Betty White challenge lead to thousands of dollars in donations to animal shelters in Clarington, Port Perry, Uxbridge and Whitby

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Published January 19, 2022 at 1:42 pm

Durham’s animal shelters were “blown away” by the outpouring of donations during the Betty White Challenge, honouring the late actress’ animal advocacy on what would have been her 100th birthday.

White, the iconic 80-year fixture of film and television, worked as an animal welfare advocate staring in the early 1970’s while hosting The Pet Set, a talk show featuring numerous celebrities and their pets, building on a childhood surrounded by pets of her own.

She heavily supported the Morris Animal Foundation and the American Humane Society, eventually sitting on the board of trustees of Los Angeles Zoo.

In an interview with Oprah Winfrey, she said her favourite gift to give was, “Money to my favorite animal charities.” In honour of this spirit, the #BettyWhiteChallenge was spawned in the wake of her passing, just 17 days before what would have been her 100th birthday.

The challenge encouraged people to donate to their favorite animal charities, and Durham residents took White’s example to heart sending thousands to local shelters and sanctuaries.

The Humane Society of Durham, located in south Whitby, said they were “blown away by the incredible response,” receiving over $20,000 in donations.

“Our shelter does not receive any government funding to care for the animals in our shelter so these funds will help us provide medical care and food for so many animals,” they said thanking donors for their support.

Meanwhile Clarington’s Soper Creek Wildlife Rescue, the only wildlife rehabilitation hospital in the Region, received $15,000 in donations, well above their $10,000 goal.

The rescue was aiming to buy a Large Avian Incubator to, “assist with the care of the hundreds of Raptors and Waterfowl that are admitted into our wildlife hospital each year.” By exceeding their goal, they can buy not only the avian incubator, but a mammal incubator and an IV pump for their new intensive care unit. 

From the bottom of our hearts, Thank you for helping our wildlife hospital give a second chance to 1,000’s of animals each year,” they said.

Oshawa Animal Shelter received nearly $5,000 in donations as well, saying, “Betty would sure be proud. We can’t thank our community enough!

Pegasus Animal Sanctuary in Port Perry also reported many donations and Uxbridge’s Barn Cat  Co-op reported over $8,000 in donations from around 150 people.

Words cannot adequately express how thankful we are,” said the Co-Op, “Because of the generosity of our community, our January vet and care costs will be covered, thanks to each of you, in honour of Betty.”

Durham residents who missed the challenge can carry on White’s legacy and donate to the above mentioned shelters anytime.

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