October 25, 2022
Hope’s Story: An 8,000-Mile Odyssey | Dog Edition #69

Who drives across the American continent, then flies to Europe, and then drives across THAT continent to smuggle a banned breed into the UK? Emma’s mom does, that’s who … so that rescue pittie, Hope, doesn’t get left behind.


When the pandemic ground the world to a halt, Emma was studying in France, an ocean and a continent away from her home. Returning to Oregon to be closer to her family, she did what many other Americans did that year: adopt a puppy.

Hope was a rescue from Texas: a sweet, traumatized Pitbull. Despite the pandemic restrictions’ and wildfire season’s best efforts, Emma and Hope formed a quick, intense bond.

Hope turned out to be Emma’s great love, and so she never considered leaving her behind when she was offered a place in Glasgow to continue her studies. But Hope was terribly afraid of loud noises, and would never get on a plane. What to do?

Perhaps a trip on the Queen Mary 2 was in order. It’s the only ship that carries animals across the Atlantic. But, wait: it turns out that Hope’s breed is banned in the UK!

How was this girl going to get this dog into that country? Emma turned to her mother, Lucy, for help, and the two of them planned a truly epic itinerary.

Today we hear their story, and talk to Dr Sam Gaines of the RSPCA about the Dangerous Dogs Act, which has prohibited Pitbull ownership in the UK since 1991.

Episode Links

The RSPCA’s campaign to end Breed Specific Legislation

The UK government’s rules about banned breeds

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The Long Leash where we rescue tasty scraps from the editing room floor in an unscripted interview show

Dog Cancer Answers which offers vetted advice from real veterinarians who answer your questions about dog cancer

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