Cat with 26 Toes Asks For Donations


It’s a common story of rescues and shelters: the 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 the Southridge Mall will be up at the end of this year.  MARC has serviced the community for six years at this location, since its inception.

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 a more suitable space with an added benefit.  The monthly mortgage payment will be less than what they were paying in rent.

Call it serendipity.  During the filming by a local news station on MARC’s efforts to raise funds, Amy mentioned the recent addition of a polydactyl cat to the shelter named Daniel.  Instead of the normal 18, Daniel has 26 toes!  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.

During a break on taping the show, they joked about asking one dollar for each toe – a $26 donation.  When filming resumed, Amy went with it.  Other news outlets picked up the story and word has spread. More than $18,000 has been raised in the last two days!

Amy says she only has until November 15 to come up with the rest of the down payment.  If the next week is anything like the last two days, it seems MARC will have its new digs.  Amy told me donations have come in from as far away as Greece and includes 38 of the 50 states.

About MARC

MARC is a private non-profit and receives no governmental money.  It is funded entirely through donations.

Amy told me about an innovative community program MARC offers free of charge.  PAWS (Providing Adopters With Support) provides a trained volunteer to visit senior and special needs adopters to help with routine care like ear cleaning and nail clipping, litter box cleaning, transportation to veterinarian appointments and delivering pet food and supplies.

Many independently living seniors or someone with special needs — for example, cerebral palsy – do well with a pet.  And the pet has the 24/7 love and attention of a guardian that many working homes cannot provide.  The little extra help makes it possible for that pet to be adopted and have a loving home.

Would You Like to Help?

Go to to see what the group is all about.  If you are so inclined, you can donate. Please spread the word to those you know. The MARC Facebook page is updating the donations regularly and trying to get at least one donation from someone in all 50 states.  Click on the map of the U.S. to see which states have sent in donations so far.  If you are in or know someone in any of the remaining 12 states, please help to donate.

Daniel is no slow poke, either… just today he wrote to the Ellen DeGeneres show asking for donations.  What a smarty-cat!

Does Daniel Need Adoption?

In case you are wondering, Daniel has an adoption pending.  He will not be at MARC long enough to make the move to the new site at year end.  Way to go, Daniel!


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Joanne R.
Joanne R.3 years ago

Every life is unique, this baby s unique and then some. Handsome boy

Trudi Gray
Trudi Gray3 years ago

What a gorgeous boy! And wouldn't you know that he HAD to be a ginger one?

Trudi Gray
Trudi Gray3 years ago

What a gorgeous boy! And wouldn't you know that he HAD to be a ginger one?

Carrie Anne Brown

interesting article :) thanks for sharing :)

Margie B.
Past Member 4 years ago

Good Luck & God Bless your organization.

Lika S.
Lika S.4 years ago

He's a cute cat! :) maybe he should be MARC's spokeskitty.... Just sayin'.

Yvonne Fast
Yvonne F.4 years ago

He is just lovely!

Jon Hoy
Jonjon Hoy4 years ago

Awesome bundle of furry love...! I used to have a white pet rabbit we called two toes cause he only had two toes on one foot. He loved to follow you every where, sit in your lap and even ride in the car. He was like one of the kids and was treated that way as family.

Shell S.
Shelli S.4 years ago

Good to hear a story with a good outcome, thanks!

Regina P.
Regina P.4 years ago

Lets pray they receive the funds.,