It's the Ice Bucket Challenge for Pets! Meredith Vieira Gets Pied in the Face to Help Homeless Animals

09/03/2014 AT 04:30 PM EDT

The ALS Ice Bucket challenge has taken over social media, attracted numerous celebrity participants and, most important, raised millions of dollars in donations towards finding a cure for the progressive neurodegenerative disease. Longtime animal activist and former NBC correspondent Jill Rappaport hopes her challenge, Pies 4 Paws, will do the same things for the 8 million shelter pets looking for a home.

Pies 4 Paws is a sweet spin on the famous Ice Bucket Challenge. Instead of being drenched in ice water, Rappaport's creation asks challengers to take a pie to the face, nominate four others to do the same, and then share the dessert hijinks online. Participants and nominees for the Pies 4 Paws challenge are also encouraged to donate to the ASPCA and/or adopt an animal from a local shelter.

Rappaport only launched the pet project on Aug 26, but celebrities are already starting to join in on the fun. TODAY special correspondent Meredith Vieira is one of the first famous faces to get pied for the good of pets everywhere.

In her Pies 4 Paws video, Vieira and her dog Jasper accept Rappaport's challenge, with Vieira's daughter Lily doing the whipped-cream-covered honors. After wiping the excess pie from her eyes, Vieira nominates animal lovers Matt Lauer, Howard and Beth Stern, and Betty White.

This challenge isn't just for news anchors and Golden Girls. Rappaport encourages everyone to start the Pies 4 Paws challenge among family and friends to help raise awareness for all the companion animals in need.

"It is my hope and dream that we can raise even a fraction of what the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has done," Rappaport shared with Dogster.

It's the Ice Bucket Challenge for Pets! Meredith Vieira Gets Pied in the Face to Help Homeless Animals| Animal Charities, Animals & Pets, Stars and Pets, Good Deeds, Meredith Vieira

Justin Davidson and Shelby Muh

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