LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — After America’s sweetheart, Betty White, died on New Year’s Eve an outpour of love turned into one of action. The Betty White Challenge came to life on social media, calling on the world to donate to animal rescues and shelters, a cause that was so close to White’s heart.
"I was an only child and my mother and father were just as animal nutty as I am. I was the lucky little girl who had parents that would come home from a walk with a dog or cat and say: “Betty he followed us home can we keep him?”
The challenge encourages people to donate $5 to a local animal shelter or rescue in White’s memory on what would have been her 100th birthday, Jan. 17.
One local animal rescue that could benefit from the money raised is A Home 4 Spot. Diana England, who runs the rescue, brings her foster pups to work with her at the Dog Junkies Thrift Store so they can run around and play.
"There are people who are going to learn about this for the first time. She’s going to open up a lot of doors I believe. It’s not just going to be today. Her legacy is going to go on and on," said England.
England tells us that unlike shelters, which are usually federally funded, rescues are entirely volunteer-based and rely on community donations and help.
"Rescues can spend up to 1, 2 or 3 hundred thousand dollars a year in medical bills," England said.
"This little guy walked onto a bus last night. The guy didn’t know what to do and called me. I went and got the dog. We’ll look for the owner but if we don’t find the owner now we have to get it fixed, now we have to get shots, now we have to get it chipped, now we get it bathed, now we get the nails cut," she said. "See how that goes? It adds up."
Las Vegas has dozens of animal rescues. Here are just some organizations in Southern Nevada:
- A Home 4 Spot
- Animal Help Alliance
- A Path 4 Paws
- Hearts Alive
- Heaven Can Wait
- Homeward Bound
- Nevada SPCA
- Poppy FoundationStreet Dogz
- The Animal Foundation
- Vegas Animal Rescue
- Vegas Cat Rescue
- Southern Nevada Animal Rescue League
If you are unsure which organizations to donate to, there are resources out there. The Better Business Bureau has a list of animal rescues in the Las Vegas area and the IRS has a search tool to check on the tax-exempt status and filings of nonprofits.