We've all experienced a situation like this: Walking through a parking lot during the dog days of summer, we pass by a car with a dog inside panting at the window and the owner nowhere in sight. Sure, the windows are cracked, but the dog is whimpering and looks miserable.
Ad agency Rethink Toronto wants to put an end to those situations. They've developed an Internet-connected "Dog Caller" that alerts negligent owners when their dog gets too hot.
The collar uses a coded chip, a SIM card and a thermistor to send a text message to the owners' phone when a pooch's temperature gets above 79 degrees Fahrenheit.
Rethink partner Aaron Starkman helped spearhead the project after he had eye-opening experience with his own golden retriever. On one rainy day errand run, Starkman left his dog in the car, thinking he'd only be gone a couple minutes. However, when he returned 20 minutes later, he found that it was not only hot and sunny, but his dog was struggling.
“I almost was one of those awful people you read about,” Starkman told The Star. “Nobody knows it’s just a matter of minutes.”
The collar is still in the prototype phase, but Rethink plans to crowd fund the project with the intention of selling it on the market next year for $20.
"We never ever under any circumstance want anyone leaving a dog in a car," Starkman said — but "if the collar does end up saving a dog in a car, we'll obviously be thrilled in that result."