Paul O’Grady Dies at 67: Devoted Animal Lover and Champion for the Underdog

TV presenter and comedian Paul O’Grady has died suddenly at the age of 67. Tributes have poured in for the star who was best known for his work with animals and his love for dogs. O’Grady’s husband, Andre Portasio, confirmed his passing in a statement, saying that he would be missed by his friends, family, and all who enjoyed his wit, humour, and compassion.

Remembering Paul O'Grady

O’Grady was more well-known in the UK than in the US but since his show is now on Amazon Prime he was gaining popularity in the US as well

O’Grady became an ambassador for Battersea Dogs and Cats Home in 2012 and presented the TV show For The Love of Dogs, which helped raise the organisation’s profile. O’Grady was praised by Battersea for his “razor-sharp humour and perpetual generosity and warmth”.

Paul O’Grady was a devoted animal lover who was passionate about animal welfare, and he dedicated a large part of his life to helping homeless animals find loving homes. His work with Battersea Dogs and Cats Home, a renowned animal rescue organization based in London, was particularly significant.

Remembering Paul O'Grady

For The Love of Dogs, the show presented by Paul O’Grady, can be watched on ITV Hub in the UK or on Amazon Prime Video in the US.

O’Grady became an ambassador for Battersea in 2012, following the success of ITV’s multi-award-winning show, For The Love Of Dogs, which he presented for eleven series. The show was filmed at the home and showcased the incredible work done by the staff and volunteers at the organization to care for and rehome dogs in need.

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During his time working with Battersea, O’Grady met hundreds, if not thousands, of dogs, and he was known for falling in love with each and every one of them. His infectious enthusiasm and love for dogs made him a hit with Battersea’s staff, volunteers, and supporters alike.

In recognition of his work with the organization, O’Grady was given a special recognition award at the 2018 National Television Awards. The award was in recognition of the impact For The Love Of Dogs had on helping find homes for rescue animals nationwide.

Remembering Paul O'Grady

In a statement following his death, Battersea’s chief executive, Peter Laurie, paid tribute to O’Grady, calling him a “devoted animal lover with the biggest heart.” Laurie went on to say that O’Grady had been fundamental in helping the charity to communicate important campaign messages and that he had been “a champion for the underdog.”

Throughout his time as an ambassador for Battersea, O’Grady was a vocal advocate for animal welfare, and he worked tirelessly to raise awareness of the issues facing homeless animals. He was particularly passionate about encouraging people to adopt rescue dogs rather than buying them from breeders, and he often spoke about the rewards of giving a loving home to a dog in need.

O’Grady also put his money where his mouth was and personally rehomed several dogs from Battersea at his Kent farmhouse. He was known for spoiling his dogs and giving them the best possible life, and his love for his furry friends was evident to all who knew him.

Last year, O’Grady helped celebrate 160 years of Battersea Dogs and Cats Home when he was joined by the Queen Consort in a special one-off episode of For The Love Of Dogs. The episode was a tribute to the incredible work done by the organization over the years and a celebration of the lives saved and transformed by the charity.

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Remembering Paul O'Grady

Battersea Dogs and Cats Home was deeply saddened by O’Grady’s unexpected death and paid tribute to him as a true friend and a huge part of the organization. O’Grady’s legacy at Battersea will live on, and his love for animals and his passion for animal welfare will continue to inspire staff, volunteers, and supporters for years to come.

In conclusion, Paul O’Grady’s work with Battersea Dogs and Cats Home was a significant part of his life and career, and he will always be remembered as a devoted animal lover and a champion for the underdog. His legacy at Battersea and in the wider animal welfare community is one of compassion, dedication, and unwavering commitment to helping those who cannot help themselves.