Cat with 26 Toes Helps His Shelter – $26 at a Time

12/09/2011 at 04:00 PM EST

Cat with 26 Toes Helps His Shelter – $26 at a Time
Carrie Antlfinger/AP

That's how many toes Daniel the cat has – two more on each foot than typical cats, and two shy of the world record for most number of toes.

It's also the amount of the many donations – nearly 2,000 of them – made in his honor to help a Milwaukee shelter in its time of need.

Daniel's 26 special toes galvanized the staff at Milwaukee Animal Rescue Center, who found out the rent at their former space was doubling at the start of 2012. They got creative and asked that people give $1 per toe, and the $26 donations would go toward a new location. Since Oct. 24, they have raised about $80,000. Daniel first got the Milwaukee Animal Rescue Center's attention from behind his cage at animal control.

"Sometimes, when we go down to animal control to decide which cats or dogs we're going to accept to the program, we let them tell us," Amy Rowell of Milwaukee Animal Rescue Center tells the AP. "He was very clearly saying, 'I need to be rescued, I'd like to be your friend, please pay attention to me.' When a sign is that obvious, we tend to not ignore it."

Milwaukee Animal Rescue Center initially considered finding a new home for Daniel, but eventually decided to keep him around as the shelter mascot – at their new home.

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