In what is turning into Animals In Need's (AIN) busiest year since forming 12 years ago, this weekend broke all records for emergency call outs.

Saturday night was exceptionally busy with 10 kittens found; one in Donegal Town, five in Letterkenny, one in Stranorlar, two sick kittens dumped by the road in Ballybofey, another in Convoy plus an injured gannet in Fanad.

Rescues are often harrowing, as was the case when a feral cat was found dead with her 3 week old kittens beside her.

14 dogs headed off to the Dogs Trust rehoming centre

The cat had been living in a garden shed when the homeowner noticed her lying lifelessly up against the shed window. Upon checking on the cat, they found the three kittens. Although the young mother cat was being fed, it appears that her emaciated body just could not cope as there was no sign of poisoning or injury.

Her kittens had severe eye infections and cat flu and would not have survived for long. They are now being bottlefed at the cattery. AIN will be carrying out Trap/Neuter/Return (TNR) in the area to end this suffering.

Three cats were found following separate road traffic accidents in Buncrana, Castlefin and Convoy and tragically were unable to be saved by the vets as their injuries were too severe.

3 sick kittens found with their deceased mother

An injured black fluffy kitten was found in Stranorlar. Halle 'Fang' Berry had a degloving wound to her chin, needing several trips to the vet.  The injury to her lower jaw was probably caused by a moving part in a car engine. Halle's lower teeth were sticking out and loose and had to be removed, her bottom lip was torn away from the muscle and there was a pocket filled with solid pus.  She is now settled in her foster home.

There was good news for a tabby kitten found in Tesco's car park in Letterkenny on Saturday when she was reunited with her delighted family. She had jumped out of a window blown open by Monday's storm. Thanks to Ann-Marie for rescuing her.

A pet rabbit was rescued after he had been spotted hopping around Buncrana for 2 days. He is also now back home with his family.

Thank you to those who offered a home to new mum, Finola the Foxhound. However, Finola was unable to produce enough milk to feed her large brood of 10 surviving pups and so the Dogs Trust offered to help and have taken mum and pups to their Centre where the pups will be bottlefed to supplement their mum's milk.

A huge thank you to the Dogs Trust for the support they have given AIN, particularly over the past 6 months.

Several dogs were rescued from the Letterkenny Pound at the weekend, including an elderly dog, and more were surrendered by their owners.

Fourteen dogs left the hub this week and headed off to the Dogs Trust's rehoming centre and six pups went to fantastic new homes.

Halle was found with a badly injured chin

There was heartbreak when two of five sickly collie pups died. They had been receiving veterinary treatment for a heavy worm burden but suddenly went downhill.  A post mortem on the pups revealed that their intestines where completely blocked by worms. The three surviving 9 week old pups are doing well.

AIN also received happier news. Ziba, a 9 month old dog, was already pregnant when her unsuspecting new owner found her online last year.  Her owner had health issues and so AIN agreed to foster Ziba during the pregnancy and assisted with the birth of her 7 pups.

Ziba appeared in a  BBC NI programme featuring AIN last Christmas, remaining in AIN's care until the puppies were weaned and then she returned to her grateful owner. The 7 pups found wonderful homes and have just had their first birthday.

Ziba's owner contacted AIN to express her thanks and sent a generous donation from Ziba along with more doggy kisses, of which Ziba gave plenty during her time in foster care.  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.