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Inaugural Betty White challenge helps raise more than $50K for local animal shelters

A pair of animal rescue associations in Grande Prairie have raised over $50,000 thanks to the first ever Betty White Challenge.

The worldwide fundraiser brought in nearly $23,500 to Bandaged Paws and more than $32,000 to In The Woods Rescue.

Bandaged Paws Executive Director Natasha Arsenault says she couldn’t believe the outpouring of support from the community.

“I was ecstatic. We never expect this kind of support. We never imagined that it would take off the way it did. Betty White was a lovely, well-loved lady but it really blew up in the favour of rescue animals and our animals as well.”

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Arsenault says that White was someone that everyone at the local animal rescue association looked up to, in one way or another.

“I think our whole facility, staff, and volunteers loved Betty White. She was always thought of as everyone’s grandmother. Her impact is very much felt in that way with many people, including us.”

Arsenault says the biggest need remains adoptions, as they try to look for permanent homes for animals in their care.

“Our adoptions have been slow, especially with dogs and the weather hasn’t helped either. We are planning on holding another adoption event this Saturday to hopefully find homes for some of our puppies. As of right now, we have 23 puppies and 15 adult dogs waiting for homes.”

The additional funding from the community allows Bandaged Paws to create a new program, according to Arsenault.

“We are going to take the opportunity to start a well overdue program that’s needed in our community, which is a spay and neuter assistance program. It’s something we have been working towards for years and we anticipate the cost to get everything going is $10,000, which we have available to us now thanks to locals generosity.”

The Betty White challenge was launched to celebrate the life of recently deceased actress and comedian Betty White, who had a well-documented love of animals. White passed away on December 31st, 2021 at the age of 99.

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