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Milwaukee Animal Rescue Center closing for good

GREENDALE, WI (WTAQ) - A suburban Milwaukee animal shelter is going out of business, after it was saved by a special cat two years ago.

The Milwaukee Animal Rescue Center was first in danger of closing in late 2011, after a mall in Greendale doubled its rent.

That was about the time the center’s director discovered Daniel, a tabby with two extra toes on each foot caused by a genetic mutation.

The shelter, which rescues troubled animals, made Daniel and his 26 toes the highlight of a fundraising effort to build a new shelter, which opened 15 months ago.

Since then, owner Amy Rowell says the fundraising ended – and the overhead and property maintenance costs became too much. As a result, the shelter she opened 8 years ago will close as soon its remaining 24 cats and four dogs can find new homes.

Rowell has since taken a new job as a high school development director. She still has Daniel, and they plan to volunteer for a host of animal welfare projects. Rowell says she’ll treasure the cat for the rest of her life.