On December 31, 2021, Betty White passed away, just two weeks before her 100th birthday. She was legendary for many reasons, but we’d like to showcase her love for animals. She even continued to help animals after her passing, thanks to the #BettyWhiteChallenge, which asked people to donate $5 to their local animal shelter in honor of her 100th birthday on January 17, 2022. Which so has raised millions across North America and internationally.
Growing up, her family where very into pets, starting her love for animals at a young age. Her father often took care of dogs in need, with Betty saying they once had 26 dogs at one time! Once she made a name for herself in acting, she said part of why she enjoyed her career is because it helped her support animals, though the money she was able to donate and her time as a celebrity fundraiser. Her love of animals was first combined with her love of showbiz in the early 1970s, when she started producing and hosting the tv show The Pet Set, which featured celebrities and their pets.
“I’m so fortunate that I not only have a passion for my profession but that that profession allows me to indulge my other passion – for animals – and work for their welfare.” – Betty White
Over the years, this led to her working with a range of animal welfare groups, such as The Morris Animal Foundation, African Wildlife Foundation, The Gorrilla Foundation, American Humane Society, Actors and Others for Animals, among others. She also was a long-time supporter, trustee, and board member of the Los Angeles Zoo, dating back to the 1960s. She also acted as Zoo Commissioner for eight years and created and starred in TV specials to promote the zoo and it’s world-class animal care team.
In 2006, she was given the honor of “Ambassador to the Animals” by the City of Los Angeles for her lifelong support of animal welfare. White received the James Smithson Bicentennial Medal in 2017 for her “commitment to wildlife and efforts to create a sustainable planet”. She also received the National Humanitarian Medal from the American Humane Society, which is their highest honor. She’s even wrote about her love of animals, most recently in 2011 with her book Betty & Friends: My Life at the Zoo.
If you also love animals like the amazing Betty White, please donate to your local animal shelter today!