Women’s History Month: Betty White | local news

Although Betty White (1922-2021) is best known for her seven decades as an actress (Guinness World Records 2014 edition named her the entertainer with the longest career ever), so is her lifelong commitment to the health and welfare of animals legendary .

She grew up in a household where her animal-loving parents often took care of homeless pets. In the 1960s, White began working with the Los Angeles Zoo to improve conditions in animal enclosures. She was also the national spokesperson and board chair of the Morris Animal Foundation.

Through the foundation, she has sponsored more than 30 animal experiments aimed at improving the health of cats, dogs, horses and many species of wildlife. White paid about $70,000 to evacuate and relocate penguins and sea otters from the Audubon Aquarium in New Orleans to the Monterey Bay Aquarium in California after Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

In 2010, she established the Betty White Wildlife Fund in response to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Even in death, she raised funds to help animals. The “Betty White Challenge” was launched on social media to request donations of $5 to local animal welfare organizations on White’s 100th birthday, January 17, 2022.

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The challenge raised $12.7 million for shelters and rescuers across the United States.

Sponsored by AAUW La Crosse; researched by Jan Eriksen.

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