(CNN) – What’s the cost of a parking ticket in Muncie, Indiana? A donation of cat food or supplies for a local animal shelter.
In an effort to help the Muncie Animal Care and Services Shelter, the Muncie Police Department asked violators to pay their parking tickets in cat food.
The request came after a couple of officers toured the shelter and found that it was running short on supplies to care for over 350 cats and kittens.
“If you have a $25 parking ticket, you can bring up to $25 worth of cat food or litter to the Clerk’s Office, and you can get your parking ticket to go away with the exchange of the donation,” Officer Jamie Brown said on a July 15 video shared by the police department on Facebook.
Although the offer ran only from July 15 through July 19, the department quickly learned that people will do practically anything when little balls of fur are involved.
“This room was almost empty before we started! Most of the folks that donated didn’t even have parking tickets,” Muncie Police said in a tweet with a photo of all the donations.
Although the offer covered drivers with multiple parking tickets, it did not include handicap parking violations or any violation that would have to run through the court system or state, according to the Facebook post.
“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.
Honeycutt says this time of the year is particularly tough for shelters that care for cats, as late-summer birth rates are especially high.
“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.”