PARIS — The world mourned when Betty White passed away on Dec. 31, 2022. And then it accepted a challenge on her behalf. The animals of Responsible Pet Care of Oxford Hills are local beneficiaries of the movement.

Americans were looking forward to celebrate their comedic royalty’s 100th birthday but White, icon of television and laughter going back 82 years when TV was barely a thing, passed away just 17 days shy of her centenarian milestone.

It was announced that White had died at home in her sleep. There would be no birthday party after all.

But in White’s honor a viral movement was born, presumably traced to a Twitter account owned by fan Lisa Powell. Powell urged people to donate to their local animal shelter on White’s birthday.

“It’s the least we can do to still celebrate & honor Betty’s love of animals!” Powell’s tweet urged.

Animal lovers in Oxford Hills answered the Betty White Challenge of 2022 by donating to Responsible Pet Care for the late actress’s birthday. Submitted photo

White was well known for her endless devotion to animals, from activism of pets and service dogs to saving endangered species of animals from extinction. It is reported that she even had animal welfare provisions in her entertainment contracts.


As of Jan. 18, the day after White’s birthday, RPC has received more than $3,000 during the Betty White Challenge.

“So far we are over $2,000,” said Shirley Boyce, president of of RPC’s board of directors in an email statement early Tuesday morning, noting that with White’s birthday falling on a holiday as well as during a severe snowstorm they expect the wave of donations to continue. “We believe there is money coming in the mail (still) and the donate button is still up on Facebook, so there should be some late comers.”

By midday Boyce confirmed funds exceeded $3,000, and within another hour, RPC’s Facebook page ( reported that more than $4,800 had rolled in.

Animal lovers and Betty White fans may continue to donate to RPC using their PayPal page, in person during regular business hours or by mail to 9 Lower Swallow Rd, South Paris, ME 04281.

“Isn’t this just so wonderful!” Boyce said of the challenge. “I can’t wait to see what the impact will be nationwide for shelters and rescues!”



Comments are not available on this story.

filed under: