Driving Dogs Continue To Drive Adoptions In New Zealand
Adapted from: Amy Corr, Monday, March 18, 2013 4:33PM
A New Zealand campaign launched inDecember continues to encourage people toadopt shelter dogs.The New Zealand branch of theSociety for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals(SPCA), teamed up with animal trainer Mark Vette to teach three shelter dogs how to drivea car. Monty, Porter and Ginny were taughthow to brake, shift gears, turn the steeringwheel and accelerate in a modified MINICountryman Cooper S.Training videos showing the dogs
learning to drive immediately became popular, leading up to the grand finale.
“On Dec. 10, consumers were invited
driving for the first time live on television,”
said James Mok, executive creative director.
“From there, people could go to the
Auckland SPCA website or find the locationof their nearest SPCA, where they couldl
earn about the dogs available for adoption.”
Porter and Monty drove down aracetrack, and delighted the world, alongwith the trainers who worked with theanimals for eight weeks."Dogs this smart deserve a home,"was the campaign that made people go to theSPCA Auckland, which found all of their puppies adopted within weeks of thecampaign.Two of the three driving dogs wereadopted by people who helped teach them todrive. Mok says all three dogs meet regularlyfor play dates and have Facebook pageswhere fans can follow the canine updates.With momentum continuing to runhigh following this campaign, SPCAAuckland recently launched a follow-up tothe campaign where every dog adoptedreceived a car to drive home in. Although,
this time the car wasn’t
“We created a special carry boxshaped just like a MINI,” said Mok. “With a
convertible roof, the box also transformedinto a dog bed where puppies could happilyspend the first eight weeks of their lives. Newowners had the option to customize the car with an alphabetic sticker sheet to create a personalized license plate. It was also
accompanied by an owner’s manual. Thanks
to MINI, all dogs had the opportunity to
Now that we know that dogs can
drive cars, what’s next, an airplane?
with Mark Vette fromAnimals on Q about teaching a dog to fly a
plane,” concluded Mok. “He got very excited
about that -- but unless MINI start making
planes, that idea probably won’t get off theground.”