Belfast Telegraph

The pet foster mum who’s taken in more than 100 animals in need of a home

By Donna Deeney

It was a single act of kindness which, in time, has helped to transform the lives of more than 100 animals.

Three years ago, Violet Dennehy answered a plea to help look after 12 very poorly newborn kittens until they could be rehomed.

This one act led to dozens of cats and dogs being fostered.

With her husband Tom, daughters Ceeva and Niamh and son Keelan, she has taken care of neglected, abandoned and unloved animals until they are ready for their new homes.

Violet, who is a volunteer with Grovehill Animal Trust in Omagh, Co Tyrone, said the sense of satisfaction from seeing her foster pets thrive makes it all worthwhile.

She said: "I took a call from Richard Robinson, the co-ordinator of the Trust, who asked if I could look after all these very sick kittens.

"I made a quick call to my husband and the rest is history.

"They melted my heart and to see their health improve and then get rehomed was extremely satisfying.

"That was the start of a number of calls from Richard and I have never said no."

Violet, who lives in Omagh, said that when she agreed to foster a dog with two pups for the first time, it caused some difficulties with daughter Niamh, who had a fear of canines.

She said: "It didn't go down well with her and for three days she didn't speak to me at all but she came around eventually and lost her fear of dogs completely."

While looking after 12 kittens was the biggest undertaking for Violet in terms of numbers, she has also helped in the delivery of eight pups from a dog that had been abandoned.

She continued: "Just over a year ago we had a very anxious time looking after a dog called Eve who came to us while she was pregnant.

"For two and a half weeks we took turns getting up to look after her during the night until they were born and sadly one of the pups didn't make it, which caused a big upset in the house.

"There were tears when Eve and her pups were all rehomed because the pups had been born with us and because Eve had been dumped on the side of the road, she may not have made it if we hadn't looked after her. It is nice to think we played a part in saving her and helping to look after her pups."

Violet gets angry when an animal has been badly treated, but she gets great satisfaction from helping them recover. She said: "Seeing how care and affection can change an animal is so rewarding and I would recommend fostering to anyone.

"This has become a family affair, even our own two cats and two dogs are part of the welcoming committee.

"Once a cat or dog leaves we know it will only be a day or two before we get a new arrival."

Belfast Telegraph

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