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Daily Record
Daily Record
Tasha Hall

Donations to Battersea dog home pass £100,000 following Paul O'Grady's tragic death

Battersea Dogs and Cats Home has been “overwhelmed and touched” by donations from the public which have passed £100,000 after the unexpected death of the charity’s ambassador Paul O’Grady, aged 67.

The iconic 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.

It comes following Paul's tragic death on Tuesday evening when the animal charity set up a “tribute fund” which has raised more than £100,000.

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.”

Paul passed away suddenly last month at the age of 67 (PA)

Mr Laurie previously said that Paul 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.

Paul 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 animal-loving presenter's contribution to animal welfare was also recognised with an RSPCA animal hero award.

During the first series of For The Love Of Dogs, Paul 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 Paul was joined by the Queen Consort in a one-off episode of For The Love Of Dogs to mark 160 years of Battersea.

We reported previously how touching and comical as always the programme was, which aired on Wednesday earlier this week.

Camilla had planned a garden party with A-listers in attendance such as Amanda Holden, as Paul looked sharp in a black suit hilariously admitting "I had to google how to tie my tie, as I forgot during the lockdown."

Paul's bond with all the dogs was heartwarming to watch, as he admitted he "struggles" not being able to take them all home, as the centre expressed the growing concerns of overcrowding with more owners giving up their pets due to rising costs.

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.

Paul O’Grady: For the Love of Dogs – A Royal Special is available to watch on STV player here.

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