UPDATE: HuffPost readers helped the Milwaukee Animal Rescue Center raise almost $50,000, exceeding its goal of $40,000 for a down payment on a new building. Shelter director Amy Rowell said after the story was published, the shelter received donations from 45 states and four countries. About $8,000 came from local sources, and it can be assumed that the rest came from HuffPost readers, Rowell said. The shelter still needs funds for moving expenses and renovations so that animals don't have to be kept in cages. Donations are being accepted online.
When Amy Rowell went to the Milwaukee Animal Control Commission to pick up one furry friend, another found her. A cat reached out his big paw and tapped her on the head -- with all 26 of his toes.
The curious cat, who she later named Daniel, was supposed to be euthanized that day due to lack of space and resources at the animal control center.
"It's like he was saying, 'Take me home,'" Rowell, the executive director of the Milwaukee Animal Rescue Center, told the Huffington Post.
But, now that the Southridge Mall has upped the rent and is making room for retail stores, according to Rowell, the center is the one in need of a new home. And Daniel-the-cat is helping to spread the word.
The 26-toed feline is inspiring $26 donations to help cover the $40,000 down payment on an alternative building.
The Huffington Post reached out to SIMON Property Group, which owns Southridge Mall. A spokesperson declined to comment.
The shelter, which takes in animals from other humane societies and animal control agencies that might otherwise be put down, doesn't get any funding and relies on the community for support.
The Milwaukee Animal Rescue Center has found a new location near the mall. With more open space, the plan is to allow the animals to live cage-free until they're adopted.
Rowell says she's confident the shelter be able to move into their new space, but the rescue center needs to secure the down payment by Nov. 15.
Milwaukee Animal Rescue Center, which opened in 2006, has helped save more than 5,000 animals. The organization also provides programs connecting youth and seniors with opportunities to volunteer and learn about animal welfare issues.
"We have a lot of programs that would suffer the loss," Rowell said.
If you're inspired by Daniel, the 26-toed cat, help keep the Milwaukee Animal Rescue Center alive. Donations are being accepted online.
SLIDESHOW OF DANIEL:
Photos: Courtesy of Milwaukee Animal Rescue Center
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