Connemara Kennels, Camus, Co. Galway | Email: info@madra.ie | Phone: 091 584 274 

MADRA @MelissaRNMBA 🤞

These two Lab X boys are still only youngsters with their whole life ahead of them, plenty of time to overcome the rocky start they have had. Right now they are dealing with a bad dose of mange, but is easily treated and they will be ready for homing soon. They are good buddies but will be happy to be homed separately so that they can get all the attention for once. Zeus & Apollo have lived with children and we hope that any new owner will take the time to do some basic training to help them reach their full potential.

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We think Seán is a Husky X Collie and he is a busy, energetic boy who will need an active lifestyle and a very secure garden. Seán loves people, any age or any size. He is a combination of two working breeds and therefore he needs to fulfill his natural instincts, this means lots of exercise and more importantly, lots to keep his brain engaged. That may not suit those of us whose exercise regime just involves lifting the telly remote control throughout the evening!

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* Direct from Home * Adoption due to Kova needing to be surrendered by her current owner. Here is what her owner had to say about this lovely girl... “Meet Kova, a super affectionate Siberian Husky girl who loves people! She is quite petite for a Husky only weighing 19Kgs and she turns 8 years old in October. She is very sociable and absolutely loves going on long walks on her lead. She is a playful girl and would love a canine companion of similar size. As she is a Husky she will need plenty of activity and a large secure garden to play in, but, she is relatively low energy by typical Husky standards! We are heartbroken to have to find a new home for Kova, but her current owner is an older lady who is unable to take Kova on those long walks that she loves so much!! Can you offer Kova a secure home and take her on long walks?? If you can, she will love you (and lick you) with every ounce of her fluffy being!” Kova has some muscle wastage in her left back leg due to an injury as a pup.

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FOSTER APPEAL - Teddy is my name. I'm not one of the several lucky dogs who found their perfect family at the Adoption Day on Sunday. In fact, I didn't even go to the Adoption Day, even though I have been living in a kennel at the MADRA shelter for over a hundred days. The reason I didn't go wasn't because the people here don't want me to find a home. In fact, they've said they'd dance all about the place with joy if I landed myself a home. You see, I'm not a brave boy. Everything new is very, very scary for me. The folks told me that all the people at the Adoption Day, the hustle and bustle and the traffic from the road outside would be utterly terrifying for me. Fear is an inherently powerful thing and it has been the main feeling I have felt most of my life to date....and I am around 18 months old. The people here say that I am a very brave boy. They tell me this every day. I'm really not. I certainly don't feel it anyway. I have a lot of fears.....the kind that are so big, so crippling and so very scary. I never snapped at the humans but for a long time, I would sit in my kennel with my body all hunched up. I would panic when they came into my kennel with food, water or to wash it. They put a clean blanket in my kennel every day but for a long time, they never once saw me use my bed. I didn't know what a bed was or what it felt like to sink carefree into a bed piled up with soft blankets.. They placed a crate with blankets in my kennel too and blankets on the floor so I would have somewhere soft to lay my head when my fears finally gave way to sleep.... They said I sat in the corner all day and had one of the saddest expressions they ever did see on a dog's face. When I arrived through the gates at MADRA after spending time in the pound, I viewed this place and each human I encountered here as utterly terrifiying. My heart would race. I would freeze and feel totally paralysed with the terror that held my body captive. The worst thing in the world was a human hand reaching out towards me. I would flinch and cower every single time, waiting for the pain that didn't come. My reaction told the humans plenty about my past life and my experiences with people....... For weeks, I was simply too terrified to leave my kennel. Humans, I don't even have the words to describe the terror I felt. Maybe you know what fear and anxiety are like. It's all consuming. It doesn't matter what reassuring words people utter, all you can think of is how scared you are. Well they kept trying to coax me to come out. They would open my kennel door and scatter the ground with food. I thought they were crazy. Sure I was terrified where I was but going out there to the great unknown was even more terrifying. Those crafty humans kept trying though. They would let one of my (many!) girlfriends into the yard. I watched them from my kennel and cried loudly because I wanted to cross over the barrier of my kennel but my fears were holding me back. After a few minutes, however, no-one was more surprised than me when I decided to chance it! I scuttled outside and was delighted to see my girl. My tail was wagging and I just stuck close to her. I wanted to go back in after a couple of minutes but the humans said that was OK and they were so incredibly proud of me for my bravery. I can honestly say life is definitely a bit sunnier now. I am oh-so cautious but I am chuffed to say that I have conquered my fear of leads and letting humans near my neck. I am also proud to tell you that I now walk on the MADRA walkway, just like all the other dogs do. I share a kennel with Brenda and she's been living at MADRA for almost two and a half years. Sure I trust the humans here but I would hate to spend my whole life living in a kennel between walks and my pen time. Now ideally I am looking for a long-term home with another dog who will help me cope with a home environment as I have no idea how all that works. I will 100% need a very quiet location with an excellently secured garden. Most of all, I will need someone who can foster me for even a month at least, to help me learn some life skills and to encourage me on my life journey. I'm not into the touchy touchy feely feely stuff right now. That could change as my trust in humans grows but for now, I will need someone who has a kind heart, who will understand exactly where I am at. I dream of someone who will gradually help me become a brighter, happier me....a dog who walks proudly with his tail held high wagging furiously to and fro. I see other dogs like that here and from afar, I admire their sheer confidence. I think I would like to be like that too. The crew here do their best for me but they've told me that I really need a foster home to help me flourish into the dog I want to be. They've said their biggest wish for me is to be less fearful of the world and for the constant sad, worried expression to be erased from my face. Humans, I really am trying here.....but......it has been over a hundred days..... And.... I need your help so much right now.... Can you be the one to help me please?

