Betty White's 100th birthday brings out the generosity of British Columbians

Betty White, former Golden Girl and national treasure, turns 100 on Jan. 17. (Amanda Edwards/WireImage/Getty Images)

Thousands of dollars (and counting) poured into B.C. animal shelters and rescue facilities Monday, on what would have been Betty White’s 100th birthday.

A fervent advocate for animals, the Hollywood icon would have undoubtedly been overjoyed by the internet movement known as the #BettyWhiteChallenge, which encouraged fans to donate whatever they can to local shelters.

By 6 p.m. Monday, the BC SPCA had already received $263,000 in donations in White’s name.

“It’s incredible what one human being can do to better the lives of animals,” said Eileen Drever, the society’s senior protection officer. “We are overjoyed, but we are also so sad that she’s not here to see this.”

Organizations like PADS, the Pacific Assistance Dogs Society, believe White’s legacy will encourage her fans to learn about other groups too.

“Betty was a big advocate for animal rights,” said PADS marketing and media coordinator Meredith Areskoug. “A lot of people are hoping that folks are going to start donating to all the different charities that work with animals.”

Already the generosity is being seen all over North America, and just how much was donated in her name on Monday, may be impossible to count.

But the tremendous outpouring of support for animals in need is certainly keeping White’s memory alive.