My debut book Whiskers, Feathers & Fur: Veterinary Tales was released on 10th March 2020.
Here is the blurb
Around the globe, from Ireland, the UK and onto Australia and New Zealand, the author, Irish veterinarian and animal lover, Austin Donnelly, takes us with him on an amazing journey full of encounters with all sorts of animals. From a Galway postman that raises a nest of robins in his mail van, to a naughty adolescent alpaca in Tasmania causing all kinds of mischief, the stories are full of surprises and there are lots of laughs along the way. This is a perfect gift for anyone who understands that animals are people too, and appreciates the special bond between animals and their dedicated owners.
Can be ordered through any good book shop or online at
Amazon Australia HERE
Amazon Ireland / UK HERE
Amazon US HERE
Signed copies are available for purchase (delivered anywhere internationally) at the side of this page.
Some advance reader reviews
Irish best-selling author duo Colm Keane & Una O’Hagan
‘Really loved this book; it’s a terrific read, full of warm stories, great characters, both human and of the furry kind. Sometimes sad, frequently hilarious, clearly written by someone who knows, loves and understands animals of all shapes and sizes.’
Dr Temple Grandin, Author (US) of Animals in Translation and Animals Make us Human
“Whiskers, Feathers, and Fur will get the reader connected to the land and the cycle of life. I loved the description of the indoor pig who discovers life outside. At first she was cautious and soon her animal instincts became unleashed, when she foraged and wallowed in the mud.”
Orla McAlinden, Multi award winning Author of The accidental Wife
“A warm and well-written vets-eye-view of the world. I thoroughly enjoyed these tales by Austin Donnelly. The full gamut of the veterinary life is displayed for us, the good, the bad and the down-right ugly. Donnelly does not shy from the gore, the joy, the sorrow, the fear and the exhilaration which make up the veterinary life. As a fellow vet, often appalled at the lack of basic understanding of nature, and agriculture, I think these warts-and-all stories are timely and necessary. I particularly welcome the inclusion of one or two stories which display the toll which the veterinary life can take upon one’s mental health and family life, nestled among the humour and heart-warming tales. You will never look at your vet in the same way again.
This genuine laugh out loud memoir of Austin’s veterinary exploits had me from the first tale of him pulling a calf, possibly as I grew up on a farm, but I found it relatable and hard to put down. His Irish humour was entertaining and refreshing. Definitely worth a read if you like a laugh (especially for all you farmers)
Richard Gibney, magazine Editor, Dublin Ireland
Austin Donnelly’s Whiskers, Feathers and Fur is a series of highly entertaining anecdotes about Donnelly’s career as a vet. Set mainly in Ireland, Australia and New Zealand, the stories feature the various encounters – animal and human, and sometimes even the local vegetation – that Austin has met on his travels, as he acts as a locum in a number of practices around the globe. The warmth of the stories is what impresses most: Although many of the tales have a pastoral setting, animal lovers come from all walks of life. And it is just these people who often take in or look after wildlife that would otherwise fail to flourish – often with an idiosyncratic determination that almost defies logic. One such animal lover is the postman who keeps a nest of chicks in the glove compartment of his van. Something that this reader hadn’t considered is the fact that vets are likely to encounter plenty of unusual people and interesting characters; if you think of the stereotypical Cat Lady, many animal lovers can be considered more eccentric than the average human. On the flip side, those with little respect for our cousins in the animal kingdom might be equally odd – and there is a character in this tome who matches this description too. The stories also feature Austin’s early obsession with animal husbandry and his childhood interest in becoming a veterinarian. In essence, it is autobiography through the prism of a series of moments and periods of his life. It’s an exceptionally interesting, very funny and occasionally heart-breaking primer in the life of a travelling vet.