Betty White was a revolutionary horse activist

The legendary actress Betty White, who died on Friday just a few days before her 100th birthday, worked closely with the Morris Animal Foundation for five decades to advance the health of horses and other animals around the world.

White devoted her life to improving the lives of animals and was part of the Morris Animal Foundation family for over 50 years, supporting its mission to advance the health of animals around the world. She served as a Trustee, Board President, donor, spokesperson and other roles too numerous to mention.

Betty advocated for and funded early studies into pain management in animals. 

“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/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.”


White remained committed to helping animals throughout her life. One of her last acts of philanthropy was to establish the Betty White Wildlife Fund, largely in response to the catastrophic effects of the Deep Water Horizon oil spill on marine life. Since Betty’s initial gift, others have contributed to and grown the fund and it has been used as a first line of defense in critical wildlife emergencies.

“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 Dr. Rob Hilsenroth, 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.”  – Equus Magazine.

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