(AUCKLAND, New Zealand) — The racetrack went to the dogs in New Zealand Monday when a pair of abandoned pups chosen by the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) each successfully drove a car on their own.
Porter, a 10-month-old beardie cross, drove a Mini Countryman around the track while his exploits, all part of a marketing campaign for the SPCA’s Auckland chapter, were broadcast live on New Zealand’s 3 News station.
Next up was Monty, an 18-month-old giant schnauzer, who also successfully steered his car in a canine-modified Mini, and, like Porter, had some human help with a trainer outside the window giving verbal commands.
The SPCA chose Monty, Porter and another abandoned pup Ginny, a 1-year-old whippets cross, to go behind the wheel of a car to show that rescue dogs are a first-rate choice for adoptions, according to its Facebook page created specifically to encourage adoptions.
The trio of highway-ready rescue dogs had spent the past eight weeks at Animals on Q, a “premiere New Zealand animal talent agency,” according to its website, for the “doggy driver training process,” the New Zealand Herald reported at the time.
While Monty and Porter got to show off their skills on live TV, Ginny did not, something SPCA Auckland CEO Christine Kalin hopes does not continue to keep interested adopters away.
“We’ve had people offer to adopt Monty and Porter. We’ve had less interest in Ginny, so she’s the one we’d really love not to have in the shelter too long,” Kalin told the Herald.
Video of the dogs practicing for their live debut quickly went viral and made Porter and Monty, especially, worldwide stars. Kalin says despite “a lot of interest” shown in the talented pups, the SPCA has not yet made a decision on where the pair, and Ginny, too, will end up next.
“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,” she said, according to the Herald. “Our desire is to find the best possible home for them.”
A message requesting comment from the SPCA was not immediately returned.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Chris Williams and Jason Hanna, CNN
Stephanie Halasz, Jason Hanna and Livia Borghese, CNN
Steve Visser and Masoud Popalzai, CNN
Georgia McCafferty and Junko Ogura, CNN