In New Zealand the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals has been promoting pet adoptions by training rescued dogs to drive cars. They go very slowly, the cars are specially equipped, and they get a lot of human coaching, but they do it, starting, stopping, and even steering.
(And dagnabbit, the original video clips removed themselves again. There’s even a gap where I put the XHTML. I have recently updated WordPress, and that might explain it. I’ll just have to be more careful. And here I’m supplementing the original videos with some extras.)
“Every year, the SPCA need to find homes for thousands of dogs just like Porter, Ginny and Monty – dogs who have been abused, abandoned, or just forgotten. They may be a mixed up motley bunch, but they’re all smart and they’re all lovable. So please don’t forget about them. Adopt them.”
“Dogs this smart deserve a home.”
There’s more information about teaching dogs to drive on their website. Or you can adopt your own smart dog or cat from your local animal shelter or rescue group.
And as my brother Tom would remind me to tell you, don’t buy puppy mill dogs from pet stores (or anything from a pet store that sells puppies); their “registrations” are meaningless. When you rescue a dog, especially an adult dog, you know what you’re actually getting.