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High-tech collar aims to prevent dogs dying in hot cars

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August 17, 2012

The Dog Caller Collar sends dogs owners an SMS if the temperature of a dog left in a car e...

The Dog Caller Collar sends dogs owners an SMS if the temperature of a dog left in a car exceeds a safe level (Photo: Joy Brown/Shutterstock)

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A new high-tech collar aims to help prevent dogs dying in hot cars. The “Dog Caller” collar sends the owner an SMS if the dog’s temperature exceeds a safe level. Developed by the Toronto Humane Society and ad-agency Rethink, the product is not intended as an excuse to leave your dog in the car, but rather as a back-up system just in case.

Developed as an “extra-curricular” project by Rethink (a company known more for its beer commercials), the product was first conceived by Aaron Starkman, a partner in the company. On a hot day last year he left his dog, Hefty in the car to run what he originally thought would be a one-minute errand. When he returned twenty minutes later the temperature of the car had soared, and the dog was suffering from terrible heat exhaustion. Fortunately Hefty survived, and it was this close call that prompted Starkman and his ad-agency to design The Dog Caller collar.

The Dog Caller up close

The collar is a simple fabric band with a small black box clipped to the front. Inside, a thermistor is used to constantly measure the dog’s temperature, while a SIM card and coded chip allow the device to send an SMS if this temperature becomes too high (approximately 80° F or 26.7° C).

Both the Toronto Humane Society and Rethink stress that the collar is to be used only as a back-up, and not as an excuse for people to leave their dog in the car. Bottom line seems to be that people shouldn’t, but inevitably will leave their dog in the car at times. “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.”

Currently in its prototype stage, the product is anticipated to be available to the public in early 2013. For those concerned about hanging an expensive piece of technology around their dog’s neck, the collar is expected to only cost about US$20.

A promotional video can be seen below.

Source: Toronto Humane Society

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12 Comments

A person who would leave their dog in a hot car is not likely to care about this collar. And if you're leaving your dog in a hot car often enough that you need this collar, you probably shouldn't be a dog owner.

Stradric
17th August, 2012 @ 07:00 am PDT

I doubt those who leave their dog in the car in the first place, will get one of these. I personally would love one for my huskies during the summer, and in the winter during sled training.

Shawn Sieben
17th August, 2012 @ 08:04 am PDT

I think you would get greater effectiveness petitioning the local governments to make smashing out the windows of cars that have pet or children locked inside legal.

When I leave my dog in the car I leave the door open and the dog leashed with a chain. The chain Is actually unnecessary she has abandonment issues (got her from the pound) and doesn't get out of the car.

Pikeman
17th August, 2012 @ 09:55 am PDT

This new device is the worst invention out there. It only will encourage people to leave their dogs inside their car while stepping out to the store or a mall.

This product also undermines the valiant efforts of many Animal Welfare Organizations that promote the message that dog owners should AVOID LEAVING THEIR DOG INSIDE A VEHICLE ALONE. Especially during extreme weather conditions.

Without a doubt this new invention poses way too much harm to dogs and only a CASH GRAB for the Inventors/Manufacturers/Sellers:

REASONS WHY THIS IS THE WORST PRODUCT ON THE MARKET?

1.) Gives irresponsible dog owners a false sense of security to leave their dog in a car during extreme heat or cold.

2.) Undermines the public message to NEVER LEAVE ONE'S DOG in the car - especially during extreme heat or cold alerts.

3.) It will encourage dog owners who before avoided leaving their dogs in the car to start doing so which will place more dogs in harms way - especially if the device fails or the dog owner does not notice or receive the text message warning.

4.) Text messages are being sent to the dog owner to warn them that the temparature in the car is increasing or decreasing to dangerous levels for their dog. If these persons ignored past public announcements about not leaving their pooches in the car - what will deter them from ignoring the text message warning?

5.) What about if the device fails? Does CIVIL ACTION LAWSUIT against the manufacturer remedy that a dog died needlessly?

