#BettyWhiteChallenge rakes in thousands for local shelters

The North Fork Animal Welfare League, like many other animal shelters and rescues across the country, has seen a deluge of donations in honor of late actress and comedian Betty White’s 100th birthday.

Ms. White, who passed away Dec. 31, was a well-known animal advocate who served as a trustee at the nonprofit Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association for decades and spent a lifetime supporting animal-related causes.

Word of the #BettyWhiteChallenge has swept social media since her death, with fans urging people to donate to animal rescues or shelters in honor of the beloved actress. 

Gabby Glantzman, manager of the North Fork Animal Welfare League, said donations in honor of Ms. White started coming in the day after she passed away. The no-kill shelter, which has locations in Southold and Riverhead towns, has seen more than $5,600 in contributions on Jan. 17 alone.

Ms. Glantzman emphasized that online donations were still coming in when she spoke with a reporter Monday. 

“All the donations that are coming in, that do come in, are always used strictly for the animals’ care,” she said. “The more donations we get, the more animals we can save and pull from the high-kill shelters or help local dogs that need help staying in their homes. Every penny goes towards helping animals.”

The funds will be used to cover vet bills, feeding the animals and other daily care at both North Fork shelters. Ms. Glantzman said the Southold shelter currently has around 22 dogs and 70 cats, and the Aquebogue location has about 18 dogs and 10 or 15 cats. 

The North Fork Animal Welfare League posted an online flyer about the Betty White challenge the day after she passed, and again the weekend before the official challenge.