Battersea Dogs & Cats Home donations hit £100,000 after death of Paul O’Grady

Paul O'grady
Maggie Davies

London charity ‘overwhelmed and touched’ by donations to tribute fund set up after death of ambassador.

The Guardian reports that Battersea Dogs & Cats Home has been “overwhelmed and touched” by public donations, which have passed £100,000 after the death of the charity’s ambassador Paul O’Grady.

The TV and radio presenter became an ambassador for Battersea in 2012 after the success of ITV’s multi-award-winning For the Love of Dogs, 11 series of which were filmed at the home.

After O’Grady’s death at the age of 67, the animal charity set up a “tribute fund”, which has raised more than £100,000.

Peter Laurie, the charity’s chief executive, said: “We have been overwhelmed and touched by the countless letters, calls, emails and messages of support along with the generous donations made by kind members of the public this week.

“We will be looking to find a suitably fitting way to remember the profound impact Paul had at Battersea and the rescue animal sector, something that will support the animals that Paul loved so much and that would make him proud.”

Laurie previously told the PA Media news agency that O’Grady was a “genuine animal lover” and that his “real legacy” was how he showed the British public and an international audience how “lovable and incredible” rescue dogs are, inspiring people to rehome them.

O’Grady was given a special recognition award at the 2018 National Television Awards for the impact For the Love of Dogs had on helping find homes for rescue animals nationwide.

His contribution to animal welfare was also recognised with an RSPCA animal hero award.

During the first series of For the Love of Dogs, O’Grady rehomed Eddie, a chihuahua-jack russell cross puppy, at his Kent farmhouse. Eddie was joined by Boycie, a shih-tzu, in 2014; Conchita, a Maltese, in 2015; Arfur, a mongrel puppy, in 2017; Nancy, another mongrel puppy, in 2020; and Sausage, a wire haired dachshund, in 2021.

Last year O’Grady was joined by the queen consort in a one-off episode of For the Love of Dogs to mark 160 years of the Battersea home.

In tribute to the late comedian, O’Grady’s final radio show will be rebroadcast on Easter Sunday, after originally airing on Boom Radio on Christmas Day last year.

BBC One will air a past episode of the gameshow Blankety Blank on Saturday night in which O’Grady features as the acerbic, platinum wig-wearing drag alter ego Lily Savage.

(Story source: The Guardian)

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