'Betty White Challenge' brings in thousands in donations to Manitoba animal welfare groups

Betty White, a former golden girl, was set to turn 100 on Jan. 17. (Amanda Edwards/WireImage/Getty Images)

Multiple animal welfare and rescue groups in Manitoba saw a huge spike in donations, with thousands of dollars donated thanks to a viral challenge honouring Betty White.

The 'Betty White Challenge' has gone viral across North America, encouraging people to donate $5 to local animal welfare groups on Monday—what would have been Betty White's 100th birthday.

The Golden Girl was well known for her animal activism. White died on Dec. 31, 2021.

The Winnipeg Humane Society said it raised $41,000 through the challenge. CEO Jessica Miller told CTV News on Monday the money will go to supporting the Winnipeg Humane Society facility and the animals that come through the shelter or through its foster and urgent care programs.

"I don't even know what to say. This is just such an incredible gift that you've given to honour Betty," Miller said in a video posted on Twitter Tuesday.

"This was an amazing way to start off 2022."

Manitoba Mutts Dog Rescue saw more than $17,500 raised through the challenge in White's honour.

Megan Peters, the public relations assistant for the Manitoba Mutts Dog Rescue, told CTV News on Monday the response to the challenge had been overwhelming.

"The more donations we can bring in so that we don't have additional costs for vet bills, the more animals we can actually bring into our care and get them out of the cold especially during this time," Peters said.

Tails for Freedom Rescue said more than $4,800 was raised for the rescue.

"We are absolutely blown away by the generosity of everyone who donated to our rescue for the #bettywhitechallenge in honour of the lovely Betty White on what would have been her 100th birthday," the rescue said in a post on Facebook Tuesday.

"It has been amazing to see everyone come together and show their love and support to honour this lovely lady. We feel so lucky to have been part of such a wonderful movement."

The Manitoba Underdogs Rescue said it raised just over $18,000 from the challenge.

Lindsay Gillanders, a volunteer with the Manitoba Underdogs Rescue, said the need for donations is huge.

"As the temperatures continue to plummet, we see more and more dogs that are injured or in need as a direct result of those cold temperatures," she told CTV News on Monday. "Our vet bills only increase so we are in desperate need of help right now and any little bit will make a big impact.