Indiana police department allows people to pay off parking tickets by donating to animal shelter

Sergeant Mace with the Muncie Police Department poses with cats at the Muncie Animal Shelter. Recently, the department ran a promotion which would accept donations to the shelter in lieu of cash for parking tickets. (Photo: Facebook)

An Indiana police department is earning praise for its compassionate approach to parking tickets this month — one that directly benefitted the city’s feline residents.

In a July 15 video — which has been viewed over 30,000 times — the Muncie Police Department revealed to residents that, instead of cash, they could temporarily pay off parking tickets with animal supplies. "If you have a $25 parking ticket, you can bring up to $25 worth of cat food or litter to the Clerk's Office,” Officer Jamie Browns says in the video. “And you can get your parking ticket to go away with the exchange of the donation.”

The video was inspired by a police-department tour of the Muncie Animal Care and Services Shelter on July 8, where officers found the staff to be running drastically low on supplies. The center, which started in 2012, takes care of over 350 felines. Officers delivered the supplies directly to the center.

Although the campaign last just four days (July 15-19), the Muncie police said it was a huge success. Beyond encouraging residents to pay off parking tickets, officers said the video inspired those who didn’t even have tickets to donate.

"A lot of people have donated cat food and litter this week! Most of these people didn't even have a parking ticket," Muncie Police shared on their Twitter. "We are glad this week’s unique promotion helped spread the word!"

“We are incredibly grateful for the support we receive from the community, and this is such a wonderful opportunity to help your local shelter,” Muncie ACS added. “Thank you to the Muncie Police Department for putting this together!”

"I don't know if the police department plans on doing this again, but we're incredibly grateful to them and the community. Their response was overwhelming," Ashley Honeycutt, the shelter's office manager, told CNN. "We are not the only shelter going through this right now. It's kitten season, and we encourage everyone to help their local shelter out."

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