Hearing the news of Betty White’s death on 31st December would have dampened the mood at any New Year’s Party. Viewed as an icon all over the world, the Golden Girls star died just three weeks before her 100th birthday. However, her fans still decided to celebrate in her honour by setting up the Betty White challenge, a viral trend aiming to do some good.

What is the Betty White Challenge?

In short, the challenge encourages people to donate $5 to an animal charity or shelter of their choice. Social media has been full of users showing their participation in the challenge, especially on TikTok. Videos using #bettywhitechallenge in their caption have accumulated a combined 3.1 million views, including this example from user PerrySmiles.

The positive impact of the challenge is already being felt by charities and shelters all over the world. BestPals Animal Rescue Centre, in Michigan, has raised over $1200 as a result of the challenge. They even named a puppy in the shelter after the icon. Among other things, the donations will allow the shelter to purchase microchips, which would allow new owners of the cats to keep track of them in the future. Moreover, the Vancouver Humane Society stated the $1290 worth of donations they received was nearly ten times greater than the same day last year.

Why is it called the Betty White Challenge?

Alongside her acting career, Betty White was known worldwide for her adoration of animals. White would visit the Wildlife Learning Centre in Sylmar, California multiple times a year, even naming a baby porcupine whilst there. Her Instagram is full of photos of her enjoying time with a pleothra of animals, including this adorable image of White cuddling up to a teacup pig.

Known as a pioneer in early television during the 1950s, the Toy Story 4 star brought her love of animals to the small screen in her show The Pet Set.

Running for a total of 39 episodes in 1971 and 1972, this popular series saw celebrities and their pets pay White a visit. Her love for the pets was clear as she would also address them before their celebritiy owners. Guests included Burt Reynolds, Doris Day, and Ralph Helfer with his pet lion Zampa, as seen below.

Who is Betty White the dog?

It was not just BestPals who took name inspiration from the star. When the Houston Humane Society rescued a resilient puppy from the streets just days after the star’s death, their marketing manager claimed ‘it was only fitting to name her after Betty White.’

After receiving such much needed TLC and medical assistance, Betty White was put up for adoption. However, the story does not end there. Potential adopters fell in love with Betty White (the dog), leading to a record number of applications coming in for her. The maximum number of applications allowed was reached in just two hours. This helped cover the bills for her healthcare, and she moved into her new loving home shortly after.

How to get involved

You can get involved with the Betty White challenge by donating whatever you can to any animal shelter or charity. You then need to post on any social media, accompanied by the hashtag #bettywhitechallenge.

Here are some of the animals you would be helping