Dogs taught to drive by animal shelter; cats left to their own defenses

Because the world can't get strange enough, an animal training school in New Zealand has set out to prove that dogs have enough smarts to drive cars at low speeds, given weeks of instruction and a special set of paw controls. This video suggests they've succeeded, finally answering the question of what dogs would do if they ever caught a car they were chasing.

Arranged by the New Zealand chapter of the Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, the stunt involved three dogs -- Monty, Ginny and Porter -- either found, roaming stray or given up by their owners. The SPCA, working with animal trainer Animals on Q, adapted a Mini Cooper to canine steering and put the pets through eight weeks of intensive training to teach them how to stop, go, steer and change gears.

According to the New Zealand Herald, SPCA hopes to use the driving dogs to showcase how intelligent its rescue animals are, and that they're suited for work as helpers or just family pets. Next week, the SPCA will let the trio take a driving test on live national television in New Zealand, or as Down Under cats will call it, "armageddon."

T0p photo of Ginny: DrivingDogs