Paul O’Grady’s final Instagram post mourned death of his pet as Battersea Dogs and Cats home pays tribute

 (ES Composite)
(ES Composite)

Paul O’Grady mourned the death of one of his beloved pigs just weeks before his own “unexpectedly but peaceful” passing aged 67.

The British TV star was a devoted animal lover and often shared social media posts about his own menagerie of animals: four dogs, goats, sheep, chickens and barn owls, at his Kent farmhouse.

Only two weeks ago, the entertainer was mourning the death of one of his beloved pigs, Tom Tom, after the hog was diagnosed with a tumour.

Taking to Instagram on March 13, he shared a video of his farm animal and penned: “Got back from a week in Newcastle playing Miss Hannigan in Annie to find that Tom Tom, one of my pigs had been put to sleep.

“I knew it was coming as he’d been diagnosed with a tumour but even so it’s awful when you lose a pet.

Adding: “He was the cheekiest of the gang and one of the other pigs who was obviously very fond of him is now depressed and gone into mourning… and there’s those who say that animals don’t have feelings.

“On a lighter note, I’m thoroughly enjoying playing Hannigan again after so long, especially with a truly amazing and lovely cast. Next stop Edinburgh.”

Since news of O’Grady’s death broke, fans have returned to the post and shared their shock about his heartbreaking post before his own passing.

“How can he write this and 2 weeks later no longer be with us… absolutely devastating. RIP lovely Paul,” one penned.

Another commented: “Rest in Peace, Paul. Tom Tom is waiting for you with all your animal angels.”

In light of O’Grady’s death Battersea Dogs and Cats Home has paid tribute to the star as a “devoted animal lover” and a “champion for the underdog”.

The TV and radio presenter became an ambassador for Battersea in 2012, following the success of ITV’s multi-award-winning For The Love Of Dogs, which was filmed at the home.

He presented the show for eleven series, during which time he laid bare his “passion for all things dog”, the charity said.

Last year O’Grady was joined by the Queen Consort in a special one-off episode of the programme to mark 160 years of the organisation.

Battersea chief executive Peter Laurie said the home was “joining the nation” in mourning the loss of O’Grady, who helped raise its profile to millions around the world.

“Battersea will forever remember Paul as a devoted animal lover with the biggest heart, who fell head over heels in love with every dog he met at our centres,” he said in a statement.

“Paul will always be associated with Battersea and we are truly saddened to have lost such a true friend and huge part of our charity.”

He continued: “Paul had an extremely hands-on approach as a Battersea ambassador and has been fundamental in helping our charity to communicate important campaign messages. He was a champion for the underdog and would do anything to ensure all animals live a healthy and happy life. He will be dearly missed.”

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.

Ali Taylor, who appeared alongside O’Grady in the series, said the presenter met “hundreds if not thousands” of dogs during his time working with Battersea but never lost his “infectious enthusiasm and interest in getting to know them all individually”.

O’Grady also personally rehomed several dogs at his Kent farmhouse.

During the first series of For The Love Of Dogs he took Eddie, a Chihuahua Jack Russell-cross puppy.

Eddie was joined by Boycie, a shih-tzu in 2014, Conchita, a Maltese in 2015, Arfur, a mongrel puppy in 2017, Nancy, another mongrel puppy in 2020, and Sausage, a wire-haired dachshund in 2021.

Mr Laurie added, “Paul loved Battersea so much and we cannot thank him enough for everything he did for our charity and for rescue animals worldwide.

“We will forever be indebted to him for his endless generosity and support.”

Tributes have been pouring in for the beloved performer after his husband Andre Portasio announced his death on Wednesday.