RALEIGH, NC — A new year, a new viral challenge.

This one remembers beloved actress and comedian Betty White, who died just before her 100th birthday in mid-January and was known to love animals.

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The Betty White Challenge encourages people to help save animals from shelters

The Wake County SPCA reached its goal of raising $10,000 to save 100 senior pets on the day the challenge was announced

The animal welfare group is accepting donations until January 17, which would have been White’s 100th birthday

The Betty White Challenge honors her legacy by helping those we don’t always think of.

“My decision was made as soon as I met her. She just came over, put her head in my lap and that was it,” Adrianne Gulick said.

It was December 30. Gulick, a vet tech from Raleigh, adopted 10-year-old Joy from the Wake County SPCA without hesitation.

“They know I have a thing for dogs that are older or need more help,” Gulick said.

And Joy needed all the help she could get. The elderly dog ​​suffered from several medical issues and had a tumor the size of a volleyball attached to her body.

“I knew at first I wasn’t going to have it very long. I was hoping for a few weeks, maybe a month,” Gulick said.

Instead, it was only a few days.

“It’s pretty awful, a lot harder than I thought it would be,” Gulick said.

Joy was shot just four days after Gulick adopted her.

Medical issues and infections were too much to overcome. But Gulick gave Joy a real home for the first time in her life.

“We spoiled her for the next 24 hours, spoiled her rotten — she had chicken nuggets, cheeseburgers,” Gulick said.

It’s that same love that’s behind the Betty White Challenge, which encourages people to donate money to save animals in shelters.

“I hope this will encourage people more to donate more money,” Gulick said. “It’s an amazing shelter, but they still have a lot of dogs with special needs.”

The Wake County SPCA reached its goal of raising $10,000 to save 100 senior pets the day the challenge was announced.

“There’s a reason they pulled a 10-year-old dog with cancer from that other shelter — she was super special. I’m going to completely miss her. She was just a really special dog,” Gulick said. .

Gulick says she still plans to adopt older dogs in the future.

The Wake County SPCA has raised its fundraising goal to $20,000. Visit the organization’s Facebook page to donate or visit the website to learn more about how you can help.

The challenge runs until January 17, White’s birthday.

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