The Auckland SPCA in New Zealand is determined to change the public’s perception of rescue dogs. They have developed a unique project to try to accomplish this. For the last eight weeks they have been teaching three of their rescue dogs how to drive.
Monty, Ginny and Porter were selected from the SPCA Auckland two months ago and have been working with trainers to learn how to drive. The three dogs were selected from several candidates at the SPCA Auckland.
Porter is a 10-month-old Beardie Cross. He was found wandering the streets, and no one knows where he came from. Monty is an 18-month-old Giant Schnauzer that was surrendered to the SPCA Auckland because his owners couldn’t look after him anymore. The final driver, Ginny, is a 1-year-old Beardie Whippet Cross. She was seized after she was found locked in a bathroom and very underweight.
The SPCA Auckland’s main goal with this project is to change the perception of shelter dogs and encourage more people to adopt. “I think sometimes people think because they’re getting an animal that’s been abandoned that somehow it’s a second-class animal,” said SPCA Auckland CEO Christine Kalin. “Driving a car actively demonstrates to potential rescue dog adopters that you can teach an old dog new tricks. The dogs have achieved amazing things in eight short weeks of training, which really shows with the right environment just how much potential all dogs from the SPCA have as family pets.”
Acclaimed trainer Mark Vette and his team from Animals on Q were brought on to train the three selected dogs. Vette is a professional Animal Psychologist and Zoologist. “Monty, Porter and Ginny are great dogs each with their own distinct personality. You wouldn’t believe any dog could learn to drive a car on its own and the way all three SPCA rescue dogs have taken to training really does prove that intelligent creatures adapt to the situation they’re in. It really is remarkable,” Vette said.
Mini approached SPCA Auckland about the campaign and has teamed up with the project. The dogs will be driving a Mini Countryman when the go on live television next Monday to show off their skills. The dog’s attempt to drive cars will air on Campbell Live. You can follow the project and see more video footage of the dogs and their training on their Facebook page.