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#BettyWhiteChallenge | Fans encouraged to donate to animal shelters to honor iconic actress

The social media challenge encourages people to donate to animal shelters in Betty White's name on January 17, which would have been her 100th birthday.

HOUSTON, Texas — Fans of the beloved actress Betty White are honoring her in a way that would make her very proud. The #BettyWhiteChallenge encourages people to donate to local animal shelters in honor of one of the animal lover and advocate's biggest passions.

Fans are encouraged to donate in White's name on January 17, which would have been the Golden Girl's 100th birthday.

“People are being encouraged to donate to any organization that helps animals in need," Olivia Valdez with the Houston Humane Society said.

Valdez said they’ve already seen an increase in donations. 

 “I think Betty White would be very excited to see that people are backing the cause that she had of loving animals and making sure they had a better life," Valdez said. 

 A better life for pups like the actress's adorable namesake, Betty White, at the Humane Society.

“We named her after the legendary and the beautiful, resilient Betty White," Valdez said. 

The six-month old Maltese-mix puppy was found on the streets of Houston during the recent freeze, just days after the real Betty passed away. 

 “We want to put her on the adoption floor this coming week and so hopefully by Betty White’s 100th birthday, she can have a home by then," Valdez said.

White’s love for animals was evident on and off the set. 

On her 99th birthday, White announced the re-release of a series that she and her late husband Allen Ludden produced in the early 1970s called "The Pet Set." 

It features celebrities chatting with White about their own pets and interacting with other animals. In a clip, Carol Burnett can be seen bottle feeding a baby elephant.

"Oh that's delicious!" Betty says in her classically warm and welcoming voice. 

Other celebrities featured included Mary Tyler Moore, Doris Day, Burt Reynolds and Jimmy Stewart. 

Outside of acting, White dedicated her life to helping animals.

For nearly half a century, she served as a trustee for the Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association. 

White also wrote a book called "Betty & Friends: My Life at the Zoo" which features photographs and anecdotes about her favorite animals.  

If you'd like to donate to the Houston Humane Society, click here.

Janelle Bludau on social media: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram