ISPCA launch appeal after three puppies found in a plastic bag dangling over river

An urgent appeal for information has been launched by the ISPCA after the discovery of three puppies in a plastic bag that was left dangling over a river

The ISPCA has launched an urgent appeal for information following the discovery of three puppies in a plastic bag in Donegal.

The puppies were found dumped in the bag and left for dead while dangling over a river near Drumkeen, on the Ballybofey to Letterkenny route on Wednesday night.

Smyth’s Veterinary Services received a call from a member of the public shortly before 9 pm about what they thought was kittens abandoned in a bag near the crossing of a river that was inaccessible. Alexander Smyth, Director of Veterinary Service, arrived on the scene shortly after the call.



Mr Smyth located the plastic bag hanging from a strand of barbed wire at the top of a fence and proceeded to perform a specialist rescue. He knew that if the bag became detached or ripped, the animals inside it would likely drown in the fast moving water below.

He then made the discovery of three new born collie puppies.


The puppies, who were no more than seven to 10 days old, were moved to safety and treated by the veterinary team.


"The puppies are doing well but will require intensive support as they are very young and now orphans, and the ISPCA team will continue to provide this over the coming weeks," Mr Smyth said. "We support the work of the ISPCA charity and all the good work they do for the welfare of animals across Ireland. It is only possible with donations from the public and we encourage people to consider them in their charitable donations."


ISPCA Senior Inspector Kevin McGinley said of the discovery:  “It is disturbing how anyone could be so cruel and heartless, to put three vulnerable little puppies in a plastic bag leaving them to dangle over a river to an inevitable death. There is just no words. These three puppies are lucky to be alive thanks to the kind-hearted member of the public and to Smyth Veterinary Services for rescuing them."



"It’s unclear how long the puppies were there but they are now receiving round the clock care at the ISPCA Animal Rehabilitation Centre. The situation could easily have been avoided if the puppies’ mother had been spayed or if the dog’s owner had contacted the ISPCA for help.  Spaying and Neutering is the obvious solution in preventing unwanted puppies from being born in the first place."

The ISPCA would like to remind pet owners that animal abandonment is a criminal offence and is appealing to anybody with information to contact the National Animal Cruelty Helpline in confidence on 1890 515 515, email [email protected] or report online here.

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