Betty White showed her true love for animals, real and fake, at the Actors and Others for Animals' 40th anniversary event held in her honor as she hugged a stuffed animal.
"I have a whole room of stuffed animals," White, 89, told OnTheRedCarpet.com. When I go in there, before I leave the room I say, 'Goodbye, I'll see you later.'"
At the event, White became the first recipient of the "Betty White Inspirational Award," given by Actors and Others for Animals. The prize honors individuals that have inspired public awareness and appreciation of animals and their need for protection and care.
"It's wonderful and I've worked with Actors and Others for 40 years, this is their anniversary," she said. "I'm deeply honored to have them do this but it's not celebrating me, it's celebrating people who love animals."
"Being honored by a group who's done as much good as Actors and Others have is a major honor," she said. "What I love [is] the progress we have made over the years. People, even the medical community, the general public, have come to realize what an important part animals play in our everyday lives. They give elderly people a reason to think of someone besides themselves [and] they teach children the rules of kindness. It's a wonderful community," White said.
Also in attendance was actress Jamie Lee Curtis, who starred with White in the 2010 comedy film "You Again."
"The reason that there are animal regulations for animals in the movies is because of Betty White," Curtis said.
Actors and Others for Animals is a nonprofit organization that's dedicated to eliminating pet overpopulation, ensuring the care and protection of pet companions and improving the quality of life of economically challenged pet guardians by providing them with referrals and financial assistance for spray/neuter treatments and other medical procedures.Reporting by George Pennacchio of KABC Television and special correspondent for its entertainment show "On The Red Carpet" (check for local TV listings).