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Well over two years...That's how long Brenda has lived in our shelter waiting for a home offer. Now that her kennel pal of two years, Alex was recently rehomed, she is now our longest resident here. We call Brenda one of our "Trickies" because she came in at the same time as our famous "Tricky" family. However, Brenda was actually rescued from a particularly upsetting cruelty case which left her completely terrified of everything and everyone she encountered. She would sit in her kennel, in the one spot, week after week with her back to us. She was just about the saddest creature you could imagine. Being an older girl who had never experienced a "normal" life, we weren't sure we could ever gain her trust but we had to try. And slowly, very very slowly, we started to see glimpses of trust from her. She eventually went to a couple of amazing foster homes (thanks Sinead and Sonja!) where she thrived with one-to-one attention. She came back to us in June 2017 and has been living at our shelter since then. She will always, always have a home with us but we really don't have the resources to give her the kind of life she deserves and most crucially, she gets stressed and quite upset when our shelter is busy and loud so as a team, we are concerned about her. We are seeking out a very special permanent foster home for her where she can live out the rest of her days in comfort and peace. Brenda is now a very affectionate girl. She really enjoys a good petting session and has a lovely waggly tail for those she knows and trusts. She is also a fun girl! She is at least 10 years old but she loves a good game of chase with her pals in our big pen and she loves being brought on long walks by our volunteers, so she will need a home where she gets regular walks. She absolutely adores her food and we've to keep an eye on treat intake because she can become a bit too "rotund!" (Same as ourselves after Christmas! ;) Brenda does come with some issues, which is to be expected considering her past. She has a tendency to spin in circles, barking when she is stressed out, so a rural location with no neighbours close by would be ideal. She gets upset by men she doesn't know, even hearing their voices upsets her. She bonds better with women and prefers being handled by them. Considering how many visitors we receive here on a regular basis, it's not an ideal life for her. She needs one or two people she can rely on and enjoy a calmer pace of life. We do our best to ensure she has a lot of outdoor time and interactive toys to help her cope but we want so much more for her. She gets on well with other dogs but sometimes her behaviour with barking and spinning stresses some dogs out and they snap at her. Ideally Brenda would go to a home where there is a chilled out resident dog. Our whole team absolutely adore this girl. Honestly she is just so special. We bring her into our volunteer cabin, when it's quiet, on our lunch breaks to spend time with her. We call her our eccentric old lady....but you can be sure she was the very first dog to get her Christmas present shoebox on Christmas Eve. She also got another one on Christmas Day! Sometimes it's only the very little things we can do to improve her quality of life. Since Alex got his happy-ever-after, we are hopeful that somewhere out there is someone for this one of a kind gal. The progress she has made since she first arrived to us has been huge. She really needs to go somewhere where she can do her own thing and will be understood for the dog that she is. We really would love for her to experience the joys of a loving home. She really and truly deserves it. 2018 led to many MADRA miracles such as the rehoming of the last of our Tricky family; Peter and Alex, longtime dogs like Screech and other dogs who needed extra understanding, professional help from positive reinforcement dog trainers and dedicated owners...so we are grateful to those people. We really wish that 2019 could start with the news that someone understanding and committed, with suitable circumstances, is willing to welcome Brenda into their home for her golden years. After all she has lived through and overcome, we won't ever give up looking for a home for her.....

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***FIVE STAR HOME NEEEDED ASAP *** We haven't given you an update on our lovable boy Goldie in awhile. Goldie has been in our care for TEN MONTHS and shelter life was really taking a toll on him. He was overwhelmed, incredibly stressed out and it was difficult for our kennel crew to watch him deteriorating as the days rolled by, despite our efforts to provide enrichment, but nothing we could do could change the fact that he was living in a shelter. Luckily, along came the Doyle family and offered him a foster home. They've all fallen for him completely. [THANKS GUYS, YOU ARE AMAZING!] We're not surprised they're all smitten with him..his tail is always wagging when he sees his favourite people. The arrangement was always a foster one as they're not in a position to adopt a dog. They've said he is fantastic with people, loves a lot of company and that he is a VERY clever boy (who needs lots of mental stimulation to keep him happy.) Goldie is a two year old ultra charismatic Pitbull Labrador mix whom we all love dearly. The good stuff: He really loves to play outside and if you have a secure garden for him to gallop around in, he will be a very happy boy. He is also a very affectionate boy who would like to hang out with you on the couch. Goldie is a very, very clever chap and he responds really well to positive reinforcement training. He loves his toys and treat filled Kongs and Kong Wobbler. He has quite a few different cues and is just waiting for someone to teach him much more. Goldie is a really sweet lad who needs a patient and understanding person to allow him the time he needs to get comfortable in a new home. Things he needs your help with: He would love a home where someone will help him with his training as he can get over-excited at times and jumpy as a result of his enthusiasm... but this is something we can help a potential adopter work on with him and trust us, his endless love is worth the wait. He isn't always comfortable meeting new dogs so a rural location with a secure garden would be ideal for him. Once he finds a suitable home, we know he will make the greatest companion. He really can't stay in foster indefinitely and it would be awful to bring him back to our shelter, which causes him so much stress. Has anyone a spot in their heart and home for this special boy? Photos by Tracy Kirby.

