Paul O’Grady has new hospital named after him for a cause that was close to his heart

Paul O’Grady has new hospital named after him for a cause that was close to his heart
Margaret Davies

Paul O'Grady became an ambassador for Battersea Dogs & Cats Home in 2012 after the success of ITV's For The Love Of Dogs, 11 series of which were filmed at the animal charity.

Battersea Dogs and Cats Home has revealed that its veterinary hospital will be named in honour of the late TV and radio presenter, Paul O'Grady.

The beloved entertainer, who passed away in March at the age of 67, had been a dedicated ambassador for Battersea since 2012, following the success of ITV's award-winning show, For The Love Of Dogs.

After his passing, the animal charity set up a tribute fund in his name, which has so far raised an impressive £480,000. On what would have been O'Grady's 11th anniversary as an ambassador, the charity announced that the funds will be used for life-saving medical procedures for dogs and cats in need.

A portion of the fund, £100,000, will also be shared among five other animal charities close to O'Grady's heart. Charities in his home city of Liverpool, including Freshfields Animal Rescue, Carla Lane Animals In Need and The Oldies Club, will benefit from the funds.

StreetVet and the RSPCA Ashford Garden Cattery, where O'Grady was president, will also receive support. Paul's husband Andre Portasio said: "Seeing how loved Paul was by so many has been truly touching."

"Paul was so passionate in his support of rescue animals, and it gives me some comfort to know that through the hard work and commitment of Battersea and other charities Paul's legacy will live on.

I know that Paul would have been pleased to know that the most disadvantaged animals he was so fond of championing are getting the love and support they deserve."

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.

The presenter also posthumously won the factual entertainment award for the TV show at the 2023 award show. His contribution to animal welfare was also recognised with an RSPCA animal hero award.

The chief executive of Battersea Dogs & Cats Home, Peter Laurie, said: "We've been overwhelmed and deeply touched by the generous donations from thousands of people following the death of our beloved ambassador, Paul O'Grady

"It really is a testament to how loved Paul was, and we shall always be forever grateful for everything he did for us. As an ambassador for Battersea, especially during his 11 years filming For The Love Of Dogs, Paul helped animals in their recuperation from surgery, and at times, watched as they headed off site for specialist surgery; naming our veterinary hospital after Paul, therefore, feels fitting.

"We are pleased to also be able to share donations with other charities who support rescue animals. Paul was always a champion of the underdog, and we'll be carrying on his legacy, by ensuring we use the funding to go the extra mile for animals that need costly surgery, medication or rehabilitation."

(Story source: Daily Mirror)

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