Morris Animal Foundation honors Betty White
The organization celebrates Betty White's life by recognizing her impactful contributions to the veterinary and animal community.
Morris Animal Foundation remembers the life and immense impact of Betty White, president emeritus, after hearing of her passing. An avid animal lover and advocate, White was involved with Morris Animal Foundation for over 50 years, supporting its mission to accelerate animal health worldwide.
According to an organizational release, the foundation is grateful for the various roles White served including trustee, board president, board president emeritus, donor, spokesperson, and beyond.
"It is hard to imagine a world without Betty in it. She was a tremendous animal advocate who tirelessly supported the work of Morris Animal Foundation to improve the health of animals globally. All of us at the Foundation are mourning the loss of this amazing woman," said Tiffany Grunert, president and CEO of Morris Animal Foundation.
"We will miss her wit, her intelligence, and, most of all, her love of animals and commitment to advancing their health. She was a true inspiration to our staff, her fellow trustees, and all of our supporters,” she continued.
A few notable highlights of White’s contributions to the Morris Animal Foundation are as follows:
- Serving as a trustee from 1971-2013, as canine division vice president from 1973-1982, and as board president from 1982-1985.
- Supporting the Foundation’s mission to enhance the lives of animals through her active participation in scientific discussions.
- Hosting events on behalf of Morris Animal Foundation (ie, the Gorillas in the Mist motion picture premiere).
- Promoting awareness and inspiring thousands to support the Foundation as its national spokesperson.
- Sponsoring more than 30 animal health studies to improve the health of cats, dogs, horses and various species of wildlife, including California sea otters and mountain gorillas.
- Developing the Betty White Wildlife Fund.
"Betty was always an active participant in our scientific review process. She often said that our scientific advisory boards were the engines that drove Morris Animal Foundation," said Bette Morris, Morris Animal Foundation board trustee emeritus and wife of the late Mark Morris Jr, DVM. "If they are the engines, then she certainly was our organization's heart."
As one of her final philanthropic contributions to the foundation, White established the Betty White Wildlife Fund in response to the catastrophic impacts of the Deep Water Horizon oil spill on marine life. Since her initial grant, others have donated to the fund. In addition, it has also been used as a first line of defense in critical wildlife emergencies, according to the release.
"Betty always put the animals first. In the 1990s, she suggested pain management should be an area of future research and funded the first few studies," said Rob Hilsenroth, DVM, former Morris Animal Foundation executive director and a longtime friend of Betty White.
"Today, if a veterinarian performs an elective surgery, like a spay or neuter without using pain management, she/he could face a malpractice charge. You can thank Betty White for that revolutionary change in the way we practice all phases of veterinary medicine today,” he added.
To honor Betty White and her legacy, you can make a gift to the Betty White Wildlife Fund at Morris Animal Foundation to benefit at-risk animals worldwide.
Morris Animal Foundation remembers Betty White, a tireless champion for animals. News release. Morris Animal Foundation. December 31, 2021. Accessed January 4, 2022. https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/morris-animal-foundation-remembers-betty-white-a-tireless-champion-for-animals-301452437.html