Paul O’Grady posthumously named Peta’s person of the year 2023

Paul O’Grady posthumously named Peta’s person of the year 2023
Paul O’Grady has been honoured by Peta (Yui Mok/PA)
PA Archive/PA Images - Yui Mok

Paul O’Grady has been posthumously named Peta’s person of the year for his “lifelong determination to make the world a kinder place for animals”.

The TV and radio presenter, who died in March aged 67, was a leading advocate for helping dogs and cats find permanent homes and supported numerous animal rights campaigns including banning fur in Britain.

He joined the animal rights organisation Peta in the 1990s to raise awareness about testing on animals, and also urged the Lord Mayor of London to stop herding sheep across London Bridge in 2014.

Royal visit to KentBattersea ambassador Paul O’Grady died in March (Stuart Wilson/PA)PA Archive/PA Images - Stuart Wilson

O’Grady also raised awareness of the treatment of orcas in marine parks and joined a call to ban foie gras.

He was well-known for presenting ITV’s award-winning documentary series For The Love Of Dogs, which showcased life at Battersea Dogs and Cats Home.

The presenter became an ambassador for the shelter in 2012 after the success of the programme, which went on for 11 series.

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.

National Television Awards 2018 \u2013 Press Room \u2013 LondonPaul O’Grady won an National Television Award for his series For The Love Of Dogs in 2018 (Ian West/PA)PA Archive/PA Images - Ian West

The presenter also posthumously won the factual entertainment award for the TV show at the 2023 award show.

In October, Battersea Dogs and Cats Home announced its veterinary hospital would be named after O’Grady.

His contribution to animal welfare was also recognised with an RSPCA animal hero award.

O’Grady’s husband Andre Portasio will be presented with the Peta award.

Peta vice president of programmes Elisa Allen said: “Paul O’Grady once said that ‘it is our duty to treat animals with respect’, and he lived by his own principles every day by being a tireless animal advocate.

Peta has honoured Paul O’Grady (Peta/PA)

“Peta urges everyone to follow his example and honour his memory by speaking up whenever they see an animal in need.”

A statement from the organisation said: “Peta recognises and thanks Paul O’Grady for his lifelong determination to make the world a kinder place for animals.”

It added: “He never wavered in his commitment to protecting the most vulnerable among us. We will always treasure his legacy of compassion.”

He joins past winners of the annual award including Joaquin Phoenix, Carrie Johnson, Sir Lewis Hamilton, Pamela Anderson, Pope Francis, Oprah Winfrey and the late Sir Roger Moore.

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