“All kidding aside, there was much to love,” Bob Barker continued to People. After praising the cast and crew who helped make the show such a success, he said, “Particularly close to my heart was the ability our vast popularity gave me to remind our entire audience daily about the importance of spaying and neutering your pets.”
The host became an avid spokesman for animal rights to keep him from wallowing in grief following the death of his wife in 1981. He created the DJ&T Foundation, which is devoted to controlling the pet population, and has contributed generously to animal rights groups. In 2009, Barker gave $1 million to his alma mater, Drury University in Missouri, to establish a forum on animal rights (via Beef Magazine).
But Barker really proved that he “walks the walk” back in 1988. At the time, he had been the host of the annual Miss Universe pageant for 21 years, but he had long been upset that the winners received a fur coat as part of their award. When organizers refused to stop using fur, he resigned as host — even though it meant losing a six-figure salary. “This involves morality,” Barker said at the time, per The Associated Press.
If just one “Price” viewer had their pet neutered as a result of Barker’s hosting, he would no doubt say that was worth all the living-room sets and Jet-Skis in the world.