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Register now for the 2017 Dogathon!

One of the highlights of the MADRA calendar, the MADRA Dogathon, will take place on Sunday May 14th at 1pm.

The Dogathon event is a well-known meeting of mutts which last year raised €10,000 for dogs in need.

We are hoping to exceed last year's record of ‘one thousand paws on the prom’, and we urge the people of Galway to get online to register for this promenade walk which starts at Fr. Griffin's Eire Og GAA Club in Galway city.

Registration is €10 per adult, €5 per child, or €25 for a family (two adults and two children). All dogs go free but pooches are encouraged to raise sponsorship for dogs in need either online via www.idonate.ie or by requesting a sponsorship card from MADRA at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . The dog who raises the most sponsorship will be made the ‘Grand Canine Marshall’ of the Dogathon and will appear in the MADRA 2018 calendar.

Exhibitor space is also available for hire at the venue – for more information contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Enter online now at https://www.iregister.ie/v2/events/madra-dogathon-may-14th/ 

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Table Quiz in Crowe's Bar

The MADRA table quiz at Crowe's Bar in Bohermore (Galway city) takes place on Thursday April 27. Doors at 7.30pm with the quiz kicking off at around 8.00 pm.

This event is normally very popular, so to guarantee a seat indoors (yes, we did have the Beer Garden full of enthusiastic participants at last year's event) get there early. Tables of 4 for €40 and there will be a raffle with lots of fantastic prizes too.

The quiz is general knowledge, so why not put your friends, family and co-workers to the test! We hope to see you there. 

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MADRA's Doggy Easter Egg Hunt

This Easter Sunday bring along your four legged friend and join MADRA for our first ever Doggy Easter Egg Hunt.

The hunt will take place in Cappagh Park, Knocknacarra and will be a great day out for all the family. Follow the trail of hidden clues to find treats for you and your furry friend.

Online entry is now open at https://www.iregister.ie/v2/events/doggy-easter-egg-hunt-madra/

There will be two different hunts, one for kids/families and a more difficult one for adults.

Entry on the day is open from 12 and you can set off on the hunt anytime between 12 and 2. This is not a race, there will be treats along the way for all participants and everyone who takes part will get entered into the raffle for the main Easter hamper prize.

If you don’t have a dog you are still welcome to participate. If you don’t have a dog and would like to borrow one for the day there will be lots of MADRA dogs available and eager to help you sniff out the clues! This must be arranged in advance so please contact us before the event to secure a dog.

There will be face painting on the day from 12-2 and tea and cakes will be served all afternoon. Entry costs €5 per child, €7 per adult or €25 per family. All proceeds go to supporting our rescue dogs so please come along and join us for what promises to be eggsellent day out ? we hope to see you there!

This event is kindly sponsored by The Dog Company, a Galway based grooming parlour and kennel facility run by qualified dog grooming professional John Madden. For more info on our wonderful sponsor please visit www.thedogcompany.ie.

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Table Quiz in Charlie's Bar Loughrea

A table quiz in aid of Galway based dog charities MADRA and the GSPCA will be held on Thursday 2nd March in Charlie's Bar Loughrea. Doors at 7.30pm with the quiz kicking off at around 8.00 pm.

Tables of 4 for €40 and there will be a raffle with lots of fantastic prizes too.

The quiz is general knowledge so why not put your friends, family and co-workers to the test! We hope to see you there.

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MADRA Adoption Day this February

The GMIT Sports Hall, Galway will provide the venue for a MADRA Adoption Day on Sunday the 19th February from 11.30am – 3.30pm.

MADRA currently have over fifty dogs looking for new homes due to the continued growth in the number of stray and surrender dogs coming into our care. MADRA spokesperson Edel Comerford is hopeful that this event will result in some new homes being found; 

"With so many dogs in our care we are always eager to find suitable new homes for them. Our kennels are often full up and it is important we can move the dogs on as quickly as possible in order to free up some space for the dogs currently waiting in the pounds.” 

The adoption day will coincide with MADRA’s Doggy Blind Date event which aims to find some lucky humans their new best friend whilst also endeavouring to highlight the importance of choosing the right dog for your lifestyle. Ms. Comerford explains; "Though the main objective of the day is to re-home some of the dogs in order to make space for our new arrivals, we also want to be sure that people have thought long and hard about the responsibility involved in owning a dog, and we will talk people through this carefully on the day".

