The foundation said it established the Betty White Wildlife Rapid Response Fund in March to give wildlife researchers timely monetary aid to respond to unexpected events such as natural disasters and emerging diseases that result in the immediate need for animal health research.
White will match up to $25,000 of all donations made to the fund at www.firstgiving.com/MAFrapidresponse, the group said in a news release.
"The need is so great right now. There are some species that may not make it through this," White said in a statement, referring to the recent oil spill on the Gulf Coast. "Morris Animal Foundation's rapid response fund was set up just for these types of needs, and I am honored that the foundation would dedicate this special fund in my name."
"When starting this fund two months ago, we had no idea we would need to use it so quickly," added Wayne A. Jensen, chief scientific officer of Morris Animal Foundation. "Although tragic, events such as these provide research opportunities to develop better methods to diagnose disease and treat affected animals. Through this fund, we hope to provide researchers with much needed funds to act quickly to address wildlife health needs in times of crisis."