donate to a
friend's fundraiser



Cinn Mhara, Camus, Connemara, Co. Galway - H91 AK38


MADRA is an acronym for Mutts Anonymous Dog Rescue & Adoption… and it is also the Irish for dog.

Based in Connemara, Co Galway, we have worked to rescue, rehabilitate and rehome several thousand unwanted, abandoned and neglected dogs across the west coast of Ireland and beyond since 2005. We are an Irish registered charity and our charity number is 20072698.


MADRA rescues and rehabilitates unwanted, neglected, abused and abandoned dogs.  We focus on taking in dogs from the local authority pounds and we also provide a rehoming service for people whose circumstances have changed, and for reasons like homelessness and ill health find themselves needing to rehome their dog. We are dedicated to looking after the dogs in our care and finding them permanent, loving homes. We provide many other related services to the public such as educational talks in schools and we also work with other charities to provide emergency canine accommodation for the dogs of people who find themselves homeless or in domestic abuse shelters. Ultimately we want to help create a world where MADRA and rescues like us are no longer needed and so we make it our mission to educate, influence, advocate and support. With our huge community of supporters, we do all of this as a team and by behaving with integrity and compassion and being progressive in every way we can.

where your money goes

When dogs come under our care, they may go straight to the kennels or into a foster home. They’ll be micro-chipped, neutered, and vaccinated and following assessment, our team works to find loving homes for each of our rescued dogs. Our work doesn’t stop there. Once a MADRA dog, they are always MADRA supported – we provide ongoing training support and advice as needed.

MADRA takes in 500-600 dogs every year. We’re at 100% capacity all year round and work 365 days. We are volunteer-led with a small team of employees and over 50 regular volunteers.


Our story started in a much less enlightened era, when the dog pounds of Galway and Mayo were at capacity and euthanasia rates were as high as 83%. Our co-founder Marina Fiddler, together with friend and dog trainer Tara Nic Dhiarmada, decided to set up MADRA to help these dogs that had been let down so badly by humans. The charity was set up specifically to rescue and rehabilitate dogs that were at risk of being put to sleep because they were excess to requirements. The aim was to then place them in quality homes.