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"They don't ask for much", says O'Grady

by Phil Bayles
Paul O'Grady at Battersea Dogs and Cats Home Credit: ITN

"They don't ask for much", says television presenter Paul O'Grady. "Just to be fed and to be given a little bit of affection. And they give you so much more in return."

Paul was at his second residence - Battersea Dogs' Home. Every time he goes there he has to be restrained from taking some of the dogs away with him. Today, Paul was backing a pledge by a pet food company to feed all the dogs there free of charge.

One of the home's rescued dogs Credit: ITN

The gift of one million meals by Pedigree will allow more money to be spent on drugs to treat neglected dogs suffering from malnutrition and related ilnesses, according to the home. Increasing numbers of pets are being abandioned because their owners can't afford to feed them or pay vets' bills.

The recession, says Paul O'Grady is hitting dogs too. He is one of the nation's best known celebrity pet owners. and tonight at six o'clock he tells us just how many different species share his home.

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Dogs being abandoned because of recession

Animal lover Paul O'Grady Credit: Ian West/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Nearly half of animal rehoming centres have reported an increase in malnourished dogs arriving into their care and 78% say dog owners are giving up their pet due to the recession.

Dog lover Paul O'Grady is at Battersea Dogs and Cats Home today to publicise these alarming figures revealed in research by Pedigree in partnership with the Association of Dog and Cat Homes (ADCH).

The research appears to point to the current economic climate being partly behind the growing number of dogs ending up in rescue centres.

Nearly 70% of pet owners said that vet costs was one of the main reasons they gave up their dog, while more than 40% said the cost of feeding their animal was too high.

84% of rehoming centres have also seen an increase in dogs abandoned due to owners moving to homes which don't allow pets - like rented properties.

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