Have you ever seen that Golden Girls episode where Rose found a dog at the supermarket and became so attached to it that when she returned the dog to his owner, she went to a shelter and adopted 10 more dogs? Betty White, the actress who played Rose, would’ve done the same thing in real life. She has helped animals so much her whole life, because she firmly believes in animal welfare and health.
Today, White is known as a seasoned Hollywood actress (with experience spanning over 7 decades) slash animal rights advocate. She told TVGuide.com in a 2009 interview that her life is all about animals and show business. “They’re the two things I love the most,” she said. “I have to stay in show business to pay for my animal work!”
White credits her parents for her love for animals. Her father would take in strays during the Great Depression. “I was the lucky little girl who had parents who went for a walk,” White said. “And they’d come home with a dog or a cat. [They would say] ‘He followed us home, Betty. Can we keep him?’” Because of her parents, White learned to be compassionate towards animals, and today she’s heavily involved with Morris Animal Foundation (where she’s serving as a president emeritus and a longtime board member) and the Los Angeles Zoo (which she helped revamp to make living conditions better for its animals). She tries her best to help as many other animal organizations and charities as possible, but sometimes she’s too tapped out!
While many famous people, although with good intentions, only throw money at the charities and causes in which they believe, Betty White takes it a step further. Even though she’s 90 years old, she’s still very active in improving animal welfare and health. Sometimes she puts her acting chops to good use by starring in videos that help raise awareness. Last October, she helped announce the Orvis Company’s Cover Dog Photo Contest, the proceeds of which will go to Morris Animal Foundation’s effort to prevent, treat, and cure canine cancer, with a hilarious video. Check it out:
Betty White is a very remarkable forward-thinking actress and animal welfare advocate. Just last month, she hosted an event called “Betty White’s Animal Instincts” at the esteemed Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C. where she spoke about her lifelong passion for animals and educated the attendees on how they could help make life better for animals.
If you want to learn more about America’s golden girl and her devotion to animals, you can check out two of her books, Betty & Friends: My Life at the Zoo and If You Ask Me: (And of Course You Won’t).