West Bend, WI – Tinker the horse has proven to be a very successful bell ringer for the Salvation Army, according to the Associated Press.
In order to draw some attention the collection kettle, officials brought in a 13-year-old miniature horse. Needless to say, the animal has proven to be quite the hit for the Salvation Army. If a tiny horse who rings a bell can’t get people to donate, then nothing can.
“A good kettle for a couple of hours brings in about $250, and for the same time period [Tinker and his owners] have been known to bring in $2,500,” explained Salvation Army commander Major Roger Ross.
According to Vindy, Tinker does a number of tricks designed to get the loose pocket change flowing. In addition to ringing the Salvation Army’s iconic bell, the horse can also pick up a sign which reads “Thank You Merry Christmas. He’s also been known to give out a kiss or two during his shifts at the kettle.
“About three or four years ago I was walking out of a store and there was a bell ringer and I gave. I started thinking ‘I wonder if I can, if I can help make this even more interesting.’ So I went home and I started working with Tinker,” explained Carol Takacs, one of the horse’s owners.
Takacs added that she doesn’t use glue or adhesives to get the horse to ring the bell or hold up the signs.
“We don’t do that with Velcro or glue. There’s nothing on his bell. He knows that this is his job and he does it very well,” she said.
WTAQ reports that the horse in question has been a bell ringer for the Salvation Army for four years. Given the amount of money the horse tends to bring in during a two hours shift — 10 times the normal amount for a human bell ringer — chances are the organization will keep Tinker around as long as he’s willing to lend a helping hoof.