November 30, 2020

Cat’s 26 toes help boost Milwaukee animal shelter

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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)

GREENDALE, Wis. (AP) — In a reversal of fortunes, a once-unwanted cat has come to the rescue of an animal shelter in need of a new home.

However, this orange-and-white tabby named Daniel is no typical cat. He has a near-record 26 toes, a phenomenon that is helping the nonprofit Milwaukee Animal Rescue Center raise money to relocate to a new building.

Normal cats have 18 toes, but Daniel has two extra on each foot due to a genetic mutation called polydactylism.

Officials at the center found out their rent at a Milwaukee-area mall was being doubled on Jan. 1. So, the shelter is buying a new building and is seeking small donations of $26 — or $1 per toe.

They’ve collected enough so far to secure the financing with about $80,000 raised since Oct. 24, but they hope to raise $120,000 by Dec. 23 so they can become even more financially stable. About $50,000 of the money raised has come from $26 donations.

“I’ve always been a firm believer that everything happens for a reason and this is definitely the case,” said Amy Rowell, owner of Milwaukee Animal Rescue Center in Greendale.

As she bent down to that cat’s cage, Daniel stuck his paw out and poked her head.

“He was very clearly saying, ‘I need to be rescued,” She said.

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