Local animal shelters and rescues saw a boost this past week in donations and support during the grassroots, Betty White Challenge.
On Jan. 17, 2022, fans rallied to honour the late actress and comedian, Betty White on what would have been her 100th birthday, with a heartwarming campaign dubbed the “Betty White Challenge” in which people were encouraged to donate to their local shelter and humane society.
Whisker Rescue Society Red Deer and Area was one of the many rescues that saw a jump in donations during the campaign, they also held a cookie sale on Jan. 17, the actress and comedian’s birthday, at Café Millennium
“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!”
Despite the campaigning coming on the heels of the holidays, Worobetz said the community seems more than willing to step up.
“Understandably after Christmas, people have less money to spend or give and there can be less funds coming in. But because of this fundraiser, people have been giving so generously and from the heart and it has been just amazing.”
Other rescue and and human groups also saw an boost in donations.
Paws and Claws Rescue, located just outside of Red Deer and Blackfalds had set a $5, 000 goal and raised over $10,000.
Money raised during the Betty White Challenge, and throughout the year goes towards day to day care for animals in their care, veterinary costs and anything else that an animal might need.
Currently Whisker Rescue is the home to a tiny kitten named Mike Junior.
“We named the kitten Mike Junior after the hero that stopped to save him, named Mike, he saw a little ball on top of a snowbank on a very busy road, he thought it possibly was an animal that got hit by a car but as he was turning his vehicle around to double check, a semi truck drove by and the wind made a little ball of fur move and he knew the little kitty he saw was alive,” said Worobetz. “When he pulled over and put on his blinkers the kitten started crying and tried to drag his himself to Mike (because) his hind legs were frozen together. It is the saddest and most amazing story but happily our little Mike is healing although he lost his ear tips.”
Worobetz said Mike Junior’s story has really resonated with a lot of people.
“So many worry about the strays that are out there and to know that one was saved made so many people happy.”
If you were unable to participate during the Betty White Challenge, Worobetz said the community is encouraged to donate when they can all year long and if donating money isn’t possible, donating time can also make a difference.
“Volunteering, fostering or even helping to make crafts or items to sell and raise money for a rescue is wonderful but especially if they have a stray kitty around that they can offer some shelter or some food, anything that will help save its life until it can be brought into a rescue or society is the most wonderful of all.”