By Natasha Brown

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — It’s not only Betty White’s body of work that is living on, so too is her advocacy for animals. In fact, a new challenge inspired by her is sweeping the internet and it has the potential to make a huge difference in the lives of many animals.

White will always be known for her award-winning comedic talent, but many didn’t realize just how much of an animal lover and activist she had been. The Betty White Challenge is hoping to honor that part of her legacy.

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There’s a Betty White social media fan frenzy going around aimed at helping local animal shelters. The timeless comedic actress would have turned 100 years old on Jan. 17. In honor of her lifelong love of animals, fans are urging people to donate $5 to shelters on what would have been her milestone birthday.

“She used to take in pets actually that people could no longer take care of during the Great Depression,” said Gillian Kocher, the director of public relations and marketing for the Pennsylvania SPCA, “which is something I just recently learned, who knew? All the way to Hurricane Katrina, she helped evacuate some animals.”

The Pennsylvania SPCA is excited about the Betty White challenge. With shelters in Philadelphia at or near capacity, they’re hoping people will not only donate money but also adopt an animal in need of a home.

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“I think that this challenge will help so many shelters,” Kocher said. “For the Pennsylvania SPCA, in particular, we operate completely on donations. So we’re not receiving any city, state, or federal funding so we rely on donors like those we’re hoping will come out for the Betty White Challenge.”

The PSPCA is also honoring the iconic actress and animal advocate by hosting a Golden Girls trivia night at Punch Line Philly on Jan. 18 — animal activists honoring the iconic White in so many ways, keeping her legacy alive while saving lives.

“On a day like this, if we can raise a significant amount of funds it means we can save more lives,” Kocher said. “So, I have a feeling that Betty White’s 100th birthday will be celebrated not only where she is, hopefully up in heaven, but in animal shelters around the country.”

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ACCT Philly, the largest open-intake animal shelter in the Delaware Valley, says this challenge couldn’t come at a better time. They’ve suffered budget cuts and their shelter is at capacity.