Due to overwhelming support, the Humane Society of Yuma is extending the Betty White Challenge until the end of the month. Donations were up to $16,357 Thursday afternoon, “crushing” the $5,000 goal initially set by the animal shelter.

Annette Lagunas, executive director, explained that the fundraiser was extended to give other animal lovers and fans of the late Betty White the opportunity to participate.

“We think there’s a lot of people out there who wanted to give in Betty’s honor but didn’t know that this campaign was happening,” Lagunas said.

The link to the fundraiser can be found at https://tinyurl.com/46mxsefw. The benefit honors White, an actress, comedian and animal activist who died on Dec. 31, just shy of Jan. 17, which would have been her 100th birthday. Fans and fellow animal lovers have been flooding animal groups with donations in her honor as part of the “Betty White Challenge.”

After Yuma supporters showed interest in participating in the challenge, HSOY set a goal of raising $5,000. By Tuesday, the donations had “absolutely shattered” that goal.

“We are just so thankful for our community once again. They’ve stepped up for the animals in our shelter and in our care, and we just couldn’t do the amazing things we do without them,” Lagunas said.

“The money goes to today’s animals, the animals that are in the shelter right now, and we are very, very full. It helps us cover the costs that are unexpected, because we didn’t expect to be at full capacity at this point of the year,” she previously told the Yuma Sun.

The funds will pay for food, vaccinations, cleaning supplies, spay and neuter surgeries, and microchips. With kitten season expected in the next couple of months, these items will become more urgently needed.

The mission of the Humane Society of Yuma is to reduce the number of homeless pets through adoption, rescue, and spay and neuter programs. The nonprofit organization is independently funded by donations, grants and municipal contracts. These funds support the adoptions, clinic services, rescue partners, foster program, and community education of animal welfare and protection in the community.

HSOY had planned a vaccine clinic for this Saturday, however, it has been canceled due to lack of staff. “Due to COVID, we have a lot of staff sick and unable to be there,” Lagunas said.

For more information, email info@hsoyuma.com, visit www.hsoyuma.com or call 928-782-1621.

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