Mini Puts the Paw to the Pedal for Charity
In a new campaign, the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is trying to get the word out that shelter dogs make great pets — and with Mini's help, good drivers. 

Mini of New Zealand has teamed up with the organization to raise awareness about rescue dogs throughout the world. Driving the campaign — literally — are three furry friends and one Mini Countryman

SPCA chose Porter, Monty and Ginny, shelter dogs from Aukland, for the training course. After eight weeks, these old dogs learned several new tricks, including starting the car, accelerating in a straight line, turning a corner and braking. 

Mini modified the Countryman's pedals, gearshift and steering wheel so the dogs could reach the components, but cautions that the stunts were done in a safe, controlled environment and should not be attempted by pet owners.

"We hope that Porter, Monty and Ginny learning to drive a Mini Countryman will encourage people to make the SPCA their first choice when adopting a dog," Simonne Mearns, Mini NZ brand manager, said in a statement.

Check out the program's Facebook page and watch the videos below.

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Assistant Managing Editor Jennifer Geiger is a reviewer, car-seat technician and mom of three. She wears a lot of hats, many of them while driving a minivan.  Email Jennifer