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December 11, 2012

Driving Dogs Learn New Tricks for a Good Cause

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These mutts are on a mission! The SPCA of Auckland, NZ has a goal of making the public aware that dogs in shelters are highly intelligent, capable companions and decided to teach three adoptable dogs how to drive a car.

Mark Vette, the trainer, who has worked on numerous movie sets, had his doubts about being able to execute the project, even if it was for a good cause. The vehicles had to be modified to be operable by dogs, but all the controls would be done by the dogs: starting, the pedals, steering, and stopping!

As you can see from the following video, Porter, a bearded collie cross seems cool and collected, and enjoys all the attention he's getting.

The project was successful! In fact, two of the three dogs have already been adopted out. Only Ginny, the beagle-whippet mix, remains homeless, probably because she was given less video coverage driving than the other two.

"The key issue for us is about finding the best home possible for those dogs because they've done an exceptional job of being ambassadors for all SPCA animals throughout the country," said Auckland SPCA CEO Christine Kalin.

The three driving dogs: Porter, Monty, and Ginny. The three driving dogs: Porter, Monty, and Ginny.

The most beneficial aspect of this endeavor is that the message of dog adoption has gained ground globally with the video even being featured on the Jay Leno Show, and highlighted on media outlets around the world.

"This was an opportunity to show New Zealand and, as it's turned out, the world, how amazing these animals are. Some people think that by getting a shelter dog they're somehow getting a second class citizen. We're with these dogs every day; we know how wonderful they are," Kalin said.

For more information, visit The Herald Sun and Laughing Squid for videos of all three dogs. Images and video by Driving Dogs

Linda Wenger on December 11 at 7:21 AM said:

Hmm, wonder if they try to drive their new families' cars. I always worry that one of my dogs will prove to be smarter than I am. Very smart dogs and a cute video though.
ssgt leslie on December 11 at 12:15 PM said:

amazing, one day these dogs can help our disable 2 legged friends. keep up the wonderful work, and may ginny find a home soon.

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