A man was captured on a local shop's CCTV dumping the box
An animal charity is appealing for information after 17 small kittens were found abandoned outside a Killybegs butchers shop in Donegal.
A cardboard box containing the felines was discovered by the local postwoman during her delivery round this morning.
When opened, the boxes were found to be filled with kittens of only two to four weeks old.
Ten of them are said to be sick with serious eye infections.
An investigation has revealed that a man was captured on CCTV footage as he arrived on foot, and dumped the boxes outside the shop at 5.00am.
The kittens are now all in the care of the Animals In Need group, where they will receive treatment for their eye infections and any other issues.
The youngest kittens will also need to be bottle-fed special kitten milk formula, as they should still be with their mothers.
An Animals In Need spokesperson said: "This is a heartless thing to do. All these kittens should still be being nursed by their mothers and to take them away and leave them out all night in the cold was very dangerous for the kittens, they are lucky to be alive".
"These kittens must have come from four or five mothers, so our concern now is where are the mothers and are they going to be having more babies in a month that will end up the same way?".
Animals In Need is appealing to the man who left the boxes of kittens to get in touch with them on the helpline 087-7644-420.
The group says at the very least he should have the mother cats neutered, adding that there is financial help available if the cats are stray or feral.