Betty White Challenge to have local benefits

HOUGHTON — The Copper Country Humane Society will be among the groups benefiting from an online challenge organized in honor of the late TV star Betty White.

The social media challenge sprung up as a way to honor White, who died on Dec. 31 at the age of 99. People are asked to donate to an animal shelter and other animal rescue organizations on or before Jan. 17, which would have been White’s 100th birthday.

White had a lifelong love of animals, and was a prolific volunteer and fundraiser for animal-related groups. She received a lifetime achievement award from the Jane Goodall Institute in 2009.

Posts with the hashtag suggest a $5 donation.

“It’s such a nice way to honor her,” said Rebecca Brink, assistant manager of the CCHS. “It’s great when people take something sad like that and turn it into something positive like helping animals.”

Donations go towards things such as day-to-day animal care, veterinary bills, cleaning supplies and towards building maintenance and utilities. The donations stay at CCHS and are not sent to a wider network, Brink said.

“The continued support of our community enables us to keep giving all our animals the best possible care,” she said.

Right now, the shelter has 36 animals, with 11 dogs coming Thursday from Saginaw.

Adoptions have gone up during the pandemic, while intake of animals was steady, Brink said. There was a temporary hurdle when multiple dogs tested positive for distemper, which temporarily prevented the shelter from bringing in new dogs, Brink said. The problem has since cleared up, she said.

“It seems like most of the people who adopted during the pandemic are making it work as they go back to work, so that has been really nice,” she said. “We were worried about that, but it hasn’t been happening very much.”

For some homes with financial difficulty, the shelter has been able to donate pet food from its food pantry to assist. The shelter, which is sponsored by Hill’s Science Diet, likes to give donations of other brands to animal owners in need, Brink said.

“I think that helped keep numbers of surrendered animals lower,” she said. “It’s great when we can help people get through a rough patch like that.”

Christine Chapman of Calumet took part in the challenge. A lifelong animal lover, she’s donated to the CCHS in honor of people’s birthdays. She thinks the challenge is a great idea.

“She’s such a wonderful woman and had a great heart, and she was an animal lover herself,” she said. “I watched all her movies and shows … I’m 66, so I can relate to the Golden Girls.”

Donations to the CCHS can be made at cchumanesociety.com/donate or by mail at Copper Country Humane Society, PO Box 453, Houghton, MI 49931.


Today's breaking news and more in your inbox

I'm interested in (please check all that apply)
Are you a paying subscriber to the newspaper *

Starting at $4.62/week.

Subscribe Today