NZ Animal Rights Group: ‘Dogs Can Drive Cars Too!’

“A dog driving a car isn’t something you see every day”—but it will be something you can see on live TV in New Zealand thanks to a PR campaign dreamed up by the Auckland wing of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. (Turns out that Hobbits aren’t the only short, furry creatures beloved by all Down Under.)

We love dogs as much as the next guy (or the next rock star), so we were total suckers for the SPCA’s “dogs can drive” campaign, designed to “change the public’s perception on the intelligence of rescue dogs” sometimes tragically seen as dumb and disposable.

Oh wow. Click through for the official version:

These videos include clips taken during an eight-week training session preparing the pups for their live TV debut on the news program Campbell Live next week. If New Zealanders are anything like us, then thousands of rescue dogs will find new homes in the hours after the program airs.

The fact that thousands of rescue dogs are “put down” every year because they can’t find homes is incredibly sad. We have great respect for the organization’s efforts to bring attention to a very serious matter–and this is not just because we once owned a big, friendly black lab who happened to be a rescue dog (rest in peace, Burke).

But right now we just can’t get over the fact that they taught these pups to drive stick! As SPCA Auckland CEO Christine Kalin put it, this PR stunt “actively demonstrates to potential rescue dog adopters that you can teach an old dog new tricks.”

Oof. Did she really need to go there?

As much as we love everything about this video, we do have one question: When they’re done proving their intelligence to the public, can these hounds get back to their endless poker game?

@PatrickCoffee Patrick Coffee is a senior editor for Adweek.