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Galway Independent


Find your ‘pawfect’ match at MADRA’s Doggy Blind Date

Wednesday, 11th January, 2017 1:01am

Love will be in the air this Valentine’s Day with dog rescue charity MADRA calling on people to apply to take part in its ‘Doggy Blind Date’ programme 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 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.

The event will take place in conjunction with one of the charity’s popular Dog Adoption Days, where as many as 30 dogs will be brought into the city from the Connemara-based rescue centre looking to find their new homes.

Co-founder of MADRA Marina Fiddler will be taking on the role of canine matchmaker, a role she has been fulfilling for over 11 years since the charity was established in 2005.

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 said, “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.

“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!”

Those interested in participating are asked to email before 5pm this Friday 13 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 12 February.

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