The Kingston Humane Society (KHS) is on the receiving end of more than $41,000, thanks to the Betty White Challenge.
“We’re thrilled and excited that, to this point, we’ve raised $41,630.17,” says KHS executive director Gord Hunter.
“I’m beyond words at this point, with the generosity of people and the reaction to Betty White and what would have been her 100th birthday. Just an incredible response.”
In honour of the late Betty White, many people began making donations to their local animal rescues in her name on Monday.
KHS is amazed by the outpouring of support from the community, and says the money comes at a time of great need.
“There’s a ton of areas where we require just regular revenue, and then there’s things like we had to replace our x-ray machine this year,” says Hunter. “It was a machine that we shared with St. Lawrence College and they took it back to St. Lawrence campus. So, that’s $52,000 that we had to find in a year where it’s been difficult to find revenue.
“To have this kind of a windfall in recognition of Betty White has helped us tremendously.”
Hunter says KHS has been running at or above capacity most of the time, including this past fall, when it ran at almost triple its capacity.
“If we didn’t have the funding, we would have to say, ‘Sorry, we can’t take those surrenders,’ or we would have to turn away animals from provincial animal welfare services when they bring them to us to care,” Hunter says.
“So, things like that, we don’t have to say no to those situations because the public has been so generous.”
The Napanee branch of the Ontario SPCA and Humane Society, alongside other local animal-based organizations, say they have also received an influx of donations in honour of Betty White.
Hunter hopes that honouring Betty White through these donations on Jan. 17 becomes an annual tradition.