Battersea Names Veterinary Hospital in Honour of Late Ambassador Paul O’Grady and Shares Plans for £480K Tribute Fund Raised by Public

16 Oct 2023
  • Battersea to name state of the art clinic facilities after Ambassador
  • £480k tribute fund to help dogs and cats with complex medical needs 
  • £100k of fund to go to 5 other animal charities close to entertainer’s heart 

Today, on what would have marked the 11th anniversary of Paul O’Grady MBE becoming an Ambassador for Battersea, the leading animal welfare charity has announced plans to help thousands of animals in need with money raised from public donations following his passing. 

Almost 20,000 donations were made to Battersea in Paul’s honour from generous members of the public wanting to pay their respects and express their gratitude. A staggering £480,000 was donated and after consulting with Paul’s closest family and friends Battersea is sharing how the money will go towards helping those animals most in need. 

In addition to honouring the late presenter by naming Battersea’s state of the art clinic facilities ‘The Paul O’Grady Veterinary Hospital’, the charity will spend the funds helping dogs and cats who need specialist care and treatment. 

Every year, Battersea invests hundreds of thousands of pounds providing the very best care for animals and, where possible, these animals are treated by Battersea’s expert veterinary team; however, in some cases external specialists and surgical teams are needed. Battersea will use the tribute fund on life-saving and transformative medical procedures for these animals in their care. 

Dogs like two-year-old Newfoundland, Peggy, who Paul met whilst filming the last series of ITV show Paul O’Grady: For the love of Dogs. The presenter followed Peggy’s progress as she underwent life-changing surgery during her time at Battersea before going on to find her forever home.  

Battersea will be sharing over a fifth of the funds raised between five other animal charities close to Paul’s heart. Freshfields Animal Rescue, Carla Lane Animals in Need and The Oldies Club, all charities near Paul’s birthplace of Liverpool who will be receiving a gift of £20,000 each along with StreetVet for whom Paul was Ambassador and RSPCA Ashford Garden Cattery where he was President and was local to Paul’s home in Kent. 

Peter Laurie, Battersea’s Chief Executive, 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 offsite 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.”  

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.” 

To find out more and how to support Battersea, visit:

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Notes to editors  

  • During his time filming at Battersea's London centre, Paul would spend a considerable amount of time in the Veterinary Hospital, whether that was taking dogs and cats for consultations with Battersea's vets, visiting them before and after surgical procedures, weighing them on the scales, or helping to hand-rear new-born puppies and kittens.
  • Last year around 3,000 operations were carried out in Battersea's Veterinary Hospital by a dedicated team of vets and nurses, including Veterinary Director Shaun Opperman, who, over the years, chatted to Paul on camera about hundreds of dogs receiving specialist care during their time at Battersea. The Veterinary Hospital was no doubt one of Paul's favourite areas at Battersea.
  • Paul was at Battersea for the Royal opening of the building by Her Majesty The Queen (Then HRH The Duchess of Cornwall) in September 2016.
  • At Battersea we offer our love and expert care to dogs and cats who need us by rescuing, rehabilitating and rehoming animals at our centres, and by sharing our knowledge and resources with rescue organisations around the world. We do this because we want to help every dog and cat, everywhere.   
  • In 2022 Battersea directly cared for 2,278 dogs and 2,253 cats at our three centres. We also helped thousands more through our Communities programme, campaigning work, supporting other rescue centres and animal welfare advocates, and sharing knowledge and advice with pet owners. 
  • We’re reliant on the generosity of the public to continue to fund our vital work helping dogs and cats and the people who care for them. To donate to Battersea, visit:
  • In addition to the site in South West London, Battersea also has two other centres based at Old Windsor, Berkshire and Brands Hatch, Kent. 
  • To find out more visit our website or follow Battersea on Twitter @battersea_ , Instagram @battersea or