Monty, Porter and Ginny – world-famous driving dogs have found new homes

News from Auckland SPCA
SPCA Auckland is pleased to announce that all three of the world-famous Driving Dogs have been successfully adopted. Many more dogs from SPCA Auckland have been permanently welcomed into loving new homes since the campaign began.

The Driving Dogs campaign was created when Mini NZ decided they wanted to help the SPCA change some common misconceptions about rescue dogs. They worked with creative agency DraftFCB who came up with the “crazy” idea of teaching three SPCA dogs how to drive a Mini Countryman. At the time they had no idea that the campaign would go global.

Three dogs were selected from SPCA Auckland by Animals on Q animal trainer Mark Vette and were trained in just eight weeks to drive a Mini Countryman around a test track in a live segment aired on Campbell Live on 10 December 2012.

“Since the story aired, we have been inundated with offers to adopt the Driving Dogs – Monty, Porter, and Ginny – including offers from the wonderful people who trained the dogs to drive,” says Christine Kalin, SPCA Auckland CEO.

“In the end we decided to allow the animal trainers from Animals On Q – Mark Vette, Jazmin Vette-Dal Bello, and Rosie Miles – to adopt the dogs because of the strong and obvious bonds that these caring people have established with each dog during the two-month training period.

“Our mission is always to find the best possible home for every animal and we are convinced the trainers will provide excellent homes where Monty, Porter, and Ginny will get all the love, stimulation, and healthy exercise they need to live very happy lives indeed.”

Mark Vette says all three dogs are “in dog heaven” in their new homes.

Monty – adopted by Mark Vette

Monty is living with Mark Vette on his farm in Waimauku with what Mark describes as “a pack of great dogs”, most of which have also been adopted from SPCA.

“Together they play for hours in the numerous ponds, paddocks, and forests,” says Mark. “Monty has become an awesome companion and is even taking on the role of watch dog, although he is all bark and no bite. He follows me everywhere I go, normally with a stick or someone’s shoe, some typical retriever type traits that make them such entertaining dogs. He has a great nature and is very friendly with everyone who comes to meet him.”

Porter – adopted by Jazmin Vette-Dal Bello

Jaz and Porter bonded very strongly from Day One of the driving training. Porter now follows Jaz everywhere and adores Jaz’s other two rescue dogs, Tuss and Senna, both TV stars in their own right. The other dogs have brought Porter out of himself and given him much more confidence. He used to be fearful of loud noises but he is now a much more robust and relaxed dog. Jaz continues to provide Porter with ongoing behavioural training.

Ginny – adopted by Rosie Miles and Heather Bridgford

Rosie and her long-time friend Heather have adopted Ginny who now has the run of 16 acres of land with two friendly Dalmatians to play with. Ginny is a curious, playful, and very affectionate dog who loves learning and has really come out of her shell now that she is surrounded by people who love her and care for her.

“All in all, this has been a fantastic success story that has proven on a world stage how animals that have had a difficult start in life can, with love, care, and attention, become beautiful and forgiving well-rounded companions,” says Christine Kalin.

SPCA Auckland would like to remind people there are still many more loving, smart, and capable dogs waiting at SPCA centres around the country for adoption. If and when you are thinking of getting a dog, please consider adopting a smart dog from the SPCA.

• Visit to see videos of the dogs learning to drive and to find out more about your local SPCA and how to adopt
• Check the Driving Dogs on Twitter: @drivingdogs #drivingdogs
• The Auckland SPCA cares for over 18,000 Animals each year