THUNDER BAY - A local animal rescue welcomed donations in honour of the late Betty White's 100th birthday on Monday.
In honour of the actress's love and support of animals and animal rescues, the #BettyWhiteChallenge was created to encourage people to donate to local animal rescues like Thunder Dog Rescue, which is asking for donations to help support the cost of caring for the animals, including food and medical costs.
"Especially with COVID right now and not being able to do a lot of fundraising. I run this rescue by myself. I've got help from family and friends on occasion that will come and help me let the dogs out when I'm working," said Rebecca Estey, director.
"But basically, this is it, I am Thunder Dog Rescue, and these are the dogs. I guess I must be the thunder."
Thunder Dog Rescue has been in operation for roughly 15 years and has provided care for hundreds of animals.
The #BettyWhiteChallenge picked up steam on social media following the TV legend's death at age 99 on Dec. 31, calling on fans to give $5 to shelters, rescues, and other organizations on what would have been White's 100th birthday, Jan. 17.
"I think it's amazing, you know, she was an amazing woman, and I actually just put up a post about her, she had an amazing sense of humour and she was a long time animal advocate, and I think it's kind of in honour of her and I think it's kind of nice," said Estey.
Outside of TV and family, White's passion was for animals. The actress, who rescued several dogs in her lifetime, started working with the Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association in 1966 and joined the board of trustees in 1974.
In 2006, Betty was honoured as the City of Los Angeles' "Ambassador to the Animals" for her lifelong work for animal welfare. And in 2017, White received the James Smithson Bicentennial Medal for her "commitment to wildlife and efforts to create a sustainable planet," specifically through her charitable work with zoos and animal rescues.
For those wishing to donate, The Dog House And More on Brock St. will accept donations of any in-store merchandise or dog food for Thunder Dog Rescue, and Donations can now be made directly to Crossroads Veterinary Clinic. Donors can ask that the donation be placed on the Thunder Dog Rescue account.
For more information on how to donate or help out, visit their website.