“We knew from the beginning he was a special kitty.
Now, he’s an inspiring kitty.”
Amy Rowell, MARC
It’s a far too common story of animal rescue facilities and animal shelters today: their lease is not renewed, and other space is needed – in a hurry. Such is the story at Milwaukee Animal Rescue Center in Wisconsin (MARC).
Amy Rowell, Founder and Executive Director, received notice a few weeks ago that their lease in a shopping mall will not be renewed at the end of this year. MARC has serviced the community for six years at this location, and it has helped save the lives of more than 5,000 animals. The organization also provides programs connecting youth and seniors with opportunities to volunteer and learn more about animal welfare issues.
With not a lot of time to search for other space, Amy was delighted when an opportunity to purchase an existing property fell into her lap. If the down payment of $40,000 can be raised in time, MARC will have much more suitable space with an added benefit - the monthly mortgage payment will be less than what they were paying in rent.
And during filming by a local Milwaukee news station on MARC’s efforts to raise these needed funds, Amy mentioned the recent addition of a polydactyl cat to the shelter named Daniel. Instead of the normal 18 toes, Daniel has 26. Yep, that’s 7 on both front paws and 6 on the back ones. ‘Polydactyl’ is an inherited genetic condition in cats most commonly found in Eastern North America and parts of the U.K.
And Daniel, the cat with 26 toes, is now inspiring $26 donations to help keep this animal shelter from closing. MARC does not get any city or state funding, and it relies on the community for support. An alternative building has already been found by shelter officials, but they need the $40,000 down payment by November 15th. That’s where Daniel and his 26 toes come in.
Daniel is now challenging animal lovers throughout the world to assist by donating at least $1 for each of his toes. This campaign suggests that if everyone donates at least $26, the Milwaukee Animal Rescue Center will reach its goal, and it will be able to continue helping numerous animals in need.
Polydactyl Daniel was saved from being put down at another animal facility. Amy went to the Milwaukee Animal Control Commission to pick up another cat, but Daniel somehow found her. He reached out his huge paws, and he tapped her on the head — with the front half of his 26 toes.
“It’s like he was saying ‘Take me home!’” Rowell told the Huffington Post. “We knew from the beginning he was a special kitty. Now, he’s an inspiring kitty.”
And I can relate. When I was down in New Orleans helping out after Hurricane Katrina, every time that I visited ‘the cat room’ – a room stacked from floor to ceiling with rescued cats in tiny cages, one particular cat would always stick out her paw whenever she saw me, and then she would tap me very forcefully on the head as if to say: “Hey! Get me out of here!” So I did. My spouse soon named her Flower, and she’s been a pure delight to have in our home for the last six years.
And Milwaukee Animal Rescue Center, which opened its doors in 2006, has helped save the lives of more than 5,000 animals so far. This organization also provides programs connecting youth and seniors with opportunities to volunteer and learn more about animal welfare issues.
As of midnight on November 1st, MARC had raised $18,032.29 toward their goal of $40,000.
The Milwaukee Animal Rescue Center is a no-kill organization with the mission of saving animals from facilities where they would otherwise be euthanized. And Daniel the Polydactyl is now challenging animal lovers throughout the world to assist them by donating at least $1 for each of his toes.
So please spread the word to anyone who might be able to assist.
Donations are tax-deductible, and can be made on-line; by phone (414) 421-8881; or by mail MARC, PO BOX 341545 ~ Milwaukee, WI 53234.
To donate to this worthy cause, or to learn more about MARC’s worthy mission and about Daniel, please visit their website linked below.