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Dublin: 20°C Monday 15 August 2022

'The worst we've ever seen': Dog rescue closes because it has too many unwanted animals

MADRA, a charity based in Galway, has had to close for only the second time since it opened ten years ago.

These pups were brought in to MADRA are being found dumped on farmland in Co. Galway late last month
These pups were brought in to MADRA are being found dumped on farmland in Co. Galway late last month
Image: MADRA

A DOG RESCUE charity based in Galway has been forced to close for a month due to a massive influx in the number of stray and unwanted dogs.

MADRA (or Mutts Anonymous Dog Rescue and Adoption) has reported an ‘all-time high’ in the number of dogs needing to be re-homed.

The rescue closed briefly as demand increased around this time last year, but this closure is expected to last until ‘at least’ next month.

In October, over 60 members of the public contacted the charity looking for information on how they could re-home their dogs, on top of the 71 dogs rescued from local pounds, up from 45 the month previous.

Speaking to, chairperson Edel Comerford said the situation was the worst the centre had seen since it opened ten years ago.

“It came out of no where,” she said,

There’s no real reason that we can put our finger on. It’s very upsetting for everyone.

Comerford said that while the charity is always appealing for donations, it’s not where the solution lies:

If we had more kennels, they would be filled with even more dogs. People need a better education in what it means to own a dog.

“Sadly though, there are many of the enquiries that make you feel disillusioned. People are too quick to surrender their dogs without trying to find another solution.”

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Some dogs have come into the centre simply because they wander, when a fence could be erected to keep them in, or with behavioural problems despite not having been to a dog trainer.

Most of the dogs at the centre are usually rescued from local pounds, while others are given due to changes in the owner’s circumstances, such as if someone enters a nursing home and can no longer keep a pet.

Comerford said that a national campaign to educate potential pet owners in the responsibilities attached to owning a dog and the need to neuter them would help, or classes in schools to stop the ‘pester power’ of children who want a puppy.

For more information adopting a dog from the charity or making a donation, see The charity has also launched a text line. Text MADRA to 50300 to donate €4, see here for full details.

Watch: This heartwarming dog adoption ad is a rollercoaster of emotions >

Column: Running a dog rescue centre doesn’t involve frolicking with puppies all day >

Relax everyone: The lone puppy trapped in a mineshaft in Cork has now been rescued >

About the author:

Nicky Ryan

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