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Fans raise $260,000 for cat adoption charity in honor of Buffalo Bills kicker Tyler Bass, following missed field goal

Jason Kelce helps give 8-year-old Swiftie "The Best Day" at Kansas Chiefs-Buffalo Bills playoff game
Jason Kelce helps give 8-year-old Swiftie "The Best Day" at Kansas Chiefs-Buffalo Bills playoff game 02:09

Football fans and beyond are stepping up for Buffalo Bills player Tyler Bass after he missed a pivotal field goal during the team's playoff loss against the Kansas City Chiefs, which led to the kicker getting a lot of online hate for it. 

More than $260,000 was raised for the Ten Lives Club, a New York-based cat adoption group Bass endorsed in the past, a spokesperson for the nonprofit told CBS News on Wednesday. 

Ten Lives Club's Kimberly LaRussa said the donations have poured in from football fans from all over, and even TV personality Rachael Ray and pet food brand Nutrish together gave $30,000. While Bass deactivated his social media accounts after the loss, the group defended him on social media, posting,"DON'T BULLY OUR FRIEND." 

"We were all so sad when we heard Tyler was receiving hate because he doesn't deserve that," LaRussa told CBS News. "Yes, he's an athlete and people are very passionate about football but he's also a person... and a great one at that. We just wanted to show support for him like he showed our rescue cats support."  

LaRussa said their group first met Bass through the Show Our Softside, a nonprofit that works with athletes and aims to prevent animal abuse. He met with their rescue kittens and participated in a photo shoot with them, according to LaRussa. A photo of him with the kittens hangs in their shelter lobby, she said.

AFC Divisional Playoffs - Kansas City Chiefs v Buffalo Bills
Buffalo Bills kicker Tyler Bass missed a 44-yard field goal against the Kansas City Chiefs during the fourth quarter in the AFC divisional playoff game at Highmark Stadium on Jan. 21.  Al Bello/Getty Images

On Sunday, with less than two minutes left, Bass missed a 44-yard field goal attempt during the AFC divisional playoff game that could have tied the score. Instead, the game's result cut the Bills' postseason dreams short and the kick drew comparisons to a similar missed field goal attempt etched in the minds of Buffalo fans –the dreaded miss from Scott Norwood during Super Bowl XXV. 

But LaRussa told CBS News she hopes Bass can see "how much he is supported and loved and the incredible impact he's making for our rescue cats."  

Buffalo Bills fans have opened their wallets in the past to show their appreciation. Many donated to Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson's charity after he got hurt in a playoff game against the Bills. In 2018, fans donated to then-Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton's foundation after he threw a winning touchdown pass that allowed the Bills to snap their 17-year playoff drought.

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