Paul O’Grady has been named PETA’s person of the year posthumously.
The TV and radio host died in March67 years old. He spent most of his career advocating for animal welfare.
He was a leading figure in numerous animal rights campaigns and joined Peta in the 1990s to raise awareness of animal testing.
He also supported campaigns to ban fur in the UK, joined calls to ban foie gras and raised awareness of the treatment of killer whales in marine parks.
“Paul O’Grady once said that ‘it is our duty to treat animals with respect,’ and he lived his own principles every day by being a tireless animal advocate,” said Elisa Allen, Peta vice president of programs.
“Peta encourages everyone to follow his example and honor his memory by speaking up when they see an animal in need.”
O’Grady’s widower Andre Portasio will be presented with the award.
In later life, O’Grady became known for presenting the award-winning documentary series For The Love Of Dogs, which provided an insight into the work of Battersea Dogs and Cats Home.
It ran for 11 series and at the 2023 National Television Awards, the star posthumously won the factual entertainment award for the show.
In 2018, O’Grady received a special recognition award for the impact For The Love Of Dogs had in helping find homes for rescue animals across the country.
The crisis center announced in October that its the veterinary hospital would be named for O’Gradywho was an ambassador for the charity for 11 years.
His contribution to animal welfare was also recognized with an RSPCA animal hero award.
In a statement, Peta thanked O’Grady for his “lifelong commitment to making the world a kinder place for animals”.
“He never wavered in his commitment to protecting the most vulnerable among us. We will always cherish his legacy of compassion,” it added.
Past winners of the annual award include actor Joaquin Phoenix, Pamela Anderson, F1 driver Sir Lewis Hamilton, Pope Francis, Oprah Winfrey and the late Sir Roger Moore.