Nfld. & Labrador

Clarenville chiens: St-Pierre pups find new homes in Newfoundland

If you're in the market to adopt un beau chien, you might want to consider the pups that come up for adoption in Clarenville from the French islands of St-Pierre and Miquelon.

Dogs from French island learning to respond to English commands in Clarenville

Jazz, a two-year-old beagle, is one of 15 dogs from St-Pierre that have passed through the Clarenville SPCA. (Clarenville SPCA)

If you're in the market to adopt un beau chien, you might want to consider the pups that come up for adoption in Clarenville.

The dogs came to the Clarenville SPCA from the French islands of St-Pierre and Miquelon, where there were problems with overcrowding.

"The cute little twist on this is of course that the animal is leaving a different country," said Clarenville SPCA communications director Nancy Avery.

"So we're dealing with animals that come into the country with a passport and they understand French."

That means the dogs must not only adapt to a new country but a new language as well …  something that has proven to be quite the draw for French-speaking families on the island.

Teaching dogs new tricks

The crew at the SPCA has been hard at work helping the dogs adjust to life in Newfoundland, and the possibility of a new home with anglophones.
The centre had no dogs from St-Pierre on Tuesday, but says Jeep and 14 others have moved through since 2016. (Clarenville SPCA)

"Our shelter staff teach the dog to transition from French to English," Avery said.

"They do that by hand gestures! For example come is ici in French and by hand gestures they move from the word ici to come." 

Over the past year and a half, the SPCA has helped 15 francophone dogs find new homes. The most recent adoption was on Thursday.

At the end of the day, said Avery, the SPCA aims to help animals in any way it can.

"We're in it for the animals. So it doesn't' really matter what groups you're involved with, it's the animal that counts."

Interested parties can visit the Clarenville SPCA's Facebook page for more information.

With files from the St. John's Morning Show