The week began with one of the more unusual rescues at Animals In Need (AIN) in the shape of Fergal the fox cub.
Fergal was caught in a trap by householders who realised he would not make a good pet after all and contacted AIN.
Fox cubs may look cute but they are wild animals and to keep a cub as a pet is a cruel and selfish thing to do. As they grow, they become extremely boisterous and destructive as is to be expected from a wild animal being kept in captivity.
Foxes should be reared with others of their own species so that they develop social skills while growing up and have minimal contact with people if they are to be released back into the wild. This is best carried out by experienced wildlife rehabilitators who can be found on the contacts page of the Irish Wildlife Matters website or by calling AIN.
Fergal the fox cub has been transferred to a wildlife rehabilitator so that he can grow up with other fox cubs and then return to the wild. Amongst his new fox friends will be Todd, a cub found in Ballindrait a while ago who is already settled at the rehabilitation centre.
Meanwhile, there was a happy ending for Sebastian, the lovable lop-eared Lionhead rabbit featured in last week's Donegal Post. A reader spotted him and contacted AIN to offer Sebastian a wonderful home which is fantastic news.
AIN currently has more than 60 kittens in foster homes along with their mothers and other adult cats. The kittens come in all the varieties of the cat fur rainbow; ginger, ginger and white, tortoiseshell, tabbies, calicos, black and white, black, white and grey, grey, fluffy and short-haired.
Seven kittens were rehomed this week but the majority of the kittens are too young to leave their mothers yet. Their details will be posted on AIN's Facebook page when they reach 5 weeks old at which time they can be booked to go to their new homes at 8 weeks old.
On Tuesday last a grey cat persistently tried to gain access to a business premises in Raphoe. Luckily she had picked the right place because inside the building was a member of AIN. The cat, now called Lady Grey, was brought to AIN's cattery where she gave birth to kittens the next day.
Lady Grey is a friendly, tame cat who had found herself living rough and was desperate for somewhere safe to have her kittens. Mum and kittens are doing well.
If you come across small kittens on their own, please check that the mother cat has not just gone to look for food before you remove them. If they look clean and are in a heap together, mum cat is most likely in the area and may be waiting for you to leave before returning so it is best to check back again later to assess the situation.
Amongst recent emergency call outs was an 8-month old injured Hound pup who was found darting in and out of traffic in Convoy. The pup had a leg injury probably from being clipped by a car which thankfully was not serious and AIN were able to find her owners and reunite them.
AIN made their weekly trip to the Letterkenny Pound at the weekend to collect all the dogs and also took in a number of surrendered dogs, the majority being collies.
It is a sad reflection on society that intelligent, faithful companions such as Collies are regularly treated as disposable commodities. Prince, a 4 year old, super friendly Collie, was brought to the vets to be put down simply because he did not make the grade as a working dog. Luckily for him he is now being taken in by AIN and will be found an energetic home where he will be a member of the family.
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.