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Driving dog let off with warning

Published: 9:27AM Wednesday September 16, 2009 Source: ONE News

A dog that crashed his owner's car into a Cromwell cafe has been let off with a warning, along with his owner.
And police say they want others to heed the message not to leave pets and children unattended in vehicles, especially with the keys in.

It was one of those moments they will talk about for years to come - the day the Fusee Rouge cafe had a ram raid with a dog at the wheel.

"The dog is five-and-a-half years of age. His name is Wilco," says Senior Constable John Chambers of Cromwell police.

Wilco's owner had stopped his ute to buy beer, leaving the motor running. The dog jumped up on the column gear stick.

"Once Wilco had knocked it from park into drive, it would have been just a slow walking pace up to the front door," says Chambers.

In the liquor store the beer had just gone on the counter.

"A lady from Mitre 10 ran through the doors and said 'did you know that your dog's just driven through the cafe doors'. So yeah, we popped out there and it was definitely right, it was sitting in the driver's seat," says Terry Fox, store manager.

Thirty years of policing had not prepared Chambers for what he found in the driver's seat.

"When I arrived, to my disbelief I found it was a dog that was responsible for causing the damage," he says.

The owner has been let off with a warning. 

"The owner at the moment is very much like his dog with tail between his legs," says Chambers.

But there is a point to this shaggy dog story - a key message. Always take the keys out of the car with you.