In an audacious bid to change the public’s misconceptions about rescued animals, an Animal Welfare Group is attempting to teach three dogs new tricks - how to drive a car.
Rescued pooches Monty, Ginny and Porter have been taking driving lessons for eight weeks and ten-month-old Beardie Cross Porter will take an official test drive in an adapted Mini Cooper live on New Zealand television on Monday.
Animal trainer Mark Vette has taken up the challenge and the dogs have been learning to put a car into gear, accelerate and steer.
It sounds like a spoof stunt but there is a serious message behind the amazing mission, as SPCA Auckland CEO Christine Kalin told the Sunshine Daily Coast.
“I think sometimes people think because they're getting an animal that's been abandoned that somehow it's a second-class animal," she said.
“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."
The learning process has not been without its problems, though.
Obviously none of the dogs have a license so training has taken place on an off-road, controlled environment.
The dogs have previously had an assistant with them but will be driving solo on the night and there will be speed restraints in the car.
For more information visit the facebook page.