Dog Named Betty White Smashes Shelter’s Adoption Record

A rescued dog named Betty White broke records for adoption applications at a Houston animal shelter this week, reaching the maximum number of applications allowed (10) in just two hours.

Just like her namesake, the Houston Humane Society (HHS) said, Betty White the dog is strong and resilient, having spent most of her life on the streets.

The dog arrived at the shelter just days after the actress’ death on December 31.

The dog was found roaming the streets of Houston, a “shabby little Maltese mix, heavily matted … in rough form,” HHS marketing manager Angelina Saucedo told Newsweek.

“We knew it was only fitting to name her after Betty White because of her strength and resilience,” she added.

Upon arrival, vets had assessed Betty White as an older dog based on her appearance with feces and urine on her tail, matted fur and severe malnutrition.

It was only when she was thoroughly examined that her teeth revealed that she was just one year old. “Definitely not an older pup,” Saucedo said.

Betty White when she first arrived at the shelter.
Houston Humane Society

After posting her story on Facebook, the shelter received support from both Texans and farther afield, including a dog groomer who turned Betty White inside out.

“A lot of people have reached out to provide her with donations, toys, and treats, but one particular person has reached out to give her a groom so she has a glamorous session,” Saucedo said. “You can just see that the makeover she received helped her blossom with her personality.

“She’s friendlier. She is more welcoming towards people who cuddle with her. So we’re just so grateful for the love and support from the community here not just in Houston but across the country.”

It wasn’t just Betty White’s physical appearance that needed some TLC – her health, too. She arrived with heartworm, a disease common in outdoor pets that is transmitted through a bite of an infected mosquito.

“So she must have been on the road for a while. We don’t know how long. But we do know that it takes a while for a dog to become heartworm positive. So for her, who’s just a year old, she she’s had to be on the road for a while.”

Betty White during her glam session.
Houston Humane Society

Betty White the dog

Betty White is groomed.
Houston Humane Society

Thankfully, heartworm is treatable, but not without a hefty price tag on medication — something HHS fears would reduce the number of uses.

An unnecessary concern because within two hours the shelter had reached its maximum number of applications for Betty White’s adoption.

“Betty White is of course a smaller dog. She is named after a legend. Applications were taking less than two hours to come in when we hit our limit. 10 was a number we knew we had to cut off. Otherwise we would just break so many hearts by letting them know they wouldn’t adopt Betty,” Saucedo said.

“Receiving 10 in less than two hours was something we had never seen for a dog before.”

Betty White the dog
Betty White after her glam session.
Houston Humane Society

Betty White the dog
Betty White before her adoption.
Houston Humane Society

In a happy ending to the story, Betty White arrived with her new family in their forever home on Thursday after deciding on the perfect fit at various meetings at the shelter. Betty White now has two human siblings in a house who has experience taking care of a dog all his life.

“So we’re happy for Betty because she’s just one. So we hope you know that this family can keep her too until she crosses the rainbow,” Saucedo explained.

“We broke the news to several of those other nine families, and we actually had one of them come in and adopt a terrier, so another dog. And they decided to name the dog Betty.”

The late actress Betty White has influenced animal shelters in more ways than just her name as animal shelters across the US geared up Monday, January 17 with the “Betty White Challenge,” which expected floods of donations to animal shelters to honor what would have been her 100th birthday.

HHS has honored the Hollywood legend and animal rights activist’s birthday month with a Betty White Memorial Fund in her name, with proceeds going towards caring for rescued animals and finding their own forever homes.

“Without the support of people like Betty White who are committed to animal care and animal lifesaving work, [and the] Supporting people who care about the mission, our mission cannot continue,” summarized Saucedo.