- Associated Press - Wednesday, October 1, 2014

BRADENTON, Fla. (AP) - A Manatee County man has donated more than $21,000 in spare change he’s picked up over the years to a local animal rescue.

The Bradenton Herald (https://bit.ly/YTVdTT) reported that Rick Snyder has collected the loose coins over 10 years. On Tuesday, volunteers from the Gulf Shore Animal League went to his home to help him gather 2,500 pounds of coins.

Gulf Shore’s main focus is taking care of cats. Snyder said he feels strongly about the felines. In addition to taking care of feral cats, he owns five cats personally and said he’s found homes for about 100 cats, many of them with tenants in the 48 units in Burgundy Condominiums that he owns.

“People do avoid me now, if they see me coming,” Snyder said.

Snyder collected change at car washes and dug coins out of vacuums and vending machines during his daily walks to care for feral cats in the area.

For the past 10 years, he’s gone out around 4:30 a.m. every day. Snyder has found an average of $5.60 in change per day. He said he walks between 45 and 48 miles per week.

Snyder said he also uses those trips to collect towels that have been thrown away, wash them and donate them, and he picks up plastic bottles out of the trash to take them home and recycle them.

“It astounds me how wasteful people are,” Snyder said.

The rescue group says it’s the largest donation it has received from an individual contributor. The volunteer organization, exclusively funded through grants and donations, adopts 250 cats per year and spays and neuters about 2,000 per year to cut down on homelessness and overpopulation.

Snyder says he didn’t want to keep the money for himself.

“I have enough money,” he said.

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