TV icon Paul O'Grady, known for his charity work with Battersea Dogs and Cats Home, passed away unexpectedly on Tuesday, leaving a void in the animal welfare community. O'Grady acted as an ambassador and patron for numerous animal charities and supported animal welfare causes throughout his life, notably through his adoption efforts, conservation projects, and work on the eleven-series-long ITV documentary "For the Love of Dogs." In this article, we remember some of the animals whose lives were forever changed by O'Grady's kindness.
One of the dogs whose life O'Grady touched was Reggie, a giant schnauzer, who appeared on a special episode of "For the Love of Dogs" last year. At a garden party at Clarence House, O'Grady introduced Reggie to Queen Consort Camilla and TV star Amanda Holden. O'Grady used the opportunity to raise awareness of the difficulty of rehoming older animals, explaining that they are so "loving" and "friendly" but often difficult to place. One couple agreed to take Reggie in, and he found his forever home in East Sussex.
Another dog, Florence, a pug-terrier cross, captured O'Grady's heart when she appeared on his show. Florence had been run over twice and left for dead before being found slumped in the road with a broken pelvis, a dislocated hip, and a damaged eye. O'Grady formed a close bond with the pup and shared her story on his show, bringing many of his fans to tears. Florence went on to find a happy new home with a family in Middlesex.
O'Grady continued to use his platform to spotlight the work of animal shelters and charities outside of his TV shows. In one of his Instagram posts, he shared the story of two dogs who were left for dead after being hit by a car. A caring man named Chris stopped to help the pair, who now walk with wheel aides after their legs were amputated, and nursed them back to health. The dogs are now cared for by Chris and his team, and they play and run around with no bother on their wheels.
Nancy, one of O'Grady's beloved pets, rose to fame after appearing on "For the Love of Dogs." Nancy, who was adopted by O'Grady, joined a menagerie of pets at his Kent home, including five rescue dogs, pigs, alpacas, chickens, sheep, and a goat. O'Grady frequently gushed about the cutie on his social media, and Nancy has earned a legion of fans.
Finally, O'Grady's love for animals took him far and wide, and he traveled to India to support conservation work. On "For the Love of Animals: India," he met a cranky clouded leopard with an injured paw and helped look after baby macaque monkeys and Lakshmi, an overweight elephant who needed to lose 100st to reach her target weight of 550st.
Paul O'Grady's death is a great loss to the animal welfare community, but his work and dedication to the welfare of animals will live on through the lives of the many animals he touched and the charities he supported.