Donegal's Animals In Need face additional daily challenges when rescuing animals around the county

Animals in need

Mum and five Donegal kittens found in Killybegs

Due to the continued lockdown, the volunteers at Animals In Need (AIN) face additional daily challenges when rescuing animals around the county. 

However, animal care and welfare is exempt from the current travel restrictions, meaning emergencies and urgent cases are still being dealt with.


AIN's helplines continue to operate but unfortunately rehoming is not possible until further notice, not only due to the restrictions on travel but as it is impossible to carry out home checks on potential adopters.

It is also the beginning of 'Kitten Season' and calls regarding kittens being found alone or stray mother cats and their kittens appearing are starting to flood in.

AIN are appealing to the public to help to care for any stray or feral cats in their own 2km area as many cats will be starving without their usual food sources at restaurants and take away's. 

On top of this, many homeless cats will be struggling to rear new kittens. 

If you see a cat suffering or in trouble, please contact AIN through social media or by calling 087 7644420.

On a positive note, Donegal is fortunate to have many fantastic vets throughout the county, who are all working during this crisis to make sure our furry and feathered friends are looked after.

Amongst the cats rescued from emergency situations this week was a mother cat called Demi and her five kittens in Killybegs.

This feline family were discovered in a closed shed that could only be accessed from high up. 


Sadly, the landlord recently informed the tenant that he had found a number of dead kittens in the shed when he had cleared it out during the winter.

It seems that a cat (possibly Demi) had given birth to several litters in the shed but had been unable to get them out of the high up access hole. The hole will now be filled in to prevent this happening in the future.

Thankfully Demi's kittens will not suffer the same fate but will grow up in their foster home and go on to live happy lives with human families of their own.

Thanks to name suggestions by supporters on AIN's Facebook page, the five kittens are called Bailey, Blossom, Missy, Tilly and April.

A three-week-old black kitten was rescued in Carrigart, when she was found sitting all alone in the middle of a field.

The kitten's mother was most likely relocating her kittens and had dropped her when she was startled.

She is only a young kittens but has taken to the bottle and is being hand-reared with special kitten milk formula while she snuggles in her blanket.

Sadly, it is not always happy endings. 

Last week AIN was contacted by a shop worker who had found three newborn kittens in an open bin located in a closed yard behind the shop, meaning the kittens had been born there rather than dumped.

The kittens were left there until their mother returned, but she did not come back for them and so they were brought to one of AIN's experienced fosterers for urgent care.

Despite everyone's efforts, unfortunately the kittens did not survive.

But there is good news too.

A cat who was hit by a car last week in Moville was reclaimed by her owner. The cat had a dislocated jaw from the accident, which was reset. She recovered well and was able to go home after spending a few days at the vets. 

All the dog foster homes remain full as there has been no movement of dogs since the lockdown was put in place.

Normally an AIN volunteer travels to the Letterkenny Pound at least once a week to collect all the dogs who have served their mandatory 5 days there without being reclaimed and the dogs are then moved to the Dogs Trust's Donegal hub or to foster homes. As this is not possible at the moment, the Pound are keeping the dogs there until such time as restrictions are eased.

AIN's helplines are still open. If you should find a sick or injured animal, please contact the helplines for advice. Rescue work can continue if everyone works together.

To help AIN’s animals, please donate €2 to AIN’s ‘Help Us To Help Them’ fundraising appeal via your phone by texting the word ‘KITTEN’ to 50300. Every last cent goes directly to the rescued animals for their food, bedding, vet bills, worming treatment and vaccinations. 

For further information on adoption, fostering, volunteering etc, please contact the main helpline on 087 1356188. For cat/kitten enquiries please call 087 7644420. Animals In Need Donegal is also on Facebook and has a website at

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