Islip and Huntington call on cat and dog lovers to take the ‘Betty White Challenge’


Islip and Huntington towns are paying special tribute to TV icon Betty White and her love of animals by taking part in the “Betty White Challenge.”

To honor what would have been White’s 100th birthday on Jan. 17, town leaders asked that her fans — and all animal lovers who can afford to do so — donate $5 to an animal rescue group or shelter in her name.

Huntington Town Supervisor Edmund Smyth suggested that residents donate to the town’s Give a Dog a Dream charity, which funds medically necessary surgeries for shelter dogs in need, or a wish list item to the town’s shelter.

Islip Town Supervisor Angie Carpenter asked residents to donate to the Town of Islip Animal Shelter and Adopt-A-Pet Center in White’s name. Residents can give $5 to the animal shelter or choose to donate an item on the shelter’s Amazon Wish List.

Each item purchased from the Islip wish list will ship for free to the Islip Animal Shelter. Monetary donations to the shelter will be used to purchase bedding, toys, food and other animal necessities, Carpenter said.

“Throughout her eight-decade career, Betty White not only won the hearts of millions with her endearing charm and wit, but she also gave generously to causes promoting the well-being of all animals, including many endangered species, and helped in the conservation of wildlife habitats,” Carpenter said. “Her memory will live on through residents’ acts of kindness.”

Lifelong dedication

The towns’ calls for donations are among many across the country in support of the “Betty White Challenge.” White, who died at the age of 99 on Dec. 31, 2021, was a lifelong lover of animals and dedicated much of her time to their rights and care.

American Humane, a non-profit founded in 1877, honored White with the National Humanitarian Medal, its highest honor, in 2012, as well as the Legacy Award for her lifetime of dedication.

When she wasn’t advocating for animals, she spent her life entertaining generations of TV viewers, from her performance as Sue Ann Nivens in “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” in the 1970s, to perhaps the role she was best known for: Rose Nylund on “The Golden Girls.”

A social media campaign led her to host an episode of “Saturday Night Live” in 2010. She became the series’ oldest host at 88; the appearance secured her her fifth and final Emmy. In her 90s, she starred in “Hot In Cleveland” and hosted and produced the prank show, “Betty White’s Off Their Rockers.”

A Breeze donation

The first donation received by the Islip’s Animal Shelter and Adopt-A-Pet Center came from Breeze Airways, which recently announced it will launch service out of Islip’s Long Island MacArthur Airport on Feb. 17 to Norfolk, Virginia, and to Charleston, South Carolina, on Feb. 18.

“It’s safe to say everyone at Breeze is a Betty White fan. I mean, who isn’t?” said Gareth Edmondson-Jones, the airline’s director of corporate communications. “Breeze will be donating to Islip’s Animal Shelter and Adopt-a-Pet Center, as well as to animal shelters in the 17 other cities we serve. It’s wonderful that Betty’s lifelong service to animals continues even after her passing.”

Donations of $5 can be mailed to the Town of Islip Animal Shelter, located at 200 South Technology Drive, Central Islip, NY 11722. Donors should indicate “Betty White Challenge” with their donations.

Islip’s animal shelter has cats, dogs and small animals looking to be adopted. For adoption information or to schedule an appointment, you can call 631.224.5660 or email

Call or click to donate

Gifts to the Give a Dog a Dream Inc. will help fund medically necessary surgeries and behavior modification training for Town of Huntington Animal Shelter dogs, according to a town press release.

Huntington’s animal shelter is also in need of wish list items. The list includes flat collars in sizes medium, large and extra large, flat leashes, treats and indestructible toys. People are also welcome to donation other items, including blankets, detergents and food.

Anyone interested in scheduling a visit or making a donation to Huntington’s animal shelter can call 631.754.8722. The Huntington Animal Shelter is located at 106 Deposit Road, East Northport, NY 11731. It is open Monday-Friday, from 8 a.m.-6 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.