Dog crashes car

LEARNER DRIVER: Wilco the dog, a staffordshire ridgeback cross, inadvertently drove his owner's car into a Cromwell cafe.
LEARNER DRIVER: Wilco the dog, a staffordshire ridgeback cross, inadvertently drove his owner's car into a Cromwell cafe.

They say it's a dog's life, and a dog in Cromwell was lucky he still had his yesterday.

Wilco, a staffordshire ridgeback cross, demonstrated why dogs should never be left alone in a running vehicle.

At 5.30pm, the dog's owner left his Chevrolet ute running while he nipped into a shop in the Cromwell Mall.

Meanwhile, five-and-a-half-year-old Wilco decided to go for a drive.

He pushed down the column gear change, moving it from park to drive, causing the vehicle to move slowly forward about 15 metres.

The vehicle stopped only when it crashed into the front bifold doors of the nearby Fusee Rogue cafe.

Senior Constable John Chambers, who said he had never before attended a car crash caused by a dog driving the vehicle, said luckily the vehicle was travelling slowly and there was no-one around. The glass doors were bent out of shape, but the glass wasn't shattered.

Cafe owner Jacynda Wallace said the doors would need to be replaced but luckily she was insured.

The first she heard of the drama was when she received a phone call from a next-door shop owner to say a car had crashed through her cafe.

"I freaked out. I thought there would be smashed glass everywhere."

Despite the damage she anticipated still opening today and expected lots of curious people to come and visit the scene of the crime.

Mr Chambers said the incident, while unusual, served as a reminder about not leaving animals or children in a car with the keys still in it.

Police were still investigating the incident.

The Southland Times