The Betty White Challenge Has Helped an Astounding Amount of Pets Find Forever Homes: See the Numbers

by Taylor Cunningham

The Betty White Challenge is still making a tremendous difference in the lives of sheltered pets almost four months after the star’s passing.

When the Golden Girls icon died on December 31st, 2021, people across the country banded together to honor her with a cause that helped her greatest passion in life—animals. The Betty White Challenge asked people to simply donate $5 to animal rescues or shelters in her name. And hoards of people joined in.

By January 14th, 17,000 fundraisers had been created on Facebook and Instagram to help broaden efforts, according to the Everett Post. And the charity had already raised $550k. By January 21st, that number ballooned to a staggering $12.7 million.

Because of The Betty White Challenge’s popularity, various shelters and organizations decided to join in with additional efforts, including the Hillsborough Pet Resource Center in Tampa, FL.

As Fox News 13 reports, the shelter decided to waive its adoption fees on Jan 17th. And initially, the deal only lasted until the end of the month.

However, the costless adoption ended up sending hundreds of animals to forever home. So the shelter decided to continue waving the fees for another 100 days. The promotion officially ended on May 11th.

Over the course of the months, the Hillsborough Pet Resource Center rehomed a staggering 1,026 animals.

“The promotion helped hundreds of dogs and cats find their forever home, but the need for adoptions and foster parents remains high, particularly as kitten season begins,” the shelter wrote in a news release. “Betty White would have been proud.”

Los Angeles Zoo Receives Over $200K in Donations From The Betty White Challenge

And the Tampa Bay shelter isn’t the only organization to report great success with the Betty White Challenge. After the efforts began, The Los Angeles Zoo experienced what it calls the “Betty White Effect.”

When the challenge began, it was only intended to last until the actress’ birthday on January 17th. And by that time, the LA Zoo had earned nearly $95k.

However, people didn’t stop sending in donations once her big day passed. And by the end of February, the zoo recorded a total of $243,286.

On top of the monetary help, The Los Angeles Zoo also saw a major uptick in volunteer applications. And it was all thanks to their prized patron, Betty White.

“We spent last month celebrating Betty’s life and her impact on the animal world,” GLAZA President Tom Jacobson said. “But we now want to take the time to thank all of her fans who made gifts in her memory. We are humbled by the messages left online and at her tribute garden, the generous donations inspired by the Betty White Challenge, and the scores of people who applied to become volunteers at the zoo.”