Battersea Dogs & Cats Home names veterinary hospital after Paul O’Grady
Battersea Dogs & Cats Home will name its veterinary hospital after late TV icon and ambassador Paul O’Grady.
The broadcaster, who had been famous for his drag alter ego Lily Savage, had been a vocal ambassador for the charity from 2012 until his death in March 2023.
O’Grady used his platform to boost awareness of the Dogs & Cats Home, particularly with his award-winning ITV series For The Love Of Dogs.
He also personally re-homed five dogs from the Dogs & Cats Home, and invited notable figures like Queen Elizabeth and Camilla, Queen Consort, to come along with him on his visits.
After news broke of O’Grady’s passing, the Battersea Dogs & Cats Home provided a guard of honour at his funeral ceremony and launched a “tribute fund” in his name which has since raised over £480,000.
Now, on what would have been the 11th anniversary of O’Grady’s ambassadorship, the Dogs & Cats Home has announced that the fund will go towards the new veterinary hospital which will provide “life-saving and transformative medical procedures” for dogs and cats that need specialist treatment.
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Additionally, some £100,000 of that funding will be distributed between five other animal charities that had been close to O’Grady’s heart. They include Freshfields Animal Rescue, Carla Lane Animals In Need, and The Oldies Club, based in O’Grady’s home city of Liverpool.
StreetVet, and the RSPCA Ashford Garden Cattery, of which O’Grady was the president, will also receive funding.
Commenting on Monday’s (16 October) announcement, O’Grady’s widower 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.”
Peter Laurie, the chief executive of Battersea Dogs & Cats Home, said that the sheer amount of donations to the tribute fund was a “testament to how loved Paul was, and we shall always be forever grateful for everything he did for us.”
He continued: “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.”
“Paul was always a champion of the underdog, and we’ll be carrying on his legacy.”
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