‘The Price is Right’: Why Bob Barker Closed With ‘Have Your Pets Spayed or Neutered’

by Keeli Parkey
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While watching “The Price is Right” when Bob Barker was hosting, you could expect several things. He was charming, of course, and he made contestants feel comfortable. But, one of the things he is most remembered for is his unusual sign-off message at the end of each episode.

For American television viewers of a certain generation, watching “The Price is Right” was essential daytime viewing. Some fans loved watching the show when they were out of school because they were sick that day. Others were frequent viewers during the summer months. And, of course, there were adults who watched it every day.

Why you watched “The Price is Right” doesn’t really matter. Because at the end of each episode you heard the same message. If you’re a fan of the show you know exactly what the message was.

The message was delivered by Barker and it had to do with how owners should care for their animals. It was: “This is Bob Barker reminding you to help control the pet population — have your pets spayed or neutered.”

You can watch Bob Barker share his message about pets below. It looks like Drew Carey, who took over as host of “The Price is Right,” decided to follow in Bob Barker’s footsteps.

Why Did Bob Barker Talk About Pets in His Closing Message on ‘The Price is Right’

So, what led Bob Barker to use a few moments of each “The Price is Right” episode to talk about pets? He was inspired by his late wife, Dorothy Jo. The legendary host talked about his sign-off message in an interview with The Television Academy Foundation.

“Well, Dorothy Jo was before her times as far as animals were concerned,” Barker said during the interview. “… I sensed it coming on. She never really made a point of talking about it, but she became a vegetarian. I had bought her furs and she stopped wearing them. And, the last thing I did, I bought her a full-length leather coat and she never wore it. She thanked me for it and just hung it up.”

After Dorothy Jo accepted, but didn’t wear the coat Bob Barker had given her, the couple began discussing how she felt about animals.

“We started talking more about it and I became more concerned about animals,” Barker also said during the interview. “I have always loved animals and I had contributed financially to animal-oriented organizations, but I had never participated.”

Volunteering Helped Barker Learn About Animal Rights

Almost two decades before his interview with The Television Academy Foundation, Barker said he learned about the mistreatment of animals while working with organizations in California dedicated to helping them.

“… became more aware of the terrible exploitation of animals,” Barker said. “I just felt compelled to do what I could to change the situation. And, that’s what I’ve been doing.”

Barker was also asked how the producers of “The Price is Right” reacted when he started ending the show with his now legendary statement.

“Well, I kind of sneaked up on them,” Barker said. “I did it. And then I started doing it a little oftener and a little more often and a little more often. Pretty soon, I’m doing it every day and nobody said anything. That’s not controversial. …”

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