Grand Strand volunteers to honor Betty White, raise animal awareness through shelter party
NORTH MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) - Volunteers and animal advocates in the Grand Strand are honoring Hollywood icon Betty White on what would have been her 100th birthday.
White died on New Year’s Eve, just a few weeks shy of her birthday on Jan 17.
While White was known for her acting roles, many advocates are taking steps to celebrate one of her greatest passions: animal rights.
People nationwide will be participating in the “Betty White Challenge” on her birthday by donating to their animal rescue or shelter of choice.
Here at home, volunteers are hosting a party honoring White at the Humane Society of North Myrtle Beach, celebrating animals currently at the shelter.
“I encourage everyone to participate in the Betty White Challenge,” said volunteer Jennifer Archer.
Last month, Archer lead a drive that collected $10,000 worth of supplies for several animal rescues in our area during the ”Santa Claus for Paws” donation event.
The supplies were donated to several rescue agencies in our area, and she’s hoping history will repeat itself.
Archer is inviting everyone to party and drop off donations for the animals and provide them with a celebration they might not otherwise have.
She says there will be local businesses supplying “pupcakes” for all the dogs, along with gifts and toys for both cats and dogs.
Archer also asks those attending to donate what they can to the event.
“Any dog toy, cat toy, treat, would be amazing. I know our local rescues struggle on a daily basis just to supply the basic needs for the animals,” she said.
Archer says her motivation for helping the rescue animals comes from a dog named Allie who will forever have her heart.
“She was my first rescue, she has my heart, she passed away in 2013, she had cancer,” Archer said. “She’s the reason we do everything.”
Tina Hunter, Executive Director for the Humane Society of North Myrtle Beach, says Archer’s efforts with collecting supplies go so far for the animals.
Hunter says right now the agency is at capacity with 45 dogs and 110 cats at the shelter. That’s why she says now is the perfect time for families to consider adoption.
“We’re getting anywhere from 20-50 calls a day for folks either finding stray animals or are no longer able to keep their animals and we can’t help those folks right now because our shelter is at capacity,” she said.
Hunter says it’s important for the agency to receive items like toys and treats because it goes so far in making sure all the animals are receiving the full tender love and care they need.
“The supplies that are donated are a total blessing. We can provide the basics, the food and shelter but our animals deserve more than just the basic care. If you think about an animal living in a shelter, it’s really depressing. Most of these animals have gone from a home where they had the life of luxury to a small cage. So they’re bored. They need extra love, attention, things to stimulate their mind while they’re here. The last thing we need in an animal shelter environment is animals to withdraw and get depressed. We work really hard to make sure we’re providing canine and feline enrichment and these toys and treats help us to do that,” she said.
Hunter hopes the Betty White celebration at the shelter will encourage people to show up and learn more about what they can do to help the animals.
“Everybody can do something to help the animal shelter here,’ Hunter said. “We can all do something to make others’ days brighter. Our goal is to make our community a happier place. They can donate, they can foster, they can adopt, or bring cat and dog toys, bring treats, bring things immediately to the shelter that animals can use that can make their days brighter.”
Hunter says the agency is still working on an appointment basis for adoption. Families can schedule a time for a meet and greet by calling (843) 249-4948.
For those unable to attend the celebration on Jan. 17, Archer says people can also donate directly to recuse agencies on their websites.
The party event will begin at 11 a.m. on Jan 17 at the shelter, located at 409 Bay Street in North Myrtle Beach.
You can also order items on The Paws Connection Group wish list, and she can bring the items to the party.
All supply donations for the White celebration will be provided to the Humane Society of North Myrtle Beach and Freedom Ride Transport and Rescue in Conway.
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