Twenty-two kittens have been rescued by the Animals In Need (AIN) volunteers in the past few days.

Sixteen of the kittens arrived at the cattery on the same day so as you can imagine, it is all systems go for the volunteers.

Amongst these were four kittens who were only a week old and therefore they are now being hand-reared with special kitten milk, which involves their fosterer having to bottle-feed them every 3 hours around the clock.

A litter of 4 six-week old kittens were trapped at the weekend and will now be socialised.  Their semi-feral mother had hidden them deep inside an impenetrable thorny hedge and at first it was feared that the kittens were too light to set off the humane cat trap.  However, finally they were caught and are now in a foster home.  They are more frightened than fierce but are starting to settle and are young enough to be socialised and will be found good family homes when they are ready.

The Thornbush Kittens will be socialised

On top of all these kittens, AIN took in an older stray kitten from Convoy, a very sick adult cat found in Letterkenny plus a stray mother cat and her litter of newborn kittens.

Earlier in the week, there was a shocking discovery for a passerby who looked inside a closed carrier bag that they came across.  Inside the bag were two tiny kittens of only a fortnight old, shaking and overheated from being inside the bag on one of the hottest mornings of the year so far.

Their finder contacted AIN for advice and a volunteer duly showed them how to bottle-feed and clean such young kittens and the finders are now keeping the kittens.

AIN were also asked by Social Services to assist with an overcrowding situation and consequently took in another 8 cats and kittens.

Sparrow after eye surgery

A very sick, un-neutered male cat was found collapsed in the street in Letterkenny at the weekend.  AIN responded to an appeal for help and found that the cat bore scars from years of fighting, along with streaming eyes, a swollen stomach and diarrhea.  His owner was traced and he is now undergoing veterinary treatment.

Tiny ginger kitten Sparrow, who was found outside the Pulse nightclub in Letterkenny a week ago with severely infected eyes, needed emergency surgery this week.

Sparrow's fosterer had been hoping to build up this young kitten's strength before surgery but unfortunately the damaged eye ruptured which meant surgery had to be moved forward.

Thankfully his operation was a success and he is back at his foster home recovering and doing well.

AIN were also asked to help relocate a colony of 20 cats from Bundoran that was suddenly left homeless when the kind man who had been caring for them tragically passed away.

The dog rescuers also had a hectic week and AIN was on the road transporting dogs around the county and beyond.

Two dogs were rescued from the Letterkenny Pound and several more were surrendered by their owners.

Paudi, the Pitbull who was featured in the Donegal Post last week after he was found in an appalling state, starving and bearing scars from recent cruel treatment, is doing well in his foster home.  He was very traumatised when he was found but is starting to come out of his shell and put on some much needed weight.

The Yellow-bellied Slider Turtle that was found in Lough Melvin a fortnight ago has found a new home.  He has gone to an experienced owner and has joined his new turtle friends.

Finally, AIN would like to say a huge thank you to the Solis Lough Eske Castle Hotel for their generous donation of €2,000.  This will be a huge help towards the charity's expenses such as vet bills and food for all these hungry rescued animals.  It is much appreciated.

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 http://www.animalsinneeddonegal.com.

If you have a story or want to send a photo or video to us please contact the Donegal Now editorial team. Between 9am and 5pm Monday to Sunday please call 074 9112712. Between 5pm and midnight please call or text 086 792 2103. Or you can email [email protected] at any time.