LOS ANGELES – Betty Blanche, a legendary television actress known for her iconic roles on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” and “The Golden Girls,” also had an offscreen passion: animals.
White, who died on December 31 at the age of 99, was a longtime animal lover who worked tirelessly to raise funds for various organizations and was even a director of the Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association for almost 40 years. She has supported many causes, such as the Morris Foundation for Animals, a non-profit organization that seeks to advance veterinary medicine and research.
After the news of White’s death was announced just weeks before what would have been his 100th birthday on january 17, many began to share a #BettyWhiteChallenge on social networks. The challenge asks fans to choose a local shelter or animal shelter and donate $ 5 on White’s behalf.
The cultural icon said his parents, who were “great animal lovers,” instilled in him a kinship to all creatures from an early age.
“They imbued me with the fact that for me there is no animal on the planet that I don’t find fascinating and want to know more about,” White said. Smithsonian Magazine in 2012.
FILE – Actress Betty White and Uggie the Dog attend the Friars Club Salute To Betty White at Sheraton New York Hotel & Towers on May 16, 2012, in New York City. (Photo by Jim Spellman / WireImage)
Before pursuing a long career in Hollywood, White even aspired to be a ranger, but at the time, women were not allowed to practice the profession. The US Forest Service later made she was honorary ranger in 2010.
In 1970-1971, she wrote, produced and hosted a syndicated television show, “The Pet Set,” to which celebrities brought their dogs and cats. She wrote a 1983 book titled “Betty White’s Pet Love: How Pets Take Care of Us” and in 2011 published “Betty and her friends: my life at the zoo“, described as” a love letter “to the zoos, the dedicated workers and the animals that call them home.
Such was her dedication to pets that she turned down a role of plum in the 1997 hit film “As Good As It Gets”. She objected to a scene in which Jack Nicholson drops a small dog into a laundry chute.
In his 2011 book “If You Ask Me (And Of Course You Won’t),” White explained the origins of his love for dogs. During the Depression, his father made radios for sale to earn extra money. But since few people had the money to buy the radios, he voluntarily exchanged them for dogs, which, housed in kennels in the backyard, sometimes numbered 15 and made the childhood happy. from White even happier.
How to support animal causes in honor of Betty White
cruelty-free american, dedicated to the safety, welfare and welfare of animals, was an organization with which White had been involved for over 60 years. Those who wish to donate can do it here.
Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association, of which White was a longtime director, aims to financially support animal welfare, animal species conservation, community outreach programs and more. Those interested can make a donation here.
Guide dogs for the blind enlisted White as one of its spokespersons, who has also been “a friend and devoted supporter” of the nonprofit. The organization connects people and guide dogs, offers free personalized training, assistance with veterinary care if needed and more. White even adopted a golden retriever named Pontiac which she received from the organization. Click here to donate.
the Morris Foundation for Animals White said “has dedicated his life to improving the lives of animals.”
“If you would like to honor his legacy, consider donating to our wildlife health program today,” a post on the foundation’s website read, with a link to donate.
As many have noted on social media, White fans can also donate on his behalf at a local animal shelter or animal rescue in their field.
This story was reported from Cincinnati. The Associated Press contributed.