KILDARE PET RESCUE: Orphan season is in full swing

Kildare Animal Foundation

Dan Donoher


Dan Donoher


KILDARE PET RESCUE: Orphan season is in full swing

Doris, the baby cygnet

Orphan season is in full swing here at Kildare Animal Foundation. The helpline never stops from morning until night.

We are very lucky to have volunteers that help man this very important line. They do four-hour shifts and it can be non-stop for the whole time. They will give the very best of up-to-date advice and also co-ordinate rescues and transport for sick and injured wildlife.

We take calls from all over the country. Of course, it’s not possible to take all the animals we get called about but we can recommend a veterinary clinic, a rescue or a rehabber that might be closer. It’s often difficult cases or ones that no one else can help would come our way.

Last week, you will remember I wrote about Doris, the little cygnet. Sadly her mam had passed away and we were able to hatch her out. A very similar call came in through our help line recently too.

A group of people had been keeping an eye on a female swan that was nesting. She was doing a very good job and the hatching date was fast approaching.

As she did every morning, one of the ladies went to check to see if there was any sign of any cygnets. She discovered with shock that the female was not there. She looked everywhere and even got the rest of the group involved — but she had just vanished. Hours passed and she never returned.

At first, they thought the eggs had gone too but they dug down into the nest and found the six eggs, which were all cold.

When they asked for advice, I said to bring them down and we would pop them into the incubator. It was a slim chance, but we had to try.

Eight days later, I could hear a noise coming from the incubator. I peeked inside and there I found one of the little cygnets out of their shells and calling.

Over the next 24 hours, three more followed. The odds were really stacked against them, but they stuck in there and made it.

Their mother was never seen again. Maybe she got scared and flew away, we will never know. We hope her babies will now thrive and be returned to the wild in a few months’ time.

Thank you

We would like to thank Gareth the painter and his team from Grant Thornton for all they did to help us. They worked flat out all day and did a beautiful job on everything they worked at. We really much appreciate their help. Once again, our most sincere thanks to all of them. If your business would like to volunteer for a day here at Kildare Animal Foundation, please get in touch.


Join us in the beautiful countryside outside Kildare town on Sunday, July 14, at 1pm in Kildare Animal Foundation for our biggest annual fundraiser.

There will be a plant stall, bottle stall, antiques, cake stall, kiddies games, crafts, face painting, barbeque and much, much more.

Free admission and parking. (As we have lots of animals on site, no dogs are allowed to our Open Day)

Please help us celebrate our 25th year of caring for sick and injured animals of all sorts.

If you cannot come along, please show your support by donating plants, bottles wine/spirits/beer for our bottle stall, a raffle prize or even some homemade cakes to sell on the day.

For more information please phone 045 522929.

Kildare Animal Foundation, located outside Kildare town, is a voluntary organisation that provides a safe haven for neglected or abused animals. Tel: 045 522929, email
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All donations welcome.