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Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror
Charlotte Everett

Battersea Dogs and Cats Home pays tribute to 'devoted animal lover' Paul O'Grady

Battersea Dogs and Cats Home pays tribute to 'devoted animal lover' Paul O'Grady after he died aged 67.

The TV presenter passed away "unexpectedly but peacefully", according to a statement released by Paul's husband Andre Portasio.

Paul had close ties to Battersea Dog and Cats Home as he presented For The Love Of Dogs, which was also filmed there. He was also an ambassador for the animal charity.

The organisation praised his "razor-sharp humour and perpetual generosity and warmth".

He became an ambassador for Battersea in 2012, following the success of ITV ’s multi-award-winning show, which launched in the same year.

Battersea chief executive Peter Laurie said the home was "joining the nation" in mourning the loss of Paul.

He said: "Battersea will forever remember Paul as a devoted animal lover with the biggest heart, who fell head over heels in love with every dog he met at our centres.

"Paul will always be associated with Battersea and we are truly saddened to have lost such a true friend and huge part of our charity.

"Paul had an extremely hands-on approach as a Battersea ambassador and has been fundamental in helping our charity to communicate important campaign messages."

Peter added: "He was a champion for the underdog and would do anything to ensure all animals live a healthy and happy life. He will be dearly missed."

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

The comedian, actor and writer, also known for his drag queen persona Lily Savage, died "unexpectedly but peacefully" on Tuesday evening.

Announcing the tragic news in a statement, husband Andre Portasio said: "It is with great sadness that I inform you that Paul has passed away unexpectedly but peacefully yesterday evening.

Paul adopted multiple dogs of his own throughout his years of work with the animal charity (ITV)

"We ask, at this difficult time, that whilst you celebrate his life you also respect our privacy as we come to terms with this loss.

"He will be greatly missed by his loved ones, friends, family, animals and all those who enjoyed his humour, wit and compassion.

"I know that he would want me to thank you for all the love you have shown him over the years."

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