Those interested in adopting a dog on the day will be asked to complete an adoption questionnaire and all potential adopters will require a home check which will most likely be carried out the week after the event. However, Edel encourages those seriously considering adopting on the day to contact us via our website to arrange for a home check in advance of the event. She adds; "People come from far and wide to meet our dogs, and many end up finding their perfect canine match at an adoption day”.

All dogs are micro-chipped, vaccinated and neutered before going to their new homes and an adoption fee of 150 euro is recommended to cover the cost of these procedures.

If you are interested in adopting a MADRA rescue dog please visit the 'Adopt a Dog' section of the website and fill out the online questionnaire.

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MADRA to host 'Doggy Blind Date!'

Find your “pawfect” four-legged match with Ireland’s first Doggy Blind Date

Dog rescue charity MADRA is calling on people to apply to take part in its ‘Doggy Blind Date’ programme which will take place on Valentine’s weekend in Galway city.

The canine matchmaking initiative will be the first of its kind in the country and the charity aims to find some lucky humans their new best friend , while also highlighting the importance of choosing the right dog for your lifestyle.

The MADRA team will shortlist applications (which will be accepted from anywhere in the country), and choose individuals or families to participate in the matchmaking scheme. A final shortlist of three participants will go forward to take part in the Doggy Blind Date event on Sunday 12 February where they will unveil their chosen dog live on stage - they will have had the opportunity to meet with their three different dogs in a calm environment in advance of the event. 

The Doggy Blind Date event will take place in conjunction with one of the charity’s popular Dog Adoption Days, where as many as thirty dogs will be brought into the city from the Connemara-based rescue centre looking to find their new homes.

The canines who have failed to woo their potential new owners on stage will have a second chance at finding a home at this adoption event. Similarly, those who applied to take part in the programme but failed to make the shortlist can also attend and apply to adopt a dog at the event.

The Doggy Blind Date process will be filmed from start to finish to create awareness of the thousands of rescue dogs that are available for adoption across the country, and to highlight some of the common pitfalls people make when choosing a dog.

Marina Fiddler is the co-founder of MADRA and she will be taking on the role of canine matchmaker, a role she has been fulfilling for over eleven years since the charity was established in 2005. Marina and the charity’s team of volunteers and staff have successfully matched thousands of dogs with their lucky owners over the years.  

Potential adopters will meet with the canine matchmaker to discuss their lifestyle and what they are looking for in a dog. A home check will also be carried out to ensure that the home environment is suitable for a four-legged friend, with adequate fencing and a cosy indoor space for the dog to sleep at night.

Explaining how the idea for the event came about, Ms Fiddler commented: “Here at MADRA we regularly get to act as matchmakers, but unfortunately we also have to deal with the break ups too. 

"Over one-third of the 850 dogs we rescued last year were surrendered directly by their owners, with the remainder coming from local authority pounds. There are a variety of reasons why people give up their dog, but the most common mistake people make is not choosing the right dog in the first place, or not thinking about the long-term commitment that comes with dog ownership.

“Sometimes people come to us with a very clear idea of the type or breed of dog that they are interested in, or they may have seen a dog on our Facebook page or website, but they often leave with a very different dog after a lesson in matchmaking.

“We want people to look at what’s on the inside, not just the outside, in the same way people should look for a human companion. We all know that looks aren’t everything, and I’m hoping that people will put their trust in me to find them the dog that will become their perfect four-legged companion. I guess you could say that I’m playing Canine Cupid” she joked.

Those interested in participating are asked to email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. before 5pm on 16 January and they will be sent out a questionnaire to complete. Applicants must be willing to participate in interviews and filming and be available for the live event in Galway on February 12.

For more information or to arrange an interview with Marina Fiddler email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 086 8149026

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Mission Statement

MADRA is a Connemara based dog rescue & re-homing facility whose ultimate and overall aim is to ensure that all dogs have permanent, loving homes. MADRA works to educate members of the general public to have a responsible attitude towards dogs and their welfare and to help create a world where no healthy, good-natured dogs are killed merely because they are considered to be a surplus number.

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Registered in Ireland Number 564962 - Registered Office: Connemara Kennels, Camus, Co. Galway