Cherie Howie

Cherie Howie is a reporter for the Herald on Sunday.

Next dog trick up in the air?

Dogs like Ginny could take off. Photo / SPCA
Dogs like Ginny could take off. Photo / SPCA

The sky is the limit - literally - for the SPCA's driving dogs.

Monty, Porter and Ginny have already turned heads around the world after video of them driving a modified Mini went viral on the internet. Now the man who spearheaded the training to put the dogs behind the wheel is considering their next challenge.

Animals on Q director Mark Vette said one of the ideas he was "tossing around" was teaching the dogs to fly. Vette, who previously held a pilot's licence, has a brother who is a Cathay Pacific captain and their father was former Air New Zealand captain and Erebus crash investigator Gordon Vette. He said it was "conceivable" the dogs could fly a plane - but it was just "a fun idea" for now.

The main focus was still the driving dogs campaign, aimed at encouraging people to adopt SPCA dogs, Vette said.

Those in the aviation industry reckon the idea won't fly. Nelson Aviation College chief executive Giles Witney said no dog would be enrolled at his flight school - even his own giant schnauzer, the same breed as Monty.

"My dog is quite intelligent too, but I wouldn't let him up in the air. From a safety perspective, it's a no-no."

Meanwhile homes are still being decided on for the three dogs, but they are likely to remain in the Auckland area.

- Herald on Sunday

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