Cat's 26 Toes Save Wisconsin Animal Shelter

December 14, 2011 - 7:36 PM
ODD Polydactyl Cat

In this Nov. 17, 2011, photo is Daniel, a cat with two extra toes on each of his feet, in Milwaukee. It’s a genetic mutation called polydactylism and even though it’s two toes shy of a Guinness World Records number, it’s helping Milwaukee shelter officials raise money to buy a new home after they learned their rent was being doubled. (AP Photo/Carrie Antlfinger)

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Behold the power of paws.

The Milwaukee Animal Rescue Center in suburban Milwaukee parlayed a cat's near-record 26 toes into a fundraising windfall, raising $125,000 in about seven weeks.

Center owner Amy Rowell started asking for $26 donations — or $1 per toe — on Oct. 31. She wanted to raise money for a new building after finding out her rent at a Greendale mall would double Jan. 1.

Rowell had raised $80,000 by Friday, when The Associated Press reported Daniel's story. The center raised an additional $45,000 by Wednesday, surpassing its $120,000 goal. The biggest number of contributions came from $26 donations.

Rowell says she saved Daniel, Daniel saved the center and now he'll save other animals.

She hopes to raise an additional $230,000 to pay off the mortgage.