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* Update * Wall-E and Eva..... Their story of rehabilitation slowly continues. It has been almost five months since we picked them up from the pound. They are only about a year old but they are only now starting to understand what it means to trust, just that little bit..... They are so poorly under socialised that absolutely everything is terrifying for them. They've been wary for so long that what we consider kindness is a foreign concept to them. They've been cautiously eating from our hands the past few weeks. However, they are utterly petrified of being touched and the sight of a lead sends them scurrying into the back of their kennel in fear. So, the next step was to start feeding them in the hallway outside of their kennel. This was a big step when they braved leaving their kennel. They would scurry back into their kennel at the slightest noise but then they would get curious and slowly come creeping out again. We built on this until they were ready to brave the outside world. The door was open so they could run back to their kennel if they felt overwhelmed at any stage, but they're gradually getting braver. We abandoned the bowls and started scatter feeding them in the yard. You can see their brains clocking in for the work of sniffing out their food. Initially they would hang around the building door so they could be ready to retreat at any point to the safety and security of their kennel....but then they kept sniffing the ground and moving further away from the kennel. Soon they were sniffing out other smells than food and then something glorious happened...they started lifting their heads to look around them, wary but interested now in their surroundings. It's still all very scary and new for them, but they are curious....and Eva shyly wags her tail at us now. In the yard, they've gradually started coming over to us (as we sit quietly on the wet ground!) and eating the food from our hands outside as well. We are really focusing on engaging their brains to help reduce their fears and it's gradually working. Rehabilitation like this is never a quick fix but we live for the little milestones. We'll keep you posted on their story, Eva and Wall-E, just two of the several "tricky" dogs currently in our care right now. Baby steps but we'll get there...************ Wall-E and Eva are two youngsters found dumped on the bog after the Ballinasloe fair. They are not ready for homing yet as they are terribly traumatised & upset but they could go into foster if we found the right person. They would need a secure garden, a steady calm existing dog (or two) and someone at home during the day. They currently hide in the corner of their kennel and cannot be touched, which obviously means no leads either at the moment.

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* Update * Wall-E and Eva..... Their story of rehabilitation slowly continues. It has been almost five months since we picked them up from the pound. They are only about a year old but they are only now starting to understand what it means to trust, just that little bit..... They are so poorly under socialised that absolutely everything is terrifying for them. They've been wary for so long that what we consider kindness is a foreign concept to them. They've been cautiously eating from our hands the past few weeks. However, they are utterly petrified of being touched and the sight of a lead sends them scurrying into the back of their kennel in fear. So, the next step was to start feeding them in the hallway outside of their kennel. This was a big step when they braved leaving their kennel. They would scurry back into their kennel at the slightest noise but then they would get curious and slowly come creeping out again. We built on this until they were ready to brave the outside world. The door was open so they could run back to their kennel if they felt overwhelmed at any stage, but they're gradually getting braver. We abandoned the bowls and started scatter feeding them in the yard. You can see their brains clocking in for the work of sniffing out their food. Initially they would hang around the building door so they could be ready to retreat at any point to the safety and security of their kennel....but then they kept sniffing the ground and moving further away from the kennel. Soon they were sniffing out other smells than food and then something glorious happened...they started lifting their heads to look around them, wary but interested now in their surroundings. It's still all very scary and new for them, but they are curious....and Eva shyly wags her tail at us now. In the yard, they've gradually started coming over to us (as we sit quietly on the wet ground!) and eating the food from our hands outside as well. We are really focusing on engaging their brains to help reduce their fears and it's gradually working. Rehabilitation like this is never a quick fix but we live for the little milestones. We'll keep you posted on their story, Eva and Wall-E, just two of the several "tricky" dogs currently in our care right now. Baby steps but we'll get there...************ Wall-E and Eva are two youngsters found dumped on the bog after the Ballinasloe fair. They are not ready for homing yet as they are terribly traumatised & upset but they could go into foster if we found the right person. Eva is slightly more curious than Walle-e. They would need a secure garden, a steady calm existing dog (or two) and someone at home during the day. They currently hide in the corner of their kennel and cannot be touched, which obviously means no leads either at the moment.

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