For as long as there have been animals, there have also been those who have done much to care for and/or protect them, some have even given their lives in this effort.
The first person who comes to mind is Gandhi.
For those of you who are not familiar with him, Gandhi demonstrated his idea of the proper order that placed animals ahead of people quite famously, when he let a group of dignitaries sit and wait, while he ” tended to his goats.”
Robert Redford has fought for all things “Natural” most of his life and these things include animals and the land that they live on.
Jacques Cousteau spent his life devoted to the creatures of the seas and left a great legacy for his children to follow.
Bob Barker made his support of animals quite clear using his high-profile game show as a platform.
And finally, this page has a list of Celebrities who care for animals and some of the names on it just may surprise you: Famous Animal Activists