A few talented mixed-breed shelter dogs from Auckland did the unthinkable on Monday and drove a car unassisted on live television. With help from trainer Mark Vette, the dogs have spent the last two months learning to drive in a mock car, using the steering wheel, pedals and even the mirrors.
The video of this project, which is aimed at increasing pet adoptions from animal shelters by showing the potential of homeless dogs, has become a viral hit.
“The driving dogs were the brainchild of Auckland advertising agency DraftFCB, which was commissioned by Mini, which has worked with the [Auckland Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals] SPCA previously, to come up with a campaign that would challenge preconceptions about shelter dogs,” according to the Herald Sun.
First, Monty drove a modified Mini on a straight track with no issues. Then Porter was given a more difficult task to steer the car around one of the racetrack’s turns while with a person in the passenger seat.
“It’s all the dog doing it,” Vette told the Herald Sun. “He’s started “He’s started the key, put the paw on the brake to allow it to go into gear, put it into drive, paw on the steering wheel, accelerator on, and off he goes down the track.”
Both dogs did a great job and were successful in gaining attention for shelter dogs in New Zealand.
“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,” SPCA Chief Executive Christine Kalin told the Herald Sun. “This was an opportunity to show New Zealand, and as it’s turned out the world, how amazing these animals are.”
Check out this video of Monty and Porter burning rubber: