(CBS4) — Animal rescue operations in Denver and Golden reported getting generous donations in honor of legendary actress and comedian Betty White on Monday, which would have been her 100th birthday. White was an outspoken advocate for animals throughout her life — and fans started an unofficial #BettyWhiteChallenge with the goal of raising awareness and funds for animal welfare organizations.
In Denver, Rocky Mountain Puppy Rescue got a donation of $22,000 from U Lucky Dog Daycare.
“In honor of Betty White and for all the puppies, [U Lucky Dog Daycare] has donated $22,000.00 today to the Rocky Mountain Puppy Rescue! $22K because 2022 is going to be a GREAT year!” organizers wrote on Facebook. “Happy 100th Birthday Betty White!”
RMPR called it an “incredible lifesaving donation” and said the money will go directly to rescuing, vetting, spaying/neutering, and “finding loving homes for dogs and cats in need.”
In Golden, officials at Foothills Animal Shelter said they were “overwhelmed with gratitude” for people who donated Monday in honor of White. Hundreds of local donors gave the shelter more than $30,000 in just one day.
“This has been a historic day for us as we have never seen this many donations on a single day outside of CO Gives Day,” officials at Foothills wrote on Facebook on Tuesday.
“We in no way expected the support we received from our community yesterday,” said Joan Thielen, spokesperson for the Foothills Animal Shelter.
“We came in in the morning, and we were greeted by already thousands of dollars in donations. It was the best way to start a Monday and start a week, to the point we took a step back and what’s happening and then remembered it was Betty White’s 100th birthday,” Thielen said. “We were all gathered around the computer watching the donations come in and just constantly getting these updates that were wonderful to receive.”
“Thank you for being a friend!” officials wrote. “We are positive she would have been so proud of this community on her birthday today.
White passed away on Dec. 31, 2021, at age 99.