Those New Zealand shelter dogs we told you about last week — the ones being trained to drive a car — succeeded. And two of them may soon be moving to new adoptive homes.
The New Zealand Herald reports that adoption offers have been pouring in for two of the three dogs that made their driving debuts on Campbell Live.
Monty and Porter seem to be in high demand, while Ginny, a 1-year-old whippet mix — though she can drive as well as the others — isn’t generating lots of interest.
The dogs underwent eight weeks of training, culminating in piloting a Mini Cooper around a track Monday.
It was all part of a promotional campaign by the Auckland SPCA to show how intelligent, and worthy of adoption, shelter dogs can be.
Auckland SPCA CEO Christine Kalin said many adoption offers have been received for two of the driving dogs – Porter, a 10-month-old beardie cross, and Monty, a giant schnauzer cross.
She thinks Ginny receiving less “airtime” might be the reason there is less interest in her.
As for Porter and Monty, the SPCA is still determining which of the many applicants will get to adopt them.
“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,” Kalin said.
You can find more details at the Auckland SPCA website.
Posted by jwoestendiek December 12th, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: adopt, adopted, adoption, animals, applicants, auckland, car, dog, dogs, drive, driving, driving dog, driving dogs, drove, ginny, intelligent, monty, new zealand, pets, porter, shelter, spca, success, trained, video
Three shelter dogs in New Zealand have been taught to drive a car by a local SPCA, and one of them will be demonstrating his skills behind the wheel on live television next week.
The SPCA in Auckland had the dogs trained in how to shift gears, brake and steer — all part of a marketing campaign aimed at demonstrating the intelligence of rescued dogs.
The SPCA hired animal trainer Mark Vette to teach driving to the dogs — Monty, an 18-month-old giant schnauzer whose owner was unable to control him; Ginny, a one-year-old whippet cross who was rescued from abusive owners; and Porter, a ten-month-old bearded collie cross who was found roaming the streets.
The dogs underwent five weeks of indoor training to encourage them to touch and move brakes, gear sticks and steering wheels, and received treats along the way, New Zealand’s TV3 reported. Once they mastered the basics, they were given a mock car to practice with.
“No animal has ever driven a car before so what we’re going to do is we’re going to do a straight and we’re going to head off, so we’ll start the car, get into position, brake on, gear in place, back onto the steering wheel, accelerator, take off and hoon along the straight and then stop.”
(Not speaking New Zealandese, we can’t tell you what “hoon along” means.)
“In this case we’ve got ten behaviors we’re all putting together, so each behavior is a trained behavior and then you put them into a sequence,” Vette said. “So it’s a lot to do, and for the dog to actually start to get an idea of what actually is happening takes quite a long time.”
On Monday, Monty the dog’s driving abilities will be tested on the television show Campbell live, shown nationally in New Zealand. (You can learn more about the project on its Facebook page.)
“I think sometimes people think because they’re getting an animal that’s been abandoned that somehow it’s a second-class animal, SPCA Auckland chief executive Christine Kalin to Newscom.AU. “This really shows with the right environment just how much potential all dogs from the SPCA have as family pets.”
(Photos: Auckland SPCA)
Posted by jwoestendiek December 6th, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: abandoned, adoption, animals, auckland, bearded collie, brake, car, dog drives car, dogs, drive, driving, gear, giant, ginny, learn, mark vetter, mix, monty, mutts, new zealand, pets, porter, rescue, schnauzer, shelter, shift, spca, stray, taught, trainer, whippet