Donations to Battersea Dogs and Cats Home pass £100,000 after Paul O’Grady death
Battersea Dogs and Cats Home has been “overwhelmed and touched” by donations from the public 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 on Tuesday evening at the age of 67, the animal charity set up a “tribute fund” which has raised more than £100,000.
We’re deeply saddened to learn that our wonderful, kind friend and beloved Ambassador Paul O’Grady MBE has passed away. He will be so dearly missed by all of us at Battersea. Our love and thoughts go out to all of Paul's family and friends at this difficult time. pic.twitter.com/hjfwBcu7sz
— Battersea (@Battersea_) March 29, 2023
In a statement to the PA news agency, chief executive Peter Laurie said: “Over the coming weeks and months, Battersea will be finding the best way to pay tribute to our wonderful friend and ambassador, the late, great Paul O’Grady MBE.
“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.”
Our staff have been kindly sharing their favourite moments with Paul. 💙
"My fondest memories are when he would fall in love with an animal and take them off for a walk! I remember Linda, a big white fluffy dog—she dragged him off down the site! He came back in fits of giggles." pic.twitter.com/W98vyNyz7A
— Battersea (@Battersea_) April 1, 2023
Mr Laurie previously told PA that O’Grady was a “genuine animal lover” and his “real legacy” is how he showed the British public and an international audience how “lovable and incredible” rescue dogs are, inspiring people to adopt and rehome.
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.
Our staff have been sharing their favourite memories working with Paul:
"Paul had a special relationship with our animals – whether it was a dog who was too worried to eat or go for a walk, over time, Paul would have them eating out of his hand & walking happily on a lead." 💙 pic.twitter.com/gz9uA945wH
— Battersea (@Battersea_) March 30, 2023
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 Battersea.
In tribute to the late comedian and TV star, O’Grady’s final radio show will be rebroadcast on Easter Sunday, after it originally aired on Boom Radio on Christmas Day last year.
BBC One will air a past episode of game show Blankety Blank on Saturday night which sees O’Grady as acerbic, platinum wig-wearing drag alter ego Lily Savage.