When beloved actress Betty White died just weeks shy of her 100th birthday, she left a legacy of not only iconic comedy roles but of devotion to animal welfare.

To honor her passion for animals, the #BettyWhiteChallenge was started. The challenge is for everyone to donate $5 to an animal shelter or rescue, or zoo on what would have been her 100th birthday, Jan. 17.

Some New Jersey animal welfare groups are already seeing the benefits of the challenge, as people aren’t waiting for Betty’s birthday to donate. According to the Daily Journal, the Voorhees Animal Orphanage and Homeward Bound Pet Adoption Center in Blackwood, have reported early donations from the challenge.

In addition, the Popcorn Park Animal Refuge in Forked River says on their Facebook page that they have already received over $8,000 in donations for the challenge. St. Hubert’s Animal Welfare Center in Madison is also soliciting donations for the Betty White Challenge; they have set up a page for people to contribute.

They even named one of their recent feline additions “Betty White” in honor of the actress. Keeping with the theme, St. Hubert’s is holding a Golden Girls (and boys) adoption event from Jan. 14-16; if you adopt a senior (8 years or older) animal, you can pay whatever you wish.

A longtime animal advocate, White worked with the Los Angeles Zoo Commission, The Morris Animal Foundation, African Wildlife Foundation and Actors and Others for Animals. On more than one occasion she said that she liked animals more than people.

Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Bill Doyle only.

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