Even after her death, Betty White is still inspiring people to support animals, a cause that was long close to the actress and dog-lover’s heart. 

In addition to her starring role on “Golden Girls,” White was also known for her love of and advocacy for animals. In the 1970s, she created the TV series “The Pet Set,” which featured the pets of famous actors and actresses. She went on to directly support dozens of animal-related nonprofits with donations, volunteer work, and promotion. She served on the Board of Trustees for the nonprofit arm of the Los Angeles Zoo and as a Trustee, Trustee Emeritus, and President Emeritus for the Morris Animal Foundation.

Last week, on what would have been White’s 100th birthday (January 17), animal advocates nationwide called on people to make donations to their local shelters. The Wake County Animal Center—the only shelter in the area to take in all stray, abandoned, or surrendered pets—was quick to jump on board. 

In that single day, fans and pet owners from across the country donated more than $16,000 to the Animal Center, according to a news release from the county. Since the Betty White Challenge was announced, the shelter has raised $22,052, the result of more than 600 donations.

“This is an amazing outpouring of support for our shelter,” Jennifer Federico, Animal Services director, said in the release. “Our community has always been generous, but this exceeded all our expectations.”

The money will help animals currently in the care of Wake County with play programs, medical care, and adoption sponsorships, among other needs, the release stated. Many of the people who donated had also adopted pets from the shelter.

“Happy to have donated in memory of Betty and in honor of our Izzy who we adopted from you in 2009. She will be celebrating her 13th birthday this spring,” wrote Amanda Fulcher McGraw on Facebook. Check out the center’s Facebook page here

The center continues to seek donations of money, supplies, and pet food

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Follow Staff Writer Jasmine Gallup on Twitter or send an email to jgallup@indyweek.com.