6.) The use of the new e-collar will also reduce the incidents of the public getting involved and calling for help when they see a dog left alone inside a car during extreme weather. Seeing the dog collar used people will be under the impression that the dog owner must have received the alert text message and is on their way to the car - which might not be the case.

7.) The new electronic device is placed right around the neck of the dog where electromagnetic frequencies are emitted continuously and increasing the risk of thyroid cancer and brain cancer. Why not prevent this risk to the animal and just use common sense not to leave one's pooch inside a vehicle when going inside a mall to shop?

8.) The electronic collar detects when temperature levels rise beyond dangerous levels for a dog. However, not every dog has the same tolerance to extreme heat or cold especially if they already have a medical condition. Repeated exposures to extreme heat or cold environment inside a vehicle pose significant risk to the animal and can have adverse health effects.

Bottom line is that this new product only appears to offer a risk reduction option. When in fact it only will cause more harm to the dogs made to wear this gadget and to the general public that will be less inclined to stop leaving dogs inside a vehicle unattended.

Product Rating: 0 out of 10

Marlene Waters
17th August, 2012 @ 10:37 am PDT

Anyone who would buy this must be leaving their dog in a hot vehicle a lot.

Ct
17th August, 2012 @ 11:48 am PDT

A cheaper and better solution is a remote starter / security system that sends temperature information and has alarms for high and low temperatures and can automatically start the car.

Michael Mantion
17th August, 2012 @ 05:16 pm PDT

Does anyone else see the conundrum here? Irresponsible pet owners - the kind who leave the pets in the car long enough to kill them - are unlikely to buy a device like this. What they lack is common sense and responsibility, and you can't fix it with a smart phone app.

Laura Ward
18th August, 2012 @ 03:15 pm PDT

While I don't support vandalism in general There is a viable lesser evil defense in knocking out the window of a car with pets or god forbid children cooking inside and I would like to see it formalized into law.

If you are going to leave a pet in the car in hot weather at the very least leash it in using a chew proof leash (A thin steel cable works well) and leave All the windows all the way open.

Attention automobile manufacturers!!

please introduce a child pet safety system that prevents the car from locking when when there is an child and pet in the back seat without someone in the drivers seat, and a system that automatically opens the windows in the event there is a person or pet in the car and the temperature exceeds a reasonably high temperature.

Pikeman
18th August, 2012 @ 10:11 pm PDT

Sorry folks,but there is no reason for leaving a dog in a hot car.I have

caught people getting ready to do this ignorant thing.After promising them that I will safely shatter one of their windows if they do it,they

always let me babysit their dog in some shade with a bowl of cool

water I always carry.Usually showing them my springpunch convinces

them I am serious.Having shattered 2 windows over the years proves

I am not screwing around.Always take pictures to show the police otherwise you could be arrested instead of the owner.

As a teenager I witnessed what heat does to a dog as it dyed in my

arms and I will NEVER again have to go thru that.No matterr your

reasoning or emergency DONT DO IT!

Flasheroo
20th August, 2012 @ 10:35 am PDT

Terrible idea! The Humane Society and every major animal organization warn people not to leave their pets in cars...why promote doing just that with this stupid collar? http://www.ilovedogs.com/2012/08/new-heat-sensing-collar-for-dogs-with-irresponsible-pet-parents

leroysmom
22nd August, 2012 @ 10:03 am PDT

I'm moving to the Caribbean and I thought this product would be a great tool to have so I'm aware of my dogs temperature in high heat and humidity climates. I don't know why they would market it for the instance of someone leaving their dog in the car...but for my purpose of leaving a dog outside to roam free and lay in the sun, it would be good to know if he is okay when I'm away.

Stacy Lynn Maldonado
22nd August, 2012 @ 07:14 pm PDT

Unfortunately, people leave their pets and even more tragically their CHILDREN in cars. They should make a version of this collar that can be placed on the wrist of a child to prevent the same tragedy.

NYGuy
8th September, 2012 @ 04:00 am PDT
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