On January 17, actress and legend Betty White would have been 100 years old.
While she was well known for her role on The Golden Girls and The Mary Tyler Moore show, White was also an animal rights advocate for her entire life, serving on the Los Angeles Zoo's board for more than 50 years as well as advocating for the ASPCA.
Upon her death, her fans created The Betty White Challenge—a call to donate to animal shelters or animal rights charities on her birthday.
PAWS Animal Adoption Center in Camden participated in The Betty White Challenge and one little guy, in particular, could use some love.
Donate to The Betty White Challenge
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Peace Ridge Animal Sanctuary
Charlie Brown is a 1-½-year-old mixed breed dog from PAWS that Diane Sturgeon, a volunteer with PAWS for the past 20 years, has been walking regularly on the weekends.
“I would guess he has some Catahoula Leopard Hound with those eyes,” she said.
“I think he’s got some lab in him, as well,” said Meghan Austin, PAWS’ Shelter Director and Transport Coordinator.
Charlie has been in a kennel for just over two months, which has left him very anxious.
“He’s a reluctant owner relinquish,” said Sturgeon, “which means someone who was in a certain living situation couldn’t keep him.”
“Kennel stress is really hard for these dogs,” said Austin. “This is really long time for a high-energy dog to be in a kennel. As much as they get to go out and have enrichment, it’s still not enough. They just need a home environment and the human interaction—more than we can give them.”
A pandemic, which has left people in a higher state of stress and anxiety according to a recent study, is something people can relate to in animals.
“Think about if you’ve been shut up in your house all of this time, how would you be feeling?” asked Sturgeon.
Once Sturgeon gets him out of his kennel and on a walk, Charlie’s anxiety completely drops.
“Once you get him out he’s a normal dog,” she said. “He likes to snorkel around but pays attention when you call him back. He loves to see people and say hi. If he sees other dogs, he might bark, but it’s more of an excitement for him. He loves rides in the car and he’s very treat-motivated, just hangs with you. But I have to say he has a discerning palate. If you give him a cookie, he’s like ‘Eh...I would prefer a woof stick. You can do better. I know you can.’”
“He does okay with other dogs but is a little food protective,” said Austin. “He would just need to be fed separately with other dogs in the house and toys would have to be picked up, as he does get possessive about them.”
When she puts Charlie back in the cage, Sturgeon said his anxiety ramps right back up.
“He starts running back and forth in his kennel and becomes anxious all over again, especially now because the kennels are full with another transport from Puerto Rico,” she said. “It’s just hard on the dogs when there is more chaos.”
“I feel bad every time I have to leave him,” she said. “He barks at me like ‘Hey, where are you going?”
She added: “I can’t believe he’s been there for so long. We’ve got to get him out of there.”
So far, Austin says PAWS has gotten a good amount of donations in with one 12-year-old girl in the community leading the pack.
“She comes in frequently and has raised us more than $500 so far,” said Austin. “She came in this morning with some more donations and played with the animals.”
To find out more about Charlie visit PAWS Animal Adoption Center and consider donating to the worthy local organizations above. That would make Betty so happy.
Kay Stephens can be reached at email@example.com