Betty White Challenge leads to spike in donations to Chattanooga-area animal shelters

Staff file photo by Matt Hamilton / Taylor Hixson holds Smaxx, a dog up who was up for adoption at the Humane Educational Society, in this file photo.

The two main animal shelters in the Chattanooga area raised a combined total of $35,000 through the Betty White Challenge, a viral social media challenge in which fans of the animal-loving star requested people donate $5 to the animal shelter of their choice following her death on Dec. 31.

Humane Educational Society brought in $20,000, and McKamey Animal Center saw more than $15,000 in contributions, with donations continuing to roll in.

"When word started spreading the first week of January, we decided to post about it to let people know we would be honored to receive donations in her memory," Lauren Mann, director of advancement for McKamey, told the Times Free Press by email. "Donations will go to directly support our life-saving work of saving animals and helping people - more specifically, to help the 350-plus animals we have in our care right now."

It's not too late to make a donation in White's honor. Donations may be made to Humane Educational Society at or to McKamey at through Jan. 23.

Contact Emily Crisman at or 423-757-6508.