CENTRAL NEW YORK (WSYR-TV) — Monday would have been Betty White’s 100th birthday. In honor of the comedy icon, fans participated in the #BettyWhiteChallenge by donating $5.00 or more in Betty’s name to animal shelters across the country, including right here in Central New York.

HumaneCNY says the outpouring of generosity has been overwhelming.

“As soon as Betty White passed away donations literally started coming in that day. We started receiving it in the mail, people just stopping in with $20.00 bills,” says Maureen Davison, director at HumaneCNY.

As of Monday morning, HumaneCNY raised over $6,000.

Davison added, “We’re like max capacity right now with dogs and cats. A lot of them need special care, a lot of them are emaciated and have been neglected. So it’s a huge help for us.”

A huge help paying off vet bills to help animals who need it the most, especially ones that look just like 5-year-old Beauty did when she was first rescued in December of 2020. Beauty was neglected by her owner and was skin and bones. In the last month, HumaneCNY has taken in six dogs that looked just like Beauty did when she first arrived to the shelter. The donations HumaneCNY has received through the challenge will help pay off the shelter’s vet bills.

HumaneCNY will continue to accept donations after Monday. Click here if you’re interested in making a donation. Donations can also be mailed to 4915 West Taft Road, Liverpool, N.Y. 13088, or dropped off.

Another shelter being faced with costly vet bills is Helping Hounds Dog Rescue.

“We started 2022 with some pretty hefty vet bills with some strange medical issues. We have been to specialists and Cornell and we’ve been looking at surgeries for dogs,” says Kathy Gilmour, executive director at Helping Hounds.

Helping Hounds says they got hit with an unusual number of very expensive medical issues.

“This is just literally a blessing from above that it’s going to more than cover those unexpected expenses. So we’re beyond grateful,” says Glimour.

Helping Hounds say at this rate, they estimate they’ll receive about $20,000 in donations.

“Its been way over the top, way more than we expected. We’re truly humble by how many people have chosen Helping Hounds to honor a legend like Betty White,” says Gilmour.

Gilmour added, “Its just phenomenal the impact that she had and she must be smiling down.”

Click here to donate to Helping Hounds or make a donation through their Facebook Page.

Finger Lakes SPCA of CNY also received an abundance of donations through the #BettyWhiteChallenge. The shelter received donations ranging from $5.00 to $50.00. Finger Lakes SPCA of CNY says they’re incredibly grateful for the generosity of their shelter supporters, adding that they’re thrilled for the recognition being given to Betty White and the animals that she cared so much for.

Friends Forever Animal Rescue honored Betty White in a different way on Monday. Instead of asking for donations to support their shelter, Friends Forever donated $250.00 to Fixing to Help CNY. The non-profit offers assistance to low income families with spaying and neutering services. Friends Forever encourages the community to donate to the non-profit. Click here to donate to Fixing to Help CNY.

Other participating shelters include:


Second Chance Canine Adoption Shelter


Oswego Humane Society

Recycle-A-Bull Bully Breed Rescue