NewsPositively Hampton Roads


Local animal shelters see thousands in donations through #BettyWhiteChallenge

Posted at 8:03 AM, Jan 13, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-18 11:03:18-05

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. - An effort to support animal shelters in honor of Betty White is making an impact locally.

Following the late star's passing on December 31, fans took to social media to promote the #BettyWhiteChallenge, asking people to celebrate what would have been White's 100th Birthday on January 17 by donating at least $5 to animal shelters — a cause close to the actress' heart.

Jodi Dean, Community Relations and Marketing Manager for the Peninsula SPCA, told News 3 the shelter almost immediately began seeing money and food donations "in honor of Betty White" as soon as the challenge was announced.

In response, the SPCA set up a Facebook fundraiser so donors had a place to give. Leading up to the weekend before White's Birthday, it had collected nearly $1,500 through around 50 donations when we originally spoke with them and on January 18 they said over $9,000 was raised!

“It allows us to take on some tougher cases that other shelters would have to turn away such as heartworm-positive dogs, or animals that need a specialty surgery," said Dean. "Those are cases that we’re willing to take on and this is one of the ways we’re going to help fund that.”

On the other side of the water, Virginia Beach SPCA collected around $3,300 through more than 100 donations when we spoke with them.

The shelter tells News 3 each "monetary donation provides shelter, compassionate care, and medical treatment to animals that have no place else to go."