Animal rescue groups and shelters in Alberta are sharing their gratitude after more than $186,000 was donated in memory of Hollywood icon Betty White.
The Golden Girls star would have been 100 years old on Monday.
She died on Dec. 31, 2021, after suffering a stroke, but her legacy as an animal advocate continues to be celebrated.
People around the world are recognizing what would have been a huge milestone by contributing to White’s favourite cause.
SCARS, the Second Chance Animal Rescue Society, said it had received “an incredible $38,143 in donations, with 1,156 people donating” as of 4 p.m. Monday.
“We typically receive about 22 donations on an average day in January,” the rescue group said in an email to Global News. “Our hearts are full and we are so excited to use these funds to help more of Alberta’s homeless pets. The need is so great, especially during the winter months.”
The Calgary Humane Society had raised over $50,000 as of 3:30 p.m. Monday and the Edmonton Humane Society said it had received over $25,000 as of 3 p.m. “today alone. And they are still coming in!”
The Alberta Animal Rescue Crew (AARCS) said people donated $60,000 by the end of the day Monday.
“What an impact she has had on the world and the legacy she has left for animals,” AARCS said in an email. “I can’t begin to fathom the number of donations made to animal charities on a worldwide scale and the impact it will have.
“What a beautiful day for animal welfare.”
The Meow Foundation accepted more than $10,000 through its dedicated Betty White Challenge donations portal, and that doesn’t include cash, cheques and e-transfers in support of the campaign that have yet to be counted.
“Words can’t express our gratitude for this huge amount of support (especially considering that our website crashed for a couple of hours this afternoon – yikes!). We are really floored!” the group said.
The Nanton Animal Protection Society said it was “overjoyed” to receive $2,210 in donations.
For the Edmonton Humane Society, about 70 per cent of its total income comes from donations.
“We’re very heavily reliant on our generous community to support us throughout the year,” CEO Liza Sunley said.
“This does tend to be a quiet time for donations so we’re really excited… It means so much.”
Sunley said the organization also accepts in-kind donations like pet food, blankets and towels. Also, sharing your personal story of animal advocacy, support or adoption with others is a great way to help, she added.
“Adopting through the humane society is another wonderful way,” Sunley said.
“Every animal that gets adopted means there’s another space available for another animal that needs our support.”
She said volunteers and staff have been talking about how meaningful it is to see people talk about animal welfare thanks to Betty White.
“We’re so appreciative of the opportunity to support the animals that we do and to work with the community that we have that’s really been with us through thick and thin, especially in the last few years.”