Betty White was a beloved comedian, successful actress, and American icon, but that’s not all she was known for! Ms. White was an avid lover of dogs and had dozens throughout her lifetime.
A Life Of Pet Advocacy
Betty credited her animal obsession to her parents, whom she said were the sort of people who would leave for an errand and come home with a new puppy or kitten.
In a 2009 interview with TV Guide, Betty confessed, “I’ve loved animals since I was in the womb. I was the lucky little girl who had parents who went for a walk and they’d come home with a dog or a cat. ‘He followed us home, Betty. Can we keep him?’”
Early in her career, Betty often steered interviews towards the subject of dogs, advocating taking the time to train your dog, but also for spoiling them with good treats and plenty of snuggles. Betty also liked to recommend that people adopt mixed breed dogs rather than purchasing purebred dogs. Betty even attempted to turn her love of dogs into a career, briefly producing and hosting a show called Pet Set, which introduced the audience to the pets of celebrities.
Helping Out The Cause
Although Pet Set didn’t make it past its first season, Betty didn’t let it stop her from giving animals the love they deserve. Throughout her career, Betty made significant contributions to animal welfare charities, participated in ad campaigns to destigmatize pit bulls and bully breeds, and adopted dozens of dogs that lived in her fabulous homes. Of the causes she supported, Betty was most vocal about American Humane, Guide Dogs for the Blind, and the Endangered Wolf Center.
Despite performances taking her on the road throughout her life, Betty always kept a few pooches around. Betty loved dogs. Big, small, purebred, or mixed, all canines had a special place in the actress’ heart. Some of her favorites were Pekingese, German Shepherds, Cocker Spaniels, and Golden Retrievers, though she accepted countless more into her home.
Betty’s final pet, a Golden Retriever, passed away in 2017. Rescued by Betty after failing a guide dog program for being “too friendly,” Pontiac became Betty’s best friend and was even rumored to have been included somehow in Ms. White’s will.
The Dog Total!
So, exactly how many dogs did Betty have in total?
Well…there’s some debate about the exact figures, but it’s rumored that at one time Betty White had 26 dogs living in her home!
To honor Betty White’s memory and her love of dogs, people around the world have made donations to animal welfare and conservation foundations. If you want to make a donation in her name/honor, we suggest choosing one of her favorite charities, or your local shelter.