.  We have teams of walkers who regularly walk refuge dogs; we collect blankets etc to help keep dogs and cats warm during winter.

What do we do?

Examples of fund-raising projects are:

  • Helping with sterilisation programmes
  • Paying for urgent veterinary interventions
  • Providing essential treatments to keep refuge animals healthy (tick, worm, flea treatments)
  • Providing essential equipment and supplies (food, bedding, cages, toys etc.)
  • Undertaking renovations or maintenance projects of kennelling facilities

Examples of our volunteering programme:

  • Short-term post-operative/sterilisation fostering
  • Fostering for socialisation purposes
  • Join one of our dog-walking teams
  • Fostering older dogs/cats unlikely to be adopted
  • Providing grooming/bathing for medical reasons or to aid adoption chances
  • Helping with home-checks and transportation
  • Promoting our dogs for adoption and profile-raising at events

Association officers


Over 30 years ago I got my first curly coated retriever.  In the intervening years I have shown, worked, bred and judged this rare breed.  Along with my husband we also ran a successful boarding kennels where we worked 7 days a week for over a decade caring for and and grooming a large range of other people’s dogs.  This kind of makes me an all-rounder.  I am very hands-on and both regularly foster and join the walking teams.  In addition to holding the strategic direction of the Association, I work to keep our profile alive through connections with different refuges and associations, in social media and, where appropriate, the press.  I like to profile “lost causes” and see them adopted into a new life.  I find this extremely satisfying.

Melanie JEAL

Having many years experience as a pet owner, I currently have 3 dogs, including one rescue and one re-home, and 4 cats. In addition to my role as secretary, which allows me to use my language skills on a regular basis, I work to match needy dogs and cats with their fosterers, both established and new ones. I am a regular member of the Thursday walking group at Tarbes Nord SPA, the activity that got me involved with the association and which I find consistently rewarding.

Mary Engelen, Vice President
Vice President

I have always shared my life with dogs but when our family moved to France some 23 years ago with our two German shepherds and cocker spaniel, I soon became aware of the plight of abandoned dogs and cats as they arrived with alarming frequency at my door (and stayed).  We now share our home with 7 rescue dogs and a cat.   I am delighted to join such a dynamic and enthusiastic team and their supporters for a cause so close to my heart.  I anticipate learning much from them, enabling me to provide support and extend their efforts in the north of our area, the Gers.

Louise Virnuls, Trésorière

My interest in charity work started some 20 years ago and over that time I have been involved in organising many different sorts of charity events which have raised money for many different animal charities.  I am delighted to bring this experience to Les Amis des Animaux with which I have been involved since inception.  As a member of the Board and as the Treasurer I am looking forward both to helping raise much-needed funds, and to working with the team to get our 4-legged friends into their forever homes. From being young, animals have always been a part of my life and I cannot remember a time when I was not surrounded by dogs.  Many of these were strays that I had found wandering along the side of the road and had taken home, much to my family’s consternation and then delight.  I am passionate about animal welfare, the good care of family pets and education to reduce abandonment.