paul o grady with rescue dog
© Battersea - Facebook

Paul O Grady's husband says dogs were trying to wake him up when he passed

By Justine Seraphin Country Manager

Published on the

One year after his passing, Paul O'Grady's husband has opened up about his beloved dogs reacted when Paul had his heart attack.

On the 28th of March 2023, Andre Portasio found his husband Paul O'Grady lying on the kitchen floor.

Dad, wake up

Andre immediately called emergency services. While he waited for them to arrive, he tried to resuscitate Paul, all the while keeping their dogs out of the room.

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But Paul's favourite dog, Arfur, managed to nudge his way back into the kitchen. According to Andre, he ran towards Paul and nuzzled him, placing his head on his shoulder, as if to say "wake up". 

Unfortunately, paramedics weren't able to resuscitate Paul. Andre and his dogs had to say their goodbyes. 

Honouring Paul O'Grady

Today, a year after his death, Andre is travelling in New Zealand as he grapples with his grief. Messages of support and tributes are being shared all over social media, including from Battersea, a charity that was particularly close to Paul's heart:

"Whilst our staff and volunteers miss Paul every day, his work lives on within the impact it has had, and continues to have, for countless rescue animals at Battersea and beyond. Thank you, Paul!"

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