The volunteers at Animals In Need Donegal have been overwhelmed by the level of public support following their appeal for help with 17 kittens dumped in a box outside a Killybegs butcher’s shop in the early hours of Wednesday last.
The 2-4 week old kittens were discovered by a local postwoman during her morning delivery round and were brought to rescue charity Animals In Need.
The kittens have since been split between foster homes and because of their young ages are being bottle-fed special kitten milk formula around the clock.
Ten sick kittens suffering from severe eye infections are receiving medical treatment.
“We would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who has contacted us with donations and offers of help,” said an Animals In Need spokesperson. “Along with a massive response here in Donegal, the kittens have touched hearts all around the country and we’ve had donations from as far afield as Cork, offers to foster from Dublin and we’ve even had calls from America.”
Apart from eye infections, the kittens are in reasonable health although one kitten has a burn mark the size of 2 euro coin on his head which is healing well. Another of the kittens has a sore leg which is being kept under observation and a third kitten had a seizure when she first arrived, most likely due to low blood sugar and dehydration, but she has made a full recovery.
“When they arrived they were all very cold and dangerously dehydrated as they’d been outside in that box for several hours before they were found when they should have been cuddled up with their mothers and they’re lucky to all be alive,” the Animals In Need spokesperson explained. “We’ve done our best to split the kittens up into the 5 litters we think they came from and they’ve gone to experienced fosterers who have all hand-reared small kittens before, so that’s fantastic. We’ve bought them more heatpads to keep them warm and they’ve all really livened up in the last couple of days, so we’re feeling optimistic that they will all make it.”
Meanwhile, the gardai investigation into the identity of the man who was caught on the butcher shop’s CCTV as he arrived on foot and dumped the box of kittens outside the shop at 5am on Wednesday is progressing, with further developments expected later this week and the ISPCA are on standby to assist if necessary.
For those who would like to help towards the care of the 17 little kittens, who need heat pads, expensive kitten milk formula, worming, vaccinations, medical expenses for eye infections and food, please donate €2 to AIN’s ‘Help Us To Help Them’ fundraising appeal via your phone by texting the word ‘KITTEN’ to 50300, or by Paypal for firstname.lastname@example.org.