Paul O’Grady’s For The Love of Dogs is back on our TV screens, offering a weekly dose of heartwarming tales with equal measures of giggles and ugly crying. The five-part series will see the dog-loving TV presenter return to Battersea Dogs and Cats Home for the shows ninth season, helping portray the stories of four-legged companions who have found themselves in shelters.
We love Paul for being a real champion for the underdog – particularly staffies – and Frank loves to watch him on the TV. How he doesn’t take every single one of them home with him, I’ll never know.
This season was filmed during the Covid-19 crisis, and episode one instantly highlighed the fallout from coronavirus – pandemic puppies. Staff commented on the recent influx of puppies coming into the London centre, including two Maltese Terrier puppies who were imported from a suspected puppy farm in Romania. A family bought the dogs for £2,000 each, but were taken to Battersea as they just weren’t ready to welcome them into the family.
Vet nurse Claire said: “Unfortunately, people are so desperate for dogs, they will pay any money and are just not thinking about where they are coming from.”
And the little dogs weren’t the only victims of puppy farming. Paul met with three-month-old Milo – a spaniel-cross riddles with mites. Paul followed his journey of recovery, and saw him land on his paws with a forever family in Surrey. It’s heartbreaking to think that these tiny puppies have already faced so much adversity in their short lives – but seeing Paul’s determination to get them back to full health and into a new home is wonderful.
Dogs arrive at Battersea for a number of reasons – some dogs may be ill and require extensive vet bills, others are brought in as strays, some have been neglected, and some arrive after a change in home circumstances.
Jenny the Rottweiler, aged 18 months, was handed over to rescue when her owner became ill. The gorgeous dog was nervous of new people, but had formed quite the bond with one of the male handlers. Paul’s task was to get Jenny to trust him, too, and help her realise people aren’t so scary – particularly if they’ve got chicken bits in their pocket.
Due to lockdown, the charity have been conducting virtual meets with potential owners, and after a successful application, Jenny went on to meet with Ella and Same, from West Sussex, where she made herself at home.
Paul O’Grady’s For The Love of Dogs shows the important, dedicated work of rescue centres and their volunteers, and how their job has become even more difficult over the past 12 months. As the owner of rescue dogs, it highlights just how rewarding it is to adopt a dog after they’ve had a rough start to life, and how much work goes in to preparing them for a new home. Paul’s honesty and wit throughout the show will have you laughing through the tears, and he’s truly the perfect presenter for the much-loved programme, with a passion for pooches, and the proud owner of three rescues himself.
Thankfully, the show isn’t too graphic like with some of the vet surgery-based shows, and most procedures are undertaken in privacy. The absence of distressing scenes makes it a far more enjoyable half hour, and something I’ll be setting my alarm to watch each week. Paul’s genuine reactions and opinions bring a real authenticity to the programme, as the sassy comedian says everything the viewers are thinking.
Paul O’Grady For The Love Of Dogs is on ITV on Wednesdays at 8pm from April 7 to May 5. We can’t wait to see Paul bond with the abandoned pooches, and get them on the road to recovery and ready for a second chance at life.