Paul O’Grady: For the Love of Dogs 2021 release date and guide

Everything you need to know as the dog show returns for another series.

Paul O'Grady: For the Love of Dogs

By Jo Berry

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Cute puppies and dogs, cuddly kittens and cats and all manner of abandoned pets are looked after at Battersea Dogs and Cats Home, which is featured on For The Love Of Dogs, the factual series that returns on 7th April for its ninth season.

Presented by entertainer Paul O’Grady since 2012 and filmed at Battersea’s three branches, the series once again features Paul meeting members of the rescue centre teams, and, of course, the animals they take care of. Each episode has Paul following a dog’s progress through the Home, and hopefully onto a happier life with new owners.

Paul O’Grady: For The Love Of Dogs release date

The popular animal show presented by Paul O’Grady returns to ITV on Wednesday, 7th April at 8pm.

What is Paul O’Grady: For The Love Of Dogs about?

The five episode series is about the hard work and care that takes place at Battersea Dogs And Cats Home thanks to the dedicated staff, and features the animals that have arrived at the centre as strays, or because their owners can’t take care of them any more, that are waiting to be adopted.

Comedian and entertainer Paul O’Grady – who has three rescue dogs of his own, including a Jack Russell from Battersea Dogs & Cats Home – presents the series.

Filmed across Battersea’s three centres in London, Old Windsor and Brands Hatch, the series has won three National Television Awards for Most Popular Factual Entertainment Programme (in 2013, 2014 and 2019).

Paul O'Grady: For the Love of Dogs
Paul O’Grady: For the Love of Dogs
ITV

What can we expect from the new series?

In July last year, Paul revealed that filming had been delayed – because there were not enough animals needing new homes at Battersea. “We were supposed to start filming in August, but they’ve got no dogs,” he wrote to friend Gaby Roslin on Instagram. “I suppose because of lockdown people who have taken dogs are still having a good time with them. I suppose it’s when circumstances change and they’re made to go back to work, we’ll see a lot of dogs brought in.”

However, Battersea Dogs Home explained that filming was delayed due to the pandemic, “to ensure we can safely and responsibly accommodate Paul and the ITV crew inside our kennel buildings and veterinary hospitals, while adhering to social distancing guidelines from the Government.”

Filming did resume later in 2020, and there are sure to be lots of sweet moments this season, and some heartbreaking ones too. In the first episode there are two Maltese Terrier puppies that staff believe may have come from a puppy farm in Romania, and Paul also meets a young Spaniel-cross puppy covered in mites that may also be the result of puppy farming. Have tissues at the ready.

Paul O'Grady
Paul O’Grady: For the Love of Dogs
ITV

What has Paul O’Grady said about For The Love Of Dogs?

Paul has joked in the past on the show that the staff know he’s a pushover for a doggy sob story. “She’s at it again, folks,” he said last year when Battersea’s Head of Behaviour Ali Taylor introduced him to a nine-week-old spaniel. “You know I can’t have any more, there’s nine dogs in my house at the moment! I can’t sit down, I can’t go to the lav, they all stare at me, I’m in the shower, the Chi is behind me, you sit on the couch and they are all on top of you…”

For The Love Of Dogs has been a huge success for ITV, despite originally being planned as a one-off series. “I was only supposed to do six days filming here [at Battersea] back in 2012 but I’ve never really left since,” Paul says. “People always tell me they laugh at me rolling around on the floor with these dogs, but that’s the only way to be with them. I’m not going to stand at the gate all day talking to the camera.”

“I genuinely love these dogs. I really do.”

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Paul O’Grady: For the Love of Dogs starts on ITV on Wednesday, 7th April at 8pm. Check out what else is on with our TV Guide or visit our dedicated Documentaries hub for more news.