Central Alberta animal shelters overwhelmed with support following Betty White Challenge

Saving Grace Animal Society collected over $120,000

Three puppies were found outside in the freezing cold in central Alberta Friday. (Photo courtesy of Saving Grace Animal Society)

Animal welfare and rescue organizations around the world have been helped significantly in the wake of the tragic death of American actor Betty White.

White, who passed away on Dec. 31, was a beloved animal advocate.

So, on what was supposed to be her 100th birthday on Jan. 17, organizations all over the world banded together, to start the Betty White Challenge and collect donations in her name.

In Central Alberta, Saving Grace Animal Society jumped headfirst into the challenge and was overwhelmed by the results.

As of Thursday, the Alix-area organization brought in just over $120,000.

“This movement was bigger than anyone could have imagined, we feel absolutely blessed,” said Amanda McClughan, development director for Saving Grace in a news release.

The Central Alberta Humane Society had nearly $10,000 donated.

“We’re beyond grateful for the incredible outpouring of support you all showed, and we’re profoundly inspired by the impact the incredible Betty White’s legacy has had around the world,” the agency said in a Facebook post.

Fostering Hope Animal Rescue Foundation out of Red Deer also collected $9,562.

“While we didn’t know Betty, we like to think she’d be as proud of us as we are of all of YOU for honouring her so tremendously on what would have been her 100th birthday,” the organization shared in a Facebook post.

Paws and Claws Rescue, located just outside of Red Deer and Blackfalds had set a $5,000 goal and raised over $10,000.

Whisker Rescue Society Red Deer and Area also had donations pouring in. The organization also held a cookie sale on Jan. 17.

“Our particular rescue ran a campaign that no amount is too small, that it all adds up quickly and that even $1 will buy a can of food and feed a kitty. Not only did we receive monetary donations but we received cases of food and supplies as well,” said Stacy Worobetz, president of Whisker Rescue Society Red Deer and Area.

“The totals are still coming in but it looks like over $3,500 was raised. We are so incredibly thankful for all the generous hearts out there that are helping our rescue. We truly are feeling the love.”

The Alberta SPCA said Wednesday that the provincial total is close to $850,000 raised.

“And a heartfelt thank you to everyone who donated to their favourite charity (or more than one charity) to ensure Betty’s legacy lives on!”

“We know she is in awe of everyone’s efforts to ensure animals receive the love and care they so deserve.”

– With files from Christi Albers-Manicke with Black Press news services