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Betty White Challenge: Support western Wisconsin pet shelters & rescues

Published: Jan. 5, 2022 at 9:08 PM CST|Updated: Jan. 16, 2022 at 6:09 PM CST
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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU, AP) - You may have heard of the #BettyWhiteChallenge circulating on social media. It encourages people to celebrate what would have been Betty White’s 100th birthday on Monday, January 17 by donating at least $5 to your local pet shelter or rescue in Betty’s memory.

Each week, shelters and rescues in western Wisconsin partner with WEAU’s Danielle Wagner for the Wagner Tails pet adoption segment. It airs every Thursday during WEAU 13 News at 12 p.m. and 4 p.m. Danielle currently partners with 10 shelters/rescues, and is always looking to add more!

If you would to make a donation to any of the Wagner Tails partner shelters/rescues, you can find donation links for all 10 organizations below.

Eau Claire Co. Humane Association, Dunn Co. Humane Association, Moses Ark Rescue, Chippewa Humane, Little Red Barn Dog Rescue, Clark Co. Humane Society, Buffalo Co. Humane Association, Trempealeau Co. Humane Society, Last Paw Rescue, Bob’s House for Dogs

The late Betty White was a tireless lifetime advocate for animals, from caring for those without homes to launching her own weekly TV show, “The Pet Set,” dedicated to her celebrity friends and their pets.

It isn’t exactly clear who started the #BettyWhiteChallenge on social media shortly after White’s death on Dec. 31. However it began, the idea — to donate $5 to a local animal rescue organization in White’s name on her birthday — quickly took off.

“I’ve had many conversations with Betty about animal welfare, and I know she’s looking down from heaven and really smiling,” said Robin Ganzert, who leads American Humane, an animal welfare organization that White was involved with for more than 60 years.

“She’ll be smiling on her birthday,” she said. “And she’ll be smiling about the lives she’s changed.”

During the decades in which White was involved with the organization, she made fundraising appeals and served on its board and as a presenter and judge on its televised show featuring “hero” dogs. During tapings of “The Pet Set” in the early 1970s, Ganzert said, White would have American Humane representatives on set to ensure that animals were safe. In 2012, the nonprofit honored her with its highest award, the National Humanitarian Medal.

Ganzert would also give White a photo book each year of the animals the organization helped.

During the decades in which White was involved with the organization, she made fundraising appeals and served on its board and as a presenter and judge on its televised show featuring “hero” dogs. During tapings of “The Pet Set” in the early 1970s, White would have American Humane representatives on set to ensure that animals were safe. In 2012, the nonprofit honored her with its highest award, the National Humanitarian Medal.

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