Milwaukee Animal Rescue Center to shut its doors

GREENFIELD (WITI) -- The Milwaukee Animal Rescue Center in Greenfield on Monday, July 22nd announced via its Facebook page that the center will be shutting down.

On its Facebook page Monday, the Milwaukee Animal Rescue Center posted the following message:

"Over the last several months, the Milwaukee Animal Rescue Center has been reviewing itself for sustainability. While we wish circumstances were different, we have made the decision to cease operations. We are very grateful for your support and encouragement. Our immediate focus is on matching the animals in our program with permanent families and preparing the property for sale. We will post updates on our progress and appreciate any and all networking for the animals in our care! We remain fully committed to their care and appropriate placement. NONE of the animals are at risk for euthanasia and we will not compromise our adoption standards - we will seek the best possible placements for each of the animals in our care! Thank you in advance for your understanding and compassion. This process was not entered into lightly and we researched all possible alternatives."

The center stopped taking in new animals earlier this month, and there are 27 animals left to be adopted, the majority of which are cats.

Adoption fees are now cut in half, from $100 to $50.

"In an ideal world, the animals here would be placed by July 31st. That may not be realistic. We`ll just have to see what happens," Amy Rowell, the center's owner said.

Daniel, a 26-toed cat, became the mascot for the center -- helping the Milwaukee Animal Rescue Center to raise money to build a new facility, after its lease at Southridge Mall was not renewed.

In April of 2012, the Milwaukee Animal Rescue Center moved to a new facility on Loomis, near 51st Street.

The center received donations for its new facility from across the country, and even received donations from places like Greece and Quebec.

Daniel's extra toes, two extra per paw, inspired thousands to write $26 checks to help the center relocate.

Rowell said they center needed to raise $100,000 for a down payment on the new facility and then pay off the remaining balance of $110,000.

"I'm really proud of the work we're done in the last eight years. This is definitely not a failure. This is just us being realistic about a business. The property expenses are huge, and it's not to say we were naive in going into this adventure of thinking we would somehow be able to overcome that, but the obstacles are just too large to overcome," Rowell said Monday.

Over 130 people responded to the center's Facebook post announcing its closure on Monday.

One woman wrote: "I want to thank the center for giving me my best friend in the whole world."

"That's a legacy that we're really proud to leave behind," Rowell said.