Oscar – the world’s most travelled dog

by Leanne Thompson on December 21, 2009

travelling dog in new yorkOscar the dog has claimed to be the world’s most well-travelled explorer after a journey that saw him visit 29 countries across five continents whilst visiting the world’s most famous landmarks including the Statue of Liberty, the Taj Mahal and the Eiffel Tower.

Oscar’s owner Joanne Lefson rescued him from a kennel in South Africa five years ago and in May 2008 the two began their journey across the world in an effort to inspire people everywhere to save Oscar’s fellow dogs.

The six month trip ended earlier this month at the Christ the Redeemer status in Brazil’s Rio before returning home to the UK.  Ms Lefson had funded the £250,000 trip by selling her home and dubbed the trip ‘The World Woof Tour’.  Oscar and his owner visited over 50 charity-run rescue centres on the journey.

Ms Lefson, who is half South African and half British, said:

“If I hadn’t gone to the kennel that fateful day Oscar had one more day left and would have been put down.  When I discovered what a wonderful dog Oscar was it broke my heart to think how many ‘Oscar’s’ are still out there and simply just don’t get that second chance.

“I sold my house to fund the trip, but this project has never been about the money, it’s about the message and Oscar and I would do it again in a heartbeat.  My friends and family have always thought that I’m a bit weird ‘crazy’

“Having said that, they know how passionate I feel about the subject of adoption, and know that I would do literally anything to help get great animals out of shelters and into loving homes.  No one really took this project seriously though, until the chopper took off and didn’t return with a dog and me on board.

“I wanted to come up with a project that would use Oscar’s perfect package to show the entire world that great dogs, dogs just like Oscar, are available at shelters all over the world.  I wanted to change perceptions of shelter dogs being old, abused and disturbed animals. Nothing could be further from the truth.”

Christmas is a time when many shelters are overrun with dogs looking for new homes so Ms Lefson’s message certainly comes at an appropriate time.

Photo: CATERS

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