Five pups that were rescued from a hole beneath a tree in a graveyard moved into a new foster home yesterday.
Their mother has been running wild around Collooney, Co Sligo, for at least three years.
She gave birth to the pups, which are mainly Labrador and Collie crosses, three weeks ago, but they were not spotted in their hideaway cemetery hole until two days ago.
They were spotted huddled together by a woman laying a Christmas wreath on her parents' grave.
She contacted voluntary pet welfare organisation, Sligo Animal Rescue, and the pups were rescued and placed with a vet until they were collected yesterday by foster carers Dessie and Caroline Harnan.
They will keep them for about two months at their home near Skreen, Co Sligo, until the pups are ready to be allotted homes.
Meanwhile, a hunt continues for their mother, who has resisted capture for nearly three years.
Dorothy Kilgallen, of Sligo Animal Rescue, said the mother had survived because people in Collooney regularly left food for her.
Dorothy said: "When I was collecting the pups I could see her in the next field looking towards me but she didn't move from her spot.
"I felt so sorry for her when I was taking the pups. It was really heart-breaking but they had to be rescued."
Sligo Animal Rescue has already had a number of offers for the pups.