Oscar, World-Traveling Dog, Dies after Being Hit by a Car [Gallery]

A dog who was rescued from “doggy death row” in South Africa before becoming famous for his tour of the world, has died after being hit by a car in California.

  • Photo: Joanne LefsonPhoto: Joanne Lefson
  • Photo: Joanne LefsonPhoto: Joanne Lefson
  • Photo: Joanne LefsonPhoto: Joanne Lefson
  • Photo: Joanne LefsonPhoto: Joanne Lefson
  • Photo: Joanne LefsonPhoto: Joanne Lefson
  • Photo: Joanne LefsonPhoto: Joanne Lefson
  • Photo: Joanne LefsonPhoto: Joanne Lefson
  • Photo: Joanne LefsonPhoto: Joanne Lefson
  • Photo: Joanne LefsonPhoto: Joanne Lefson
  • Photo: Joanne LefsonPhoto: Joanne Lefson
  • Photo: Joanne LefsonPhoto: Joanne Lefson
  • Photo: Joanne LefsonPhoto: Joanne Lefson

Starting with the sad news, Oscar the globe-trotting mutt died in California this week after being hit by a car.

Months before he was due to tackle his greatest adventure yet, world-famous rescue dog activist Oscar has died in a car accident in California.

Oscar was adopted from the SPCA in Cape Town eight years ago, just a day before he was due to be put down.

In 2009 he and his owner Joanne Lefson embarked on an epic journey round the world to raise money and draw attention to the plight of shelter dogs.

“It was love at first lick,” Lefson said at the time.

Oscar became famous after his owner wrote a book about his world travels from riding camels in Pakistan to running along the banks of the Amazon.

Their travels were recounted in the 2010 book, “Ahound the World: My Travels with Oscar,” written by Ms Lefson.

The Alsatian-corgi-cocker spaniel-basset hound mix gained fans worldwide, visiting 31 countries and travelling nearly 200 000km in his mission to promote shelter adoptions.

He maintained a close relationship with the organization ever since.

“He was such a gorgeous dog and one’s heart could not but melt at the sight of those big brown puppy eyes,” said SPCA spokeswoman Lise-Marie Greeff.

Most recently, Oscar and his owner had visited Disneyland in Anaheim, California, while on an extensive US tour that included an appearance on the television show “Good Morning America.”

Oscar sent his final message to his followers from Disneyworld on New Year’s Eve. His wish for the new year? “Every homeless dog on the planet will find a loving home.”

There has been outpouring of condolence messages on Oscar’s official Facebook fan page, where a notice about his death was posted.

“I followed little Oscar’s story and was stunned into tears when I read about his tragic death,” Maria Staak wrote.

“Oscar was a hero,” Susann Breytenbach said. “He really helped saving so many shelter doggies’ lives.” A memorial service for Oscar will be held on January 25 in Cape Town.

Ms Lefson had been planning a trip to Nepal, where she and Oscar would ascend to Mount Everest Base Camp to promote the cause of stray dogs finding good homes, says the Telegraph.

Oscar’s journey however came to an end last Friday when he was hit by a car. Lefson, who has not yet explained the details of the accident, said Oscar’s death “has left a deep void in my heart, and in the world that he so extensively travelled to promote compassion and adoption for his homeless friends everywhere”.

A memorial service for Oscar will be held on January 25 in Cape Town.

As the Global Post  says, on a lighter note, another Oscar the dog is making the news, but this time in New Zealand.

The three-legged stray was caught on camera stealing from a convenience store — apparently not his first heist. The dog was later picked up by animal control but he is expected to find a home pretty quickly after all the media attention.

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