Battersea Dogs and Cats Home has announced its veterinary hospital will be named after the charity’s late ambassador Paul O’Grady.
The TV and radio presenter, who died in March aged 67, became an ambassador for Battersea in 2012 after the success of ITV’s award-winning For The Love Of Dogs, 11 series of which were filmed at the home.
After O’Grady’s death, the animal charity set up a “tribute fund” in his honour which has raised £480,000 to date.
On what would have marked O’Grady’s 11th anniversary as an ambassador for the charity, it announced that the funds will be spent on “life-saving and transformative medical procedures” for dogs and cats who need specialist care and treatment.
Some £100,000 of the fund will be distributed to five other animal charities that were close to the entertainer’s heart, with each getting £20,000.
Charities near O’Grady’s home city of Liverpool are among those who will be supported including Freshfields Animal Rescue, Carla Lane Animals In Need and The Oldies Club.
StreetVet, a charity providing veterinary care to pets of people experiencing homelessness, of which O’Grady was also an ambassador, and the RSPCA Ashford Garden Cattery, where he was the president, will also receive a portion of the funds.
Paul’s husband 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.”
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.
The presenter also posthumously won the factual entertainment award for the TV show at the 2023 award show.
His contribution to animal welfare was also recognised with an RSPCA animal hero award.
The chief executive of Battersea Dogs & Cats Home, Peter Laurie, said: “We’ve been overwhelmed and deeply touched by the generous donations from thousands of people following the death of our beloved ambassador, Paul O’Grady.
“It really is a testament to how loved Paul was, and we shall always be forever grateful for everything he did for us.
“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.
“We are pleased to also be able to share donations with other charities who support rescue animals.
“Paul was always a champion of the underdog, and we’ll be carrying on his legacy, by ensuring we use the funding to go the extra mile for animals that need costly surgery, medication or rehabilitation.”
STV News is now on WhatsApp
Get all the latest news from around the countryFollow STV News
Follow STV News on WhatsApp
Scan the QR code on your mobile device for all the latest news from around the country